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

Say This One Word to Move Past Worries That Get In Your Way!

Including this one really empowering word in your self-talk is very effective for moving out of "Worry Wasteland."
Charles Mayer/Penguin

Three Tips on Mindfulness from a Buddhist Psychiatrist

Mark Epstein has long been interested in bridging psychology and Buddhism. His latest book offers wisdom for both mindfulness beginners and seasoned practitioners.

What You Need to Know About "Getting in the Flow"

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on February 12, 2018 in Shyness Is Nice
You don't have to be an Olympic athlete to benefit from the flow state. Here's how.

How to Stay Attentive

By Temma Ehrenfeld on February 09, 2018 in Open Gently
Knowing how to improve concentration will help you feel confident and weather periods of stress, when your focus takes a hit. Do you live near a park? Go for a walk.

Finding Inspiration Along the Way

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Boundless
Tanaaz Chubb provides a new take on positive psychology.

Meditation Does Not Make You a Better Person

Many people think of meditation as a magic bullet. But in reality, the evidence on meditation is mixed.

Happy Mind, Happy Life: A Valentine’s Day Gift

By Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. on February 05, 2018 in Attention Training
The luxurious, high-quality energy of relationships we initially connect with is real.
Charles Mayer/Penguin

Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself

By Tara Well Ph.D. on February 05, 2018 in The Clarity
Mark Epstein, M.D., shares fascinating secrets to taming the ego in his popular new book.

Why Think Time Is So Important in a Distracted World

By Michael Woodward Ph.D. on February 01, 2018 in Spotting Opportunity
Is your mind constantly spinning? Take a little Think Time!
Penman Used with Permission

Is Empathy Our Most Dangerous and Self-Indulgent Emotion?

You can harness empathy for good or evil and it carries with it a slight tinge of entertainment or even voyeurism. Shouldn't we cultivate compassion instead?

Listening to Anxiety

Anxiety shows up in more ways than we might think. Learning how to identify physical signs of anxiety can go a long way to helping you feel better.

When the News Makes Us Miserable

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on January 25, 2018 in Finding True Refuge
People all over the globe share the same longing for a more loving, just, and peaceful world. People everywhere are opening to the sense of our true belonging with all of life...

What Exactly Is Mindfulness? It’s NOT What You Think.

Mindfulness is so much more than meditation. The real meditation is your life.

Books to Seriously Boost Your Happiness in 2018

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in Feeling It
Want to boost your efficiency, be happier, and more emotionally intelligent? Take these 10 steps thanks to awesome new books.

Personal Growth and the Mystery of the Self

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Boundless
Thoughts on depth psychology and the mystery of the self.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

How Mindfulness Can Save the World (Here's One Example)

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on January 16, 2018 in What Matters Most?
A story of a nuclear physicist, a wise mindfulness teacher, and one of the toughest decisions a person can make.

Clear the Roadblocks to Meditation

By William Irwin Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in It’s Your Choice
Meditation relieves stress, improves health, and augments performance at work. So what’s stopping you? A new book addresses some of the common roadblocks.

Soul Sadness

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Finding True Refuge
Our soul sadness is fully revealed when we directly and mindfully contact our pain. In such moments, we discover a natural upwelling of compassion and tenderness for our own heart.

Zen and Zoned Out Are Not The Same Thing

For those drawn to Eastern traditions like Zen, yoga, and meditation, practice is key.

Mindfulness and Being Present in the Moment

By Elyssa Barbash Ph.D. on January 07, 2018 in Trauma and Hope
Living in the moment has an abundance of benefits.

6 Scientific Ways to Boost Your Brain Health

Brain health is the foundation for healthy and successful living, learning, and loving. New research shows living healthier, and meditating can boost your brainpower. Find out why
photo by Susan Pollak

The Japanese Garden: A Place of Refuge

By Susan M. Pollak MTS, Ed.D., on December 13, 2017 in The Art of Now
Can a Japanese garden help us find serenity and perspective during the holidays?

Mindfulness and Mind-body Practices in Mental Health Care

Curious about the benefits of meditation and mind-body practices for depressed mood or bipolar disorder? Research findings show improved mood and functioning with regular practice.

Five Ways to Overcome Entrepreneurial Anxiety

By Chloe Brotheridge on December 13, 2017 in A Calmer You
The life of an entrepreneur can be tough - it's not all fun, games and working from home in your sweats. It's often fraught with with specific stressors and challenges.

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 walking by itself.

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

By William C. Sanderson Ph.D. on November 24, 2017 in Our Evolutionary Selves
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.