Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News: Researchers at UCLA report that the practice of mindfulness meditation stopped the decline of CD4 T cells in HIV-positive patients suffering from stress, slowing the progression of the disease. The study was just released in the online edition of the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. “This study provides the first indication that mindfulness meditation stress-management training can have a direct impact on slowing HIV disease progression,” said lead study author David Creswell, a research scientist at the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA. Read more here.
Collectively we’re spending longer and longer commuting: The average American takes around 30 minutes to get to work, and in large cities the drive can take much longer. In rural areas commuting can also eat up the miles and hours: I know two Buddhists in New England who each drive 1000 miles (1600km) per week.
It’s even worse in Europe; in my native UK the average commuting time is 45 minutes (although that’s more likely to be in some form of public transport).
Even without those extremes, commuting makes for a lot of time spent in cars, trains, buses, and even for some people airplanes. It’s not always pleasant time either; stop-go traffic is increasingly …
Seattle Times: The essence of Buddhist practice is realized through the art of giving. It doesn’t matter what we give, nor does it matter how we give. The attitude of offering freely with no thought of any return is the heart and soul of meditation and mindfulness. Read more here.
Emo Philips: “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”
Given that it’s the mind that makes up the stories with which we try to make sense of the world, perhaps it’s not surprising that the mind tells us the story that it is the most important part of ourselves.
We think of ourselves as distinguished from other animals by our thinking. When we think about what makes us uniquely us (as opposed to another individual human being) we often point to our memories — another brain function. And that’s all, in some sense, true. Our thinking faculties are well-developed compared to other animals. But often we seem to over-privilege our thinking, and even lose touch with other aspects of ourselves. People often confuse, for …
When life pulls the rug out from under us, we have a choice. We can either look backward at it as a disaster, or look forward through it as an opening toward something new. Sunada tells her own story of how she woke up in the midst of a personal crisis.
This week, I closed a major chapter of my life. I watched as my beloved Bösendorfer grand piano, which I had just sold, was wrapped up and carted off to its new home. This piano had once represented my dreams. It was no ordinary grand piano. It was a top of the line, artist’s instrument. Beautiful to the eyes as well as the ears. …
Antoine de Saint Exupéry: “No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected.”
“No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.”
— Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944).
Antoine de Saint Exupéry was a famous French aviator and writer who most notably wrote the children’s fable, The Little Prince and who died when his plane crashed in the Mediterranean while on an Allied surveillance mission over France. His writings are deeply philosophical, poetic, and charming.
Interestingly, this quotation from his memoir, Pilote de Guerre…
Without mindfulness we are only half alive. Author and teacher Vajragupta suggests keeping watch on four levels of awareness.
Spiritual life is about transformation: we need to know who we are in order to know what must be transformed. And we need to bear in mind our sense of purpose, our sense of who we want to become. At our least aware, we are bundles of habits, thrown hither and thither by whim, chance or circumstance. The spiritual life involves making creative, conscious, disciplined choices about the kind of person we wish to be. Mindfulness is indispensable to this process.
We can also say with certainty that it takes effort to cultivate mindfulness. There’s so …
Mounting credit card bills, snowy commutes, crowded stores — the holiday season can often bring tidings of stress and frustration. But a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto has found that mindfulness meditation helps people brush off unpleasant feelings and stay focused on the task at hand.
Professor Philip Zelazo in the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, along with Dr. Catherine Ortner from the University of Toronto and meditation instructor Sachne Kilner, found that people with more mindfulness meditation experience had shorter and less intense reactions to emotional images than those with less experience in the practice. Mindfulness meditation practitioners proved particularly unflappable when viewing unpleasant …
Hindu.com: We are on the road, driving with the mind wandering to our office, home or elsewhere, but rarely do we drive in complete awareness.
Chennai: A car stops right in the middle of the busy Nageswara Road in front of the CHILDS Trust Hospital. The driver opens the door for the passengers to get off and slowly moves on.
Even before the signal turns green, a Toyota Qualis driver is honking madly at a scooterist in front of him at the Independence Day park roundabout. He wants the scooterist to beat the signal and move on.
On the busy stretch toward Nelson Manickam Road subway, a driver is moving at his own pace, …