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Will Awakening Ruin My Art?

by Jessica Graham Awakening will destroy your life. Whatever you think is yours to claim, will fall away. The self that has been driving you to do better, push harder, and succeed more grandly than the last time, will burn away to a sprinkling of ashes. But from that smokey rubble will arise a new understanding of success. A success …

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Follow the Threads — Mindful Awakening

by Michael W. Taft Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam When I started meditating in my teens, I believed in Enlightenment. I was going to get to the Big E, which involved having certain mind-blowing experiences. You’d see the Light, or God would open her kimono, or whatever, and after that you’d glow in the dark. I was super …

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The Universe Is NOT One

Actually, it might be, but who knows? by Michael W. Taft If you’ve ever practiced in a nondual tradition, you’ve heard the phrase, “The Universe is ONE,” probably a few million times. It’s a staple of how nonduality is communicated, “we’re all connected,” “there is no separation,” “it’s all one big consciousness.” In the traditional versions of these teachings, they …

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Mindfulness of Emotions Download

I’m excited to let you know that I’ve put together a special excerpt from my bestselling book The Mindful Geek. I think  it will really help you when it comes to coping with difficult emotions. It talks about the evolutionary background of emotions, where they come from, and what they’re for, and how to deal with them. Most importantly, I …

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‘Mindfulness’ May Keep Depression from Coming Back

By Sara G. Miller for Live Science A type of “mindfulness” therapy that helps people become more aware of their emotions may help prevent a relapse of depression, a new meta-analysis finds. People in the study who received this type of therapy, called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), were 31 percent less likely to experience a relapse of depression beyond the first …

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Mindful Awakening: The Cost Is Just Everything

by Jessica Graham There are certain defining moments throughout spiritual development. When you first recognize that you are not your thoughts. When you experience physical or emotional pain break up into flowing sensations that are no longer “bad,” therefore revolutionizing your relationship with pain. When you fully grasp the truth that suffering is optional. When you come to know oneness—not …

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Power of Positive Thinking Skews Mindfulness Studies

By Anna Nowogrodzki for 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 …

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Nonduality and Mindfulness — Two Great Traditions that Go Great Together

by Michael W. Taft In the context of American spiritual practice nondual traditions and mindfulness traditions appear to be in sharp contrast. Nonduality is often associated with the “doing nothing” schools of meditation, and mindfulness meditation is often very effortful. Mindfulness meditation masters commonly refuse to even discuss enlightenment, whereas nondual teachers never stop talking about how we’re already enlightened. …

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Could Meditation Really Help Slow The Aging Process?

By James Kingsland for The Guardian It may seem unlikely, but a small and growing body of evidence suggests that regular meditation can indeed slow aging, at least at a cellular level. Do people who meditate age more slowly? It seems unlikely on the face of it. How could sitting immobile with one’s eyes closed, perhaps focusing on the breath, …

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Mindful Sex: Eyes Wide Open

by Jessica Graham Before mindful sex I was one of the many who have no interest (aka intense dread) in looking into my partner’s eyes while we had sex. The last thing I wanted to do was connect in such a intimate and vulnerable way with my partners. But meditation has a way of rearranging who we are and how …

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Wake Up and Enjoy Your Life with Mindfulness

by Michael W. Taft Sometimes I feel like I’m sleepwalking through life. There’s this sense of everything being distant, unfocused, numb. I’m working, eating, talking, sleeping, but I’m just going through the motions. Coffee takes me up, carbs take me down, but the whole experience is dull, boring, repetitive, predictable. Eventually it all feels like a chore and a burden. …

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Overcoming Cravings With Mindfulness

by Jessica Graham (Watch this video for a very truncated version of the practice described here. And then come back and read the article.) I love popcorn. I have a special pot I use to cook up huge amounts of it, and a special bowl I like to eat it out of. I cook it in coconut oil and then …

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How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body

By Gretchen Reynolds for The NY Times Blog The benefits of mindfulness meditation, increasingly popular in recent years, are supposed to be many: reduced stress and risk for various diseases, improved well-being, a rewired brain. But the experimental bases to support these claims have been few. Supporters of the practice have relied on very small samples of unrepresentative subjects, like …