• 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? 🙂 Yours in Mental Hygiene, “> The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness  

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  • Daily Grateful: Smile at Cat Ping Pong

    April 1, 2014 Smiling No, it’s not April Fools, it’s just a silly cat video intended to make you smile. It’s really one of the better things that the Interwebs does, don’t you think?? 🙂 [grat-i-tood, -tyood] noun, the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. In an article entitled In Praise of Gratitude,according to the Harvard Medical School, Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves.

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  • Daily Grateful: An Artistic Helping Hand

    March 3, 2014 Yours in Mental Hygiene, The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness  

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  • Daily Grateful: Winter Birds in Vermont

    February 7, 2014 The Daily Grateful is one way to “take in the good,” which is helps rewire yourself, especially if your brain has a negative bias. It helps to experience moments of beauty and really dwell in, or “internalize them,” many times throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be a major event, it just has to a moment or series of moments that make you feel good or simply put a smile on your face. Take the time to embrace the many joys that are available to you; really dwell in those moments, and your brain’s neural wiring will reward you

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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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  • 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 – Lion Whisperer

    January 10, 2014 “The interactions have always been boisterous. I’ve learned to de-tune my reactions. No two lions are the same. Lions have dwindled to ridiculous numbers; I’m trying to raise awareness. We will not be seen lions in 20 years if we follow along the same path.” ~ Kevin Richardson Lion Whisperer with lions (and hyenas) in the wilds of southern Africa. Um, wow? If a man can insinuate himself into a pride of lions without being torn to shreds, what ELSE is possible?

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  • Daily Grateful: What Love Looks Like

    January 9, 2014 Lovely, wonderful, smile-inducing story of love. 🙂

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  • West Meets East: Neuroscience and Buddhism

    I was watching this video from the wonderful “Greater Good Science Center” Web site the other day, and just today I was reading an interview in Shambhala Sun with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield about mindfulness and Buddhism in the Western world. It’s not news that the world of Western science and the world of Eastern philosophy are coming closer and closer together, but what’s interesting to me is that the Buddha was apparently quite aware of the plasticity of the brain long before anyone actually knew the true functions of the brain. “Letting your frontal lobe support…non-judgmental, present moment

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  • Daily Grateful: Zoe the Running Dog!

    January 5, 2014 Yesterday’s DG was a bit of a downer. I admit that it was borne of some less than positive feelings–! Today, I make an effort to make up for that. This was taken on our road with our dog Zoe. Wouldn’t it be great to experience moments of bliss akin to this? 🙂

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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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  • Daily Grateful: The Gift

    January 1, 2014 A wonderful friend of mine is a carpenter, a craftsman, and an artisan and he has built something interesting that I doubt anyone else you know has built. He’s built his own casket. Now, he’s a young man of 74 or so, spry, adept, and intelligent, (see video below) and one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. He has a variety phrases carved into this final resting place he’s built for himself, and one of my favorites is “Every day is a gift.” I took that thought to the next level. Here’s to a happy,

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  • Daily Grateful: The Zen Commandments

    December 31, 2013 Thanks to my friend Daniel Woo for these “Zen Commandments” of Lama Surya Das:

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  • Dharma Punk: How One Angry Young Man’s “Rock Bottom” Journey Turned into a Mindfulness Movement

    For many (most?) people, the pain of existence requires some form of escape: for some, it’s food, for others, drugs or alcohol; for still others, it’s obsessive work or other obsessive behaviors and actions. But for all, these are attempts at escaping something that cannot be escaped–only accepted and “observed” as conditions of the world. For many, hitting “rock” bottom is the reason for changing, for attempting to improve themselves and trying something different. That was the case for me, and it was, as I found out, the case for a group of punks in California some years back. One

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  • A Thoughtful Argument for Mindfulness

    No Two Journeys are Alike, but We are all on the same Path When you stop and think about it, we have this moment, and then the next, and the next, but it’s inevitable that at some point, we will run out moments in this corporeal state. I remember reading Carlos Castaneda as a young man about the importance of living in the moment and the fact that death “is the only wise adviser that we have.” His was the argument for embracing all moments and that each day should be treated as one’s last, because it very well might

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