Learning to see with the eyes of wholeness (Day 8)

April 19, 2013

Lotus, isolated on whiteA sticking point some people have with lovingkindness practice is what it means to wish someone “well.” This came up the other day with someone who has health difficulties that just aren’t going to go away. What does it mean for him to wish himself well? He’s not ever going to be completely healthy, so wellness is never going to be attained. What’s the point of wishing yourself something you can’t have? Isn’t that just a source of suffering. Yikes!

And the same applies to others. If you have a friend who’s, say, dying of cancer, what does it mean to wish them well?

There’s a nice little dialog that the Buddha has where he … Read more »

Exercising your brain may improve your life

February 10, 2013

Wynne Parry, LiveScience. Throughout life, even shortly before death, the brain can remodel itself, responding to a person’s experiences. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, offers a powerful tool to improve well-being, experts say.

“We now have evidence that engaging in pure mental training can induce changes not just in the function of the brain, but in the brain’s structure itself,” Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told an audience at the New York Academy of Sciences on Thursday (Feb. 6) evening.

The brain’s plasticity does change over time, Davidson pointed out. For instance, young children have an easier time learning a second language or a musical instrument…

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Mindfulness meditation eases stress, anxiety

January 11, 2013

Jason Ashley Wright, World Scene: Rebeka Radcliff struggled with anxiety for a long time.

She started running marathons to try to manage it. The long distances helped, she said, but it wasn’t enough.

“I would go for a run, feel relaxed for a few hours or even for the rest of the day, but then the anxiety would be back again,” Radcliff said.

Eventually, she realized that running couldn’t be her ultimate anxiety solution. She didn’t feel it was severe enough to warrant medication, and she believed there was a way to use mind over matter to manage it.

Then, she became pregnant …

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Know Thyself: Approaching meditation with mindfulness

December 29, 2012

Nancy B. Loughlin, news-press.com: Baby steps will help you learn how to live in the moment and quiet your restless mind.

A profound irony of stress is that the best way to manage it is to get deeper into it.

This is called “mindfulness,” and it’s Meditation 101.

For many, meditation’s serenity is out of reach because their minds are, well, a mess. Chilling may be attractive, but clearing the mind while perched on a floor pillow will drive Type As to scream.

Madeline Ebelini was an attorney for 20 years and her body reflected all that implies: insomnia, worry and pain. Sleeping became a …

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Stressed out? Try mindfulness meditation

September 18, 2012

Meryl Davids Landau, US News: One of the hottest forms of stress reduction today is actually one of the oldest: meditation. But the kind making the rounds of hospitals, community centers, and even schools in increasing numbers doesn’t involve chanting “Om” while sitting on a cushion with closed eyes; instead, participants are trained to pay attention to their thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations, and to view them neutrally, “without assigning an emotional value that they are strongly positive or negative,” says University of Wisconsin–Madison neuroscientist Richard Davidson, coauthor of The Emotional Life of Your Brain.

The idea is to allow parts of the …

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Mindfulness goes mainstream (video)

July 28, 2012


Meditation puts pain in its proper place

July 18, 2012

We sat in the cool, calm and peaceful surroundings of The (Breast Cancer) Haven in Fulham, London. We closed our eyes and listened to Dr. Caroline Hoffman take us through a Mindfulness experience. This form of meditation was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre in the 1970’s and has become hugely popular with all sorts of unlikely participants.

We were there to see and hear how it might benefit not only those with breast cancer, but almost everyone. We concentrated on our breathing, trying to be “in the moment”, focusing on the five senses and, all the time …

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In meditative mindfulness, Rep. Tim Ryan sees a cure for many American ills

April 9, 2012

Neely Tucker, Washington Post: Rep. Tim Ryan (D) is a five-term incumbent from the heartland. His Ohio district includes Youngstown and Warren and part of Akron and smaller places. He’s 38, Catholic, single. He was a star quarterback in high school. He lives a few houses down from his childhood home in Niles. He’s won three of his five elections with about 75 percent of the vote.

So when he starts talking about his life-changing moment after the 2008 race, you’re not expecting him to lean forward at the lunch table and tell you, with great sincerity, that this little story of American politics is about …

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New books for new thinking in a new year

January 9, 2012

I thought to write about books to ring in the New Year last Sunday, but my column was due almost a week ahead and I was still enjoying all the wonderful holiday treats hanging around my home. Not to mention the parties, the bowl games and champagne.

But now that the New Year is here and I’m in diet/resolution mode, I’m ready to share my collection of, shall we say, new thinking books, the ones we hope will shape us up physically and mentally.

Let’s start with a master. The Dalai Lama continues his dialogue with scientists and experts with the Mind and Life …

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Jon Kabat-Zinn gives advice for unhappy news junkies

December 23, 2011

Jon Brooks: There’s been a lot of bad news in recent years with the economy decimated and unemployment high and budget cuts. For consumers of news who find themselves overly affected by negative reports, what can they do in terms of mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn: If they’re very affected by it and negatively affected by it, what mindfulness would suggest is that you start to look at that and actually experience how you’re being affected by it. How it’s affecting your body, how it’s affecting the rest of your day, how much of your …

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Audio: Jon Kabat-Zinn on people negatively affected by the news.