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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: neuroscience

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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Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 24, 2013

How to build a happier brain

Julie Beck, The Atlantic: A neuropsychological approach to happiness, by meeting core needs (safety, satisfaction, and connection) and training neurons to overcome a negativity bias.

There is a motif, in fiction and in life, of people having wonderful things happen to them, but still ending up unhappy. We can adapt to anything, it seems—you can get your dream job, marry a wonderful human, finally get 1 million dollars or Twitter followers—eventually we acclimate and find new things to complain about.

If you want to look at it on a micro level, take an average day. You go to work; make some money; eat…

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Bodhipaksa

Sep 20, 2013

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

hardwiring happinessI wanted to let you know about a new book by Rick Hanson that I think you’ll like. Rick, a neuropsychologist and bestselling author, is a contributor to this blog, and his teaching has had a profound influence on my understanding of what’s actually going on when we meditate.

I haven’t read the book yet (I hope to do so soon), so this isn’t a review. It’s just a heads-up that a brilliant author who is always worth reading has a new book coming out. I’m clearing my reading schedule to make sure that I have time to read my review copy when it arrives.

The book’s called Hardwiring Happiness: The

Bodhipaksa

Sep 19, 2013

When your meditation practice doesn’t seem to be going anywhere…

Buddha StatueI often hear from people who are worried because their meditation practice doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I think it’s good to be aware of the different ways that change happens when we meditate since your practice hitting a plateau may not be a problem, but just part of a natural process.

Sometimes change happens rapidly. This may happen early on, or at any point in your practice. One striking example was told to me by a friend who owns a health club. One of his employees was very prickly and hard to work with, but my friend realize that this woman had really mellowed out, almost overnight. She was now …

Rick Hanson PhD

Sep 12, 2013

Grow inner strengths

Hanson_thI’ve hiked a lot and have often had to depend on what was in my pack. Inner strengths are the supplies you’ve got in your pack as you make your way down the twisting and often hard road of life. They include a positive mood, common sense, integrity, inner peace, determination, and a warm heart. Researchers have identified other strengths as well, such as self-compassion, secure attachment, emotional intelligence, learned optimism, the relaxation response, self-esteem, distress tolerance, self-regulation, resilience, and executive functions.

I’m using the word strength broadly to include positive feelings such as calm, contentment, and caring, as well as skills, useful perspectives and inclinations, and embodied qualities such as vitality …

Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 30, 2013

What happens to the brain when you meditate (and how it benefits you)

Bell Beth Cooper, Lifehacker: Ever since my dad tried to convince me to meditate when I was about 12, I’ve been fairly skeptical of this practice. It always seemed so vague and hard to understand that I just decided it wasn’t for me. More recently, I’ve actually found how simple (not easy, but simple) meditation can be and what huge benefit it can have for my day to day happiness.

As an adult, I first started my meditation practice with just two minutes per day. Two minutes! I got that idea from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog, where he points out how starting with …

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Bodhipaksa

Aug 14, 2013

The dark side of meditation

Willoughby BrittonHere’s an interesting conversation between Brown University neuroscientist (and meditation teacher) Willoughby Britton and yoga and Buddhism teacher Michael Stone. Britton, as a good scientist, is interested in cataloguing the confusing, unpleasant, and sometimes harmful effects that meditators may experience, including cognitive and sensory aberrations, emotional difficulties or challenges, changes sense of self, and disturbing physiological manifestations.

My experience is that adverse effects to meditation are rare. Some manifestations in fact may not be at all harmful and may be signs of progress in meditation (e.g. changes in the perceived relative size of different parts of the body) but might be mistaken for “going crazy.” Other manifestations — such as some …

Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 02, 2013

How does meditation actually work?

Christof Koch, Salon: Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

This line from Herman Hesse’s 1922 novel Siddhartha came unbidden to me during a recent weeklong visit to Drepung Monastery in southern India. His Holiness the Dalai Lama had invited the U.S.-based Mind and Life Institute to familiarize the Tibetan Buddhist monastic community living in exile in India with modern science. About a dozen of us—physicists, psychologists, brain scientists and clinicians, leavened by a French philosopher—introduced quantum mechanics, neuroscience, consciousness and various clinical aspects of meditative practices…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 02, 2013

No lotus position needed: Neuroscience pushes meditation into the mainstream

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: When the Rev. Ron Moor began meditating 30 years ago, he did so in secret.

“When I started, meditation was a dirty word,” said Moor, pastor of Spirit United Church in Minneapolis. “(Evangelist) Jimmy Swaggart called it ‘the work of the devil.’ Because of its basis in Eastern religions, fundamentalists considered it satanic. Now those same fundamentalists are embracing it. And every class I teach includes at least a brief meditation.”

The faith community isn’t alone in changing its attitude. Businesses, schools and hospitals not only have become more accepting of meditation, but many offer classes on it. Meditating…

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