War and Peace

Veterans learn to use yoga and meditation exercises to reconnect with their emotions in a UW-Madison study By Jeanne Kolker from madison.com Rich Low of Madison served as an infantry officer in the Army in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, leading some 280 combat missions. When he came back from the service, he didn’t think his experience affected him in any …

View Post

Losing Control

by Jessica Graham mindfulness meditation we observe and explore our experience without trying to control, manipulate, or change it. One the first big insights for many of us is how much we try to control every aspect of our life. Everything from our relationships (and the people we have them with), to our bodily functions, to our meditation practice. There …

How Meditating May Help Your Brain

By Elizabeth Landau Reposted from CNN.com When you’re under pressure from work and family and the emails don’t stop coming, it’s hard to stop your mind from jumping all over the place. But scientists are finding that it may be worth it to train your brain to focus on something as simple as your breath, which is part of mindfulness …

View Post

Worth a Thousand Words

After a few years of meditating, my friends started telling me that I looked different. They said I looked younger, that I had a glow, someone even called me effervescent. Some people couldn’t put their finger on it and said “you just look…different”. Before I was a regular meditator, I carried a lot of tension in my face and my …

View Post

Meditation = Better Sex

Ideally sex brings people closer together. It’s a way to connect and be completely present with each other. It also has the potential to make you feel really, really good. I’ve always been a fairly sexual person, but I had no idea how amazing sex could be until I started bringing my meditation practice to bed. Before that my carnal …

Pleasure Gets a Bad Rap

or Pleasure the Overlooked Vehicle By Stephanie Nash Most people are motivated to check out meditation or delve into a regular practice by wanting to work skillfully with (or get some relief from) some unpleasant experience – like physical pain, negative emotions, spinning mind, lack of concentration, or unhealthy behaviors. Rarely does someone come to one of my classes because …

Concentration: Light as a Feather

by Michael W. Taft I was in Paris recently, and visited the Rodin museum. I’ve always loved his work, and some of the best pieces are at this gorgeous 18th century hotel-cum-museum. In the garden outside sat the French sculptor’s most well known piece, the Thinker, atop a tall granite plinth. As I gazed at this masterpiece, I noticed that …

Meditate and Be Healthy

Meditation improves the immune system, research shows The practice – an essential part of Buddhist and Indian Yoga traditions – has entered the mainstream as people try to find ways to combat stress and improve their quality of life. Now new research suggests that mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure …

Mindful Students

I dropped out of high school and never attended college. I only went to public school for 3 months. I’ve made do for the most part, cobbling together an education in the areas that are important to me. A few years ago I decided to take a class at a community college. During my short stint at public school, I  …

Dying with Dad, Part 3

By Jessica Graham It was my dad’s birthday recently. He would have been 54 years old. Most people think that he died pretty young, but it’s amazing he lived that long, given his lifestyle. I could have easily died much earlier too. My Dad and I were very similar. I remember my aunt calling me when I was about 15, …

The Multitasking Quagmire

I enjoy thinking of myself as a present and mindful person. This week, however, I fell into a what Rita Schiano called a multitasking “quagmire,” and I have the dented bumper to prove it. Thursday was a busy day. Lots of texting, voice-texting, emailing, facebooking, acting class, and work. After squeezing in lunch at a popular spot, full of celebrities …

Dying and Dinner Parties

by Michael W. Taft In the long run, meditation is about creating a better life for yourself and for everyone else. Mindfulness has been used for twenty-five centuries because practicing it reliably leads to a deeper, richer, less anxious or depressed experience of being alive. Paradoxically, meditation does this because it is embedded in a clear understanding of the reality …

Slump Killers

by Jessica Graham Experiencing a slump in your practice? We all experience occasional downturns in the urge to practice, as I know from personal experience. This year has had a lot of slumps. For me a slump consists of a strong resistance to sitting my butt down and putting in the time on the cushion. This comes in the form …