Mudita Journal

Meditation Archive

The skyscraper and the cherry blossom: Why Objectivism needs secular spirituality

After my "Pointing to the reality" post, my intelligent Rand-loving friend was rubbed the wrong way by my suggestion that cherry blossoms are on the same level with skyscrapers: Skyscrapers give us an appreciation for things as they could be, for the ways man changes the world. How can cherry blossoms compare? Here is my reply. I like your summary of the worldview Ayn Rand articulates, about man's life as the standard of value, and how much meaning there is at that level, of shaping the world around us to fit our needs and to support our life and happiness. I ...

Flow with whatever may happen

July 13, 2012  ·  Category: Buddhism, Eckhart Tolle, FLOW, Meditation, Mindfulness

Thanks to Michael Strong of FLOW for bringing this lovely graphic to my attention. He writes: "Although this is Buddhist, it is similar to the Taoist usage of 'Flow,' which was one of our original inspirations."

Meditators more aware of ‘uh-oh’ moments

June 8, 2012  ·  Category: Meditation, Mindfulness

An article summarizing a new paper from the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience begins: For psychologists, self-control or “executive control” is the ability to pay attention to appropriate stimuli and to initiate appropriate behavior while inhibiting inappropriate behavior. It’s what keeps you studying when you’d rather be watching TV, or lets you force yourself outside for a morning run rather than turn over and go back to sleep. “These results suggest that willpower or self-control may be sharpest in people who are sensitive and open to their own emotional experiences. Willpower, in other words, may relate to ‘‘emotional intelligence’,” says Michael ...

Stressed out? A creative visualization from Eckhart Tolle

May 9, 2012  ·  Category: Eckhart Tolle, Meditation, Mindfulness

Marsh brought the following passage to my attention, from Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. I remember it from my days of listening nonstop to Tolle's audiobooks. I like this passage a lot. If at any time you are finding it hard to get in touch with the inner body, it is usually easier to focus on your breathing first. Conscious breathing, which is a powerful meditation in its own right, will gradually put you in touch with the body. Follow the breath with your attention as it moves in and out of your body. Breathe into the body, and feel your ...

Harvard Gazette: Eight weeks to a better brain, through mindfulness meditation

January 5, 2012  ·  Category: Meditation, Mindfulness

From The Harvard Gazette: Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. In a study that will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter. “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist ...

Teachers: How to incorporate meditation in the classroom

December 20, 2011  ·  Category: Meditation, Mindfulness, Parenting

I just stumbled across a reader comment from early last year by a teacher in Massachusetts, Camille Napier Bernstein, who begins each day with a "stillness" exercise for the first few minutes each day in her classroom. The students are not only receptive, but sometimes enthusiastic about how valuable it has become to them. She has written about her successes with the practice. An excerpt: I teach in a public school. You might wonder if the practice has caused controversy. Certainly, my first two years were fraught with worry that a student might misinterpret the practice to his parents, and I doggedly ...

Living daylight

September 12, 2011  ·  Category: Buddhism, Meditation, Mindfulness

A quote that really struck me today, from the Almaasary of quotes from A.H. Almaas: What determines whether a soul has basic trust? Basic trust is the effect on the soul of a particular aspect or quality of Being that we call Living Daylight. We call it this because if one's perception is subtle enough to visually see and kinesthetically feel the substance of one's consciousness, it actually looks like daylight, and is felt as an alive consciousness. It is experienced as something boundless, in the sense that it is not bounded by one's body but rather is experienced as something ...

Treating chronic pain through radical acceptance

A new friend asked for my advice about using meditation to treat chronic pain. I would assume that, like me, you have consulted many doctors and they aren't able to do much to help. In this case, one of the most powerful therapies is what we might call "radical acceptance." The basic premise is that we often don't realize how much of our suffering is of our own creation, created by how we react to the pain in our body. Sometimes the core of pain itself can be like a grain of sand in an oyster; but through our irritated reaction, it ...

Dutchman Wim Hof uses meditation to control parts of his autonomic nervous system

May 23, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Meditation

Since I use meditation as part of my regimen to manage chronic facial pain, this story caught my attention. A key difference, though, is that while I use meditation to manage my body's reaction to the primary pain -- i.e., to reduce the tension and anxiety and subsequent pain -- this guy uses meditation to alter the body's own primary functions: heart-rate, cortisol levels, body temperature, etc. I'd love to learn more about how he does it. ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - The sun beams down on a warm Dutch spring morning, and the Iceman's students look wary as they watch him dump ...

Meditation makes your brain bigger, prevents natural age-related thinning of the cortex

May 9, 2011  ·  Category: Health, Meditation, Mindfulness

A 2006 Harvard Gazette story "Meditation found to increase brain size" begins: People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input. In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That’s intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking ...