‘Mindfulness’ sessions help Drug Court offenders fight addiction, stress

November 5, 2014

wildmind meditation newsPhaedra Haywood, The New Mexican: Giggles and stocking feet aren’t something normally associated with a courtroom, but that’s what you’ll find if you enter state District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer’s courtroom on a Thursday afternoon.

Offenders in the First District’s Drug Court and Treatment Court programs are now required to participate in mindfulness and body awareness exercises, Marlowe Sommer said, because studies have shown that they can help reduce recidivism, especially for people who struggle with addictions. The components were added to the court programs about six weeks ago.

Drug Court, aimed at repeat offenders with addiction issues, and Treatment Court, for those …

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Meditation or Drugs: The Downside of Cannabis

August 31, 2012

New research shows that teenage cannabis use causes lasting damage. As well as the physiological damage, Buddhism suggests that drugs are  about avoiding experience rather than engaging with mindfully with it 

Some of the parents I know with teenage children who use cannabis are fairly relaxed about what’s happening. ‘It isn’t doing any harm’, one tells me. ‘Alcohol’s much worse.’ Others would really like their children to stop but are at their wits end. It’s OK, they say, but not in the house, not on weekdays, or only after you’ve done your homework.

I don’t envy them and no doubt the scientific study reported this week will fuel their worries. It finds that, true to … Read more »

Course helps addicts to take the next step

March 7, 2012

Theo Garrun (The Star, South Africa): Gill went on a job interview last week, her first in nine years.

She was a successful saleswoman once, but hasn’t worked since then and has been in the depths of self-destruction and substance abuse in-between.

She doesn’t know whether she got the job or not, but the important thing is that she got the interview and feels that she has the mental and physical strength to attend it and give it a go.

It’s been a journey to get to this point, starting with breaking her addiction and going through rehabilitation.

“That part was crucial,” she says, “but as important …

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Monkey mind, ganja, inflammation, and commuting

September 12, 2010

News reporting on meditation is always going to be a mixed bag, with practical and serious articles interspersed with pieces in a more flippant mood. The latter style is perfectly exemplified by an extraordinarily silly column by Denise Malloy of Montana’s Bozeman Chronicle. In “Monkeying Around with Meditation” Malloy tells us that five minutes of meditation (done by following instructions from a book) was enough to make her skeptical about the proven health benefits of meditation, as well as its potential to bring about inner peace. To be fair, the writer’s tone tends more toward self-mockery than to mockery of meditation itself. But her article made me want to send her a … Read more »

Meditation may improve drinking and substance abuse behaviors in active military personnel

Meditation may help improve drinking and substance abuse behaviors in active duty service personnel undergoing treatment in a residential program, according to results from a small study reported at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2010 Annual Meeting.

“Using mindfulness-based, breath-centered meditation may be a helpful treatment modality for service members who wish to recover from substance dependence or abuse,” said lead investigator Amy Canuso, DO, from the Department of Psychiatry at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, during her presentation.

“I would tell clinicians that this is an option that should be explored,” Dr. Canuso told Medscape Psychiatry. “I would consider including it in therapeutic programs at facilities and into therapeutic practice. Substance … Read more »

Meditation for overcoming trauma

Award winning mental health blogger Seaneen Molloy sets out on a quest to meet people who have a different take on working with emotional distress. This month, Seaneen meets Valerie Mason-John, a writer and anger management coach who advocates ‘mindfulness’ practice for mental wellbeing.

With my feet firmly in the 21st century, I see Buddhism as something belonging to the past – irrelevant to the modern world, except perhaps to the most laid-back of hippies. As for meditation, I can’t even imagine assuming the lotus position, and humming, “Ommm…” without wanting to guffaw!

Mindfulness is said to encourage a calm awareness of, and connection to, the body and the world around us. Its practice has … Read more »

Getting High: On Drugs, Medication Or Meditation?

July 12, 2009

Huffington Post: We all seek that rush or high, the feel-good factor that turns us on and makes us feel that we can succeed and even conquer the world. Getting high is one of the great pleasures of life and that is why so many people find different ways to do it, whether through alcohol, the use of recreational drugs, such as marijuana, or prescription drugs, such as pain killers, all of which aim at altering our consciousness enough that our present reality becomes workable and even enjoyable.

In 2007 66% of high school seniors regularly drank alcohol, 31% smoked dope, while 10% used other opiates. Among adults, according to data from the 2006 … Read more »

“The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction,” by Darren Littlejohn

February 4, 2009

The 12-Step Buddhist, by Darren Littlejohn

Title: The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction
Author: Darren Littlejohn
Publisher: Beyond Words Publishing (March 2009)

Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-Step Program offers a path of escape from the cycle of dependency, but it’s a path that’s heavily reliant on belief in a deity. Can Buddhism provide an alternative approach to addiction? Buddhist and incarcerated drug-offender Rich Cormier investigates “12-Step Buddhism” as outlined in a new book by Darren Littlejohn.

Traditional 12-Step programs involve a God-based spiritual approach. The “12-Step Buddhist” emphasizes that it is important to develop a strong spiritual foundation for any attempt at recovery to be successful, and points out that addicts who are resistant to the customary system … Read more »