Meditation Builds the Brain

Two years ago, researchers at UCLA found that specific regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger and had more gray matter than the brains of individuals in a control group. This suggested that meditation may indeed be good for all of us since, alas, our brains shrink naturally with age. Now, a follow-up study suggests that people who …

Teaching The Neurons To Meditate

In the late 1990s, Jane Anderson was working as a landscape architect. That meant she didn’t work much in the winter, and she struggled with seasonal affective disorder in the dreary Minnesota winter months. She decided to try meditation and noticed a change within a month. “My experience was a sense of calmness, of better ability to regulate my emotions,” …

Concentration with Shinzen, Part I

We’ve been discussing concentration lately on the blog. Here, meditation teacher Shinzen Young shares his views on concentration. Fascinating and helpful. Part one of a three part series.  

Meditation Bench DIY — How To

Want a nice meditation bench but don’t want to shell out the cash? No problem. You can build one yourself with this meditation bench DIY. Meditation benches are a tradition in Japanese Buddhism. The are called seiza benches, because they help you to sit in the traditional way, kneeling on the floor with your knees in front, which is called …

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Downtime for the Stone Age Brain

by Michael W. Taft Recently, I found a meditation retreat center in rural Massachusetts. Its super-affordable price included a room of my own, and delicious, organic hippy food. As I was moving to a new city anyway, I let go of my apartment, put my stuff in storage, and went off to the center for three months. Ninety two days …

New Book: Ego

Hey, a book co-written by Peter Baumann and myself, Ego: the Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity is available for pre-order on Amazon. It’s about the evolutionary background of the human condition, especially the ego. Why we feel the way we do, and do the things we do. And what may be the future …

Things Are Happening

Just upgraded to new servers. It was mostly painless, but there were a couple of rough spots. Please let me know if you experience any problems with functionality on the site. The good news is that the new servers means that I can start fishing around for new layouts for this site. I’ll keep you updated.

Mindfulness training reduces bother, not intensity, of menopause symptoms

By Ellin HolohanHealthDay Reporter FRIDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) — An easy-to-learn meditation technique can help ease the hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia of menopause, a new study says. The University of Massachusetts research showed that mindfulness training, based on a Buddhist meditation concept, reduced the distress associated with hot flashes and improved physical, psychosocial and sexual functioning. “The …

Meditation Increases Brain Size

Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and …

I’m Glad I Took the Red Pill

by Jessica Graham Pressure above the eyes and in the middle of my chest. An almost tickle in the center of my stomach. Squeezing around the shoulders. Acidic tastes rising from my throat and a choppy fuzzy undercurrent of mental talk. Some of the talk makes it to the surface: “I’m a Fake”, “I’m Undisciplined”, “I can’t do this.” This …

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Concentration: Why Bother?

by Michael W. Taft In the last three articles, I wrote about concentration as an iterative process, the activity of listening, and the skill of breaking things down into smaller, manageable pieces. In other articles we also looked at how multitasking is multi-failing, and ways to reduce distraction. At this point you probably get the idea, but you may still …

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6 Ways to Be Mindful Right Now

by Michael W. Taft You may think that you are too busy to practice meditation. But there is nobody who doesn’t have a spare minute here or there to be mindful. Even in the midst of a crazy workday, focusing on sensory events now and then is a powerful way to banish stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and depression. Here are six …