California

Professors win grant to study meditation effects

Three faculty members from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California — Fran Grace, professor of Religion, Lisa Olson, associate professor of Biology, and Celine Ko, assistant professor of Psychology — have received a grant of $5,000 to fund research on the “Impact of Meditation Curriculum on Physiological and Psychosocial Stress, Well-Being, and Correlates of Academic Success.”

The grant will allow faculty members to explore the relationship between meditation, and the physical and psychological side effects of stress.

The grant was awarded by The Trust for the Meditation Process.

The research project will focus on studying previous observations from Professor Fran Grace’s meditation-based Seminar on Compassion in the Religious Studies department. The research demonstrated that students who participate in meditation show signs of improved academic achievement, are more resilient to stress and achieve an increased sense of well-being. Research will be conducted on two groups of students, a portion of those who are enrolled in the spring section of Fran Grace’s Compassion course and a control group of a select amount of students.

The group of professors we will be measuring traditional clinical outcomes such as student anxiety, depression, perceived stress, and affective states; physiological responses to stress such as nervous system activity, stress hormone, and cardiac and respiratory parameters; and psychological measures of well-being, personal growth, compassion, mindful attention and awareness, dispositional optimism, subjective happiness and other potential correlates to academic success. The study is intended to collect pilot data for a larger longitudinal study.

Read More

Meditation teacher’s practice thrives in Mountain View, California

Daniel DeBolt: Meditation teacher Shaila Catherine once added it all up. It turned out that she’s spent more than eight of her 50 years in meditative silence.

“I love meditating,” she says, calling a limitless source of bliss — if you can stop your busy life long enough to do it.

What could have been a passing interest at age 17 has turned into a thriving practice called Insight Meditation South Bay. Teaching what she calls Vippassana Insight meditation, the non-profit has grown to have more than 1,400 students, and sometimes over 50 at each session. Events, classes and even a monthly day-long meditation are held in several …

Read the original article »

Read More

Long Beach residents to host meditation flash mob tonight

On June 20th, celebrate the official beginning of summer by joining Long Beach residents for the 10th Meditation Flash Mob in Long Beach, occurring simultaneously with over 300 cities around the world through the MedMob network.

A “flash mob” is a large group of people meeting in a crowded public place for the purpose of engaging in a coordinated, unexpected, inspiring activity. The MedMob conducts network meditation flash mobs to increase awareness of the benefits of meditation, and to make it more commonplace in public spaces!

This MedMob will occur from 5:30-6:30pm on Weds. June 20th at the Local Harvest Farmer’s Market at Marine Stadium, at the small park facing the water behind the farmer’s market (parking around Appian and Nieto).

MedMobs typically start with a zen-style silent seated meditation that lasts about 45 minutes, and end with a sound bath, though chanting, instruments, singing bowls, all instruments welcome.

Come for a few minutes and feel the good vibes, or stay for the whole session.

All ages and experience levels are welcome.

For more information, please visit the MedMob website.

Read More

San Diego County group continues fight against meditation center

The Bonsall Community Sponsor Group has filed an appeal to the county Planning Commission’s April decision to allow a Buddhist monastery in Bonsall to expand into a meditation center.

County spokesman Gig Conaughton said the appeal could be heard by the Board of Supervisors sometime this summer.

The Bonsall Community Sponsor Group opposed the expansion of the Dai Dang Monastery when the project went before the local board, and group members argued that it would be inappropriate for the area at last month’s Planning Commission meeting.

Opponents also included neighbors, a local farmer and the Farm Bureau.

The monastery is at 6326 Camino del …

Read the original article »

Read More

UCLA research scientist to explain benefits of meditation in Saratoga

Saturday, Apr 7 10:30 am to 12:00 noon, at West Valley College, Saratoga, CA.

Price: $12

Phone: (408) 702-2319

Join UCLA behavioral research scientist, Dara Ghahremani & National Director of the Art of Meditation, Rajshree Patel as they explore how we can tune back into ourselves despite the daily demands in a stressful environment.

Rajshree Patel, known for her intellect, humor and dynamism, will share insights on how to handle mental chatter through meditation. As a former Los Angeles district attorney she accidentally walked into a meditation workshop. After she started her meditation practice, she discovered that she could handle twice the number of cases as compared to her peers in lesser amount of time and was much more productive. Dara Ghahremani with his crispness and intelligence is sure to feed your intellectual curiosity about the science of the brain and meditation. As a leading researcher at UCLA Center for Addictive Behavior his tidbits about research on meditation tools is sure to coax anyone to explore the depth of ones’ own mind.

The experience of the deep silence, during a live meditation, in a large audience, is sure to amaze you. Take a step towards taking charge of your own wellness, on World health day 2012, with the incredible guided meditation session to be led by Rajshree Patel.

[via Mercury News]
Read More

San Diego Planning Commission to hear proposal for Buddhist monastery expansion

Gary Warth, North Country Times: The San Diego County Planning Commission is scheduled on Friday to hear a proposal to add a meditation center to a Buddhist monastery in Bonsall, and a community group plans on fighting the project with a petition signed by about 400 people.

The Vietnamese Buddhist Meditation Congregation has proposed the expansion of the Dai Dang Monastery off of Camino del Rey, and neighbors have said they fear that the quiet monastery where 10 monks live will become a noisy destination when hundreds of people begin visiting for ceremonies.

The Bonsall Community Sponsor Group, an advisory board to the San Diego …

Read the original article »

Read More

Meditating behind bars: How yoga in prisons could cut overcrowding

wildmind meditation news

Rachel Signer, Christian Science Monitor: Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that state of California prisons were so bad as to be inhumane, violating the 8th amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment.

The reason? Overcrowding. California must to reduce its prison population by 30,000 prisoners, according to the ruling.

Overcrowding is a perennial issue in US prisons in no small part because the recidivism rate is remarkably high. In 1994 the largest study of prisoner recidivism ever done in the United States showed that, of nearly 300,000 adult prisoners who were released in 15 different states, 67.5 percent were re-arrested within three years.

James Fox, who founded the nonprofit Prison Yoga Project, has been working with incarcerated youth and adults for more than 10 years and has some ideas on what keeps the recidivism rate above 50 percent. In his opinion, the prison system overly emphasizes retributive justice – that punishment alone is a sufficient response to a crime. Fox is an advocate for restorative justice, an approach that focuses on criminals as individuals with needs and seeks to find ways to empower them to meet those needs, and thinks an emphasis on restorative justice could lower the recidivism rate.

Fox teaches yoga to male prisoners as a form of restorative justice. Criminals, and especially repeat offenders, he told Dowser, are suffering from unresolved trauma from their early years, and stunted …

Read the original article »

Bodhipaksa

Wildmind is a Community-Supported Meditation Initiative. Click here to find out about the many benefits of being a sponsor.

Read More

Transcending a different type of PTSD — helping children of the night

Dr. Norman Rosenthal: Lately there has been a storm of publicity – and deservedly so – about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The public has become better educated about this potentially disabling disorder and its symptoms, such as hypervigilance, an exaggerated tendency to startle, flashbacks, nightmares and emotional numbness, to name just a few.
Mental health professionals have emphasized the need to diagnose and treat PTSD wherever it arises. In this piece, I would like to draw attention to yet another group suffering from PTSD – child victims of prostitution who, against all odds, are trying…

Click to read more »

Read More

With a rebel “om”

Hannah Guzik: Those who stumble into ZanZilla yoga studio Tuesday night might think a punk rock concert’s about to start. But instead of head-banging to music, the tattooed will sit and quietly meditate.

They’re dharma punx, and they’re making meditation hip for Generation X.

“Unlike most Buddhist groups, where you’re likely to see gray hair and some kind of Indian costume, at these meditations you’re much more likely to see tattoos, piercings, shaved heads and dyed hair,” said Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx: A Memoir. “It’s definitely a modern American youth movement.”

Levine, who started the movement when his…

Read the rest of this article…

Read More

Meditation prescribed more often as alternative to conventional medicine.

Lara Salahi and Catherine Cole: When Danilo Ramirez, 44, was diagnosed with stage 2 lymphoma, his doctor told him chemotherapy and radiation would offer him his best shot to survive. But the thought of medical treatments with harsh side effects overwhelmed Ramirez.

“Mentally [chemotherapy] was really hard on me,” said Ramirez. “There were nights that I couldn’t sleep at all, knowing that I had to face that.”

Ramirez was too claustrophobic to endure radiation treatments, which required wearing a large protective mask.

“He almost was willing to refuse treatment for a potentially curable cancer,” said Ramirez’s doctor, Dr. Rex Hoffman, who is also the medical director of radiation oncology at Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center in Burbank, Calif.

“Without treatment, he would die,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman tried to calm his anxiety by talking him through his initial radiation therapy. But Ramirez’s anxiety only seemed to get worse. Sedatives did not make much difference.

“I just had a panic attack and I couldn’t deal with the whole thing and I was just crying,” said Ramirez.

So Hoffman recommended that Ramirez attend meditation sessions to control his fears.

And Hoffman’s not the only physician prescribing meditation to his patients. More than 6 million Americans are advised meditation and other mind-body therapies by conventional health care providers, according to a report released Monday by Harvard Medical School. And for sicker patients, these alternatives therapies seem to provide both emotional and physical relief for many types of medical ailments, Read the rest of this article…

according to the findings, which were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. These practices include meditation, yoga, acupuncture and other types of mind-body-practices. And now, many are receiving the support of conventional doctors who have seen apparent benefits in some of their patients.

Some studies suggest meditation can help lower blood pressure and even improve immune function.

“There are a lot of great benefits for people that are starting to meditate and we find that that’s cumulative,” said Harden. “So the more you meditate, the more the benefits last.”

Meditation has more recently been tried to treat eating disorders, alcoholism, psoriasis, and even impotence. More than two dozen medical centers across the country, including specialized cancer centers, have attached complementary medicine centers, or provide meditation or other mind-body classes.

However, many of these uses of meditation are experimental, and the results vary by each patient. Many experts say meditation is more likely to treat medical conditions successfully when it is used in conjunction with conventional therapies.

“I think it’s really an onus both not only on the patient but also on the physicians as well, and the people involved in the person’s healthcare to provide them with different options they can benefit from,” said Hoffman.

In fact, Hoffman said he’s seen a huge difference in Ramirez’s confidence and ability to handle his medical care. Within a few weeks since the start of his meditation sessions, Ramirez breezed through his round of radiation treatment without sedation.

“I was able to stay right there for 20 minutes without medication and just relaxing, working on my mind,” said Ramirez. “You’ve got to make your mind control your body.”

Read More
Menu

Wildmind is a Community-Supported Meditation Initiative. Explore the benefits of becoming a supporter.

X