“The Kindness Cascade”

July 6, 2016

woman doing yoga

Meditation and mindfulness are frequently in the news, mainly because of the dramatic increase in research projects showing the many benefits these practices bring. In the graph below you’ll see that from around a dozen scientific journal articles on mindfulness being published in the entire decade of the 1980s, there are now several hundred papers being published each year, with the numbers increasing annually.

mindfulness journal publications

Although most of the focus in this research has been on mindfulness, there’s now an increasing emphasis on exploring the benefits lovingkindness (metta) meditation. Lovingkindness is really just the very familiar quality of “kindness.” Kindness is a recognition of ourselves and others as feeling beings — we all want to be … Read more »

Mindfulness meditation seems to soothe breast cancer survivors

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Download Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction (MP3) here!
HealthDay News, MedlinePlus: Mindfulness meditation seems to help breast cancer patients better manage symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and fear of recurrence, a new study suggests.

Previous research has found that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress and anxiety in the general population as well as in breast cancer survivors. But, there hadn’t been many large, clinical trials to test the value of the practice among breast cancer patients, said study author Cecile Lengacher, director of the predoctoral fellowship program at the University of South Florida, in Tampa.

In her study, those who took part in the six-week …

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People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain

June 29, 2016
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Click here for Mindfulness and the Brain: A Professional Training in the Science and Practice of Meditative Awareness, by Jack Kornfield and Daniel J. Siegel
Clare Wilson, New Scientist: People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain activity – or so a new take on a classic “free will” experiment suggests.

The results hint that the feeling of conscious control over our actions can vary – and provide more clues to understanding the complex nature of free will.

The famous experiment that challenged our notions of free will was first done in 1983 by neuroscientist Benjamin Libet. It involved measuring electrical activity in someone’s brain …

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How to grow from your regrets

June 24, 2016
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Self-compassion is a skill that can be learned: How To Stop Beating Yourself Up (MP3) by Bodhipaksa
Kira M. Newman, Greater Good Science Center: According to a new study, self-compassion may help us benefit from regret rather than wallowing in it.

Sometimes, regret is a deadweight that we carry through life, slowing us down and making our shoulders ache. But other times, it turns into a kind of fuel; it propels rather than hinders, motivates rather than distracts.
What’s the difference between these two outcomes? A new paper by researchers at UC Berkeley suggests that it might be self-compassion.

The researchers recruited 400 adults and …

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Eight common excuses not to meditate & how to overcome them

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Too busy to meditate? Try Guided Meditations for Busy People (MP3) by Bodhipaksa
Kristina Tipton, The Stir: The scientifically proven benefits of meditation are numerous and include everything from stress and anxiety reduction and improved memory function to increased feelings of well-being. If that means I can find my keys and cell phone easier, then sign me up. But while the benefits make meditation seem like a no-brainer, when it comes to actually practicing, it’s easy to turn to excuses.

Here are some of the most common excuses, and how you can overcome them to start reaping the benefits of meditation.

Excuse 1: Meditation is …

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How mindfulness reduces stress and improves health

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Available now: Guided Mindfulness Meditation (Series 1) from Jon Kabat-Zinn
Heather Goldstone, WCAI: In 1971, Jon Kabat-Zinn finished his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate, Salvador Luria, at M.I.T. Then, he took what might be considered a left turn – he went to study with Buddhist masters. Several years later, he drew on both his training in both biology and Buddhism when he founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at U. Mass. Medical School and created the first course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

“It seems like ‘wow, what a gigantic shift from molecular biology to Buddhist meditative practices,'” says Kabat-Zinn. “But it wasn’t so much …

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Power of positive thinking skews mindfulness studies

April 28, 2016
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Check this out: The Enlightened Brain: The Neuroscience of Awakening, by Rick Hanson (7 CDs)
Anna Nowogrodzki, Scientific American: There’s a little too much wishful thinking about mindfulness, and it is skewing how researchers report their studies of the technique.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, analyzed 124 published trials of mindfulness as a mental-health treatment, and found that scientists reported positive findings 60% more often than is statistically likely. The team also examined another 21 trials that were registered with databases such as ClinicalTrials.gov; of these, 62% were unpublished 30 months after they finished. The findings—reported in PLoS ONE on April 8— hint that negative results are going …

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How to be the world’s best soulmate

April 25, 2016
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How To Stop Beating Yourself Up, Guided Meditations for Self-Compassion (MP3) is available in our online store!
Nanci Besser, Fulfillment Daily: Everyone wants a soulmate. Yet what does it take to be a perfect partner to that soulmate? A research study shows us the secret to being a wonderful soulmate, and it’s something most of us have never heard of: self-compassion.

At this point in your existing or budding relationship you probably know the crucial basics about one another: Human? –Check; Approximate age/height? –Check, check; Occupation? –Check; Do you practice self-compassion in your life? -Uh, no…why on Earth would that matter? Well, I’m glad …

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Pain relief with mindfulness meditation

April 21, 2016
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Find You Are Not Your Pain by Vidyamala Burch (includes CD) here!
MD Magazine: Study findings published in the Journal of Neuroscience provide “novel evidence demonstrating that mindfulness meditation produces greater pain relief and employs distinct neural mechanisms than placebo cream and sham mindfulness meditation,” according to the authors.

Led by Fadel Zeidan, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the study team found that mindfulness meditation—unlike other cognitive-based approaches to reduce pain, such as hypnosis, acupuncture, distraction, and even the placebo effect—does not appear to utilize the endogenous opioid system to reduce pain.

“Our finding …

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How to practice mindfulness throughout your work day

April 13, 2016
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Check out Guided Meditations for Busy People (MP3)
Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, Greater Good Science Center: You probably know the feeling all too well: You arrive at the office with a clear plan for the day and then, in what feels like just a moment, you find yourself on your way back home. Nine or ten hours have passed but you’ve accomplished only a few of your priorities. And, most likely, you can’t even remember exactly what you did all day. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Research shows that people spend almost 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something …

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