Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D, Psych Central: Allow me to explain this paradox; and then I’ll provide 5 tips to help you with your practice.
Look at your right hand. See the shades of color in your skin? Notice the lines on your palm and the lines that separate the segments of your fingers? Easy to see, right? You just brought mindfulness to your right hand in this moment.
Now, consider the task of facing your deepest grief and sorrow. Or reflect on how it might be for you to bring your attention to extreme physical pain, hour after hour. Much more difficult to bring your …
I’m such an idiot! I can’t believe I locked the keys in the car. What am I going to do now? How am I going to get home? I can’t even call my husband because my phone’s in the car and my purse!! I’m totally stuck. I have no idea what to do. I am hopeless!”
I’d like to say that this is a purely fictional situation: that I have never locked my keys, purse and phone in the car, and that, moreover, I would not address myself in such a negative way. But, unfortunately, I cannot.
Firstly, I have found myself in …
Margarita Tartakovsky, Psych Central: So many of us take one isolated event — a mistake, a painful situation — or the critical comments of our inner critic and let it color who we are. Completely. It’s as though we become this one thing. This one negative thing.
Maybe your inner critic regularly spews remarks about your weight and how you look disgusting and horrible in everything. So you become the person who looks disgusting and horrible all the time.
Maybe you made a big mistake or a bad decision, which you regret. So you become the person defined by that decision, that one mistake.
Maybe you’ve …
Shame is a very primal emotion, one that has a lot of traction in the mind.
As we grow up, from infants to adults, shame elaborates many nuances, like the branches and twigs growing from a single trunk.
Let’s consider four common sources of shame spectrum feelings.
First, consider a young child who is continually signaling her state of being and her needs. Maybe her caregivers respond routinely with attunement, empathy, and skillful responsiveness: this sends messages, associated with positive feelings, of existing for and mattering to her caregivers, of being inside the circle.
Or maybe her caregivers ignore her signals, or continually misinterpret them, or simply have a kind of dismissive tone – “I’ll … Read more »
Ann Lukits, Wall Street Journal: Self-critical people were significantly kinder and more compassionate toward themselves after practicing lovingkindness meditation compared with a control group, according to a pilot study in Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. The technique, rooted in Buddhism, may help to reduce symptoms of depression, the researchers suggest.
Lovingkindness is a form of meditation designed to cultivate feelings of warmth and kindness to all people, including oneself, the researchers said. Practicing the technique may activate a soothing-caring regulation system that is probably deficient in chronic self-critics, they suggest.
Self-critical perfectionism is implicated in a number of psychological conditions, such as eating disorders …
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!…
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
One of my favorite stories of the Buddha shows the power of a wakeful and friendly heart. The night before his enlightenment, the Buddha fought a great battle with the Demon God Mara, who attacked the then bodhisattva Siddhartha Guatama with everything he had: lust, greed, anger, doubt, etc. Having failed, … Read more »
Have you ever scolded a dog and seen him or her look guilty?
Obviously, animals do not have the elaborated textures of thoughts and feelings that humans do. But our emotions, even the subtlest ones, have their roots in our ancient evolutionary history. By understanding that history better, we do not reduce our feelings to animal instincts, but instead find illuminations from our past that paradoxically give us more choices in manifesting ourselves as fully human.
We can find two sources of shame spectrum emotions in our evolutionary history.
First, many animal species live in social groups with clear dominance hierarchies. Once those pecking orders are established, it can be lethal to challenge them. Consequently, … Read more »
Meditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Busy People (complete album) Reeta Wolfsohn, Social Justice Solutions: How do you find time for you when our lives are full of responsibilities towards others? How can you disconnect when, thanks to technology, our lives are always connected? If you’ve been looking for answers to these questions, we’ve got a few tips to share with you below.
Finding time for yourself isn’t a luxury – it is a necessity. If you do not take time to find healthy balance in your life and take care of yourself mentally, physically or spiritually, then you can …
Meditation MP3 – The Heart’s Wisdom: Development of Compassion Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, King David, the Buddha, everybody.
It’s important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse, and learn from them so they don’t happen again. But most people keep beating themselves up way past the point of usefulness: they’re unfairly self-critical.
Inside the mind are many sub-personalities. For example, one part of me might set the alarm clock for 6 am to get up and exercise . . . and then when it goes off, another part of me could grumble: “Who set the darn clock?” More broadly, there is a kind of inner critic and inner protector … Read more »
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 …