View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 right now. 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 …

Concentration: The Hammer

by Michael W. Taft “Never eat anything bigger than your head.” — B. Kliban A good friend of mine recently returned to school. As an adult learner, he set a goal for himself to do the best job possible, to ace every class he could. As someone with slight learning disabilities, however, school posed special challenges. There was a lot …

Meditation Improves the Well-Being of Cancer Survivors

by Pam Harrison May 24, 2011 (Washington, DC) — Group sessions during which cancer survivors are taught meditation, mindful yoga, and communication techniques significantly improve psychological symptoms and quality of life (QoL), especially among breast cancer survivors. Ruth Lerman, MD, from William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and her colleagues conducted a study in which female cancer survivors were …

Meditation Helps Brain Block Distractions

Meditation can help relieve pain and improve memory by regulating a brain wave known as the alpha rhythm, which ‘turns down the volume’ on distractions. Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall. The discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to …

Meditation: Wednesday Awakening

We name Wednesday after Wodin or Odin, the norse God of wisdom (“Wodin’s-day”). He’s the Norse Mercury, which is interesting when you consider the French and Spanish words for Wednesday: mercredi and miércoles respectively, both of which mean “Mercury’s day.” We’re talking the God Mercury here, not the planet, the car, or the singer. In Sanskrit, the ancient Language of …