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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: neuroscience

Rick Hanson PhD

Mar 17, 2014

Wholesome intentions – The neurology of intention

Burning candleOur intentions arise in the brain, are represented in the brain, and are pursued in the brain. Where else?

Therefore, a basic understanding of how intentions work in the brain – and thus in your mind – is a very useful thing to have.

The Executive Functions
The brain is like a committee, with many parts or “members” working together – or at cross purposes! – and the frontal lobes are like the chair of that committee. Or, to use a different metaphor, if the psyche altogether is a vast land, with a capital and many provinces, the frontal lobes are like the city manager of the capital.

But of course that does not mean …

Mark Tillotson

Mar 17, 2014

Athletes using meditation to improve performance

wildmind meditation newsIlene Raymond Rush, The Inquirer: For 15 minutes a day, Tim Frazier, Penn State’s senior point guard, finds a quiet place, switches on a podcast, and meditates. Along with his teammates, Frazier, the team’s all-time leader in assists, has found that practicing mindfulness meditation – focusing on the breath with his eyes closed and becoming aware of his thoughts without judging them – has amped up his performance on the court.

“The game moves so fast, it’s hard to focus on the here and now,” said Frazier, who is pretty fleet of foot himself. “Meditation slows me down [mentally], keeps me more relaxed and more …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 10, 2014

Does meditation really work? Excerpt from Dan Harris’s self-help guide, 10% Happier

wildmind meditation newsParade: In 10% Happier, a self-help guide even skeptics will embrace, ABC News’ Dan Harris crushes stereotypes about meditation and recounts how it slashed his stress and quieted his anxious mind. Read an excerpt below.

Initially I wanted to call this book The Voice in My Head Is an A**hole. However, that title was deemed inappropriate for a man whose day job requires him to abide by FCC decency standards.

It’s true, though. The voice in my head can be a total pill. I’d venture to guess yours can, too. Most of us are so entranced by the nonstop conversation we’re having with ourselves …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 07, 2014

Meditation at work can improve focus, lower stress

wildmind meditation newsKathleen Koster, Employee Benefit News: A new trend in employee coaching and assistance programs applies neuroscience to help employees reduce stress, quit smoking and become more focused and productive in a variety of business environments. Among executives, this type of coaching can increase performance so they can tackle difficult problems while managing employees and leading a company.

“What we found is by assisting the person through a coaching process to be more resilient through neuropsychology, they can focus more mindfully and can make decisions more lucidly that positively problem-solve issues for their team,” explains Justin J. Kennedy, a professor at Monarch University in …

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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 …