Meditation helps inmates reach ‘natural awareness’

September 3, 2011

Allan Turner (Houston Chronicle): Hung. Or gyen yul gyi nub jang tsam.

Barefooted, eyes closed in reverie, bodies folded into lotus position, the men in white chanted the ancient Seven Line Supplication to Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century.

As their voices swelled, their leader, Galveston artist Terry Conrad, swayed with the cadence. Pe ma gey sar dong pol la. Yam Tsen chog gi ngo drub nyey

This could have been a scene from a 1960’s love-in, with college-age acolytes – decked out in exotic garb – paying fervid homage to the wisdom of the East. But these men were not students, and…

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Study: Buddhist meditation promotes rational thinking

August 11, 2011

Michael Haederle: It’s no secret that humans are not entirely rational when it comes to weighing rewards. For example, we might be perfectly happy with how much money we’re making — until we find out how much more the guy in the next cubicle is being paid.

But a new study suggests that people who regularly practice Buddhist meditation actually process these common social situations differently — and the researchers have the brain scans to prove it.

Ulrich Kirk and collaborators at Baylor Medical College in Houston had 40 control subjects and 26 longtime meditators participate in a well-known experiment called the Ultimatum Game. It goes like this…

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Meditation “flash mob” convenes at Austin capitol building

March 1, 2011

The Statesman reports on a Meditation Flash Mob, that converged on the State Capital grounds in Austin to promote a message of peace and harmony.

People convened at the Capitol on Sunday afternoon for the first Austin flash mob meditation. They meditated all over the capitol grounds from noon to 1 p.m. using their meditation power to bring positive intentions to the state. Then they moved inside the Capitol and formed a circle in the rotunda and chanted OM for about 20 minutes.

This was the second such event in Austin, and the organizers said in a press release that they would be joined simultaneously by eight other cities around the nation including Los Angeles, … Read more »

Rothko Chapel issues a meditation challenge, with prizes on the line

January 16, 2011

Look in the mirror. You have changed, haven’t you? Look around. Do you recognize the world that you live in?

In an era where Facebook and Twitter have infiltrated our vernacular and in some ways taken over certain routine activities, it is no wonder that sometimes we reject the land of hyper-information in favor of a much simpler existence.

The way we communicate has changed. The way we relate to each other has changed. The intricacies of everyday life, from the banal to the unique, have the potential to consume our attention.

A brilliant friend explained that we live in a time ruled by the remote control. When our attention span gives up, we simply … Read more »

Not your everyday worship: the legend of the labyrinth

December 23, 2010

Contrary to popular belief, labyrinths are not used to get one lost and confused – rather, their purpose is to find answers and to meditate on religious issues. Two of the 109’s churches, St. Stephen Presbyterian Church and the University Christian Church, use labyrinths as methods of worship.

That fact is, according to Mark Scott of St. Stephen, the labyrinth is an extremely ancient form of meditation that has roots in paganism and is used as a form of worship in many historically aware churches. The design of labyrinths at St. Stephen and the University Church can both be traced back to the famous Notre Dame Chapel in Chartres, France.

Scott, St, Stephen’s minister of … Read more »

A Texas starting place on Buddhism’s path

August 3, 2009

Houston Chronicle: Teryl Pittman labored to settle cross-legged on a cushion on the floor. Slowly, she tucked one foot under the other and straightened her back, her eyes closed and hands joined in her lap, palms facing up.

Following the direction of a soft-spoken monk, Pittman and a handful of others swayed slightly before becoming still and settling into gentle and deep breathing.

But her discomfort grew, and 15 minutes later she moved to a bench. A little later, Diana Johns joined her.

The sight brought a smile to the Rev. Katapunna, who conducts Saturday sessions at the American Bodhi Center, which the Texas Buddhist Association opened in May near Hempstead in Waller County.

“It’s … Read more »