Dec 31, 2012
Robert Wright, a senior editor at The Atlantic and the author, most recently, of The Evolution of God, writes from time to time about his meditation practice, especially when he’s going on retreat, for example here and (most recently) here.
Wright has found, as many people have, that meditation improves his life. He talks of the “sharp, even cold, clarity” he gains from sitting, as well as the “warm and fuzzy” feelings that arise from that clarity.
Surprisingly, to my mind, Wright finds himself in the position of having to “defend” finding that meditation makes him happier. One commenter said, for example:
Well, if you’re talking about
Wildmind Meditation News
Apr 27, 2012
A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers.
The study, which will appear in tomorrow’s issue of Science, finds that thinking analytically increases disbelief among believers and skeptics alike, shedding important new light on the psychology of religious belief.
“Our goal was to explore the fundamental question of why people believe in a God to different degrees,” says lead author Will Gervais, a PhD student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “A combination of complex factors influence matters of personal spirituality, and these new findings suggest that the cognitive system related to analytic thoughts is one factor that can influence disbelief.”
Researchers used problem-solving …
Jan 20, 2012
Saddhamala wrote the other day about how we “catch” emotions from others. As she points out, this happens when you’re hanging around someone who is negative, and it brings you down, and that it even happens when we watch a movie!
So this is definitely a part of our experience.
You may not have realized, though, just how infectious our emotions are. The effect of one person’s emotions — whether negative or positive — can be measured as they ripple outward through our friendships and contacts.
Let’s deal with the negative first.
An important study by University of Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo showed that lonely people tend to …
Nov 17, 2011
As I wrote in my most recent book, Living as a River:
Relating to someone as a “self”—on the basis of how we see them right now—is like seeing a video reduced to a single frame, or seeing a ball hurtling through the air in a freeze-frame photograph. It’s life-denying. It’s a static way of seeing things. In taking a snapshot of a thing we lose its sense of trajectory, the sense that it’s headed somewhere. We’re disconnected from the reality of change and process. But imagine if we could consistently see a person not as a thing but as a process—if we could, at least in our imagination—see that person
Rick Hanson PhD
Nov 10, 2011
As we grow up and then move through adulthood, we all have normal needs for safety, fulfillment, and love.
For example, children need to feel secure, adolescents need a growing sense of autonomy, and young adults need to feel attractive and worthy of romantic love. When these needs are met by various “supplies” — such as the caring of a parent, the trust of a teacher, the love of a mate-the positive experiences that result then sink in to implicit memory to become resources for well-being, self-regulation, resilience, self-worth, and skillful action. This is how healthy psychological development is supposed to work.
But it doesn’t always go this way, does it? …
Rick Hanson PhD
Aug 08, 2011
We evolved to be afraid.
The ancient ancestors that were casual and blithely hopeful, underestimating the risks around them – predators, loss of food, aggression from others of their kind – did not pass on their genes. But the ones that were nervous were very successful – and we are their great-grandchildren, sitting atop the food chain.
Consequently, multiple hair-trigger systems in your brain continually scan for threats. At the least whiff of danger – which these days comes mainly in the form of social hazards like indifference, criticism, rejection, or disrespect – alarm bells start ringing. See a frown across a dinner table, hear a cold tone from a supervisor, …
Nov 19, 2010
Imagine if you were sitting in your living room and when you turned on the television the movie Terms of Endearment came on. It wasn’t just any part of the movie, it was the moment where the mother watches her daughter who had been struggling with cancer pass away. If you don’t know this movie, it’s one of the greatest tearjerkers of all time.
Earlier this year, Farb and colleagues (2010) conducted research called Minding One’s Emotions: Mindfulness Training Alters the Neural Expression of Sadness that did a variation of this with two groups of people, those trained in mindfulness meditation and a waitlisted control group in order to see any different activity in their brains. Past research, along with this …
Wildmind Meditation News
May 21, 2003
Scientists say they have evidence to show that Buddhists really are happier and calmer than other people. Tests carried out in the United States reveal that areas of their brain associated with good mood and positive feelings are more active. Read more