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Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 04, 2010

U.S. Army adopts mindfulness meditation

In an unusual departure from traditional prescriptions for coping with high stress, the United States Army is recommending something more eclectic to its soldiers in Iraq — mindfulness mediation.

According to Major Victor Won, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, mindfulness is a simple but ancient approach to living that western medicine has begun to recognise as a powerful tool for dealing with stress, illness and other medical or psychological conditions, and it could help soldiers in any circumstance.

Quoting the definition of the term used in the book Wherever You Go, There You Are, by popular mediation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, he said, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way or maintaining the awareness on purpose, in the present moment.”

Major …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 03, 2010

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

military meditationMeditation 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 …

Wildmind Meditation News

May 17, 2010

University of Wisconsin to study effects of meditation, yoga on veterans’ stress

In the seven years since he finished his stint in the U.S. Navy, Todd Dennis has rarely slept well.

Though never diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, he’s struggled with some of the symptoms, including insomnia and feelings of anger.

Dennis says those symptoms have eased since February, when he began practicing yoga and meditation techniques he learned through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds.

Beginning this fall, the center will apply the tools of neuroscience – including brain imaging – in studies to determine what if any effect such contemplative practices have on veterans with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

“We’ll be looking at whether they make an impact in their lives, their overall function, their sense of well-being,” …

Wildmind Meditation News

May 03, 2010

Can training soldiers to meditate combat PTSD?

A University of Pennsylvania-led study in which training was provided to a high-stress U.S. military group preparing for deployment to Iraq has demonstrated a positive link between mindfulness training, or MT, and improvements in mood and working memory. Mindfulness is the ability to be aware and attentive of the present moment without emotional reactivity or volatility.

The study found that the more time participants spent engaging in daily mindfulness exercises the better their mood and working memory, the cognitive term for complex thought, problem solving and cognitive control of emotions. The study also suggests that sufficient MT practice may protect against functional impairments associated with high-stress challenges that require a tremendous amount of cognitive control, self-awareness, situational awareness and emotional …

Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 21, 2010

Meditation may boost mood and mental toughness

LiveScience: Meditation exercises could boost mental toughness in soldiers readying for war, keeping them from becoming overly emotional, according to new research.

The study found that mindfulness training, which teaches people how to stay alert and in the moment without becoming emotional (giving them a kind of “mental armor”), improved the moods of U.S. Marines preparing for deployment to Iraq. Practicing mindfulness also improved a type of memory that enables people to complete complex mental tasks.

The key is practicing these mindfulness exercises daily, just as you would any other exercise, according to study co-author and University of Pennsylvania cognitive neuroscientist Amishi Jha said in a statement.

The study involved 48 Marines who were headed to Iraq. During the eight weeks before …

Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 13, 2009

Military Buddhist chapel represents tolerance

NPR: The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., is home to the only Buddhist chapel on a U.S. military base. After a controversy over religious intolerance during the summer of 2005, the chapel was built in the basement of the academy’s iconic Cadet Chapel.

In 2005, conservative evangelical Christians were accused of trying to force their religion on others. According to current and recently graduated cadets, the religious climate has improved substantially since then.

Chapel Construction

The controversy prompted the Air Force to issue guidelines for religious expression. The military also has made efforts to accommodate all faiths. These include the construction of the 300-square-foot Buddhist chapel at the Air Force Academy paid for by the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for …

Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 09, 2009

Former soldier meditates with inmates

Independent Florida Alligator: As they walk into the stark gray room at the Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, K.C. Walpole greets each inmate with the grace of a mentor and the sternness of a soldier. Dressed in all black, his head shaved smooth and his broad shoulders fit into perfect posture.

“Are you full of fire and brimstone?” he asks a woman as a smile dimples his aging face.

She nods at him.

“Is there anything we can do to fix that today?”

She points to her head, grabs an imaginary object from it then tosses it away.

“Yeah, let’s get rid of those thoughts,” Walpole agrees.

Walpole, 66, visits the female inmates at Lowell every Friday at 9 a.m. He teaches them to sit …

Bodhipaksa

Oct 08, 2009

Meditation zeitgeist, October 8, 2009

ZeitgeistA not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation.

Steve Bell has been reading some draft chapters from Bodhipaksa’s forthcoming book on The Six Elements, and so far seems to love it. Words like “amazing” and “awesome” are used. Thanks, Steve!

Will Buckingham has a lovely post titled “Questions we cannot go through,” which explores the art of “making settled things strange” by questioning one’s experience with inquiries such as,

“Where do thoughts come from? Or, perhaps, “I am hearing a bird outside the window. Where is the hearing taking place?” Or, “Who is doing the hearing?”

The Buddhist Military Sangha blog carries a National Public Radio interview with Chaplain Thomas Dyer, who will begin …

Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 06, 2009

Samurai mind training for modern American warriors

Time: Not long ago at Fort Bragg, N.C., the country’s largest military base, seven soldiers sat in a semi-circle, lights dimmed, eyes closed, two fingertips lightly pressed beneath their belly buttons to activate their “core.” Electronic music thumped as the soldiers tried to silence their thoughts, the key to Warrior Mind Training, a form of meditation slowly making inroads on military bases across the country. “This is mental push-ups,” Sarah Ernst told the weekly class she leads for soldiers at Fort Bragg. “There’s a certain burn. It’s a workout.”

Think military and you think macho, not meditation, but that’s about to change now that the Army intends to train its 1.1 million soldiers in the art of mental toughness. The Defense …

Bodhipaksa

Jun 18, 2009

Meditation Zeitgeist, June 18, 2009

ZeitgeistA not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation.

Justin Whitaker, Buddhist scholar and blogger, has a nice review of Bodhipaksa’s latest audiobook, Still The Mind. Justin was a student of Bodhipaksa’s many years ago, but he’s the very soul of integrity and we don’t think his review is hyped in any way.

Via Shambhala Sun Space comes this delightfully quirky story of the launch of the “Buddha phone” in Japan; a single tap of the phone’s dedicated lotus-leaf button will load a private, customizable, animated altar.

From the Buddhist Military Sangha blog comes a great video by a Navy Seal, explaining how Zen practice has helped his life and career. Rather bizarrely, …