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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: neuroscience

Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 28, 2014

5 ways meditation gives your brain a boost

wildmind meditation newsDan Harris, ABC News: I never in a million years thought I’d be the type of person who meditates. I’ve had an aversion to all things airy-fairy since age five, when my parents – recovering hippies – sent me to a yoga class for kids. The teacher, who disapproved of the jeans I was wearing, made me strip down and do sun salutations in my tighty-whities.

But then, a few years ago, I heard about an explosion of scientific research suggesting that meditation has an extraordinary range of health benefits. In particular, I found the neuroscience compelling. Studies say you can sculpt your …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 27, 2014

The mental and physical benefits of mindfulness meditation

wildmind meditation newsINSPIRE MALIBU: What began as one of the seven factors of enlightenment according to Buddhist teachings, Mindfulness Meditation is quickly spreading throughout Western society as a way to become more focused and relaxed mentally.

Scientific research has confirmed many of the benefits of Mindfulness including motivation, empathy, and the regulation of emotions. People of all ages and all walks of life can realize the mental and physical benefits of Mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?
In its simplest terms, Mindfulness involves living in the present moment, and paying special attention to whatever it is you are currently doing. If you’re eating an apple, closely examine …

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Rick Hanson PhD

Feb 26, 2014

Rest in Center

Wood carving Buddha in the trunk of treeGravity and entropy are powerful processes in the natural world. Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in our own lives, some things bring us to center, while others disturb and disperse us.

In terms of centering, be aware of your whole body as you take a long slow breath, or think of something you’re glad about. You’ll probably feel more at home in yourself, more drawn into your own core rather than feeling like Garfield the cartoon cat, spreadeagled up against a pane of glass.

In terms of feeling scattered, notice what it’s like to …

Rick Hanson PhD

Feb 16, 2014

The Mind, the Brain, and God – Part III

Universal MindIn Part I and Part II of this series, we discussed the meaning of the words: mind; brain and God, and looked at the interdependence between the mind and the brain.

In this last part of the discussion we’ll examine the neural correlates and morality and summarize the discussion.

Do Neural Correlates Mean There’s No Soul?

The last sentence in the article on the NPR site really caught my eye: “If something as complex as morality has a mechanical explanation, [the scholar said], it will be hard to argue that people have, or need, a soul.”

First, to repeat the point made in the previous blog post, it’s simplistic to claim that morality …

Rick Hanson PhD

Feb 15, 2014

The Mind, the Brain and God – Part II

Universal MindIn Part I we discussed the meaning of the words mind, brain and God and saw how the mind and the brain are interdependent.

In this segment we’ll go into the popular arguments for and against God and further into the link between the mind and the brain.

Proofs and Disproofs

Lately, numerous authors have tried to rebut beliefs in God (e.g., The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins), while others have tried to rebut the rebuttals (e.g., Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case against God). The intensity of these debates is often startling; people commonly talk past each other, arguing at different levels; and the “evidence” marshaled for one view or another …

Rick Hanson PhD

Feb 14, 2014

The Mind, the Brain, and God – Part I

Universal MindWith all the research on mind/brain connections these days – Your brain in lust or love! While gambling or feeling envious! While meditating, praying, or having an out-of-body experience! – it’s natural to wonder about Big Questions about the relationships among the mind, the brain, and God.For instance, some people have taken the findings that some spiritual experiences have neural correlates to mean that the hand of God is at work in the brain. Others have interpreted the same research to mean that spiritual experiences are “just” neural, and thus evidence against the existence of God or other supernatural forces. These debates are updated versions of longstanding philosophical and religious wrestlings …

Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 11, 2014

Meditation helps pinpoint neurological differences between two types of love

wildmind meditation newsBill Hathaway, Yale News: These findings won’t appear on any Hallmark card, but romantic love tends to activate the same reward areas of the brain as cocaine, research has shown.

Now Yale School of Medicine researchers studying meditators have found that a more selfless variety of love — a deep and genuine wish for the happiness of others without expectation of reward — actually turns off the same reward areas that light up when lovers see each other.

“When we truly, selflessly wish for the well-being of others, we’re not getting that same rush of excitement that comes with, say, a tweet from our romantic love interest, because it’s not about us …

Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 03, 2014

Meditation study links history to science

wildmind meditation newsAshna Mukhi, Brown Daily Herald: Meditation study links history to science; Light experiences during meditation similar to visualizations caused by sensory deprivation.

Practitioners of Buddhist meditation have reported seeing globes, jewels and little stars during meditation-induced light experiences. The neurobiological explanation for these visions was the subject of a recent study led by Willoughby Britton, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, and Jared Lindahl, professor of religious studies at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology Jan. 3, connects first-hand accounts of these light experiences and reports of them from Buddhist texts to scientific literature …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 21, 2014

Mindful meditation is being used to help with a range of problems

wildmind meditation newsSarah Matheson, Oxford Mail: Mindfulness meditation has gone viral.

With its adoption by the medical establishment, it is now considered one of the most effective treatments for a whole range of conditions from depression, anxiety and addiction to eating disorders and chronic pain.

Its success is widely documented with intriguing evidence of very particular patterns shown in the brain scans of meditators. But where did this practice originate?

Taught by the Buddha 2,600 years ago, the tradition has been kept alive in Buddhist monasteries throughout Asia. It has now spread amongst lay people throughout the world as its benefits have become increasingly widely …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 20, 2014

We need to take meditation more seriously as medicine

wildmind meditation newsJacoba Urist, Time: To be fair, I’m not sure how I would have responded had my surgeon suggested I meditate before or after surgery to ease my anxiety or post-operative pain. My guess is, like many women, I would have been skeptical: what exactly did sitting in half-lotus pose or breathing deeply have to do with the tumor in my right breast? And why was a doctor— whose job and training and every measure of success is rooted in science and clinical outcomes— prescribing a spiritual or religious method of therapy?

But a new review study, published last week in the Journal …

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