Nov 11, 2013
There is a “we” at Wildmind, but only barely. I have an assistant who works part-time, three days a week, and who takes care of our online store. This helps pay the costs of running an office and an extensive website. We have a volunteer in Toronto who posts the news stories. And we have a couple of regular or semi-regular (unpaid) contributors to our blog. A professional bookkeeper comes in two afternoons a month. But otherwise it’s all up to me. I write the …
Rick Hanson PhD
Oct 23, 2013
When our mammalian ancestors first appeared, about two hundred million years ago, their capacities for bonding, emotion, and generosity were extraordinary evolutionary breakthroughs. Unlike reptiles and fish, mammals and birds care for their young, pair bond (sometimes for life), and usually form complex social groups organized around various kinds of cooperation. This takes more smarts than, say, a fish laying a swarm of eggs and swimming away – so in proportion to body weight, mammals and birds have bigger brains than reptiles and fish do.
When primates came along about sixty million years ago, there …
Mar 05, 2013
Here’s what I’m planning. I want to create more, and specifically I want to record two meditation audio programs this year. To do this I need to take a couple of months off from teaching my online courses, which creates a bit of a financial problem for Wildmind because we’ll be earning less and because we live on the edge (and not always on the right side of the edge!)
So, I’m asking for donations. And anyone who makes a one time-donation of $15 or more, or who sets up a recurring donation of any amount will receive a free download of the first of these programs, which will be …
Rick Hanson PhD
May 15, 2012
Can you remember a time when you offered a gift to someone? Perhaps a holiday present, or a treat to a child, or taking time for a friend – or anything at all. How did this feel? Researchers have found that giving stimulates the same neural networks that light up when we feel physical pleasure, such eating a cookie or running warm water over cold hands. Long ago, the Buddha said that generosity makes one happy before, during, and after the giving.
Then there is receiving. Can you remember a different time, when someone was giving toward you? Maybe it was a tangible, something you could hold in …
Feb 19, 2012
I’m a science geek as well as a Buddhist geek, and recently when I was leading a retreat on how to bring more joy into our lives I found myself making a lot of references to an article published in Yes magazine, which touched on ten things that have been shown by science to make us happier. It seemed natural to draw upon the article because so much of the research that was described resonated with Buddhist teachings.
So I thought it would be interesting to take the main points of the article and flesh them out with a little Buddhism.
1. Be generous
“Make altruism and giving part of …
Rick Hanson PhD
Jan 09, 2012
One of the strangest and most meaningful experiences of my life occurred when I going through Rolfing (ten brilliant sessions of deep-tissue bodywork) in my early 20′s. The fifth session works on the stomach area, and I was anticipating (= dreading) the release of buried sadness. Instead, there was a dam burst of love, which poured out of me during the session and afterward. I realized it was love, not sadness, that I had bottled up in childhood – and what I now needed to give and express.
We can hold back our contributions to the world, including love, just as much as we can muzzle or …
Feb 18, 2011
About to turn thirty, Conor Grennan planned a year-long trip around the world. He started his trip with a three-month stint volunteering in the Little Princes Orphanage in war-torn Nepal. What was supposed to be just a three-month experience changed Conor’s life, and the lives of countless others.While playing on the roof of the orphanage, Conor was approached by a woman who would turn out to be the mother of two of the wards. Over hours of conversations with her, Conor learned the truth about the kids he’d come to love. Many of the little princes were not orphans but rather had been taken from their homes and families by child traffickers. …
Feb 11, 2011
One of the most frustrating things in my life is that for the last few months, because of a change in my wife’s work schedule, I haven’t been able to get up to the prison I’ve been teaching in for the last seven years. I miss the guys there. I regard them as part of my “sangha” (spiritual community). I have great respect for them as spiritual practitioners because of the sheer effort they have to make in order to remain sane and balanced in a very challenging environment. Not only do they stay sane and balanced, but some of them bring about huge changes in their lives. …
Wildmind Meditation News
Jan 23, 2011
The transformation of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons from the recreational drug-using, model-chasing manager of seminal 1980s rap artists Run-DMC, LL Cool J and Will Smith into a serene 21st-century prophet of veganism and meditation may be surreal, but it’s also quite real.
Even in his dark days of excess, Simmons had a lot of light around him. As 1990s entrepreneurs like Suge Knight made the rap business virtually synonymous with invective and violence, Simmons stood above them as a relative paragon of virtue, achieving unmatched success with humor and hustle rather than brutality. As he matured and embraced his holistic lifestyle, Simmons became “Uncle Rush,” …
Aug 08, 2010
I’m fascinated by the psychology of giving and/or financial exchanges.
Just this morning I was noticing my hesitation in committing to pay 99¢ for an iPhone app without having tried it first. But when I go into a coffee shop I happily plonk down $1.50 or so for a cup of Joe, without hesitating or asking for a free trial. The coffee will last me for 20 minutes, while I might end up using the app on a daily basis for an indefinite period of time. There’s no guarantee I’m going to find the coffee pleasant. Screwy, but normal.
One peculiarity regarding money is that people who have less of it are …