Mar 31, 2014
I wasn’t surprised today to learn that a new study has found a connection between gratitude and patience. After all, if you value what you have, which is what gratitude accomplishes for us, then there’s less emotional need to go seeking something else.
The study, carried out by a team of researchers from Northeastern University, the University of California, Riverside, and Harvard Kennedy School, looked specifically at financial impatience. Financial impatience is a well-known phenomenon where larger rewards in the future are considered less important than smaller rewards in the present.
Participants in the study chose between receiving a larger sum in the future, or a smaller sum now. The researchers used …
Mar 31, 2014
Jo Confino, The Guardian: The Zen master discusses his advice for Google and other tech giants on being a force for good in the world.
Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular topic among business leaders, with several key executives speaking publicly in recent months about how it helps them improve the bottom line.
Intermix CEO Khajak Keledjian last week shared his secrets to inner peace with The Wall Street Journal. Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, discussed mindfulness in Thrive, her new book released this week. Other business leaders who meditate include Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff …
Mar 28, 2014
Jean Erlbaum’s Sit With Less Pain is subtitled “Gentle Yoga for Meditators and Everyone Else.”
As most meditators know, finding a comfortable way to sit in meditation for long periods of time can be challenging. We can end up futzing around with our equipment, trying out different chairs, benches, and cushions, and constantly adjusting the height and tilt of our seat, and still find that we end up with sore shoulders, or a sore neck, or an aching back. Often the problem is that we’re expecting a body that lacks flexibility to be still for long periods.
Sit With Less Pain addresses that problem, offering us exercises to bring more flexibility to the …
Mar 28, 2014
Cotswold Journal: A primary school in the Cotswolds is using a special technique to boost children’s concentration and wellbeing.
Shipston Primary School has introduced Mindfulness, which is increasingly being used in the workplace, the armed forces and most recently, in education.
The meditation practice, which helps children to focus and lower stress levels, was recently shown to improve pupils’ school performance in a study carried out by scientists at the University of Exeter, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the Mindfulness in Schools Programme.
Since January, 10 and 11-year-olds at the school have been taking part in a nine-week Mindfulness programme …
Mar 27, 2014
Matthew Warburton, Guardian Liberty Voice: Meditation was once seen in the West as something for robed monks and mountain hermits. Recent scientific evidence has redefined the concept as a tool that can be integrated into a busy modern life. Regular practice of meditation has been shown to have benefits for sufferers of anxiety, depression, and stress, and can improve mental functioning and well-being.
The art of meditation is ancient and data suggests it was used by prehistoric civilizations. Objects found in India which date back to 3,000 B.C show evidence of its practice, and the first written scriptures can be found in Hindu Vedantism …
Mar 26, 2014
These rather gorgeous images are from an eighteenth-century book consisting of 36 ink drawings showing precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and other figures. I stumbled across it today on a site called The Public Domain Review, which draws attention to non-copyright media of all sorts that are available for general use.
As the site points out, “The concept of the ‘ideal image’ of the Buddha emerged during the Golden Age of Gupta rule, from the 4th to 6th century. As well as the proportions, other aspects of the depiction – such as number of teeth, color of eyes, direction of hairs – became very important.”
It’s worth checking out the …
Mar 26, 2014
Of course, the first question regarding intention is, for what?
All the great wisdom traditions of the world, and all the great moral philosophers, have grappled with this question. What should we want?
There are many ways to approach this question. Some try to answer it in terms of discerning the will or desires of their sense of a Divine influence, of God. Others through resort to certain ideals or abstractions. And others through reliance on some kind of authority, such as a priestly class or a scripture.
In the case of the Buddha – and also some moral philosophers – he approached this question pragmatically, in terms of what leads to more or …
Mar 26, 2014
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): Results of a recent study cofunded by NCCAM suggest that one day of intense mindfulness by experienced meditators led to biological changes including expression of certain genes that play roles in inflammation and pain. Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs have similar effects on these genes. Findings from the study appear in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Mindfulness meditation practices are a form of training that focuses attention on breathing to develop increased awareness of the present. The study, conducted in 40 participants, focused on gaining more knowledge about molecular and genetic effects of this type of meditation and also on testing the feasibility of the study …
Mar 25, 2014
Business Standard: Researchers at the University of Montreal have suggested that mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teens.
Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise of the university’s Department of Psychology and her team asked 13 adolescents with cancer to complete questionnaires covering mood (positive and negative emotions, anxiety and depression), sleep and quality of life.
The group was divided in two: a first group of eight adolescents were offered eight mindfulness-based meditation sessions and the remaining five adolescents in the control group were put on a wait-list. The eight sessions were 90 minutes long and took place weekly.
After the last meditation session, patients from …
Mar 25, 2014
In my early 20′s, I went through Rolfing, a form of deep-tissue bodywork, and I nervously anticipated the 5th session, the one that goes deep into the belly. But instead of gobs of repressed emotional pain, what poured out was love – waves and waves of love that I’d pushed down due to embarrassment, fears of closeness, and my struggles with my mother.
It felt fantastic to let love flow freely. Compassion, empathy, kindness, liking, affection, cooperation, and altruism are all in our nature, woven into the fabric of human DNA, the most social – and most loving – species on the planet. Love is a natural upwelling current inside us all. It …