Jun 09, 2013
The other day I suggested the practice of noticing our everyday blessings — things like having electricity, running water, shelter, a relatively law-abiding culture — and saying “thank you” for these things. I stressed the importance of actually articulating these words in our minds (although saying them out loud could be even more effective) in order to overcome the mind’s negativity bias, where we tend to pay attention to that which we think is going wrong and take for granted and ignore that which is going right.
Today I want to turn that inward, by reiterating a favorite practice of mine, which is of giving thanks to …
Jun 08, 2013
Are you able to see your own good qualities? Many of us, apparently, have difficulty doing this.
What happens when someone offers you praise for something you’ve done, or pays you a compliment? What’s your response? Obviously this is sometimes very welcome, but lot of people find this to be a rather uncomfortable experience. They mentally or even physically squirm, and offer up self-deprecating rebuttals, saying it wasn’t such a big deal, or that someone else could have done it better, or pointing out flaws in what they did. Sometimes people feel like they need to pay a compliment back when they’ve been given one, as if a burden has …
Jun 07, 2013
Dr. Daya Hewapathirane, Lankaweb: Mindfulness is a technique that is integral to the Teachings of the Buddha. It is the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path which encapsulates the principal teachings of the Buddha. Mindfulness or ‘sati’ is a whole-body-and-mind awareness of the present moment. It is awareness of body, feelings, thoughts and phenomena that affect the body and mind. It is the detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. Being fully mindful means being fully attentive to everything as-it-is, not reacting to or making judgments of what comes to your mind. In the practice…
Jun 07, 2013
K. Sharp, toledofreepress.com: How many of you have stepped completely outside your normal comfort zone to try something new and challenging? I recently completed a mentally and physically intense ten-day course in Vipassana meditation technique. This technique has been in practice since the time of The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. In short, its aim is to focus the mind on the true cause of suffering in order to properly understand our responses to the joys and miseries we encounter. It seeks to teach how we associate outside sensory objects as the cause of our joy or misery and so we transfer the power…
Jun 07, 2013
The practice of mudita, or appreciative joy, is summed up in these words from the first century:
When one sees or hears that some person’s qualities are esteemed by others, and that he is at peace and is joyful, one thinks thus: “Sadhu! Sadhu! May he continue joyful for a long time!”
We’re focusing on the good qualities that people have, as well as the peace and joy that those good qualities bring. I want to focus today on those good qualities, so that we may more readily detect them in ourselves and others. We can’t rejoice in what we do not see.
Dr. David Myers, professor of psychology at Hope College …
Jun 06, 2013
This video was recorded in a Google Plus Hangout earlier today. It’s a 50 minute guided session of the mudita bhavana, or development of joyful appreciation, which is the practice we’re focusing on in the current 25 days of our 100 Days of Lovingkindness.
Jun 06, 2013
The happiest people I know have something in common: they are whole-hearted in how they engage in their lives…whole-hearted in relating with others, in work, in meditation, and in play. They have a capacity to give themselves thoroughly to the present moment.
Yet for many, it’s challenging to engage with this quality of presence. Take this personal ad for example. It says:
Free to a good home, beautiful 6-month old male kitten, orange and caramel tabby, playful, friendly, very affectionate, ideal for family with kids. OR handsome 32-year old husband, personable, funny, good job, but doesn’t like cats. He or the cat goes. Call Jennifer and decide which one you’d
Is there an American Catholicism compared to what Catholics practice the world over? An American Judaism? Perhaps, but only from a demographic or political perspective.
Buddhism in the US, however, has developed a distinct American flavor. The very philosophical tenets of Buddhism have been adapted since the religion reached the United States in the 1960s. How, then, do “American Buddhists,” if they indeed exist, relate to the rest of the world?
American Buddhists are clearly part of a global Buddhist community. For one, the Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai International (SGI)…
Buddhist monks and Zen masters, have known for years that meditation can lower anxiety, but the mechanism has not been clear, until now.
“Although we’ve known that meditation can reduce anxiety, we hadn’t identified the specific brain mechanisms involved in relieving anxiety in healthy individuals,” said Fadel Zeidan, postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.
“In this study, we were able to see which areas of the brain were…
What binds the three — and ultimately frees them — is mindfulness meditation.
The trio is followed in Free The Mind: Can You Rewire The Brain Just By Taking A Breath?, a documentary that follows the work of University of Wisconsin psychology professor Richard Davidson on children with ADHD and veterans with PTSD. It opens June 7 at The Bloor Cinema.
With his study of “contemplative neuroscience,” Davidson is trying to understand how the brain regulates emotions…