How does meditation make you smarter?

wildmind meditation newsViatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD, BrainBlogger: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t need to be told about the relaxing effects of meditation. The practitioners vouch for it; and those who don’t, do not dispute it either. Those in the Far East have known for centuries that meditating brings mental peace and spiritual bliss. Now scientists claim that meditation can even alter the brain’s chemistry and functionality.

Over the years, neuroscientists have carried out brain imaging tests on long-term practitioners of meditation, including several Tibetan …

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Seven ways meditation can actually change the brain

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Alice G. Walton, Forbes: The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Below are some …

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Why develop mindful presence?

April 20, 2015

Sunset Stone PileMeditations for Happiness by Rick Hanson (3 CDs) This is the second post in the series on mindful presence. You can view Part One here.

So why should we go out of our way to develop mindfulness?

Mindful presence feels good in its own right: relaxed, alert, and peaceful. Not contending with anything. No struggle.

In addition to the inherent, experiential rewards of mindful presence, studies have shown that it lowers stress, makes discomfort and pain more bearable, reduces depression, and increases self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

To quote the father of American psychology, William James: “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and … Read more »

Changing the world and ourselves through compassion

April 18, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – The Heart’s Wisdom: Development of Compassion Jill Stark, Western Advocate: Be kind and you will be well. It has been the cornerstone of Eastern philosophy for centuries.

But what if recognising our shared humanity was more than just a sentimental ideal? What if consciously practicing kindness could change the wiring of your brain and make you live longer?

This is neuroscience’s latest frontier – a growing body of research that shows compassion could be the key to improved health, happiness and longevity.

Brain imaging reveals that exercising compassion stimulates the same pleasure centers associated with the drive …

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A look at the science behind mindfulness, meditation

February 13, 2015

wildmind meditation newsLiving As a River: Finding Fearlessness in the Face of Change by Bodhipaksa (Signed copy) Chloé Morrison, Nooga.com: Meditation and mindfulness practices have become more popular recently, but I still encounter plenty of people who look at me like I’m talking about witchcraft when I mention it.

(I’m not judging if you are into witchcraft, but that’s not the point.)

The point is that a good number of people whom I know to be intelligent and open-minded don’t seem to care much about meditation/mindfulness, despite the fact that the practices have become more popular and mainstream—and despite the fact …

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Two ways to clarify and try mindfulness and meditation

February 10, 2015

wildmind meditation newsAbiding in Mindfulness Volume 1 – The Body – Joseph Goldstein – 7 CDs (8 hours) Suzanne Phillips, PSY.D., ABPP, Psych Central: Research has shown mindfulness and meditation-based programs to hold promise for treating a number of psychiatric conditions, including depression,anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Adding to this, a recent study by Harvard researchers soon to appear in Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging will report that participating in an eight-week mindfulness mediation program actually appears to make changes in the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. The study validates that reported improvements are not just …

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Seven ways meditation can actually change the brain

February 9, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Alice G. Walton, Forbes: The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Below are some …

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Forever young: meditation might slow the age-related loss of gray matter in the brain, say UCLA researchers

February 8, 2015

wildmind meditation newsClick here to check out our online meditation store Mark Wheeler, UCLA: Since 1970, life expectancy around the world has risen dramatically, with people living more than 10 years longer. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that starting when people are in their mid-to-late-20s, the brain begins to wither — its volume and weight begin to decrease. As this occurs, the brain can begin to lose some of its functional abilities.

So although people might be living longer, the years they gain often come with increased risks for mental illness and neurodegenerative disease. Fortunately, a new study shows meditation could be one way to minimize those risks.

Building on their earlier work that … Read more »

Neuroscientists talk benefits of meditation, mindfulness at symposium

February 5, 2015

wildmind meditation newsThe Enlightened Brain: The Neuroscience of Awakening, by Rick Hanson (7 CDs) Daemion Lee, Eugene Weekly: In 1992, two neuroscientists, Richard Davidson and Clifford Saron, trekked into the hills around Dharamsala in north India to measure the brain waves of Tibetan Buddhist monks. Although the journey did not yield empirical data, it was a turning point in the careers of both men, and they went on to become leaders in the science of meditation.

On Feb. 9, they will be guest speakers at the Second Annual Symposium for Mindfulness and Society at the University of Oregon. Davidson, a professor of …

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Mindfulness in adolescence

February 4, 2015

wildmind meditation newsStill Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Teens, by Amy Saltzman (CD) Karen Pace, Michigan State University Extension: Research shows the practice of mindfulness can help youth navigate stress more effectively.

For many young people, adolescence is a time of opportunity and risk—as well as significant stress as they navigate school demands, body changes and sometimes challenging relationships with peers, parents and other people in their lives. Some youth experience the added strain and trauma of poverty, violence, bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression and abuse. During this stage of life, adolescents are also tasked with developing a …

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