Many people see meditation as an exotic form of daydreaming, or a quick fix for a stressed-out mind. My advice to them is, try it.
Meditation is difficult, at least to begin with. On my first attempt, instead of concentrating on my breathing and letting go of anything that came to mind, as instructed by my cheery Tibetan teacher, I got distracted by a string of troubled thoughts, then fell asleep. Apparently, this is normal for first-timers. Experienced meditators will assure you that it is worth persisting, however.
“Training allows us to transform the mind, to overcome destructive emotions and to dispel suffering,” says Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. “The numerous and profound methods that Buddhism … Read more »
Millions of Americans practice some form of meditation to promote relaxation and reduce stress. But claims for greater health benefits are in need of further study. The power of meditation.
Josephine Briggs: researcher, physician and director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Jonathan Foust: senior teacher, the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and former president of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
Richard Davidson: director, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.
Does the Dalai Lama’s support for a ‘centre for investigating healthy minds’ compromise its scientific respectability?
At a time when the relationship between science and spirit seems characterised by mutual suspicion, common ground for enquiry is all the more refreshing. Like at last Sunday’s opening of the University of Wisconsin’s centre for investigating healthy minds, where the Dalai Lama shared a platform with the new centre’s director, Professor Richard Davidson.
The department is a hub of expertise in what is being called “contemplative neuroscience”, and a natural extension of Davidson’s ongoing quest to discover how various forms of meditation impact the brain. Among …
The Dalai Lama brought his message of compassion, empathy and oneness to Madison on Sunday afternoon, mixing it with levity and tales of sibling rivalry with his brother, all while sitting crosslegged in his chair and wearing a red Wisconsin baseball cap.
A human being’s “basic nature is pure,” and “everyone experiences positive and negative emotions,” but there is the possibility of the mind being distorted by ignorance, he told the crowd of about 1,100 people in the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, was in town to participate in an hourlong “dialogue” with UW-Madison neuroscientist Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy … Read more »
When the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds held grand-opening events May 15-16, a familiar guest was on hand to celebrate the occasion. As he has a number of times — most recently in 2007 — His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama traveled to Madison to continue ongoing work with the new center’s director, Richard Davidson, a UW–Madison professor of psychology and psychiatry, who also directs the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior. Davidson, who has studied Tibetan monks to explore how meditation affects the brain, established the new center to investigate healthy qualities of the mind and how to cultivate those qualities in children and adults. The weekend’s events included a … Read more »
In the seven years since he finished his stint in the U.S. Navy, Todd Dennis has rarely slept well.
Though never diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, he’s struggled with some of the symptoms, including insomnia and feelings of anger.
Dennis says those symptoms have eased since February, when he began practicing yoga and meditation techniques he learned through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds.
Beginning this fall, the center will apply the tools of neuroscience – including brain imaging – in studies to determine what if any effect such contemplative practices have on veterans with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
“We’ll be looking at whether they make an impact in … Read more »
After hearing about his cutting-edge research on the brain and emotions through mutual friends, the Dalai Lama invited Richard Davidson to his home in India in 1992 to pose a question.
Scientists often study depression, anxiety and fear, but why not devote your work to the causes of positive human qualities like happiness and compassion? the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader asked.
“I couldn’t give him a good answer,” recalled Davidson, a University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist.
Since then, Davidson has become a partner in the Dalai Lama’s attempts to build a connection between Buddhism and western science. This weekend, the Dalai Lama will mark the opening of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the university’s … Read more »
Leading neuroscientists will gather at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 16th annual symposium on emotion in April to discuss how the human brain changes in response to disease and treatment.
The brain is a very plastic organ and we now know that changes in the structure and function of the brain are associated with learning, psychiatric illness and treatment, and positive intrapersonal growth. Topics include brain changes wrought by depression; brain mechanisms underlying the placebo response, how the brain is altered in individuals prone to bullying and aggression, and how meditation influences well-being through its influences on brain plasticity.
“It’s a world-class lineup of researchers who will present their latest work on the neuroplasticity … Read more »
Vancouver Sun: Richard Davidson, one of the world’s top brain scientists, believes mental exercise, specifically meditation, can literally change our minds.
“Our data shows mental practice can induce long-lasting changes in the brain,” said Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
His startling scientific research on the impact of meditation on brain function has implications that go beyond the physical.
Buddhist monks believe mental attributes and positive emotions such as compassion, loving kindness and empathy are skills that can be cultivated.
Science is beginning to back that up.
Davidson started meditating in 1974, when he was a Phd student at Harvard. Back then, meditation was seen as a somewhat faddish … Read more »
Commercialappeal.com: I feel like broken a tape recorder talking about the same stuff over and over: hand washing, cough etiquette and social distancing as ways to prevent getting the flu. So I was thrilled to find a 2003 research article from the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (not my usual bedside reading) on how meditation could help us in fighting the flu.
Meditation may seem like an Eastern concept, but in fact it is well grounded in Western religion in the form of prayer. In Joshua 1:8, God says to meditate on His word day and night. Rick Warren, in his book “The Purpose Driven Life,” writes, “Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort … … Read more »