Mar 16, 2013
This week one of my students described how she tends to talk to herself in a very harsh tone of voice — much harsher than she’d ever use with other people. And that’s a very common experience. In our own minds we often describe ourself as “an idiot,” tell ourselves that our actions were “stupid,” or limit ourselves by telling cruel stories about how people don’t like us and how we’ll never be good at the things we do.
We tend not to talk this way to others, or at least to a much lesser extent. Of course if we do there tends to be a backlash. We cause hurt, anger, …
Oct 27, 2012
I’d gone into therapy during my sophomore year in college, and remember the day I brought up my current prime-time fixation: how to stop binge eating. No matter how committed I felt to my newest diet plan, I kept blowing it each day, and mercilessly judged myself for being out of control. When I wasn’t obsessing on how I might concoct a stricter, more dramatic weight-loss program, I was getting caught up in food cravings.
My therapist listened quietly for a while, and then asked a question that has stayed with me ever since: “When you are obsessing about eating, what are you feeling in your body?” As my attention shifted, …
Mar 26, 2012
Can’t seem to find a comfortable way to sit in meditation? Here’s something really simple to try. It’s actually a mindfulness practice in itself. It’s a way to balance your natural ability to relax with the forces of gravity to find a well-aligned posture that’s effortless and free. I do this myself at the beginning of every sit, and find it really helpful.
For a visual cue, imagine your body as like a bunch of children’s wooden blocks, stacked one on top of another. It can rise up pretty high, as long as you place each block squarely on the one below. Gravity exerts a pull …
Rick Hanson PhD
Dec 13, 2011
As a kid, I was really out of touch with my body. I hardly noticed it most of the time, and when I did, I prodded it like a mule to do a better job of hauling “me” – the head – around.
This approach helped me soldier through some tough times. But there were costs. Many pleasures were numbed, or they flew over – actually, under – my head. I didn’t feel deeply engaged with life, like I was peering at the world through a hole in a fence. I pushed my body hard and didn’t take good care of it. When I spoke, I sounded out of touch …
Wildmind Meditation News
Nov 16, 2011
Maureen Salamon: “Am I pretty enough? Am I doing this right? Should I be going to yoga?”
These kinds of anxious, self-judgmental thoughts often run through some women’s minds as they have sex, experts say.
But a new study says “mindfulness meditation” training — which teaches how to bring one’s thoughts into the present moment — can quiet the mental chatter that prevents these women from fully feeling sexual stimuli.
“Rather than feeling it, they get caught up in their heads,” said the study’s lead author, Gina Silverstein, who was a student at Brown University in Rhode Island at the time of the study …
Apr 26, 2011
People often ask me why I get tattooed and why I have so many. I have 40 tattoos, including one that covers my entire back. I have also been branded and pierced in various locations on my body. I started out with a small tattoo paid for by my best friend as a 25th birthday present. He said, “I want to give you something that you can never get rid of!” I continued to get tattoos regularly, a couple times a year and at one point every six weeks. For many years, I was not conscious of any particular reason for being continually tattooed. I liked how they looked; I …
Wildmind Meditation News
Feb 24, 2011
The body is a dancer’s instrument, but is it attuned to the mind? A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that professional ballet and modern dancers are not as emotionally in sync with their bodies as are people who regularly practice meditation.
UC Berkeley researchers tracked how closely the emotions of seasoned meditators and professional dancers followed bodily changes such as breathing and heart rates.
They found that dancers who devote enormous time and effort to developing awareness of and precise control over their muscles – a theme coincidentally raised in the new ballet movie “Black Swan” – do not have a stronger mind-body connection than do most …
May 23, 2009
When Reginald Ray speaks of “touching enlightenment with the body”, he isn’t just saying that we can touch enlightenment with our bodies. What he really means is that there is no other way to do so. Sunada just finished her first pass through his 20-disc meditation CD series, Your Breathing Body, and gives it her ringing endorsement.
I first encountered Reginald Ray’s approach to meditation when I read his most recent book, Touching Enlightenment, and attended one of his retreats on the same subject. As a yoga practitioner and a kinesthetic learner, I immediately took to it like a fish to water. And so I decided to invest in his CD series, Your …
May 27, 2008
Jill Bolte Taylor was suddenly struck by an awareness of a deep connectedness with the world, a profound spiritual realization that her body blended with the world around her, that she was a being composed of energy, connected to other beings composed of energy. “The energy of my spirit seemed to flow like a great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria,” she later wrote.
And this all happened because of a stroke.
Taylor was well-placed to observe the changes taking place in her brain as a blood-vessel ruptured, because she was a neuroscientist working at Harvard’s brain research center. Her first thought upon realizing that she was having a stroke was “Cool! …
May 21, 2008
There are three main approaches that can help make meditation enjoyable and sustainable when meditating with pain.
1. Learning to deal with resistance
The first hurdle is actually getting down to meditation. Even after meditating for 20 years I almost always have to overcome resistance — and I’m not alone. This tendency is especially pronounced if you’re living with pain. When you meditate you turn towards your experience in an honest and open way, including your pain. That takes courage, but often I don’t feel so brave and when I contemplate meditating suddenly I find many other things that need doing instead. I’ll make that phone call, I’ll have another cup of tea, I’ll check my …