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Why ageing is all in the mindfulness

wildmind meditation newsMargaret Jennings, Irish Examiner: Meditation and ‘knowing ourselves in a deeper way’ can reduce our anxieties and fears about getting old, and increase our acceptance.

IN 1981, Timothy Sweeney returned from a long meditation retreat and told his mother, with whom he had a “very difficult” relationship, that he would have to discontinue it, if she didn’t change.

His mother was 65 and had, he says, a “lot of unfinished business, emotional baggage”, and had pain from spinal surgery.

Sweeney, then 27, and his mother were living in California. She decided to do a ten-day meditation retreat with Jack Kornfield.

“She was still herself, the Jewish …

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Four ways meditation can help you figure out what you want out of dating

wildmind meditation newsLodro Rinzler, Bustle: We’ve all been there. That blind set up/Tinder match/person you flirted with briefly at the party shows up for your first official date and, lo and behold, they’re not at all who you think they were. They represented themselves so badly, so dishonestly, that when you met them you thought they were:

  • charming
  • a successful entrepreneur
  • good looking
  • sharp as a tack

In the light of day, they are:

  • oddly racist
  • trying to come up with “the next big app idea” out of their mom’s garage
  • smelly
  • dull

In today’s dating world, most people do not represent themselves authentically. When …

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Nov 07, 2014

Technology-assisted meditation

www.choosemuse.comHopefully I’ll soon be trying out a demo model of the Muse headband, which according to the makers is like a heart rate monitor for your mind. In other words it gives you real-time feedback by detecting your brain signals during meditation, the same way you might use a gadget to monitor your heart rate during physical exercise.

Apparently this can help us to train the brain to be more focused, attentive, and calm. I’ll let you know how I get on. (In the meantime we’ve joined Muse’s affiliate program so you’ll see ads promoting it in our sidebars.)

At the recent Buddhist Geeks conference, where I gave a presentation, there were …

Four reasons to stop pursuing happiness & what to do instead

wildmind meditation newsFrank Martela, Fulfillment Daily: In a recent conference on Positive Psychology, Pharrell Williams’ song Happy seemed to be everywhere. He asked us to “clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” I didn’t clap.

There are certainly many benefits to being happy. Positive emotions broaden our thinking and imagination. Shared positive emotions help us to connect with other people. Being happy might be good for our health too. Furthermore – and this is quite self-evident – it feels good to be happy. But while being happy can be a good thing, pursuing happiness might actually be bad for us. As professor …

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Nov 06, 2014

Inhibition profiles

DaddyThe inhibition profile of a particular person can be quite nuanced. For example, in terms of attachment theory, a person raised by a “dismissing” parent could worry about asking too much of others, and someone with an “inconsistent” parent –alternately intrusive and rejecting – could feel ashamed or guilty about desires that differ from those of her partner. Or, as a generalization, boys are socialized not to show fear, girls not to show anger; since what people do not express tends to build up inside, I’ve counseled relationships in which the man is anxious about the woman, and she’s irritated with him. I’ve also worked with people who:

  • Can express “armored” emotions like

Nov 06, 2014

Karma: it’s not just intention

Young woman walking in the streetThe other day I wrote about how karma isn’t the mystical and external “cosmic force” that many people think it to be — a force that impersonally metes out rewards and punishments. In a crude form this amounts to thinking things like this: if you do good things the sun will shine on your picnic, and if you do bad things it’ll rain.

Instead, karma (according to the Buddha) is to do with the ethical status of our intentions and how those naturally lead to our becoming more mired in suffering or freed from it.

Karma is psychology: do this, and you’ll feel that. Karma is about how your …

Mindfulness is something worse than just a smug middle-class trend

wildmind meditation newsMelanie McDonagh, The Spectator: Separating meditation from faith is a dubious business, morally and sometimes in its effects.

The chances are that by now either you or someone you know well has begun to practise ‘mindfulness’ — a form of Buddhism lite, that focuses on meditation and ‘being in the now’. In the past year or so it’s gone from being an eccentric but harmless hobby practised by contemporary hippies to a new and wildly popular pseudo–religion; a religion tailor-made for the secular West.

Think how hostile an awful lot of companies are to organised religion; to any talk of ‘faith’. Now consider …

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‘Mindfulness’ sessions help Drug Court offenders fight addiction, stress

wildmind meditation newsPhaedra Haywood, The New Mexican: Giggles and stocking feet aren’t something normally associated with a courtroom, but that’s what you’ll find if you enter state District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer’s courtroom on a Thursday afternoon.

Offenders in the First District’s Drug Court and Treatment Court programs are now required to participate in mindfulness and body awareness exercises, Marlowe Sommer said, because studies have shown that they can help reduce recidivism, especially for people who struggle with addictions. The components were added to the court programs about six weeks ago.

Drug Court, aimed at repeat offenders with addiction issues, and Treatment Court, for those …

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Clear new evidence for mind-body connection demonstrated in study

wildmind meditation newsFor the first time, researchers have shown that practising mindfulness meditation or being involved in a support group has a positive physical impact at the cellular level in breast cancer survivors.

A group working out of Alberta Health Services’ Tom Baker Cancer Centre and the University of Calgary Department of Oncology has demonstrated that telomeres — protein complexes at the end of chromosomes — maintain their length in breast cancer survivors who practise meditation or are involved in support groups, while they shorten in a comparison group without any intervention.

Although the disease-regulating properties of telomeres aren’t fully understood, shortened telomeres are associated with several disease states, as well as cell aging, …

Nov 05, 2014

“When the Anger Ogre Visits,” by Andrée Salom

anger ogreSome weeks ago I read this book with my kids (a six-year-old boy and an almost-eight-year-old girl) several times now, and they enjoyed both the story and the images. But the book became especially relevant recently when my son developed the habit of kicking and punching his sister. That’s a phase a lot of kids go through, but it’s especially worrisome because he’s taking karate classes, and at some point he’s going to be able to do some serious harm.

So last night, when my son was getting mad, we picked up the book again, and read through it. he wanted to read the book out loud himself, and he was able …