• 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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  • Daily Grateful: Elephant Seal Pups…and a Journalist

    April 10, 2014 Charlie Bird meets seals while travelling through Antarctica following the route of explorer¬†Tom Crean’s final expedition alongside Ernest Shackleton¬†aboard the Endurance in 1914-15.¬†One of the more moving things I’ve seen in a while. We¬†are¬†connected. The animals know it, why don’t we? Why Daily Grateful? [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

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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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  • 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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  • 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: 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

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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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  • 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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  • 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: 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: 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: Alan Watts and the Universe

    February 20, 2014

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