Ignore the cliche: mindfulness isn’t about sitting cross-legged

November 16, 2015

wildmind meditation newsHeckler, The Age: Don’t be put off by market-driven mantras, because mindfulness is for everyone, writes ​Jamie Watson.

Mindfulness is proven to do remarkable things for mental health. Unfortunately it has a rather annoying image problem.

Whenever an article appears about mindfulness it is invariably accompanied by a picture of a beautiful woman peacefully meditating. Sometimes she is on a mountain. Sometimes she is beside a gently flowing stream. Sometimes there is a lovely rainbow in the background. Typically she has a slim yoga body, amazing posture and the apparent ability to sit cross-legged on a rock without her mind focusing solely on the …

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Standing in line meditation

November 9, 2015

This nice little video from Sharon Salzberg arrived in my inbox this morning. It describes a simple practice of bringing mindfulness and kindness into the act of standing in line (or queueing, as we say in my native Britain).

This is something I do a lot. It transforms what can be a frustrating experience into one that’s grounding and joyful. Give it a try.

Five realities of becoming a hardcore meditator

November 5, 2015

wildmind meditation newsBrent R. Oliver, Tricycle: At the beginning of this year I made a vow. If you’ve read my other columns here you’ll no doubt be aware of the fact that I’ve had trouble picking—and then sticking with—a specific Buddhist modality. There’s so much available, especially with the advent of teaching via Internet, that my attention has always been divided among the glut of Buddhist approaches that have flooded the West. I’ve snatched up every shiny object out there and fiddled with it only to become entranced by another sparkly thing close by. The sentence that best sums up my journey is probably …

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Mindfulness has huge health potential – but McMindfulness is no panacea

October 23, 2015

wildmind meditation newsJon Kabat-Zinn, The Guardian: Mindfulness is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, supported by increasingly rigorous scientific research, and driven in part by a longing for new practices that might help us to better apprehend and solve the challenges that threaten our health.

This week a landmark British report will lay out recommendations for the provision of mindfulness across many public policy areas. Mindful Nation UK, based on evidence presented to an all-party group of the UK parliament, carries enormous promise for health policy in Britain and the wider world.

The World Health Organisation has warned that mental ill-health will be the biggest burden of …

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Wash the dishes and cleanse the mind?

October 21, 2015

wildmind meditation newsAnn Lukits, Wall Street Journal: Washing the dishes may be a convenient detox for overwrought minds, a study in the journal Mindfulness suggests. The study found that washing dishes mindfully—focusing on the smell of the soap, and the shape and feel of the dishes, for example—significantly reduced nervousness and increased mental stimulation in dishwashers compared with a control group.

Mindful dishwashing also heightened the sense of time pleasurably slowing down. Studies have associated altered time perception with greater psychological well-being, the researchers said.

Mindfulness refers both to a peaceful cognitive state and a popular form of therapeutic meditation that calms the mind …

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To help students focus, we could use less medication and more meditation

October 13, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMichigan Radio: There is a lot of pressure in schools these days.

From the early grades through high school, students take tests and then more tests and shuffle from one extracurricular activity to the next, all while many are also trying to navigate instability at home.

Budget worries keep countless administrators up at night, and, says Rita Benn, director of the Faculty Scholars Program in integrative health care at University of Michigan’s Department of Family Medicine, about 50% of teachers leave within the first five years because it’s so stressful.

Benn, who is also co-founder of the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education, says meditation …

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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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Mindfulness is the easiest and hardest thing to practice

October 7, 2015

wildmind meditation newsRyan M. Niemiec, Psy.D, Psych Central: Allow me to explain this paradox; and then I’ll provide 5 tips to help you with your practice.

Look at your right hand. See the shades of color in your skin? Notice the lines on your palm and the lines that separate the segments of your fingers? Easy to see, right? You just brought mindfulness to your right hand in this moment.

Now, consider the task of facing your deepest grief and sorrow. Or reflect on how it might be for you to bring your attention to extreme physical pain, hour after hour. Much more difficult to bring your …

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An ode to solitude: the beauty of just sitting

October 6, 2015

wildmind meditation newsGabriela Maya Bernadett, Tiny Buddha: “I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Meditation makes you realize it’s not so much the silence as it is the not being around people that’s so profound. No human interaction, a human break if you will, is its own simple kind of joy.

Who knew that as a species who can’t function without the social ties of community, it is solitude that re-charges us and gives us the strength to go out into the big, bad world and interact with that lovely mess I like to call humanity?

In our hyper …

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Mindfulness: the common thread

October 5, 2015

wildmind meditation newsGarrett Heaney, Montpelier Bridge: Over the past few years, in my quest to become a perfect human, I have sought a number of different therapies, therapists, counselors, and programming — each with its own specific agenda in attending to my mental health. Through it all has been a common thread that seems to tie together each of these individual disciplines in mental health. This thread, of course, is “mindfulness.”

It seems no matter where I was physically or mentally, whether battling depression, partying too much, or sitting in a weekly session of dialectical behavioral therapy, the concept of mindfulness was always right there in the …

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