Blayne Pereira, CMI: What is it? Like many buzzwords, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact (and concise) definition for ‘mindfulness’.
Professor Mark Williams of the University of Oxford, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field, has given a comprehensive description of mindfulness.
“It is a translation of a word that simply means awareness,” he says. “It’s direct, intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it. It’s knowing what’s going on inside your mind and body, and what’s going on in the outside world as well. Most of the time our attention is not where we intend …
Joy LeVine Abrams, Minuteman News Center: Imagine a life where you felt comfortable, relaxed and light-hearted. When someone said something unsettling, you paused and chose your response. You realized that a lot of what you spend your time doing is truly not a priority for you. In nature you’d be vibrantly aware of the sights, sounds, scents and the extraordinary beauty around you.
When someone very dear seemed upset; you’d listen openheartedly and not give advice. During a difficult emotional moment you reminded yourself that it was all right to be feeling this way. Life has these aspects and your feelings will change soon …
In meditation we can slip into a flow state — that is, one where we’re un-selfconsciously and happily absorbed in an activity. What we’re focused on in a state of meditative flow are the experiences that are arising in meditation itself. So in a meditative flow state we’re focused on the experience of flow itself.
This is puzzling if we assume that “un-selfconsciously” means “unmindfully.” After all, isn’t meditation supposed to make us more self-aware? The thing is that self-awareness and selfconsciousness aren’t the same thing — at least not in the way those words are being used here.
When we’re selfconscious, and therefore unable to be in a state of flow, what happens is … Read more »
Dr. Peter Nieman, Calgary Herald: Ask any teacher or pediatrician what has been the single predominant shift in their work over the past two or three decades. The odds are high that many will admit that children and youth are experiencing a dramatic increase of medical conditions which previously were only seen in adults.
To see diabetes in children — previously called “adult-onset-diabetes” — is now so common that few people gasp. To see children whose coronary vessels have aged prematurely surprises few pediatric cardiologists. And the notion that childhood should be a time of innocence and playfulness, lasting well into the teen years, experienced a …
Claire Withycombe, The Bulletin: As Bend Police Department approaches the launch date for a new mental health crisis team, the department is also turning inward to the mental health of the officers on the force.
Combined with regular midday yoga classes, which the department started offering last year, the department wants to incorporate more training in mindfulness — an increasingly popular practice of self-awareness and stress reduction. Together with the Bend Fire Department, the agency is also seeking a behavioral health specialist to provide day-to-day mental health support.
The stresses of police work can have significant long-term effects: late-night shifts, physical demands and seeing criminal …
Dr. Davidicus Wong, New Westminster Record: Recognizing the nature of reality and ourselves, we must accept the inescapable fact of change.
Rapid and recognizable changes – such as the weather, the time of day, the day of the week, the daily news, and our movements, conversations and thoughts throughout each day – conceal the less perceptible yet constant change in everything else, particularly what we take for granted as being solid and stable.
This includes our bodies, our relationships and the seemingly unchangeable objects we see and interact with each day. We are surprised and upset when mechanical possessions – like our cars, appliances and hot water …
Montaigne’s words (it’s “Chacun court ailleurs et à l’advenir, d’autant que nul n’est arrivé à soy” in the original French) are a striking reminder of how unsettled and restless we can be.
All too often we do things halfheartedly. The other half of our heart is leaning into the future, anticipating what we’ll be doing next. So we’ll be loading the dishwasher, wishing we were watching TV. But when we’re watching TV, we wish we were on Facebook. Even when having sex, people spend ten percent of their time thinking about something else. We’re so often leaning forward — rushing on to the next activity.
When Montaigne says that “no one has reached his own … Read more »
Dr. Manoj Jain, The Tennessean: This summer’s Disney-Pixar movie “Inside Out” makes us think about our thinking. But, I wonder, first of all, “can we even think about our thoughts?”
In fact, over the summer with campers ages 6 to 13, I was teaching them how to observe their thoughts: a course in mindfulness and meditation for children.
We begin by sitting up tall, like a tree. Then we become still, like a mountain. Then we “go inside,” like a turtle in a shell. By this time the children are sitting upright, cross-legged on the floor or with feet hanging on a chair, motionless as statues …
Mitch Abblett, Mindful: Here are suggestions for going beyond a passive view of patience to making it the crucial skill it is—one that you actively build into your daily life.
Since first published in the poem “Piers Plowman” (attributed to William Langland) in the 14th century, we’ve all had it drilled into us since childhood that “patience is a virtue.” What is striking to me about patience is that we’ve at all needed to be “told” of its importance. It’s as though we, especially in modern, Western society, need to be convinced—we need proof that patience figures large in our lives. Patience …
Charles Francis, Psych Central: There has been some growing concern recently about the safety of mindfulness meditation. Some claim that the practice can have severe side effects, such as panic, depression, and confusion. Are these concerns well founded? Maybe.
The main study cited by opponents of meditation is a British study of the effects of mindfulness meditation on a group of prison inmates. The inmates participated in a 90-minute weekly meditation class for 10 weeks. The study found that the inmates’ moods had improved and they had experienced a lower stress level, but remained just as aggressive as before the intervention.
I fail to see …