Why “Do you meditate?” is the wrong question

October 12, 2015

wildmind meditation newsDavid Mochel, Huffington Post: Do you meditate? This question seems to be all the rage in popular media, and it is rapidly becoming a point of prestige among the high earning, high performing, corporate tech crowd. I have nothing against mediation – I do it regularly. However, I still think that “do you meditate?” is not the most helpful question.

One of the modern misconceptions about mindfulness meditation is that it is synonymous with relaxation. The reality is that when you practice paying attention, you may experience a relaxed state and you may not. Just like life. And this is okay. The goal is to …

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Can mindfulness help patients stick to lifestyle changes?

September 22, 2015

wildmind meditation newsKristin Gourlay, RIPR: Changes to diet and exercise can have a big impact on health. But sticking with a new regimen can be tough. Scientists are wondering whether a practice called mindfulness can help. Now a team of Brown University researchers has won a multi-million dollar federal grant to find out.

Mindfulness uses meditation to improve attention and self-awareness. Its effects have been shown to reduce stress. But Brown University epidemiologist Eric Loucks wants to try it on high blood pressure, or hypertension.

“So far no one has ever customized a mindfulness intervention to a hypertensive patient population,” Loucks said. “So that’s what this …

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Mindfulness very gently moving around the world’s classrooms

April 13, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Mindfulness Meditations for Teens (complete album) Colleen Ricci, The Age: Mindfulness meditation – the practice of quietening the mind to bring awareness and attention to the present moment – is increasingly being used in schools around the world as a tool to improve student wellbeing and enhance academic performance. Although originating in Buddhist religious tradition, it is a secular form of the practice that has become popular in classrooms and workplaces.

One particular program making headway on an international scale is the Britain-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. It provides two main courses designed specifically by teachers for …

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Multitasking? You’re killing yourself for nothing

March 24, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction by Bodhipaksa Noreen Seebacher, CMS Wire: Midway between juxtaposed thoughts about a report I was struggling to complete and a phone call I just missed, I decided to check my email, look at LinkedIn and scan my Facebook feed – all while taking a brisk morning stroll in beautiful Beaufort, S.C., what I have come to consider one of the most pleasant places on the planet.

Then I stumbled on a post by Rohit Bhargava — a marketing author, keynote speaker and “nice guy” — and everything became clear.

This multitasking is

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How to use distractions to help your meditation

September 9, 2014

wildmind meditation newsMichael Taft, The Huffington Post: When I first started meditating, one of the hardest things was trying to stay focused. There were just so many things to do, people to interact with, noises like music or blaring car horns that shattered and upset my nascent meditative vibe. I felt like I was drowning. How could I focus in a sea of constant distraction?

The funny thing is that, more than 30 years later, the distractions are still the same. Sirens wail, the bladder complains, people demand my attention, life is moving along in just the same intense, chaotic, confusing manner. If anything, decades of …

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Attention: The most basic form of love

July 18, 2014

Poppy flowersOn my son Narayan’s sixth birthday, I gave him an ant farm. He spent hours watching with fascination as the little creatures magically created their network of tunnels. He even named several, and followed their struggles and progress closely.

After a few weeks, he pointed out the ants’ graveyard, and watched with wonder as several of them dragged the bodies of their dead comrades and deposited them there. The following day, when I picked Narayan up after school, he was visibly distressed: on the playground, the kids had made a game out of stepping on ants. My son couldn’t understand why his classmates were hurting these friends he so admired.

I tried to comfort him … Read more »

Why is it so hard to pay attention? Or is it? Curiosity may be key to concentrating

June 23, 2014

wildmind meditation newsDr. Judson Brewer, Huffington Post: There is a new medication in early clinical trials that will likely revolutionize our ability to pay attention. Interested in learning more? Yes, we all are. The paradox here is that right now, because of this interest, you’re paying attention. We naturally pay attention when we are interested.

Given what we now know about the science behind how our brains learn best, what if we could tap into our natural interest to train ourselves to pay attention? Do I still have your attention?

Over 100 years ago, Edward Thorndyke described a neural process now known as reward-based learning. Many …

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Meditation improves productivity

April 18, 2014

wildmind meditation newsBeth Taylor, PayScale.com: When we think of meditation, we may think of relaxation, breathing, and emptying the mind of stressful thoughts. It may be surprising to learn that the act of quiet meditation increases mental acuity and makes us more productive at work. Instead of meditation emptying our minds, it actually helps fill them with improved concentration and creativity.

Psychology Today reports on a plethora of benefits from including meditation in your routine. Decreasing stress is one, and improving physical health is another. Some of the benefits, however, are directly related to work productivity.

Improved Attention
A study published in 2007 found that after …

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Key points of awareness – Part II

March 16, 2014

lakeVisit Part I of this blog post here.


  • Concentration has two central factors: applying attention to an object and sustaining it there, like an ice skater plants her foot (applying) and then glides along (sustaining).
  • When you practice formal concentration, keep returning attention to the object (e.g., breath, sensation, emotion, memory of your mother), fully aware of it, absorbed in it. If other thoughts, concerns, plans, etc. bubble up, let them arise but don’t follow them, and keep giving your full attention to the object.
  • When doing concentration, don’t be tense or hard on yourself, but serious and intent, like a cat watching at a mousehole. Set a bit of your attention to watching
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Key points of awareness – Part I

March 15, 2014

lakeKeys to Awareness

  • Feel that your own well-being and functioning matters. Get on your own side; be for yourself. Question: How many people does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one. But the light bulb has to want to change.
  • Cultivate wanting to be in reality, to know the facts of the inner and outer worlds. Know and trust that your greatest safety and hope is in seeing what’s true, no matter what it is. Whenever you move into awareness/observation mode, you instantly distance yourself from things (inside or outside yourself) that are painful, and center yourself in a place that is inherently calmer and wiser than just reacting. And the only
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