A new report by the Pew Research Center suggests that of all the world’s major religions, Buddhism is the only one destined to lose ground between now and 2050.
The total number of adherents to Buddhism will remain virtually unchanged, with a slight decline from approximately 187 to 186 thousand people. But since the global population will have risen, the percentage of the world population that practices Buddhism will have declined sharply from 7.1% to 5.2%.
In the meantime, the percentage of the world practicing Christianity will be roughly static, while Islam will go from being embraced by 23.2% to 29.7% of the world.
This strikes me as ironic, since at the moment Buddhist practices … Read more »
Sue McGreevey, Harvard Gazette: A pilot study has found that participating in a nine-week training program including elicitation of the relaxation response had a significant impact on clinical symptoms of the gastrointestinal disorders irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and on the expression of genes related to inflammation and the body’s response to stress.
The report from investigators at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), both Harvard affiliates, is the first to study the use …
Meditation MP3 – Meeting pain with compassion Digital Journal: Arthritis patients have their own ways of reducing the pain and suffering from their condition. Many use pain relief drugs, while others are relying on natural alternatives such as herbal supplements. In addition to these popular alternatives, there is also another option that is believed to help patients.
Experts recommend meditation to ease arthritis symptoms. This ancient practice is believed to be very effective in fighting chronic pain. Meditation can be very easy to practice and it doesn’t require too much time or energy. It is even believed to be beneficial to one’s physical and psychological state.
“Arthritis patients can choose how they respond and cope … Read more »
Meditations 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 …
Meditation MP3 – The Heart’s Wisdom: Development of Compassion Clifton B. Parker, Medical Xpress: Compassion meditation focuses on benevolent thoughts toward oneself and others, as the researchers noted. It is different in this aspect than most forms of meditation in the sense that participants are “guided” toward compassionate thoughts.
The research article, “A Wandering Mind is a Less Caring Mind,” was recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
“This is the first report that demonstrates that formal compassion training decreases the tendency for the mind to wander, while increasing caring behavior not only towards others but towards oneself,” said …
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, with Jon Kabat-Zinn and others Sarah Boseley, The Guardian: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be as good as pills at stopping people relapsing after recovering from major bouts of depression, according to a study.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed from mindfulness techniques, which encourage individuals to pay more attention to the present moment, combined with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), specifically to try to help people who have recurring depression.
It teaches people to recognise that negative thoughts and feelings will return, but that they can disengage from them. Rather …
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 »
Meditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction PRWEB: Practicing mindfulness at work can reduce retaliation by employees who feel treated unfairly.
Mindful employees are less angry, less likely to dwell on the mistreatment and less likely to retaliate, according to a new study by PhD student Erin Cooke Long and Professor Michael S. Christian of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School,
“When employees think they have an unfair boss or colleague or the organization is unfair, they might be tempted to seek retribution or act in ways to ‘even the score,’” said Cooke Long. “Mindfulness helps them short-circuits emotions and negative thoughts so that they can respond more constructively.”
Their study is … Read more »
Guided Mindfulness Meditation: A Complete Guided Mindfulness Meditation Program from Jon Kabat-Zinn Christopher Bergland, Psychology Today: Dan Harris from ABC News contacted me out-of-the-blue a few years ago to discuss the power of mindfulness and meditation. His book, 10% Happier, which has since become a No. 1 New York Times bestseller, does a terrific job of demystifying meditation and illustrating why taking a few minutes every day to “think about your thinking” can dramatically improve your life.
In a recent interview on NPR Harris said, “If you had told me 10 years ago that I was going to be a public evangelist …