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

Brain's Response to Meditation

With meditation, you have the opportunity to become aware of what causes you stress and condition yourself to react differently. You can learn to let go of negative thoughts, events or interactions.

4 Healthy Mind Games to Play With Yourself

Our minds are incredibly malleable, and are influenced by the world around us. We can also choose to consciously influence our minds through thoughtful “mind-games” that ultimately can change our lives for the better.

Positive Psychology of Mindfulness

When students call out "Present', make sure they know what it means. So what does "Present" really mean? It does not just mean "here" - it means here in the moment and mindfully in touch with the learning.

Do You Know What You Need?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
Recent research shows that people differ in how well they recognize their own needs, which has important implications for relationships and well-being. Find out how to identify your needs.

The Neuroscience of Savoring Positive Emotions

Neuroscientists have linked sustained activation of a brain region called the ventral striatum to savoring positive emotions. Ventral striatal activation is in the locus of your control. Researchers believe that regularly practicing loving-kindness meditation and compassion activates this brain region and increases the ability to savor positive emotions.

Happify With Your Strengths!

Interested in the science of character strengths? Get tons of interesting research and information all in one image!

Why Are We All So Busy?

Overcoming compulsive busyness with mindfulness

At Play in the Inner Playground

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 14, 2015 in On Having Fun
Think of it as a recess for the soul

The Circle of Life Is Not What You Think

Buddhists, Catholics, agnostics, David Bowie, and others from one hemisphere to the other have exploited this useful tool for self-exploration, present moment awareness, and stress management.

How to Be Mindful in the Real World

So when it comes to improving your wellbeing, is there a contemplative practice for your brain that would actually be worth starting?

Are You Having a Relationship with an Adult Coloring Book?

As of this writing, five of the top 30 titles on Amazon’s best-seller list are adult coloring books. With over 2000 titles out there and rising, the phenomenon of adult coloring-within-the-lines just seems to have no end in sight. Just why have adult coloring books become such a phenomenon?

Which Buddhist Teachings Might Be Most Helpful?

Examine the teachings in light of your understanding of what is harmful and leads to suffering, and what is beneficial and leads to peace and well-being. I think of myself as an eclectic Buddhist, meaning that I study, practice, and write about whatever I think is beneficial and alleviates suffering, regardless of which tradition it comes from.

Meditation Improves Brain Function

We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks [of meditation] in five different regions in the brains of the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions:

Experimenting With Surrender

Michael Singer's new book "The Surrender Experiment" inspires the CEO of a nonprofit organization to reflect on redefining leadership.

Tame Your Sabotaging Self-Talk, Part 2

In this second part of my interview with Arnie Kozak, Ph.D., mindfulness expert and author of The Awakened Introvert, he refutes common myths about meditation (e.g., restless minds can’t meditate; a practice of non-attachment results in a zombie-like, passionless life). He also offers helpful tips to engage your “monkey mind” (that internal noise!).

The Lion’s Roar

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in Finding True Refuge
We typically think of our happiness as dependent on certain good things happening. In the Buddhist tradition, the word sukha is used to describe the deepest type of happiness that is independent of what is happening.

BA's In-Flight Meditation: Good PR. Bad Psychology

Meditation can help a person keep anxiety-producing thoughts out of mind. It works only if the flight is smooth. If turbulence begins, no matter how deep the meditation, when the plane drops, stress hormones are released that push whatever is being focused on out of awareness, and refocus the person on thought of possible danger

Apps – The Evolution of Therapy

Apps such as Candy Crush provide entertainment and “kill” time when waiting on line, traveling, or taking a few minutes to unwind. But now, people have the option to use this time to establish calm and improve their sense of well-being with other, more nutritious apps – apps that can improve their lives; apps like AETAS.

How Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that yoga can have the opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain.

How to See Yourself More Clearly

Writing can help you see yourself more clearly

Nine Lessons from Mad Men: The Emotional Cost of Dishonesty

What emotional price do we pay for our lies? Here, I share nine lessons from Mad Men on how to stop your lies from destroying your happiness.

Synchronicity Can Signal Love Moments or Breakthroughs

Creating the environment that allows for you to aware of how synchronicity and its cousin, serendipity, can enrich your life.

Losing My Mindfulness: A Tale of Spilled Milk and Blue M&Ms

What I know to be true experientially is what scientific research now proves—that mindfulness meditation literally changes the brain. Take a brief thirty seconds and give it a try. Right here, right now.

Why's It So Hard to Quit Smoking? Neuroscience Has New Clues

Neuroscientists have pinpointed specific brain regions that explain why smoking is one of the hardest habits to kick.

Contemplating Rothko

Can mindfulness enhance creativity?

Tame Your Sabotaging Self-Talk, Part 1

You may have heard the expression “monkey mind,” which refers to the way that our minds are all over the place. To learn more about how to be present with the inner chaos, I turned to Arnie Kozak, Ph.D., mindfulness expert and author of The Awakened Introvert.

Why Meditation Is a Great Idea

By Thomas Scheff Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Let's Connect
This page 1. of a long paper suggests that meditation can help everyone. A well-known division of the self is described: a highly aware but hidden part, and a virtually automated visible part.

Share the Gift of Kindness

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on April 27, 2015 in Urban Survival
Practicing a loving kindness meditation allows you to be gentle and compassionate to yourself and also the people around you. The practice not only can bring more positivity into your life but also can actually change your brain.

Meditation Improves Brain Function

There is a great deal of evidence that meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, improves the brain, and the research is teaching us a lot about how and why that happens.

10 Ways Mindfulness and Meditation Promote Well-Being

This post includes a "Top Ten" list of ways that mindfulness and meditation promote well-being based on the latest scientific research.