• 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Your Amazing Brain and What it can do

    Moken “See” People: Normally pupils dilate underwater to let in more light (but this causes everything to be blurry). The Moken’s brains have adapted to the sea by contracting their pupils–an ability that allows them to see cleary underwater. I remember when I was young, a popular saying was “People only use 10 to 15% of their brains.” Back then, I had no idea what that meant. My young mind thought “So, one day we might learn to levitate objects? Read other peoples’ minds? What’s in that other 85% to 90%?” I don’t know that these capabilities are in the

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  • Physicists: The universe might be just a hologram

    Dude, what if…Back in college–well before college actually–my friends and I often wondered about the nature of the universe and how it might actually be just some experiment being conducted by a higher alien intelligence. Those were heady days. But like unfinished furniture, those philosophical discussions were eventually painted over with the “realities of existence” that so often coat our perceptions of modern life. Now, it seems, those crazy teenagers back then might not have been that far off the mark. That’s because string theory–an explanation of the universe that posits multiple dimensions of “vibrating strings” at the quantum level–is

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  • Daily Grateful: Mandela Tribute – Flash Mob

    December 15, 2013 A final, moving goodbye to one of the greatest men of our century with the coolest flash mob tribute imaginable from the  Soweto Gospel Choir. About the Soweto Gospel Choir From www.sowetogospelchoir.com Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in November, 2002 In December, 2002 their first album “Voices of Heaven” was recorded and went on to reach the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s World Music Chart within 3 weeks of its release in the US In 2003 the choir won its first award, a Helpmann Award, Australia’s prestigious Performing Arts Award, for “Best Contemporary Music Concert” Soweto Gospel Choir was

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  • Mindful Re-Minders: A Personal Note

    The one underlying theme I’ve read and noticed across all people engaged in the practice of mindfulness is that it’s not a “state” that one arrives at. It’s an ongoing back and forth; the more modern parts of our brain are built for a good reason–think about what lies ahead and think about how to learn about the past. This is useful until…it’s not. Even the most experienced practitioners work hard to maintain thoughtful mindfulness and catch themselves being “hooked” (as Pema Chödrön might say) into old/unproductive patterns of behavior. Converting an Annoyed/Annoying Bad Mood… Yesterday I’d had a bit of

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  • The Importance of Focus

    The other day I posted a discussion (Stay Mindful! Wandering Minds Tend to Lead to Greater Unhappiness) about the importance of focus by explaining the negative impact of “wandering minds.” As a natural follow up to this discussion, it makes sense to address Daniel Goleman’s work (which can be found in his new book, FOCUS: The Hidden Driver of Excellence,) which explains the importance of staying focused. Goleman,  is a highly regarded psychologist and writer who concludes that focus is key to a complete, happy life, and that the alternative is leading us as a society (and kids, in particular)

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