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Freshness

by Michael W. Taft   I remember how painful boredom used to feel as a teenager. It was crushing. New television shows, movies, and music just felt like rehashes of old ones. New people reminded me of people who I already knew. Life felt like an endless rerun of the same stale old patterns, and nothing was interesting or new. …

Mindfulness Helps Breast Cancer Recovery

Story Source COLUMBIA, Mo. –Women recently diagnosed with breast cancer have higher survival rates than those diagnosed in previous decades, according to the American Cancer Society. However, survivors continue to face health challenges after their treatments end. Previous research reports as many as 50 percent of breast cancer survivors are depressed. Now, University of Missouri researchers in the Sinclair School of …

Meditation and Pain Reduction Link Found

Meditating over the years, I have experienced the pain reduction effects of meditation personally. This applies to the discomfort of illness, the soreness or sharp pains of injury, or  even extremely chronic pain. Shinzen Young’s techniques, in particular, have been designed with pain reduction specifically in mind. But no matter how many experiences and stories of pain relief we as …

Nondualism: The History of an Idea

In November, I spoke about the history of non-dualism at the Science and Non-duality Conference, in San Rafael. I decided to give this talk because although a lot of people talk about nondualism, Advaita, and related concepts, I find that very rarely are they aware of the historical background and development of nondualism as a concept. This video moves through …

Eating Mindfully

When I quit drinking,  I acquired a sweet tooth. For the first time in my life I started eating until I was painfully full. I very unconsciously tore though whole pizzas and third helpings of ice cream. Clearly I was coping with the loss of alcohol by overeating, and for a while that was okay. It was better than a …

Your Brain on Bliss

Sex in the brain, and what it reveals about the neuroscience of deep pleasure By Nadia Web on Scientific American In studies that observe the brain in action, the right hemisphere seems to be the sexy hemisphere. It lights up during orgasm—so much so that, in one study, much of the cortex went dark, leaving the right prefrontal cortex as …

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …