• Daily Grateful: John Lennon on Love

    July 9, 2014 John Lennon talks about experiencing real love. “I was writing about things I never experienced.” The song “Love” by John Lennon Love by John Lennon/John Lennon on Grooveshark Yours in Mental Hygiene, The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness

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  • Daily Grateful: Happy Mother’s Day!

    May 10, 2014 This Mother’s Day, we celebrate the one who brought us into being on the planet. So, this Mother’s Day, why not show some gratitude to¬†Mother Earth? ūüôā Yours in Mental Hygiene, ‚Äú> The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness  

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  • Thich Nhat Hanh and the Science of “Habit Energy”

    In the Western mind, habits can be described as connections between neurons–or bonds–that are strong and induce us to continue a behavior. The more that we do the behavior, the stronger the neural bonds, and the stronger the habit. Journalist Charles Duhigg, author of the book¬†The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in Life and Business, (excerpt here)¬†was interviewed on NPR’s “Fresh Air” a couple of years ago, and here’s a quick¬†rundown on what happens when we create habits: Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also

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  • Daily Grateful: On this Earth Day, Don’t be Afraid, We’re All Connected

    April 22, 2014 Everything that you’ve ever known, thought about, or experienced, was the ultimate result of collapsing stars. This isn’t conjecture, it’s hard science. Doesn’t matter whether we want to acknowledge it or not: we are all connected. Everything around us–hell,¬†us included–is just a different manifestation of stuff that was previously something else: all the molecules and atoms, all the different elements that were created by different types of stars, they’re all we are. This shouldn’t be a source of a fear, but of wonderment, and for me, it’s a spiritual feeling of connectedness. Looking up at the night

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  • 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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  • Daily Grateful: Jon Kabat-Zinn Sums it Up

    3.23.2014 Jon Kabat-Zinn. For many, the name has become synonymous with modern mindfulness. As a physician who took a break from his work to study Buddhism in the ’70s, it was a decision that helped lead the beginning of the mindfulness movement in the United States. After training in Buddhism, he came back to his practice with the then-fairly radical idea that the benefits of Buddhist mindfulness could help his patients who were suffering from chronic illness. The result was the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts. Read more here. Watch his presentation at the 2014 Wisdom

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  • Daily Grateful: Imperfection Made Everything Possible

    March 11, 2014 For those who meditate, it’s called “practice” for a reason–there is no perfect. There are always thoughts, doubts, and more thoughts and issues of self and dwelling in the past, rather than “re-starting” in the now. There is no perfection and, as it turns out, this is true on a cosmic level, as well. You see, after the Big Bang, all matter (then just gas) was being spread out evenly in all directions as space, time, matter, and gravity were being created. But were it not for the minutest of imperfections in the gas (some very small

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  • Daily Grateful: Focus, Music, Longevity

    March 7, 2014 This holocaust survivor talks about the importance of living.  Yours in Mental Hygiene, The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness

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  • Daily Grateful: Rescued Panther Kitten

    February 28, 2014 George Carlin once reviled people who were trying to save animals from extension and the planet in general by saying “the planet’s fine, it’s¬†you¬†who are going away…” And while I agree with George that our planet will probably be here long after we are gone, we owe it to the creatures of the planet–many of whom die off because of “development”–to try to do as much as we can to protect them. We are all creatures of the sun(s), not separate from, or somehow dominant over, those who are most vulnerable. Sermon over (for now!). ūüôā Yours

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  • Daily Grateful: Man Saves Deer Trapped on Ice

    ¬†February 21, 2014 “A man in Minnesota saw a Facebook post about some deer stuck on the ice in the middle of a frozen lake.¬†The exhausted animals had been sprawled out there for a couple days, so James pretty much became a hero when he and his dad used their hovercraft vehicles to stage a rescue.” (source)

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  • Daily Grateful: Alan Watts and the Universe

    February 20, 2014

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  • What is mindfulness again, anyway?

    Of all the things I realized that I’ve never posted, mindfulness is, surprisingly, at the top of the list. Odd. Well, it’s odd for a blog that’s called The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness. So, in an effort to address that void and provide some clarity on the subject from my point of view, I’ve included some brief descriptions and definitions from my brain to yours, below. Being in the Moment: Children are, Adults, not so much.¬†The truth of the matter is that we are comprised of actions and behaviors that become largely ingrained in our brains as “habits.” As

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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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