Margaret 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 …
Jo Marchant, Mosaic: Is there real science in the spiritualism of meditation? Jo Marchant meets a Nobel Prize-winner who thinks so.
It’s seven in the morning on the beach in Santa Monica, California. The low sun glints off the waves and the clouds are still golden from the dawn. The view stretches out over thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean. In the distance, white villas of wealthy Los Angeles residents dot the Hollywood hills. Here by the shore, curlews and sandpipers cluster on the damp sand. A few metres back from the water’s edge, a handful of people sit cross-legged: members of a …
Gordon Richman, Washington Times: Alzheimer’s is devastating and terrifying. Our grandparents are fighting it now, our parents preparing to fight it, and we know that we’re next. A recent bittersweet NPR piece explained that in order for most currently-conceived Alzheimer’s drugs to work effectively, patients would have to start treatment early– up to 20 years early.
Most of us, as much as we fear Alzheimer’s, don’t want to take a cocktail of drugs for something that may or may not happen in 20 years. Although there are brilliant scientists and physicians working on helping people with Alzheimer’s (and those who might suffer from it in …
Amanda Enayati, CNN: Anyone who sees meditation as a hippy-dippy endeavor has found his or her view increasingly challenged by science in recent years.
Meditation and other contemplative practices are continuing to claim their place at the table of mainstream medicine.
This is true for a slew of reasons: chief among them, the recognition that hordes of us are stressed out, that stress wreaks havoc upon our bodies and that the practice of meditation has significant and measurable stress-reduction properties.
In a recent study led by J. David Creswell, assistant professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences …
For older adults, loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems — such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s — and death. Attempts to diminish loneliness with social networking programs like creating community centers to encourage new relationships have not been effective.
However, a new study led by Carnegie Mellon University’s J. David Creswell offers the first evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults. Published in “Brain, Behavior & Immunity,” the researchers also found that mindfulness meditation — a practice that dates back 2,500 years to Buddha that focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the reality of the present moment — lowered inflammation levels; inflammation is thought to promote the development and … Read more »
For every individual who’s a victim of Alzheimer’s — some 5.4 million people in the United States alone — there’s a related victim: the caregiver. Spouse, son, daughter, other relative or friend; the loneliness, exhaustion, fear, and most of all stress and depression, takes a toll
While care for the caregivers is difficult to find, a new study out of UCLA suggests that using yoga to engage in very brief, simple daily meditation can lead to improved cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression for caregivers.
Dr. Helen Lavretsky, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and colleagues report a further benefit as well: a reduction in stress-induced cellular … Read more »
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital determined that mantra-based meditation can have a positive impact on emotional responses to stress, fatigue and anxiety in adults with memory impairment and memory loss. Their findings are published in the recent issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Their study placed 15 older adults with memory problems ranging from mild age-associated memory impairment to mild impairment with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease on a regimen of Kirtan Kriya, a mantra-based meditation, for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks. A control group was assigned to listen to classical music for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks.
Earlier results from the study showed significant increases in … Read more »
Here is a mindfulness practice from Lewis Richmond’s book, Aging as a Spiritual Practice: Think of your life and its major events as a horizontal line. Your past stretches to the left of wherever you are on that line; your future stretches to the right. The events that stretch into the past are clear and unchangeable; the future is blurred: you don’t really know what events will eventually occupy that line or how long the line will eventually be. Think of this as horizontal time.
… Read more »
This book is intensely personal. Was it difficult to write?
Yes, at times it was difficult to write, but I felt a great sense of purpose. just before Hob died, I promised him that I would write a book and his voice would be in it. That became like a covenant between us. Also, I felt compelled to write the book. I realized that our background with meditation and the wisdom traditions gave us valuable perspectives which could be helpful to others. I hadn’t seen any books about how spiritual perspectives or practices could help with Alzheimer’s, and that’s what had helped us more than anything. In fact, the book can be helpful for people … Read more »
To be clear from the start, this book is worthy of the rich praise it has received. The inner jacket liner contains three pages crammed with accolades from what could be easily construed as the Who’s Who of leading contemporary spiritual leaders and health professionals. The book is a moving and loving story of this extraordinary couple’s experience.
It is a love story. It is a love story written from the deeply touching and personal perspective of a remarkable woman living through her equally remarkable husband’s dementia and death. The book covers the six years from his first symptoms to his death as she emotionally lived the various pieces of their life together as it … Read more »