• 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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  • Part 1: What happens when you practice mindful meditation?

    “It is a tribute to the accumulated wisdom of humankind that a traditional Buddhist meditation practice going back 2500 years, which was originally designed in part to deal with the problem of human suffering, has been successfully adapted to prevent the relapse of depression in the modern era.” ~ Simon N. Young, PhD It’s a source of great debate  among many in the West (not among those who practice and are adherents of mindful meditation, of course; for them, there is no debate): just what are the benefits of mindfulness meditation? This is, really, the core question that can help change not

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  • Daily Grateful: Sweet, Silly Sophie will make you Smile

    March 18, 2014 Sophie the dog is one of the sweetest, silliest dogs you’ll ever see. Just try not to smile at this one. 🙂 share the info!

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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: Vienna Teng “Level Up”

    March 15, 2014 This video was recommended by Rick Hanson. I’m glad I checked it out. See if it puts a smile on your face (it did on mine). First time I’ve ever heard of Vienna Teng, but very uplifting stuff. Lyrics are below the giddy and speak to a woman who seems to understand mindfulness well. Enjoy. Level Up so come out. you have been waiting long enough. you’re done with all the talk talk talk with nothing on the table. it’s time to come on out. there will be no sign from above. you’ll only hear the knock

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  • Daily Grateful: Fox Seeks Help; Humans Oblige

    March 13, 2014 I love this, because a poor little fox cub is in a real bind and how it seeks help is, well, moving… Yours in Mental Hygiene, The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness share the info!

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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: Silent Hunters

    March 10, 2014 Today’s Daily grateful is brought to you by Tanja Askani, an incredible photographer who lives in Germany. This one is all about one of my favorite raptors, the owl. As Tanya describes this series: People have always been fascinated and intimidated by owls. They are revered and feared, admired and hunted down. While owls are considered the embodiment of wisdom, they are also known as bearers of bad luck and death in many cultures. As creatures of the night and dusk, they have an aura of secrecy. As a consequence, it is not surprising that owls appear

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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 share the info!

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  • Spotlight on Jon Kabat-Zinn: Ancient Practices, Modern Mindfulness

    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. Although I haven’t participated in an any of his

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  • The Powerful Brain of the Corvid will Blow you Away

    Hyperpole? Nope. This gets filed under “What the heck?!” I’ve long been a fan of crows because they’re interesting birds and super smart. A group or collective of crows is known as a “murder,” which appeals to my dark sense of humor. The following video underscores just how incredibly smart they are. Studies back this up, and say that they might even be as smart as Great Apes. According to one study several years ago, “…while having very different brain structures, both crows and primates use a combination of mental tools, including imagination and the anticipation of possible future events, to solve

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  • Daily Grateful: An Artistic Helping Hand

    March 3, 2014 Yours in Mental Hygiene, The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness   share the info!

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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!). 🙂 Yours

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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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