All About Meditation

Meditation is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment. Meditating is deceptively simple. A cartoon from The New Yorker sums it up: Two monks are sitting side by side, meditating. The younger one is giving the older one a quizzical look, to which the older one responds, "Nothing happens next. This is it."

Recent posts on Meditation

New Study Finds Meditation With Walking Reduces Anxiety

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on December 10, 2017 in Urban Survival
A new study finds that combining meditation before or after a walk reduces anxiety more than just a walk.

Why Time Stops at Near Death

By Marc Wittmann Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in Sense of Time
A new study confirms earlier investigations and anecdotal reports that a majority of individuals with a near-death experience also report the feeling of timelessness.

Evolutionary Psychology and Enlightenment

Programed for dissatisfaction? Thank your evolutionary roots. Consider enlightenment as a strategy to improve your well-being and to become a better person.

Ten Varieties of Gratitude

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 23, 2017 in Ambigamy
Gratitude isn't just one thing. In addition to listing all the things you're grateful for today, list the varieties of gratitude.

Enhancing Mental Health For Veterans Through Technology

Artificial Intelligence will enhance mental health support for veterans through the first-ever meditation voice app launching this week in partnership with National Geographic.

How-To: Mindfulness-Based Interoceptive Exposure For Pain

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on November 07, 2017 in ExperiMentations
A simple technique techique for relief from chronic pain using mindfulness-based exposure to internal bodily sensations of pain.

The Essential Happiness Skill No One Teaches Us

By Ken Page L.C.S.W. on November 07, 2017 in Finding Love
Few of us are taught one of the greatest happiness skills of all: learning to bear our joy. This lovely two-minute practice will teach you exactly how.

Medicating Women's Sexual Desire Still Highly Controversial

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on November 02, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Research reveals that sexual desire is influenced by non-biological factors.

Mindfulness Is the Hottest New Trend—But Should It Be?

New research suggests that despite the growing popularity of mindfulness, it might not be so good for you after all.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

3 Definitions of Mindfulness That Might Surprise You

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on November 01, 2017 in What Matters Most?
What to know what is actually meant by the word "mindfulness"? Science provides an answer.

A Five-Step Approach to the Opioid Epidemic, Part 2 of 2

By Dan Mager MSW on October 31, 2017 in Some Assembly Required
Make no mistake: there is no magic bullets and no quick fixes to this crisis. However, there are several critical steps that can help us make meaningful progress toward solutions.

The Surprising Power of an Unscratched Itch

Could you use a little more self-control in your life? Good news! You can start to acquire it, right here and now.

Feeling Stressed, Anxious, and Alone?

Feeling stressed, anxious, and alone? Research shows how to regain your peace of mind

Interview With Jennifer Egan

By Jennifer Haupt on October 22, 2017 in One True Thing
"I always explore whether or not people can change, whether they can escape the circumstances of their past. Sometimes they can, sometimes they can’t."

How to Have Lucid Dreams

By Michelle Carr Ph.D. on October 15, 2017 in Dream Factory
Researchers tested the effectiveness of three common lucid dreaming techniques.

Is Mindfulness Being Mindlessly Overhyped? Experts Say "Yes"

By Christopher Bergland on October 10, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
"Mindfulness" needs a clearer definition, more rigorous clinical research, and less media hype—according to an urgent call-to-action by 15 experts from over a dozen universities.

Darkness of the Womb

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Finding True Refuge
In challenging times, there are four key ways of paying attention that can allow for suffering to be transformative.
Fotolia_171064196_XS copy

When Trust Hits Rough Waters, Flow Like a River

We have an ever-present source of happiness and wisdom inside us, all the time.

So You Think You Can't Meditate?

A common misconception about meditation is that we need to clear our mind of thoughts. Not true — meditation is simply noticing our thoughts — and everyone can do it.

Equanimity: A Practice for Troubled Times

Can the practice of equanimity help us weather the storms of life?

10 Tips for Managing the Overwhelming Stress of Trying Times

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on September 30, 2017 in Laugh, Cry, Live
Feeling bombarded by record-breaking natural disasters, the opioid epidemic, and ongoing political and social strife? Here are 10 key tips for managing stress during trying times.

Yoga Practice

By Itai Ivtzan Ph.D. on September 26, 2017 in Mindfulness for Wellbeing
How to increase psychological and physiological well-being as part of yoga practice.

Why Your Mind is Better than Pills at Conquering Pain

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on September 26, 2017 in Feeling It
Conquering pain and stress with the mind is not only possible—it's powerful.

6 Healthy Reasons to Wake Up Earlier

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on September 26, 2017 in Minding the Body
Get your day off on the right foot. Making time for wellness first thing in the morning sets a positive tone for your whole day.

Hillary Clinton Is Doing Pranayama

Alternate nostril breathing is good for PTSD and mental health.

Distracting Yourself Into a Better Mood

Having a series of options that distract you in an effort to recharge? Always a great thing!

Top 5 Payoffs to Staying Stuck

By Ronald Alexander Ph.D. on September 14, 2017 in The Wise Open Mind
Why do some people seemingly embrace the process of transformation, while others get stuck. Discover the payoffs to change that keeps us from making a change in our lives.

Young Yogis Rock

By Gail F. Melson Ph.D. on September 13, 2017 in Why the Wild Things Are
Contemplative practices, like yoga, mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, and relaxation breathing, can help children deal with stress, reduce anxiety, and improve well-being.

Psychodynamic Running

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on September 13, 2017 in The Me in We
A new running meditation and how it works holistically, engaging both mind and body.