Mindfulness meditation may improve memory for teens

November 18, 2015

wildmind meditation newsKathryn Doyle, Reuters: Adolescents assigned to a mindfulness meditation program appeared to have improvements in memory in a recent study.

“These results are consistent with a growing body of research in adults that has found mindfulness meditation to be a helpful tool for enhancing working memory capacity,” said Kristen E. Jastrowski Mano of the psychology department at the University of Cincinnati, who coauthored the new study.

The researchers randomly divided 198 public middle school students into three groups: mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga or a waitlist. Most students were female, ages 12 to 15, and from low-income households that qualified for reduced-cost lunch.

Before the study began and …

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Meditation changes your brain for the better; treats migraines and cognitive impairment

April 9, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Lecia Bushak, Medical Daily: Meditation can alter the brain — and new research shows that it can be used as therapy for cognitive impairment and migraines.

We already know that meditation is good for our mental and physical health, but more and more evidence is delineating just how valuable it could be as an addition to our daily lives.

In a new research report, researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center examined the efficacy of a meditation and yoga program known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) …

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Meditation may physically alter regions of the brain

December 15, 2014

wildmind meditation newsStress-Proof Your Brain, by Rick Hanson (2 CDs)Sravanth Verma, Digital Journal: Harvard researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital reported that the practice of mindfulness meditation can physically alter regions of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.

The study, to be published in January 2015, in “Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging” indicates that the brain’s gray matter may change as a result of meditation.

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” said …

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Concentrative or nondirective meditation? Which does science say works better?

wildmind meditation newsScience2.0.com: Mindfulness. Zen. Meditation drumming. Chakra. Buddhist and transcendental meditation. It evokes eastern mystics and hip elites in California pretending to to leave their corporeal forms behind and achieve some higher state of being.

But what about poor stressed-out wretches that can’t afford to fly in big-name Yogis? What does the research say? Not much.

But researchers would like to change that – fMRI imaging can tell us very little about what is really happening, but it’s a start. The authors of a new paper on meditation say that different meditation techniques can actually be divided into two main groups.

One type is concentrative …

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Meditation improves productivity

April 18, 2014

wildmind meditation newsBeth Taylor, PayScale.com: When we think of meditation, we may think of relaxation, breathing, and emptying the mind of stressful thoughts. It may be surprising to learn that the act of quiet meditation increases mental acuity and makes us more productive at work. Instead of meditation emptying our minds, it actually helps fill them with improved concentration and creativity.

Psychology Today reports on a plethora of benefits from including meditation in your routine. Decreasing stress is one, and improving physical health is another. Some of the benefits, however, are directly related to work productivity.

Improved Attention
A study published in 2007 found that after …

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How meditation can help students to stay focused and improve their grades

March 26, 2013

teen meditatingEvery summer I spend six weeks teaching a study skills and personal development course to teens from low income families as part of a federally funded program called Upward Bound (not Outward Bound). It’s kind of crazy: every year I feel like I almost totally miss the summer because I’m teaching, grading, doing class prep, and attending various meetings. I end up sleep-deprived and completely exhausted. And the pay’s not great. But it’s totally worth it.

Part of the course involves meditation, and it’s consistently the part of the course that gets the biggest positive response in the end-of-course evaluations that the kids hand in. I’ve described the educational benefits mostly in terms of … Read more »

Meditation has positive effects on mood and anxiety in patients with memory loss

March 2, 2012

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital determined that mantra-based meditation can have a positive impact on emotional responses to stress, fatigue and anxiety in adults with memory impairment and memory loss. Their findings are published in the recent issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Their study placed 15 older adults with memory problems ranging from mild age-associated memory impairment to mild impairment with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease on a regimen of Kirtan Kriya, a mantra-based meditation, for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks. A control group was assigned to listen to classical music for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks.

Earlier results from the study showed significant increases in … Read more »

Meditation improves cognition in those with memory loss

March 2, 2010

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation has announced data demonstrating that a meditation performed daily for eight weeks increased brain activity in areas central to memory and actually improved cognition in patients suffering from memory problems. The results of the study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, will be published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in April, 2010.

The risk of Alzheimer’s disease rises dramatically as people age and, as the ranks of our nation’s elderly swell, the number of people facing this dreadful disease will devastate our already overburdened healthcare system. Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s by five or ten years would lessen this burden dramatically, but few options to slow, or perhaps … Read more »

In the moment, in the sweep of time

November 30, 2009

Now, tomorrow, yesterdaySunada sometimes hears skepticism about the idea of being “in the moment.” Does it really mean we should cut ourselves off from our past and future? Are we to drop all our cherished memories? Should we naïvely stop planning for our future? No, she’s quite certain this isn’t what the Buddha had in mind when he taught about mindfulness. So let’s take a closer look at what it might really mean.

In the Buddhist scriptures, mindfulness is described as having several different aspects. One of them is sati, which is Pali for recollection, memory, or recalling to mind.

 we can be aware of our past (a helpful thing to do) without being in or

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Dalai Lama’s brain challenge produces split decision

April 29, 2009

New Scientist: If you’re going to challenge the Dalai Lama to a memory game, don’t do it just after he’s meditated. New research finds that meditation boosts visual memory, but only in the short term. The findings counter the claims of some monks who say that years of practicing a meditation technique that centres on creating an elaborate mental picture of deities can offer long-lasting improvements in visual memory and processing. Read more here.

“They claim they can do it all the time – they cannot,” says Maria Kozhevnikov, a neuroscientist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who travelled to several monasteries in Nepal to test the Buddhist monks’ visual memory.

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