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125 U.S. Buddhist leaders to meet at the White House

wildmind meditation newsMichelle Boorstein, Washington Post: Are we about to enter the era of the political Buddhist?

On Thursday about 125 U.S. Buddhist leaders from across the spectrum will gather in Washington for what organizers say may be the biggest conference ever focused on bringing their faith communities into public, civic life. After the conference, the group will meet with officials at the White House, which longtime writers on U.S. Buddhism say is a first.

The daylong conference represents, some experts say, the start of a civic awakening not only among U.S. Buddhists, …

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May 12, 2015

Every moment is a new chance

You Are Not Your Pain Vidyamala BurchYou Are Not Your Pain by Vidyamala Burch Pain always seems worse at night. Something about the silence amplifies the suffering. Even after you’ve taken the maximum dose of painkillers, the aching soon returns with a vengeance. You want to do something, anything, to stop the pain, but whatever you try seems to fail. Moving hurts. Doing nothing hurts. Ignoring it hurts. But it’s not just the pain that hurts; your mind can start to suffer as you desperately try to find a way of escaping. Pointed and bitter questions can begin nagging at your soul: What will happen if I don’t recover? What if it gets worse? I can’t … Read more »

Let GPs offer mindfulness meditation to patients, say experts

wildmind meditation newsJonathan Owen, The Independent: An ancient Buddhist approach to meditation rebranded as “mindfulness” should be made available to the millions of Britons who are suffering from stress, depression and anxiety, according to the Mental Health Foundation (MHF).

The call comes as new figures being released by the charity will show that more than one in four (29 per cent) of Britons regularly suffers from stress.

Nearly one in four (24 per cent) of people admit to being anxious on a regular basis, and more than one in seven (17 per cent) are often or always …

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May 11, 2015

Raw Voices podcast

1587The other week I was interviewed by Olivier Larvor and Tim Brownson of the Raw Voices podcast. You can listen to the podcast here.

Olivier seems to be a fan of mine:

A truly enlightening podcast with Buddhist and meditation teacher Bodhipaksa Dharmacari, author of the book ”Living as a river: finding fearlessness in the face of change”

Prepare to be transported by Bodhipaksa’s stories, wisdom and soft-creamy voice.

Such a cool and humourous guy!

And his voice…

Damn!

Silky.

Ok fine, I am jealous!

The interview was rather rambling, since I was responding to questions and points that Olivier and Tim were bringing up. It’s partly about meditation … Read more »

May 08, 2015

Buddhism poised to shrink globally

PF_15.04.02_ProjectionsOverview_populationChange_310pxA new report by the Pew Research Center suggests that of all the world’s major religions, Buddhism is the only one destined to lose ground between now and 2050.

The total number of adherents to Buddhism will remain virtually unchanged, with a slight decline from approximately 187 to 186 thousand people. But since the global population will have risen, the percentage of the world population that practices Buddhism will have declined sharply from 7.1% to 5.2%.

In the meantime, the percentage of the world practicing Christianity will be roughly static, while Islam will go from being embraced by 23.2% to 29.7% of the world.

This strikes me as ironic, since … Read more »

Eight tips for teaching mindfulness in high school

wildmind meditation newsPatrick Cook-Deegan, Mindful.org: When I walked in to teach my first mindfulness class at a charter high school in Oakland, no one seemed interested. One student was sleeping in his chair; a few kids were messing around in the classroom.

Everyone looked at me like I was in the wrong place. I was nervous and not really sure what I would do. So I just started talking about stress. I asked students if they ever felt stressed, what they do when they are stressed, and asked each of them to share an experience …

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How does meditation make you smarter?

wildmind meditation newsViatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD, BrainBlogger: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t need to be told about the relaxing effects of meditation. The practitioners vouch for it; and those who don’t, do not dispute it either. Those in the Far East have known for centuries that meditating brings mental peace and spiritual bliss. Now scientists claim that meditation can even alter the brain’s chemistry and functionality.

Over the years, neuroscientists have carried out brain imaging tests on long-term practitioners of meditation, including several Tibetan …

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Meditation may relieve IBS and IBD

wildmind meditation newsSue McGreevey, Harvard Gazette: A pilot study has found that participating in a nine-week training program including elicitation of the relaxation response had a significant impact on clinical symptoms of the gastrointestinal disorders irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and on the expression of genes related to inflammation and the body’s response to stress.

The report from investigators at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), both Harvard affiliates, is the first to study the use …

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May 04, 2015

Get over it

Vimalasara-790955So I have survived one month of mentorship through my own programme of ‘Eight Step Recovery.’ I’ve relapsed twice, and am back on track with three days of abstinence. I tried harm reduction and it didn’t work for me. Told myself I will eat a handful of raw cashews a day. I even left them out on the kitchen counter so my hosts could share them with me too. But once they were finished, I went out bought a 500 gram packet and proceeded to eat them for my lunch, during a period of three hours. Now you may think: ‘Get over it, you don’t have an addiction. … Read more »

The benefits of meditation: from stress relief to pain relief, and everything in between

wildmind meditation newsSusan Scutti, Medical Daily: Meditation is both centuries old and hipster young. While the term is used to refer to many different types of similar techniques, the word itself is derived from the Latin, meditari, which means to concentrate. This, then, is the core intention of any technique, no matter its cultural or traditional root and regardless of those attempting to achieve other goals.

“It’s a basic human practice — a human practice not owned by any organization or tradition, a practice that people can engage in no matter what their background,” …

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