• Daily Grateful: Be Aware, Not Wary

    March 30, 2014 Taking in the good is….good for you.¬†You’ve heard the phrases, “Give me a moment,” or “Let me take a moment.” Moments are all we have. They’re gifts; little parcels of space-time that enable us to live more fully. By enabling/permitting ourselves to dwell in the moments of life more deeply, we’re actually helping shape our brain to do positive things. In today’s post, Rick Hanson explains how that helps–from a technical point of view, while increasingly well-known Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh explains it as only he can. I love that modern science and ancient teachings have finally

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  • Daily Grateful: Stephen Fry – “The time to be happy is now.”

    March 25, 2014 Stephen Fry offers up a brilliant animated summary of humanism and a secret to happiness that’s not so secret (has a lot in common with mindfulness, to be honest. ūüėČ Thanks to “Upworthy” for this one. Yours in Mental Hygiene, ” data-lightbox-gallery=”lightbox[gallery-B5SH] “> The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness

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  • Bypassing the Automatic Bypass: How Mindfulness Practice can Improve our Relationships

    It’s happened to everyone at some point or another. Someone says something that triggers your sense that you’re being: a) attacked b) disrespected c) ignored d) misunderstood e) blamed f) made to feel lesser than g) some or all of the above. What do we do? Well, it’s complicated, because everyone reacts differently, but in many people, the pre-frontal cortex (PFC)–that executive “Central Processing Unit” and keeper of higher functioning emotions and empathy–can be bypassed. This happens naturally enough during periods of extreme duress or surprise–when you react to avoid another car that suddenly appears in front of yours, or

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  • Daily Grateful: Don’t Just Do Something…

    February 26, 2014 No Zabuton or Zafu required, just a space, a chair or a pillow for your bum, and…you. You can use a guided meditation to focus on, or just be there, with your thoughts, allowing them to come and go, focusing only on your breathing, the ambient sounds around you, or bodily sensations. Sometimes amazing things happen, sometimes nothing¬†happens, sometimes you feel pain or discomfort or have a hard time dealing with your torrent of thoughts. Any and all of these sensations are fine. All are equal and all can be perceived without fear, attachment, or judgment. Wiring

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  • The Mindful Pause: Elisha Goldstein says “S.T.O.P.”

    Elisha Goldstein¬†is a well-known psychologist and speaker who believes that mindfulness can be learned by anyone, and has a series of guided meditation videos that help people get into a mindful place quickly and easily. The author of highly regarded¬†The Now Effect,¬†Goldstein has come up with a simple way to engage in mindfulness in everyday situations. His acronym, S.T.O.P., is an easy to remember way to create a mindful pause that can disconnect us from old habits and conditioning that can hijack our well-being. I’ve slightly modified his explanations for each (which were posted on the psych central.com blog recently).

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  • What is Neuroplasticity?

    There was a time, not that long ago, actually, in which the prevailing wisdom among scientists and brain researchers was consistent: The brain stops developing at an early age, and continues to “die off” over the span of one’s life. We now know this to be horribly inaccurate. Over the past 20 years, advances in brain imaging and neural research have revealed pretty much the opposite conclusion: the brain’s neural networks continue to change and grow¬†throughout our lifetimes,¬†even up to and through old age and death. This is pretty amazing in and of itself. But what’s even more, er, “mind

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  • Daily Grateful: It’s a Beautiful Day

    February 14, 2014 Something to remember, regardless of whether you like the weather…! ūüėČ

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  • The Work: Byron Katie’s Structured, Mindful Tools

    As the story goes, one day Byron Katie, who had spent a decade in the depths of depression awakened. She realized that she was trapped by her own thoughts, but that those thoughts weren’t actually “real.” Since then, she’s created a method for helping people take back control of their world by helping them figure out how to work with, not against, thoughts. To me, it’s another form of mindfulness, although that doesn’t seem to be described prominently in The Work, the overall process that she invented. As her site describes it: In 1986, at the bottom of a ten-year

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  • Mindfulness at Work: Free Webinar Series

    As the quote above tells us, Buddhism isn’t just for the practitioner and enlightened monks–it’s for real people simply living. As the Dalai Lama (along with other luminaries like Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and many others) have reminded us, the lessons of Buddhism (and mindfulness) are applicable in everyone’s¬†real¬†life, including at work.¬†Mindful.org and the Huffington Post’s Third Metric have put together a Mindfulness at Work webinar series starting Monday, January 27. Janice Marturano, executive director of the institute and author of¬†Finding The Space To Lead, will be on¬†Huffington Post Live¬†today at 1 p.m. E.S.T. to launch The

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  • Daily Grateful: The Beautiful Now

    January 18, 2014 I was listening to the excellent Canadian radio show “Spark” on VPR earlier today (great program if you’re into thoughtful issues surrounding tech stuff, btw), and the show featured, among other things, the winner of a contest to record the most beautiful sound in the world. I know. How is that possible? Is there such a thing? Wouldn’t that be highly subjective? Answers: It’s probably not. There is such a thing. And yes, it’s very subjective. But with all these caveats, it’s pretty clear that the contest captured some incredible sounds. Brilliant, really.¬†Here’s a collage of the

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  • Practice does not Make Perfect…

    …but it certainly helps! Imperfection. It’s what enabled the universe as we know it to come to be in the first place. It’s a commonly held belief among astrophysicists and cosmologists that if the Big Bang’s energy had been completely uniform, we would not exist. The imperfections in the heat and dispersal of energy from the birth of our universe actually enabled gravity to take hold and enabled gasses to coalesce into denser and denser matter, enabling gravity to take hold and create stars and planets. All due to the slightest of imperfections. Imperfection, one could therefore say, is the

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  • Daily Grateful: A Visual and Aural Feast

    January 15, 2014 First, I just wanted to say that I’m a visual person: I love graphics, I love pictures, I love movies. I see art, literally, everywhere! The Buddha you see to the right was a bronze statue at my good friend’s house (thanks, Carol!) and I had to mess around with it. (Click here to see the original.) A Visual and Aural Feast, Indeed.¬†So when I saw some amazing pictures from a Russian photographer earlier today (below), I had to share them. They’re absolutely brilliant. I also love music, and because I think the two senses go so

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  • Daily Grateful: A Close Encounter with a Beautiful Lion

    January 13, 2014 National Geographic photographer Mattias tells an amazing story of two creatures: one is human, one is a beautiful lion. Quite an experience (good thing she was probably full!). I absolutely love this mindful, very “zen” explanation from the photographer: “I’m an emotional person, sort of a vulnerable person in many ways. I don’t, for example, think that to do what I do, you sort of a ‘Tarzan”…because you have to be the contrary. You have to be soft, hopefully intelligent; you have to read the environment–you have to be modest.¬†Otherwise I would have been eaten, I think,

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  • The Case for Logging Off and Unplugging

    Internet compulsion is widespread, and frankly, it’s not surprising, considering that it’s now integral to cultures around the world. But recent studies indicate that it’s becoming an unhealthy obsession, and that ain’t good. I speak from experience on this (as do many readers, I’m sure). And actually, as I write this, I’m hoping I pay close attention and internalize it, because it’s easy to forget! o_O According to the¬†findings of Cristina Quinones-Garcia of Northampton Business School and Professor Nada Korac-Kakabadse of Henley Business School people “may be using the internet in order to cope with the demands of excessive work,

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  • Thich Nhat Hanh: New Year’s Eve Talk 2014

    The Practice of Mindfulness is the Practice of Happiness a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh. From tnhaudio.org.: This talk by Thich Nhat Hanh is from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 on the occasion of New Years Eve. It is the fourteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. This talk is in English. The talk begins with a lovely guided meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh followed by a teaching on compassion to help us listen to the monastics chanting. The second half of the talk focuses on love and healing our suffering. 00:00-10:15 Guided Meditation

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