Apr 16, 2013
There’s a lot of confidence involved in lovingkindness, especially with lovingkindness toward oneself (self-metta), and this confidence is reflected in the body. When we’re feeling loving toward ourselves or others we’re upright, the chest is open — the heart is open — and we’re relaxed. There’s a feeling of softness, but also of stength. Metta is definitely not a weak or passive state. It involves a confident stance.
When we lack confidence, we often slump. The shoulders roll forwards. The chest collapses so that we can’t breathe well. The heart is closed. We look down, limiting our horizons both literally and figuratively. We become inward turned, and we ruminate in …
Apr 13, 2013
Today, as part of 100 Days of Lovingkindness, where we focus on the development of basic kindness and compassion, we’ll continue with the practice of self-metta.
I’m suggesting a simple practice today to help you bring a more kindly attitude into your daily life.
It’s simply this: be aware of your heart.
I’m not talking about noticing your heart beating, but about bringing awareness to the central part of your chest, and coming back to that over and over again during the day.
This area of the body is very important in terms of emotion, which is why “emotion” and “the heart” are virtually synonymous. And even more crucially, “love” and “the heart” …
Wildmind Meditation News
Apr 12, 2013
David Saunders, The Cornell Daily Sun: The word ‘meditation’ may invoke any number of images. Perhaps the likeness of the Dalai Lama sitting quiescently in meditative repose, legs crossed, eyes closed, hands resting gently in his lap. Maybe stereotypical meditation paraphernalia such as a singing bowl, a meditation cushion or a Tibetan prayer flag comes to mind. All of these images, and countless more, contribute to and result from pre-conceptions of what meditation is, where it takes place, who does it and why.
I recently took time off from medical school at Weill Cornell to pursue a Ph.D. in religious studies at…
Wildmind Meditation News
Apr 04, 2013
George Dvorsky, io9: Meditation yields a surprising number of health benefits, including stress reduction, improved attention, better memory, and even increased creativity and feelings of compassion. But how can something as simple as focusing on a single object produce such dramatic results? Here’s what the growing body of scientific evidence is telling us about meditation and how it can change the way our brains function.
Before we get started it’s worth doing a quick review of what is actually meant by meditation. The practice can take on many different forms, but the one technique that appears most beneficial, and which also happens to be…
Apr 01, 2013
This rather stunning graph comes from the Mindfulness Research Guide. It’s based on data obtained from a search for “mindfulness” in the ISI Web of Science database. The search was limited to research-related articles..
Mar 26, 2013
Every summer I spend six weeks teaching a study skills and personal development course to teens from low income families as part of a federally funded program called Upward Bound (not Outward Bound). It’s kind of crazy: every year I feel like I almost totally miss the summer because I’m teaching, grading, doing class prep, and attending various meetings. I end up sleep-deprived and completely exhausted. And the pay’s not great. But it’s totally worth it.
Part of the course involves meditation, and it’s consistently the part of the course that gets the biggest positive response in the end-of-course evaluations that the kids hand in. I’ve described the educational benefits mostly in …
Feb 21, 2013
The statement in the title of this post is a common belief in spiritual and religious circles, but it appears there’s some hard evidence that when you harm others, you harm yourself as well.
According to a press release from the Association for Psychological Science, researchers looked into why it is that some soldiers (31.6%) who have traumatic combat exposure develop PTSD.
It seems that three factors are important: age, a history of childhood physical abuse, and harming civilians or POWs.
…childhood experiences of physical abuse or a pre-Vietnam psychiatric disorder other than PTSD were strong contributors to PTSD onset. Age also seemed to play an important role: Men who were younger than
Jan 15, 2013
The Mind and Life Conference (ML), a production of the Mind and Life Institute, is an almost yearly gathering of Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists, led by the His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso). Mind and Life: Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality is a product of the 2002 conference, the tenth (X) in the series.
The Mind and Life Institute emerged as “a bold experiment” in 1987 from the efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Adam Engle, and Francisco Varela. Between ML IX and X, co-founder and …
Wildmind Meditation News
Jan 14, 2013
Times of India: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama inaugurated a three-day international conference on ‘Buddhism and Society’ at Atisha hall of Central University of Tibetan University (CUTS), Sarnath on Sunday. In his inaugural address, the Dalai Lama said Buddhism is not only a religion but an ancient science. Emphasis should be laid not on its propagation, but its practice, he added.
Notably, a number of Buddhist scholars and followers of the faith have arrived here to participate in the three-day international conference which will culminate on January 15. Discussions on several topics, including Buddhist and scientific approaches, ecological significance and contemporary relevance of …
Rick Hanson PhD
Jan 10, 2013
Meditation is to the mind what aerobic exercise is to the body. Like exercise, there are many good ways to do it and you can find the one that suits you best.
Studies have shown that regular meditation promotes mindfulness (sustained observing awareness), whose benefits include decreased stress-related cortisol, insomnia, symptoms of autoimmune illnesses, PMS, asthma, falling back into depression, general emotional distress, anxiety, and panic, and increased immune system factors, control of blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, detachment from reactions, self-understanding, and general well-being.
In your brain, regular meditation increases gray matter (neuronal cell bodies and synapses) in the:
- Insula – Handles interoception (sense of your own body); self-awareness in general; empathy for