Anil Ananthaswamy, New Scientist: Meditation increases our ability to tap into the hidden recesses of our brain that are usually outside the reach of our conscious awareness.
That’s according to Madelijn Strick of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and colleagues, who tested whether meditation has an effect on our ability to pick up subliminal messages.
The brain registers subliminal messages, but we are often unable to recall them consciously. To investigate, the team recruited 34 experienced practitioners of Zen meditation and randomly assigned them to either a meditation group or a control group. The meditation group was asked to meditate for 20 minutes in a …
Vishvapani Blomfield, the Guardian: Meditation makes you calmer and clearer and encourages empathy and kindness … right? Not if you are Anders Behring Breivik who has told psychiatrists that he used meditation to “numb the full spectrum of human emotion – happiness to sorrow, despair, hopelessness, and fear”. He still practises it behind bars to deaden the impact of his actions.
Breivik uses meditation as a form of mind control – a way to focus the mind and exclude responses that get in his way. You could argue that he is meditating wrongly, but I think his testimony shows that the effect of …
The New York Times reports not only that Brooklyn high-schoolers are attending weekly meditation sessions meant to help them handle the challenges of growing up in the city, but that Zen meditation is being offered as an alternative to traditional detentions.
The meditation sessions are taking place in the Brooklyn Zen Center, where Zen priest Greg Snyder is involved in the center’s Awake Youth Project, which includes weekly workshops in five public high schools as well as teenager-led sessions at the center.
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Now, Mr. Snyder is taking on the tougher task of teaching meditation to Level 1 offenders— students who are frequently put in detention or suspended because they start fights or cause trouble —
So I was walking to the office the other day, when something rather lovely happened.
Before I say what that was, I have to explain that walking to the office is a new thing for me — or the rediscovery of an old thing. Now before I entered a spell of working from home, I often used to make my morning “walking commute” into a walking meditation. Then, for several years, I did almost all of my work out of the house, and my daily walking meditation died away. But a couple of months ago I rented an office in town, only a 15 minute walk away, and I’m getting back into the habit of … Read more »
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 …
Jeff Godinier, NY Times: Try this: place a forkful of food in your mouth. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but make it something you love — let’s say it’s that first nibble from three hot, fragrant, perfectly cooked ravioli.
Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was very good and another immediately beckons. You’re hungry.
Today’s experiment in eating, however, involves becoming aware of that reflexive urge to plow through your meal like Cookie Monster on a shortbread bender. Resist it. Leave the fork on …
On the occasion of Martin Luther King Day, it’s worth reading the letter he wrote to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, nominating the Buddhist monk-activist, Thich Hnat Hanh:
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1967 25, January
The Nobel Institute
As the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 1964, I now have the pleasure of proposing to you the name of Thich Nhat Hanh for that award in 1967. I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam.
This would be a notably auspicious year for you to bestow your Prize on the Venerable Nhat Hanh. Here is an apostle of peace and non-violence, cruelly
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 …
Daniel Burke: He considered moving to a Zen monastery before shifting his sights to Silicon Valley, where he became a brash businessman.
He preached about the dangers of desire but urged consumers to covet every new iPhone incarnation.
“He was an enlightened being who was cruel,” says a former girlfriend. “That’s a strange combination.”
Now, we can add another irony to the legacy of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs: Since his death on Oct. 5, the famously private man’s spiritual side has become an open book.
A relative recounted his last words for The New York Times. A new biography traces his early quest for enlightenment …
Ben Harris: Practicing Buddhism is more of a lifestyle than a religion for Don Socha and Brigitte Bechtold.
Socha, a lecturer at Central Michigan University, has been formally practicing Buddhism since 2000. He said he met a monk who taught in CMU’s Spanish department who introduced him to groups in Montreal where he went for meditation sessions.
He was ordained Bodhisattva in 2002. He said a Bodhisattva is someone who has devoted his or her life to the Buddhist precepts, such as not stealing and not lying.
“In a sense, we’re trying to alleviate suffering in the world. It’s one of the Four Noble Truths,” he …