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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 …

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Mindfulness Reduces Inflammation

A new study finds a link between mindfulness meditation and the reduction of a key biomarker of inflammation in the body. This reduction was not found in people who merely rested the same amount of time. From the article: “We’ve now seen that mindfulness meditation training can reduce inflammatory biomarkers in several initial studies, and this new work sheds light …

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Mindfulness for Worry & Insomnia

by Daron Larson Learn how to take breaks from your story and get some rest Most of us feel certain that we think and worry more than most people. When our minds are busy in the middle of the night when we’d rather be sleeping, it’s easy to convince ourselves that some personal flaw is to blame. There have been many …

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Pain Relief with Mindfulness: The Safe Haven

by Michael W. Taft I remember throwing out my back one time, which caused terrible pain in one leg. I went to doctors, chiropractors, took medications, all of which helped. But still as I was walking around, it felt as if my leg was on fire, with hot lava swirling in the thigh and knee, burning my flesh. Searing pain …

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School-based Mindfulness May Reduce Stress, Trauma

By Andrew M. Seaman for Reuters Health Middle-school students in urban areas may benefit from in-school mindfulness programs, a new study suggests. Students taking a mindfulness-based stress reduction program during the school day ended up with less symptoms of stress and trauma than children attending classes on health topics, researchers found. “High-quality structured mindfulness programs have the potential to really …

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Willfully Altering Your Brain: An Interview with Michael W. Taft

 Michael W. Taft was recently interviewed about mindfulness meditation by the fabulous David McRaney on his podcast “You Are Not So Smart.” Click the white arrow in the red circle below to listen to the interview. Here is part of David’s intro to the interview: In a way, you can simply will yourself into a new physical form – that …