Dear Wildmind Subscriber,
A very warm welcome to Wildmind's
In this issue:
- Beat Stress & Boost Your
Immune System -- Learn to Meditate
- Meditation in the News
$1 to Wildmind
- Our Online Courses
- New Material on Wildmind
in New Hampshire
- Book of the Month
- Quote of the Month
stress and boost your immune system -- learn to meditate
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States have shown that meditation
has a beneficial effect on brain functioning and also boosts the immune system
(see "Meditation 'Good for Brain' " below).
An eight-week program
of meditation helped activate the left prefrontal cortex, activity in which is
associated with a sense of well-being and happiness.
In addition, participants
were given a flu shot at the start of the trial, and were shown to develop higher
levels of antibodies than a control group, showing that the immune system was
functioning more effectively.
next online courses start on Monday, March 3!
courses offer what you need to create more balance in your life, maintain fulfilling
relationships, make time for yourself, and create beliefs, opinions and points
of view that work for you, rather than against you. You can check out our course
Meditation in the news
collected together some recent news stories about meditation. You can see our
full index of news stories here.
Science shows that meditation, massage, yoga - even laughter
- can change bad habits in the brain.
Once considered outside the mainstream, today more insurers
are paying for meditation, both as a form of medication and as preventive medicine
in hospitals, businesses and community centers around the country.
Meditation Good Medicine?
Whether in a secular or a religious context,
meditation is increasingly recognized as healthy for the body as well as the soul.
"Good for Brain"
Scientists say they have found evidence that
meditation has a biological effect on the body. A small-scale study suggests it
could boost parts of the brain and the immune system.
Happiness: Cajole Your Brain to Lean to the Left
NY Times article by Daniel
Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) on scientific explanations of how meditation
acts as an antidote to stress. (Free registration required).
$1 to Wildmind
We'd like to thank everyone who has kindly donated
to help support our mission of benefiting the world by promoting awareness and
compassionate values through the practice of meditation.
If you've benefited
from our site and would like to give something back, then making
a small donation can help us enormously. Of course you can feel free to give
more than a dollar!
attention: In your online journal you'll have an ongoing practice discussion
with Bodhipaksa, who will give you encouragement and personal feedback based on
20 years' experience.
- Depth: As you
reflect in your journal, get feedback, and gain insights from learning new practices,
you'll take your meditation practice to a new level of effectiveness.
Access to outstanding written and audiovisual materials online.
You'll benefit from the discipline of a structured four-week course.
Log on when you want, fitting classes into your schedule when it's convenient.
- Flexibility: Download audio files
that will guide you through meditation at any time.
Courses start every month -- check website for dates.
A student comments:
have been doing [the meditation] for about two weeks and have already seen a great
improvement in my focus, attention, awareness and my overall life. Prior to this
I was living life in my head instead of experiencing life in this moment. Thank
you creating this site and making the tools for this type of enlightenment available."
a Wildmind student.
We offer four online courses as well as our
popular Life Member Program. For more information, click on any of the photographs
or links and you'll be taken to our online store, where more details are available.
next online courses start on Monday, February 3.
Lifelong access to all of our course materials, but without
personal feedback and guidance. Suitable for self-directed students.
Path of Mindfulness and Love"
Our introduction to meditation, teaching
the fundamental principles of mindfulness and lovingkindness, and helping you
as you set up a regular practice.
A level two course, introducing advanced techniques
for combating negative mental states and for cultivating calmness, energy, contentment,
the Path of Insight"|
Introducing the practice of insight meditation,
which helps us to appreciate the interdependent nature of the reality we live
An alternative level two course, introducing the cultivation
of lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and emotional balance.
material on Wildmind
We've posted another six new pages since the last
Classes in New
If you live in the Manchester and Concord area of New
Hampshire, you might be interested in the forthcoming class.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a clinically
proven eight-week program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and others at the Stress
Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Our 8-week
- March 24, North Eastern Institute of Whole Health, 22
Bridge St., Manchester, NH, 7 to 9 p.m.
There's a free introduction
to the course on March 17, at 7 p.m. The cost of the course is $210, including
CDs and workshop materials.
We'll also have another course starting in Portsmouth,
NH in April. Dates and venue to be announced.
For further details or to reserve a place, point your browser here.
Book of the month
Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart
by Tara Bennett-Goleman (Paperback,
Bennett-Goleman is a practicing meditator
and therapist, and her book comes from her understanding of how mindfulness can
be used to deal with disturbing emotions without rejecting them. This is an excellent
introduction to the practice of mindfulness, with clear case histories showing
how a mindful awareness of our emotions can have a powerfully transforming effect
-- the alchemical transformation referred to in the title.
As well as bringing
together an understanding of psychology and meditation, Bennett-Goleman presents
the latest research in brain chemistry and neurophysiology. This book will help
you to identify unhelpful emotional patterns and will help you develop the tools
to deal with them.
I'd highly recommend this highly accessible book to anyone
interested in exploring how meditation and the practice of mindfulness can transform
our emotional lives.
interested in buying this book from Amazon.com, click on the cover or title above.
of the month
"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
G. K. Chesterton
This is one
of my favorite quotations. I've noticed that one of the main things holding many
people back -- in their lives generally as well as in their practice of meditation
-- is perfectionism. Many people mentally beat themselves up when they find that
meditation is harder than they thought it would be.
Isn't it ironic how
a desire to do things perfectly can cause us to fail dismally at being happy?
When we want everything we do to be perfect we're holding ourselves to an impossible
standard that means we always feel that we're failing, no matter how well we do.
practice of mindfulness helps us to develop more equanimity, which is the ability
to maintain emotional balance in the face of life's ups and downs. Equanimity
really is an integral part of a truly mindful attitude to our experience. With
equanimity we don't allow ourselves to become despondent when things don't go
well or to become intoxicated by success.
Equanimity doesn't mean a lack
of emotion -- it simply means that we take things less personally and without
crippling value judgments. Discovering that your mind is unruly and that it's
hard to follow your breath for more than a few seconds ceases to be a message
that you're "failing". Instead we just accept the reality of the situation,
stripped of those harsh value judgments. Our attitude is more, "Okay, my
mind is all over the place -- that's just what I'm working with today".
we're able to accept our imperfections, then we're able to constructively work
with our experience instead of backing off from challenges. Because meditation
is worth doing, it's worth doing badly. Paradoxically, if we allow ourselves to
be imperfect, then we can start to make real progress.
© 2003, Bodhipaksa.