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

5 Tips to Manage Your Eating Around the Holidays

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on November 24, 2015 Eating Mindfully
The holidays can be a time of stress and turmoil, especially when it comes to our eating. In the sea of holiday food chaos, let mindful eating be your guide to a balanced and nurturing relationship with food and your body.

When is Depression Not Depression? Part 2

Being discouraged is a state that sounds like depression, but the causes are so different.

7 Ways Meditation Supercharges Your Brain

By Susan Reynolds on November 20, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
Pausing daily, or at least regularly, to meditate can have amazing benefits for your brain, from increasing brain volume, to boosting focus and supercharging neurons. Here’s the lowdown on 7 long-term brain benefits.

Your Precuneus May Be the Root of Happiness and Satisfaction

Neuroscientists have identified a possible location of happiness and satisfaction in the human brain.

Who Should Help Pay for Yoga?

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on November 17, 2015 Urban Survival
Here are four reasons why health insurers should pay attention to yoga programs and help us pay for them.

Fire Up Your Neuronal Network

By Susan Reynolds on November 12, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
Meditation serves as a gateway between the everyday lives we lead and our innermost selves, that which makes us unique and feels most authentic to who we are—in life, and in art. The more access we have to the innermost, sacred parts of our self, the more we are able to express what matters most to us in our work.

The Hundred Kinds of Silence

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on November 11, 2015 Listen Up!
Do you wonder how to deepen your conversations? How to connect more fully with yourself? A few well-placed silences can make all the difference.

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation and Pain Relief

This post offers a comprehensive overview of the latest scientific findings on how mindfulness meditation can reduce social and physical pain at a neurobiological level.

How to Maintain Calm in the Midst of Chaos

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on November 05, 2015 The Empowerment Diary
November is the beginning of the holiday season and often a stressful time for many people. It's a good time to develop strategies to manage the chaos and stress inherent to this time of year. Some ways to cope include meditation, setting intentions, being in nature or journaling. This entry includes some suggestions, including writing prompts.

When a Loved One is Suffering

What can we do if someone we care about is suffering?

Does Mindfulness Meditation Affect Memory?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 Ulterior Motives
A key aspect of memory is your ability to distinguish things that actually happened to you from things you were just thinking about. When you witness an accident, your ability to recall it properly requires that you remember whether facts you believe about that event came from what you actually saw and heard or whether they reflect other factors.

The Heartful Way, Part 2

This post explores how heartfulness can also be internal (intra-personal) and will relay tips for practicing it and the research that supports these ideas.

Is Anorexia a Choice?

New brain-imaging research sheds light on the question of how people struggling with eating disorders make decisions around food.

Maximize Your Happiness by Turning on Your Microflow

With all the criticism we hear about multitasking, no one ever talks about the upside of engaging your brain in more than one activity at a time. Yet, multitasking might just be the best way to avoid being bored while you’re kept waiting or just stuck in a meeting. Turn your downtime into uptime by seeking the microflow experience.

The Heartful Way: Mindfulness, then Heartfulness

Most of us have an idea of what it means to be mindful but what does it mean to be heartful? This post explores the definition, examples, and concepts around heartfulness. It offers practical strategies for using mindfulness to jump-start heartfulness.

Embracing Imperfection

Frustrated with the messiness of life with kids? A subtle shift can make all the difference in the world.

Integral Culture, Spirituality, and a Category Error

Part II in a blog series on Ken Wilber's quadrants. This blog, by Andre Marquis, responds to a debate in the integral community by showing how the quadrants should guide how integralists think about spirituality and general truth claims.

Watch Dream Research in Action!

By Michelle Carr on October 14, 2015 Dream Factory
Dream researcher Elizaveta Solomonova discusses how we can learn more about dreaming through the study of experienced meditators.

Healing Body-Shame & Trauma: Sharing My Story To Heal Yours

By Laurie B. Mintz Ph.D. on October 12, 2015 Stress and Sex
As a psychologist, I’ve known for a long time that letting go of shame and pain requires speaking the unspeakable. Now I know that sometimes speaking is not enough. Sometimes we have to move, to breathe, and to deeply focus without thinking or talking at all.

Does Mindfulness Really Make Us Resilient?

When Todd Sampson demonstrated that neuroplasticity could make his ordinary brain extraordinary, he forgot to mention that he had an amazing arsenal of supports helping him achieve his goals. Mindfulness practices may help us focus and regulate our emotions, but their ability to change our lives is vastly over-rated.

The Link Between Mindfulness, Meditation, and Lucid Dreaming

By Michelle Carr on September 30, 2015 Dream Factory
Mindfulness is aimed at improving an individual`s capacity to maintain awareness of the present moment, with an open and non-judgemental attitude. Could practicing mindfulness increase our awareness during sleep, promoting more frequent lucid dreams?

How to Practice Mindfulness – 5 Tips No One Has Told You

Mindfulness is a paradox. It’s the easiest thing in the world and the hardest thing in the world. But, you can cultivate your mindfulness. Here are 5 tips to find success with your mindfulness practice, whether you are new to mindfulness or someone who has been experiencing some hiccups in your practice.

How Mindfulness Improves Your Brain and Relationships

Mindfulness is the process of paying attention, in an open, nonjudgmental way, to your experience. Recent statistical review which pooled data from 16 studies shows that mindfulness has effects on at least 8 different brain regions involved in brain integration and connectivity, sense of self, impulse control, stress and anxiety, and regulation of attention and emotion.

A Meditation for My Mother

By Susan Hooper on September 28, 2015 Detours and Tangents
I helped care for my mother for six years before she died. The sixth anniversary of her death feels like a turning point for me.

Champion Novak Djokovic Reveals the Power of Visualization

By Aldo Civico Ph.D. on September 17, 2015 Turning Point
How world-class player Novak Djokovic trains for mental toughness using mindfulness and visualization.

5 Ways Yoga and Mindfulness Fight Addictions

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on September 04, 2015 Urban Survival
Yoga and mindfulness are powerful tools to fight addiction. Here are 5 ways that yoga and mindfulness can help you on your road to recovery.

Is Consciousness a Stream? An Update

Neuroscience and Indian Buddhist philosophy agree that perceptual consciousness seems continuous but is really discrete.

Opinion Polls Reveal Dramatic Decline in Impact of the Bible

Opinion poll surveys representative of the general population began in Britain in 1937, with the launch of the British Institute of Public Opinion (later Gallup Poll), which first covered the Bible in a question in 1938: "What book of all you have read impressed you most?" The Bible was mentioned by 16% of interviewees.

More Thoughts on the Wound with No Name—First Aid

There are rarely any quick fixes when the wounds are deep, especially from early childhood and/or in combination with being highly sensitive. But what might help, right now?

More Evidence For Meditation

By Temma Ehrenfeld on August 25, 2015 Open Gently
Chinese mindfulness practice can lower cortisol levels in a week.