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Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 20, 2012

Physicians are healing themselves through meditation

Jay Reid, Montreal Gazette: It’s not easy to work with critically ill children and stressed-out parents. Doctors who work in pediatric-palliative care do it every day. Conversations with parents are often tense; frustrations can boil over – on both sides.

Pediatrician Stephen Liben knew he needed to figure out how to cope better with the stress. The director of pediatric-palliative care at the Montreal Children’s Hospital was finding himself angry or defensive in heated moments with parents.

A calm doctor is a better doctor. He knew he could do better as a physician.

So he decided – reluctantly – to try mindfulness meditation.

McGill University offers …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 17, 2012

Ohio congressman on a mission to bring meditation to the masses

Daniel Burke: By age 35, Congressman Tim Ryan had been one of Ohio’s youngest state senators, served two terms in the U.S. Congress and hobnobbed with presidents and prime ministers.

But a different story, full of unmet ambitions and caustic self-criticism, coursed through Ryan’s mind, carrying him away from even the most important moments.

“I was so caught up in my story that I missed my life,” the Ohio Democrat writes in his new book, “A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit.”

Practicing mindfulness meditation, Ryan says, has quieted the nattering internal …

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Saddharaja

Apr 06, 2012

“Work, Sex, Money: Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness” by Chogyam Trungpa

As a long-standing Western Buddhist, my curiosity was piqued by this book. Work, sex and money are crucial issues to all of us, so I was interested to hear what Trungpa said.

Chogyam Trungpa was a major figure in the establishment of Buddhism in the West – particularly in North America. He was the founder of Vajradhatu and the Naropa Institute, two major achievements in themselves. But he did more than this.

Born in Tibet in 1940, and recognised as an infant as a major Kagyu tulku, he intensively trained in monasteries with Jamgon Kongtrul and other eminent teachers, later receiving full ordination. After dramatically escaping Tibet in 1959, he eventually arrived …

Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 28, 2012

Meditation improves emotional behaviors in teachers, study finds

Schoolteachers who underwent a short but intensive program of meditation were less depressed, anxious or stressed – and more compassionate and aware of others’ feelings, according to a UCSF-led study that blended ancient meditation practices with the most current scientific methods for regulating emotions.

A core feature of many religions, meditation is practiced by tens of millions around the world as part of their spiritual beliefs as well as to alleviate psychological problems, improve self-awareness and to clear the mind. Previous research has linked meditation to positive changes in blood pressure, metabolism and pain, but less is known about the specific emotional changes that result from the practice.

The new study was designed to create new techniques to reduce destructive emotions while …

Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 20, 2012

The Zen at the heart of Steve Jobs’ genius

Frederick E. Allen, Forbes: Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Steve Jobs, has a terrific 6,000-word article out at hbr.org today, and in the forthcoming issue of Harvard Business Review, titled The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs.

He discusses the many qualities that set Steve Jobs apart from all other innovators ever, but what most struck me reading the piece is the repeated mention of Jobs’ involvement with Zen Buddhism.

After a while, I found myself reading that part of Jobs’ experience and personality into sections of the article where Isaacson didn’t bring it up.

The first element of Jobs’ leadership that Isaacson discusses …

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Bodhipaksa

Feb 09, 2012

How we use effort to get to a state of effortless meditation

From time to time I’ll hear people saying that meditation shouldn’t involve effort. For example, Krishnamurti said, “All effort to meditate is the denial of meditation.” And I just stumbled upon a website that decried the “arrogance” and “ignorance” of those who say that meditation involves effort, because “Effort is the antithesis of meditation.”

It’s clear, though, when you look at the Buddha’s teachings, that he encouraged us to make effort in meditation, and in our lives generally. His last words, in fact, were “With diligence, strive on.”

And in my own meditation I find I have to make effort all the time. I have …

Sunada Takagi

Jan 30, 2012

How “letting go” helps us get things done

Joe, a student in my online class, was worried that meditation would hurt his career. He works in a very competitive business where everyone is single-mindedly pushing and driving hard all the time. The whole idea of “letting go” seemed absurd in that context. But at the same time his stress and anxiety levels were sky high. He knew this wasn’t a sustainable way to live.

Yes it’s true that in meditation, we’re told to drop everything and let go. But that doesn’t mean becoming passive and ineffectual. There’s more to this instruction than meets the eye.

There’s an image that comes to mind for me to …

Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 30, 2011

The real Buddha Bar, tended by Tokyo monks

Another Friday night at this tiny neighborhood watering hole in Tokyo: By 7:30, the bar stools and tables in this cozy joint are filling up; office workers settle in with their cocktails and Kirin beers. And by a little after 8, it’s time for the main act.

Vow’s Bar in the Yotsuya neighborhood has no house band, no widescreen TV, no jukebox. But it does have a chanting Buddhist monk so tipplers can get a side of sutras with their Singapore Slings or something even more exotic.

A pair of younger monks — conspicuous with their shaved heads, bare feet and religious garb — man …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Nov 18, 2011

Ex-banker turned Hindu monk urges Wall St to meditate

Tom Heneghan: Rasanath Das, an ex-investment banker turned Hindu monk, was spending recent Sunday afternoons leading Occupy Wall Street protesters in meditation until police cleared their camp at New York’s Zuccotti Park this week.

The 32-year-old monk isn’t sure now where his next session will be. He’ll keep following the protesters to lead meditation, though, convinced they will only roll back the inequality around them if they find equanimity deep inside.

“Anger won’t solve anything,” he told Reuters. “We have to work from the heart … there is so much distrust now.”

Das has been a discreet presence at the protests, leading short sessions …

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Bodhipaksa

Oct 05, 2011

Steve Jobs on death

I’m sad that Steve Jobs has died. No one has had as much effect on the computer industry as he has. His company, Apple, has transformed the way we relate to computers.

I only recently learned that Jobs was a Buddhist. According to his Wikipedia biography, he went to India in the 1970s and came back a Buddhist. In 1991 his wedding ceremony was performed by a Zen priest. He was a very private man, and I don’t think he talked much about his religion.

I thought a fitting tribute would be Jobs own words, from his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, in which he eloquently discusses how an awareness of …