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Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 13, 2011

Researchers teaching subjects to control brains with MRI scans

Tiffany Crawford: For centuries, yogis have imparted the secrets of healing through meditation and self-awareness.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia say they’ve found a way to eventually help people combat depression or obsessive-compulsive disorders through similar methods using MRI technology.

In this first-of-its-kind study, published in the April edition of NeuroImage, researchers say participants were able to control their thoughts better when they watched their brain activity on a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) screen.

The research suggests that awareness of negative or detrimental thoughts — made possible by seeing them on a screen — allows research subjects to control those thoughts.

Many patients who suffer from depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive behaviour are not aware of negative thoughts, said co-author Kalina …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 30, 2011

Mindfulness meditation improves well-being, researchers report

Sit down. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Observe your thoughts objectively as if you were a scientist.

There, you’ve achieved it: mindfulness, a heightened awareness and acceptance of the present moment without judgment.

As simple as it seems, mindfulness, with its origins in the 2,500-year-old Buddhist practices of meditation and yoga, has become the latest buzzword in wellness, as study after study confirms its power to relieve anxiety and improve mood when combined with Western therapies.

Last month University of Toronto researchers reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which mixes mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy, is as effective as antidepressants for preventing relapses in depression.

Dr. Zindel Segal, head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Clinic at …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 10, 2011

Stressed out? Try mindfulness meditation (Toronto Globe & Mail)

Zindel Segal was in a Toronto bookstore a few weeks ago, when a title caught his eye. The book, The Mindful Investor, caused him a moment of shock and panic.

“I turned to someone and said, ‘This is the beginning of the end,’ ” recalls Dr. Segal, who heads the cognitive behaviour therapy clinic at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The book, which purports to explain how a calm mind can help a person achieve financial security, is a sign that the concept of mindfulness is making a leap into mass popularity. But that doesn’t mean people actually understand it, he says.

Mindfulness is a technique for slowing down and examining one’s thought processes, and learning to be in …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 08, 2011

Mindfulness therapy is no fad, experts say (LA Times)

meditatingThere is solid evidence that mindfulness therapy, which combines elements of Buddhism and yoga, can relieve anxiety and improve mood.

Of all fields of medicine, psychology seems especially prone to fads. Freudian dream analysis, recovered memory therapy, eye movement desensitization for trauma — lots of once-hot psychological theories and treatments eventually fizzled.

Now along comes mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga that’s taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the country.

“Mindfulness has become a buzzword, especially with younger therapists,” said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Mindfulness therapy encourages patients to focus on their breathing and their …

Bodhipaksa

Nov 02, 2010

“Life Happens,” by Cheryl Rezek

life happensLife Happens is the work of Cheryl Rezek, a UK-based clinical psychologist who teaches mindfulness as a way of helping her clients deal with often difficult life situations. It combines pithy insights in written form with excellent audio instructions that guide the listener through a variety of meditative exercises and even physical stretches. It’s aimed in particular at those who have problems with mental distress or physical pain, such as stress, depression, chronic pain, cancer, and addiction.

The recordings most clearly show Rezek’s strengths as a teacher. Her voice is very pleasant to listen to, and conveyed to me a sense of warmth and gentleness, combined …

Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 19, 2010

Chinese meditation technique boosts brain function

A Chinese-influenced meditation technique appears to help the brain regulate behavior after as little as 11 hours of practice, according to a study released Monday.

Researchers at the University of Oregon and Dalian University of Technology charted the effects of integrative body-mind training (IBMT), a technique adapted in the 1990s from traditional Chinese medicine and practiced by thousands in China.

The research to be published in the upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences involved 45 test subjects, about half of whom received IBMT, while a control group received relaxation training.

Imaging tests showed a greater number of connections in the anterior cingulate — the part of the brain which regulates emotion and behavior — among those who practiced …

Auntie Suvanna

Aug 24, 2009

Auntie Suvanna: When love hurts

Heart surrounded by barbed wireA young man in a troubled relationship seeks advice for Wildmind’s resident advice columnist, Auntie Suvanna. What’s the best path when you’re hooked up to someone who sees you as being the source of all her problems?

Dear Auntie,

I stumbled upon you while searching for Buddhist relationship advice, and I hope you can help me. It is a rather long story, but you did say in the post I read that you need details so here goes…

First, I have not been studying Buddhism for very long now, only a few months, and not very consistently at that. But a lot of it matches my own feelings already.

I have been …

Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 31, 2008

Wildmind’s top ten blog posts of 2008

fireworksIt’s been a busy year. We’ve redesigned the site, reorganized our news section, and added many hundreds of new posts on the theme of meditation and spiritual practice. So now it’s time to pause and look back with some fondness and appreciation at the most popular blog articles that were published on Wildmind in 2008. But before we do so, we’d like to thank you, our 1.5 million dear readers, for taking an interest in what we do and for posting interesting and insightful comments. All the best in 2009!

10. Back in February Wildmind welcomed the awesomeness that is Auntie Suvanna (aka Dharmacarini Suvarnaprabha of the San Francisco Buddhist Center). Auntie Suvanna dispenses wit …