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

Can You Come Home to Yourself?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Your Wise Brain
Meditation is the quintessential training of attention. Getting better control of your attention is the foundation of changing your brain, and thus your life, for the better.

The Secret to Achieving Your Dreams No One Tells You About

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on October 19, 2016 in Feeling It
You're more likely to achieve your dreams if you are happy, here's why.
Kasia Bialasiewicz/BigStock

Meditation Helps Eating Disorder Recovery

By Greta Gleissner LCSW on October 18, 2016 in Bottom's Up
When people are recovering from an eating disorder, anxiety and stress can cause them to react through harmful behaviors. Meditation is crucial to a healthy recovery.

Our Evolving Sense of Identity

Renew you spirit with these scientific discoveries.

How to Start Meditating: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on October 16, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
If you've wanted to start meditating and weren't sure where to begin, use this guide to get started.

Living Mindfully With Chronic Pain and Illness

One of the most useful applications of mindfulness is to help people accept and adapt to uncontrollable circumstances in their lives like chronic pain and illness.

Gaining Happiness by Losing Yourself

By Marc Wittmann Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in Sense of Time
A novel scientific perspective on happiness and a potential to treat mental disorders.

The Impact of Devotional Practices on Religious Belief

Although purely devotional practices seem to reinforce explicit religious beliefs, they seem to have little effect on either implicit religious representations or their influence.

Stressed Out by Presidential Politics?

Are you stressed out by presidential politics? How mindfulness can help bring you greater clarity and peace of mind

Stop Waiting for the Right Moment to Meditate

By Marty Babits on September 28, 2016 in The Middle Ground
Too frenetic to sit for meditation? There are alternatives. Here are some of the most useful action-oriented meditation practices.

Oxytocin, Spirituality, and the Biology of Feeling Connected

By Christopher Bergland on September 28, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking new study from Duke University has identified a link between oxytocin and feelings of spiritual connectedness.

Is a Vacation or Meditation the Key to Stress Relief?

You're feeling chronically stressed out by work, money, family, or commuting. Will a vacation solve the problem or do you need to take more drastic measures like meditating?

Staying in the Present Can Bring Happiness

Staying present it one of the most effective ways to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression, trauma, and suffering. Here's how to do it.

Mindfulness for All

By Susan M. Pollak MTS, Ed.D., on September 21, 2016 in The Art of Now
Can mindfulness and compassion reduce racial bias?
Photo: iStock

Not Productive? 7 Ways to Get Unstuck

By Mark Banschick M.D. on September 20, 2016 in The Intelligent Divorce
Summer is over. Are you having problems switching gears? Here are 7 ways to get going.

How to Fight Those Back-to-School Germs Like a Superhero

Moms aren't really granted sick days. Research shows an easy way to help boost your immune system so you can keep your superpowers running strong.

Negative Emotions? Mindfulness Meditation Is the Answer

By Itai Ivtzan Ph.D. on September 10, 2016 in Mindfulness for Wellbeing
Would you like to deal with negative emotions in a healthy way? Here is the best method to do that.

Why You Don't Want to Meditate—and 5 Ways to Make It Easier

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
If you have the desire and the time to meditate on a regular basis and don't, what's getting in the way?

Tonic Levels of Dopamine Lubricate Moments of Superfluidity

By Christopher Bergland on September 02, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Next week in Vienna, neuroscientists will meet for the 2016 Dopamine Conference. In this blog post, I reflect on what I've learned about dopamine through both sport and life.

5 Ways Origami Boosts Mindfulness

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on September 02, 2016 in Urban Survival
Looking to branch out from the mindful coloring books? Origami is a beautiful calming craft that can enhance your mindfulness.

How to Get the Deepest Rest of All

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on August 31, 2016 in Feeling It
Many of us are tired or burned out, here's how to restore ourselves for good.

Flexibility and Love: Reaching Children With Cartoons

What should children do with painful thoughts and feelings? Some modern cartoonists are giving our children research-based guidance that can compete with toxic cultural messages.

On Doing Nothing

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 23, 2016 in On Having Fun
Both "having fun" and "doing nothing" can, at their deepest and most salubrious, become an art.

5 Ways a New Approach Can Improve Your Life Today

Studies show how humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Here's how you can fix that.

Letter to Young Activists

This post is adapted from a talk recently given to young community organizers about self-care and well-being on the journey to a more compassionate and just society.

A Simple Exercise to Boost Optimism (And Improve Health)

This visualization exercise is easy (and fun) to do and research shows it can have big payoffs.

Natural Remedies for… Pain?

Is your chronic pain starting to wear you down? Natural remedies may be of help.

Want to Feel Like a Kid Again?

Need an antidote to all the negativity in our world right now? Take a look through the eyes of a child....

MIndfulness Practices Relieve Lower Back Pain

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on August 04, 2016 in Cravings
Suffering from lower back pain? These mindfulness techniques may hold the key to relief.
K. Ramsland

Writer, Uninterrupted

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 04, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Constant distraction diminishes our creative power; concentrated focus allows us to experience the most profound creative state.