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

Is Consciousness a Stream? An Update

By Evan Thompson Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Waking, Dreaming, Being
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 in Open Gently
Chinese mindfulness practice can lower cortisol levels in a week.

What Mindfulness App Is Right for You?

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on August 22, 2015 in Urban Survival
New study reveals the top 4 mindfulness apps. Which one fits your personality best?

The Adolescent Brain on Meditation

By Guest Bloggers on August 18, 2015 in The Guest Room
How mindfulness heals

How Mantras Calm Your Mind

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on August 14, 2015 in Urban Survival
Repeating simple words or mantras calms your mind. Learn how and try a simple 'Om.'

Dealing With the Noise in Our Heads

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on August 13, 2015 in The Empowerment Diary
We are all exposed to both external and internal noises. Often, the external noise may be easier to cope with because we can either shut it our or possibly change our location. Internal noise or the voices in our heads, on the other hand, are more challenging to manage, however, they may be lessened through good breathing exercises and a regular meditation practice.

Wherein I Discover My Inner Playground

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 12, 2015 in On Having Fun
Discovering your inner playground.

8 Ways to Recover From Post Childhood Adversity Syndrome

Recognizing that childhood emotional stress can play a role in adult illness and relationship challenges can be enormously freeing. The sudden "aha" as to why you've been struggling a little too hard for a little too long with your emotional and physical well-being can open up new possibilities toward growth. Here are 8 science-based steps you can take toward healing now.

Joy in Daily Life

Can mindfulness increase our awareness of daily life?

The Key to Experiencing and Handling Stress in a Healthy Way

The raincoat refers to the resources that protect you from experiencing something as stressful, while the towel reflects how rapidly you can recover. These resources determine the extent to which stress contributes to stress-mediated disease states like cardiovascular disease and mental illness

Inviting Mara to Tea

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Finding True Refuge
One of my favorite stories of the Buddha shows the power of a wakeful and friendly heart.

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