104 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2024
    1. John kavat zin's definition of mindfulness

      for - definition - mindfulness - Jon Kabat-Zinn

      definition - mindfulness - Jon Kabat-Zinn - awareness that arises through - paying attention on purpose in the present moment - non-judgmentally

    2. there are at least two traditional elements that would be subsumed under this term

      for - definition - mindfulness

      definition - mindfulness - This is a 20th century Western, Buddhist psychology term which has two complimentary aspects - remembering / recollecting (smrti) - hold some mental object in mind and prevent it from drifting away - clear comprehension (samprajanya) - clear knowing through alert awareness - mental surveying / monitoring

    3. bavana which literally means bringing into being

      for - definition - Bhavana - meditation - Sanskrit - samatha - vipassana

      definition - Bhavana - meditation - Sanskrit - https://encyclopediaofbuddhism.org/wiki/Bh%C4%81van%C4%81 - cultivation - samatha-bhāvanā, the cultivation of calm-abiding - stabilizing attention leading to refined states of concentration - vipassanā-bhāvanā, the cultivation of insight<br /> - clearly noting what is arising from moment to moment

  2. Jul 2023
    1. The Obsidian team offers a product called Obsidian Sync, which is a monthly or annual subscription that you can use to sync your vaults across devices. If you're not comfortable with Git, Obsidian Sync is a great way to get the same functionality while also supporting the Obsidian creators!

      This is important

  3. Nov 2022
  4. Aug 2022
    1. And the good news about it is that you can actually train your attention, and it’s not that difficult. In fact, almost every contemplative meditation discipline has to do with just sitting down and paying attention to your breath and noticing how your attention changes. There is a saying that comes from the neuroscientists that neurons that fire together are wired together. When you begin paying attention to your attention, you are developing a capability that enables you to have more control over what’s occupying your mind space.

      attention as mindfulness, and as a muscle to train.

  5. Jun 2022
    1. Aristotle argues that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between the two excesses. Aristotle’s doctrine of the Mean is reminiscent of Buddha’s Middle Path. Aristotle’s doctrine of virtue is “golden mean”. Courage, for example, is a mean regarding the feeling of fear, between the deficiency of rashness (too little fear) and the excess of cowardice (too much fear). Justice is a mean between getting or giving too much and getting or giving too little. Benevolence is a mean between giving to people who don’t deserve it and not giving to anyone at all. Similarly Buddhism aims not to eradicate all feelings but to liberate it from its attachment to false values. He gave the concept of the Middle Way, a path between the extremes of religious asceticism and worldly self-indulgence to move away from false values. Aristotle and the Buddha reached very similar conclusions as to how we should conduct our lives, if we wish to find happiness and fulfillment as human beings. However, for Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking.

      Aristotle's theory of the golden mean is similar to Buddha's middle path

  6. Mar 2022
    1. The tools that are evolving in response to the most recent and biggest info crisis begin at the cognitive level. Trained human attention and judg-ment is required, or the technical leverage is useless. Before learning how to build radars, filters, and dashboards, it helps to begin by reviewing the basics of mindfulness. Formulate goals and turn them into intentions by paying attention every once in a while to what you are doing at the moment, and then reflecting briefly on how what you are doing relates to your larger goal. That’s all you need to get started; when you sit down in front of a screen, write out by hand your goals for each day on a piece of paper, and put it on your desk at the periphery of your vision. A few times each day you will notice the paper. At those moments, ask yourself how your current activity online fits your own goals for the day (and take a deep breath). Practice mindfulness in your use of media in small ways, find places to fit practice into your day, repeat until you’ve established a new habit of paying some attention to what you are doing with media—texting, gaming, reading, writing, Web surfing, or any one of the 1,001 ways to use your mind online.

      Wir starten mit Aufmerksamkeit - warum Aufmerksamkeit? These: Wir bewegen uns in der Infosphäre - Information braucht Aufmerksamkeit, um wahrgenommen und später entschlüsselt, eingeordnet usw. zu werden. Wenn die Infosphäre zu undurchsichtig wird, müssen wir einen unseren Intentionen entsprechenden Weg durch diese Sphäre finden.

    1. Man geht immer von einem Punkt zu einem anderen. Man verlässt nie die Interaktion. Aber dies zwingt dazu, den zahlreichen Ablösungen zu folgen. Wie kann ein Akteur im Zentrum dieser Diversität überdauern? Durch eine Arbeit des Erzählens, das es einem „Ich“ erlaubt, in der Zeit zu bestehen. Und wie wird diese narrative Konstruktion ihrerseits erzeugt? Durch den Körper, durch diese alte Basis der Primatensozialität, die unsere Körper befähigt, die In-teraktionen aufrechtzuerhalten.

      Vielleicht etwas weit hergeholt. Aber wenn die Körperlichkeit für die Beständigkeit des Ichs in der Diversität bestand haben soll, dann ist die Besinnung auf die Körperlichkeit hilfreich - vllt ein (noch sehr vager) Anschlusspunkt für Achtsamkeit in Form von Atem-Meditation

    1. turning attention to the area of inattention

      Don't know if I am too superficially thinking here, but this reminds me of thoughts about mindfulness - Gives me the idea, that coping with new media will be more successful if it is done mindfully

    1. ubiquitären präsentismus

      Überspitzt: Alles, was nicht an diesem Ort X zu dieser Zeit Y sich befindet, kann vermittelst virtueller Realität bzw. in dieser in den präsenten Moment und den präsenten Ort geholt werden. Meine erste Idee dazu: Der gegenwärtige Moment ist dadurch noch sehr viel radikaler geöffnet, als er das ohnehin durch die kognitive Erinnerung und Fiktionalisierung ist (bezügl. künftiger Wünsche und Ängste). Will ein Subjekt Z jetzt mit dieser Situation zurecht kommen - gemäß ihrem eigenen Sinn erfolgreich sein - so muss es sich diesem Stream der Digitalität, in dem es sich befindet, bewusst werden. Nicht aus Zufall sind Praktiken der Achtsamkeit (z.B. Atemmeditation) daher von Interesse. Sie sind nicht bloße Hype Gegenstände, die beliebig austauschbar wären. Sie treffen ein inhaltliches Problem und geben m.E. mit dem Gewahrwerden UND dem verlassen der Idee, das Subjekt hätte gänzlich feste (identitäre) Grenzen auch eine mögliche Richtung für eine Lösung bloß eines Aspekts - jedoch eines elementaren - des Lebens in der Lebenswelt der Digitalität.

  7. Aug 2021
  8. Jul 2021
  9. Feb 2021
    1. Lethe

      One of the five rivers of the underworld of Hades, also known as the river of unmindfulness. Everyone who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness. The word literally means 'oblivion', and is related to the Greek for 'truth' (aletheia) which means 'unforgetfulness'. So there is some kind of connection between Lethe and concealing the truth. At the same time, if the shades in Hades didn't drink from Lethe (and thereby have their memories erased), they would never have the chance to be reincarnated.

  10. Dec 2020
    1. Practice drinking your coffee mindfully, washing your hands mindfully, walking mindfully, folding clothes mindfully, washing dishes mindfully. [And] this simply means while you are doing those things, bring your full attention to it. You are simply training your brain to focus on what’s happening right in front of you, right here [and] now

      The key to meditation is to train your brain to focus on the now.

      This means you can do more than just focus on your breath. Focus on the tea you're drinking, the words you're reading, the feeling of your clothing, and so on.

    2. Mindfulness has been shown to be a valid approach to treating mental health disorders,” she says. “It has strong scientific support for its effectiveness in the prevention of depression relapse and in reducing rumination. It has been studied quite extensively in chronic pain management, addiction relapse prevention, appetite awareness for binge eating disorder — the list goes on and on.”

      Did not know that mindfulness is a valid approach to treating mental health disorders.

      Great scientific support for:

      • Preventing depression relapse
      • Reducing rumination
      • Helps with chronic pain management
      • Addiction relapse prevention
      • Appetite awareness for binge eating disorder
    3. The act of putting your observations into specific word choices and then reflecting on them, whether through conversation or rereading your journal entry, is an important part of the process,” she adds. “This is why, while I like apps like Calm and Headspace, I really recommend that people find some way to verbalize their experiences after using the app.”

      Verbalizing your feelings and thoughts after meditation is very important in helping ourselves observe our thoughts and feeling.

      This verbalizing can be done out loud or through journaling

    4. Mindfulness involves metacognition, which is thinking about the thinking, and recognizing each thought or moment in its broader context.”

      Mindfulness is metacognition.

      Thinking about thinking.

    5. “If the meditator can recognize the maladaptive thoughts as maladaptive,” Carmichael tells me via email, “then meditation can help to increase this awareness. If the meditator doesn’t recognize the thoughts as maladaptive, then meditating upon the thoughts may simply increase their intensity.”

      The important point here is that those who meditate and do not recognize their thoughts as maladaptive will just end up increasing their awareness of this.

    6. it’s not about magically melting away anxiety. It’s about training your brain over time to work with you rather than against you, paying attention to what you actually want to be thinking about rather than whatever’s bringing you stress and rumination

      Meditation is about:

      • Training yourself to work with yourself rather than against yourself
      • Be in more control over what you think. Be able to think about what you want to think rather than anything that pops into your mind.
    7. “It was never intended to help you ‘clear your mind’ or even help you feel relaxed. The point of mindfulness practice is to ‘exercise’ your executive functioning centers and strengthen your ability to focus.

      The goal of meditation is to exercise executive functioning centers and strengthen your ability to focus!

  11. Nov 2020
    1. Technology-enabled MBPs included in this analysis demonstrated small to medium effects on outcomes of negative affect and mindfulness.


    1. These at-risk youths might prefer to access community interventions such as self-help on electronic platforms delivered using smartphone apps [20] rather than face-to-face therapy.

      yüz yüze terapi yerine app tercih edilebilir

    1. These results suggest that mindfulness concentration and attention techniques presented in an auditory verbal format are more immediately effective at the emotional level than when presented in visual format.

      sesli terapi daha etkili

    1. it appears that some MBIs have largely isolated mindfulness from the techniques and practice principles that traditionally supported it.

      Mind izole bir teknik oluyor

    1. mindfulness-based interventions(MBI) is the third major treatment method emerging after behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
      1. büyük terapi
  12. Sep 2020
  13. Aug 2020
  14. Jul 2020
  15. Jun 2020
  16. Apr 2020
  17. Aug 2019
  18. Jan 2019
    1. Or you can ask them to take 1-5 minutes in class before you start discussion.

      We can also think of this pre-writing or even free writing as a mindfulness exercise which helps students reflect and potentially manage stress (beyond the stress of having to speak in public).

    1. Pedagogy has at its core timeliness, mindfulness, and improvisation. Pedagogy concerns itself with the instantaneous, momentary, vital exchange that takes place in order for learning to happen.

      The emphasis here on mindfulness as a core component of vital exchanges makes me think of the most recent newsletter from Middlebury College's digital detox initiative: "Mindfulness and Radical Listening in Digital Spaces."

  19. Mar 2018
  20. Feb 2018
    1. increase mindfulness through fo-cused breathing and concentration

      Many teachers at the high school, where I work, attempt to utilize mindfulness techniques to help the students do exactly that --> focus on their breathing or some other activity to get them in a learning mindset.

  21. Jan 2017
  22. Dec 2016
    1. By helping us stay attuned to what’s happening around us in the present moment, regardless of the time, mindfulness helps us stay connected to what is most important. As the Zen monk Suzuki Roshi teaches, “The most important thing is to remember the most important thing.”
    2. I think it is important to clarify, however, that self-compassion doesn’t mean we are always filled with happiness and lovingkindness. Simply put, what it means is that our awareness of what’s happening is always kind, always compassionate. So even if I’m feeling angry or frustrated, I am embracing my experience with a compassionate awareness.
    3. I believe truly practicing mindfulness helps us learn how to become more compassionate toward ourselves—which, evidence suggests, is intertwined with being more compassionate toward others. One study I often cite, especially when teaching psychotherapists and students who are training to become therapists, demonstrates that how we treat ourselves is highly correlated with how we treat others: When therapists rated how compassionate they were with themselves versus how critical and self-blaming, their ratings correlated highly with how they related to their patients.
    4. In this way, I began to cultivate kindness toward myself, as well as a sense of interest and curiosity for my lived experience. I started to practice infusing my attention with care and compassion, similar to a parent attending to a young child, saying to myself, “I care about you. I’m interested. Tell me about your experience.”
    5. The monk explained to me that mindfulness is not just about paying attention, but also about how you pay attention. He described a compassionate, kind attention, where instead of becoming frustrated when my mind wandered, I could actually become curious about my mind meandering about, holding this experience in compassionate awareness. Instead of being angry at my mind, or impatient with myself, I could inquire gently and benevolently into what it felt like to be frustrated or impatient.
    1. One study found that people who practice mindfulness meditation appear to develop the skill of self-observation, which neurologically disengages the automatic pathways that were created by prior learning and enables present-moment input to be integrated in a new way (Siegel, 2007a).
    1. However, most studies of mindfulness pertain to a certain aspect of Buddhist meditation practice, namely, attending to mental content, such as current feelings, or sensorial experiencing, such as the breath, in a non-judgmental, curious manner (for discussions of mindfulness see Bishop et al., 2004; Grossman, 2008 & in press-a; Kabat-Zinn, 2003; Melbourne Academic Mindfulness Interest Group, 2006). In the Buddhist tradition, there are other very prominent practices that involve other attentional objects and emotional modes of attending to those objects that have been much less discussed, namely loving-kindness and compassion meditation. These practices have only recently been investigated by contemporary psychology researchers.Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) aims to develop an affective state of unconditional kindness to all people. Compassion mediation (CM) involves techniques to cultivate compassion, or deep, genuine sympathy for those stricken by misfortune, together with an earnest wish to ease this suffering (Grossman & Van Dam, in press; Hopkins, 2001). Both forms of meditation (LKM and CM) are centrally related to, and include the practice of, mindfulness, as noted by many scholars and practitioners from varying traditions, including Theravadin, Japanese, and Chinese Zen (e.g., Bodhi, 2005; Kuan, 2008; Sanharakshita, 2004; Shen-Yen, 2001; Suzuki, 2011).
    2. Mindfulness meditation employs the full range of perceptible experience as possible objects of mindful awareness, for example, bodily or other sensory experience, affective states, thoughts, or images. Illustrative of this approach and often seen as a particularly useful technique is the mindfulness practice of moment-to-moment attending to breathing. The aims of breath awareness within the Buddhist perspective are (among others): (1) to use an observable, easily perceptible and constantly available physical stimulus (the breath) as object of investigation of mind-body awareness; (2) to utilize continuous attention to the breath to improve the capability of moment-to-moment volition-driven concentration; (3) and to employ a rather simple object of observation (which is intimately related to physical mental and emotional functioning) as a starting point for more complex objects of awareness. It should be noted, however, that mindfulness of breathing in itself is a sophisticated, systematic, and multilayered procedure (for further details, see Rosenberg, 2004, and Grossman, 2010, Grossman, in press). Thus, consistent with definition of mindfulness above, a major aim of mindfulness meditation is to cultivate a more accurate view of how the mind operates and to raise awareness of the present moment by means of a process of phenomenological investigation that is inherent to mindfulness practice. MBT has been typically derived from non-Tibetan traditions and practices, particularly the Theravadin tradition (the oldest existing Buddhist school), although mindfulness is also central to other Buddhist traditions as well.
    3. A recent review of the literature suggests that MBT is a beneficial intervention to reduce negative psychological states, such as stress, anxiety, and depression (Hofmann et al., 2010). This review identified 39 studies totaling 1,140 participants receiving MBT for a range of conditions, including cancer, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and other psychiatric or medical conditions. Effect size estimates suggest that MBT is associated with strong effects for improving anxiety and mood symptoms in patients with anxiety and mood disorders. In other patients, this intervention was moderately effective for improving anxiety and mood symptoms. These effect sizes were robust and unrelated to number of treatment sessions or publication year. Moreover, the treatment effects were maintained over follow-up. These findings suggest that mindfulness-based therapy is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations.
    4. Mindfulness is a construct that is difficult to define (see Bishop et al., 2004; Grossman, 2008 & in press a; Kabat-Zinn, 2003; Melbourne Academic Mindfulness Interest Group, 2006). It has been described as a form of participant-observation that is a characterized by moment-to-moment awareness of perceptible mental states and processes that includes continuous, immediate awareness of physical sensations, perceptions, affective states, thoughts, and imagery (Grossman et al., 2004). Definitions of mindfulness from Buddhism and MBTs focus upon a number of qualities that include (a) a deliberate intention to pay attention to momentary experience, (b) a marked distinction from normal, everyday modes of consciousness, (c) a clear focus on aspects of active investigation of moment-to-moment experience, (d) continuity of a precise, dispassionate, non-evaluative, and sustained moment-to-moment awareness of immediate experience, and (e) an attitude of openness, acceptance, kindness, curiosity and patience (see Grossman et al., 2004, 2010; Grossman & Van Dam, in press). Additionally, mindfulness directly involves active development of such qualities as energy, tranquility, and equanimity (e.g., Nanamoli & Bodhi, 2001, note 560). Along similar lines, if somewhat simplified, Bishop and colleagues (2004) distinguish two components of mindfulness: one that involves self-regulation of attention and one that involves an orientation toward the present moment characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
  23. Nov 2016
    1. Meditation, hence, is the ultimate tonic for the health and mind of students. It is ironical that despite the known benefits of meditation, students tend to ignore it. They are ever reluctant about meditation, assuming it to be a strenuous act. But the truth is meditation is a very simple exercise to mind and body.

  24. Jul 2016
  25. May 2016
    1. “Almost any experience is improved by paying full attention to it,” Ms. McGonigal said. “Attention is one way your brain decides, ‘Is this interesting? Is this worthwhile? Is this fun?’ ”It’s the reason television shows we tweet through feel tiresome and books we pick up and put down and pick up again never seem to end. The more we allow ourselves to be distracted from a particular activity, the more we feel the need to be distracted. Paying attention pays dividends
  26. Nov 2015
    1. Isn’t the point of life to change and improve, rather than just accept things the way they are and naively believe the future will be better? In fact, mindfulness and the other techniques discussed help put us in better touch with reality so we can see things clearly and act from there. And thanks to neuroplasticity, science has shown that we are able to change.
    2. Mindfulness at work means noticing and examining the habits of behavior, thinking, and feeling that we’ve created. Sometimes, what appears to be a problem is only a problem because of the expectations or feelings we attach to it, not the reality itself. Healey encourages us to create some distance between ourselves and our emotions and simply observe. We can also keep an eye out for little assumptions or habits that are making us unhappy, like jumping for the phone when it rings. Finally, we can cultivate mindfulness by meditating as well as injecting it into everyday experience.
    3. More mindful partners report more sexual satisfaction. More mindful students participate more. More mindful teachers burnout less. More mindful health professionals burnout less and have more self-compassion. More mindful prisoners are less angry, hostile, and moody. More mindful people with post-traumatic stress disorder have less symptoms of trauma, intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and hyperarousal.
    4. According to set point theory, our attitude and behaviors have a bigger effect on our happiness than our external circumstances – and that’s good news for mindfulness. Mindfulness shapes our brain by increasing gray matter in areas related to attention, learning, self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and compassion.
    5. Mindfulness literally changes our brains, making some areas more responsive, interconnected, and dense. In particular, these are areas related to empathy (the insula); memory, emotion, and emotion regulation; and reward circuitry. In response to distressing stimuli, meditators see more activation in their prefrontal structures (for awareness) and less in their fear-driven amygdala.
    6. They have helped people reduce chronic pain, improve psoriasis, and increase their immune response to the flu shot. One study of mindfulness/compassion meditation out of Emory University showed reductions in stress markers, and even a simple long exhale (ahhhh) increases vagal tone. And – last but not least – a three-month meditation training program boosted telomerase activity, indicating longer telemores and perhaps a longer life expectancy.
    7. Kabat-Zinn says that meditation is not the goal; the point of cultivating mindfulness is to learn to live our lives like they really matter now, rather than constantly living in regret or anticipation.
    8. When our mind wanders during meditation, a group of brain areas called the “default mode network” activates. Scientists aren’t exactly sure what this network does – it may be directly involved in mind wandering or simply be carrying out brain maintenance when we aren’t thinking about anything in particular. As soon as we realize our mind is wandering during meditation, other brain regions for detecting relevant events light up. As we refocus our attention on the breath, the executive brain network takes over. Experienced meditators who repeat this process thousands of times start to show differences in the brain. They develop more connection between the self-focused part of the default mode network and brain regions for disengaging attention, which makes it easier to shut off that area of the brain when they realize their minds are wandering. Over time, meditation improves working memory, fluid intelligence, and standardized test scores.
    1. Any Hollywood writer will tell you that attention is a scarce resource. Movies, TV shows, and books always include “hooks” that make you turn the page, stay on the channel through the commercial, or keep you in a theater seat. Scientists liken attention to a spotlight. We are only able to shine it on a narrow area. If that area seems less interesting than some other area, our attention wanders.
  27. Oct 2015
    1. Many people surveyed in research by Csikszentmihalyi and others report that flow is an optimal state, when they truly feel like they're "in the zone." These findings resonate with Matt Killingsworth's research on mind-wandering and happiness, which we covered earlier.  In flow, we experience the opposite of the kind of distracted mind-wandering that Killingsworth links to unhappiness.
    1. People who were mindful were likely to behappy, but people who were mindful and self-compassionate were more likely tobe happier.
    2. if you really have self-compassion, remember, you are more ableto see yourself clearly. It is safer to see yourself clearly and therefore it’s a loteasier for you to take responsibility because it’sokay to have messed up, to have made a mistake.

      This is to emphasize the difference with making excuses for oneself, and it is a fairly interesting distinction.

    1. Just having positive experiences is not enough to promote last well-being. If a person feels grateful for a few seconds, that’s nice. That’s better than feeling resentful or bitter for a few seconds. But in order to really suck that experience into the brain, we need to stay with those experiences for a longer duration of time—we need to take steps, consciously, to keep that spotlight of attention on the positive. So, how do we actually do this? These are the three steps I recommend for taking in the good. I should note that I did not invent these steps. They are embedded in many good therapies and life practices. But I’ve tried to tease them apart and embed them in an evolutionary understanding of how the brain works. 1. Let a good fact become a good experience. Often we go through life and some good thing happens—a little thing, like we checked off an item on our To Do list, we survived another day at work, the flowers are blooming, and so forth. Hey, this is an opportunity to feel good. Don’t leave money lying on the table: Recognize that this is an opportunity to let yourself truly feel good. 2. Really savor this positive experience. Practice what any school teacher knows: If you want to help people learn something, make it as intense as possible—in this case, as felt in the body as possible—for as long as possible. 3. Finally, as you sink into this experience, sense your intent that this experience is sinking into you. Sometimes people do this through visualization, like by perceiving a golden light coming into themselves or a soothing balm inside themselves. You might imagine a jewel going into the treasure chest in your heart—or just know that this experience is sinking into you, becoming a resource you can take with you wherever you go.
    2. Another region is the frontal regions of the prefrontal cortex—areas involved in controlling attention. Again, this should be no surprise: They’re focusing their attention in their meditation, so they’re getting more control over it, and they’re strengthening its neural basis.
    1. Mindfulness interrupts the conditioned responses that prevent us from exploring new avenues of thought, choking our creative potential. Each time we stand up against a habit—whether it’s checking our smartphone during a conversation or reacting defensively to a coworker’s passing remark— we weaken the grip of our conditioning. We lay down new tracks in the brain  and fashion new synaptic connections.
    2. No action, reaction, interaction, or relationship ever feels uninteresting or unworkable if a curious mind is brought to bear on it. You can actually transform that feeling of,  “Oh man, here comes John, my supervisor—I bet he wants me to change my work, again” into “Here comes John again. How can I see and hear him, without judgment, as though we were interacting for the very first time—just dealing with what comes up in the moment?”
    3. Think even smaller. Imagine something as routine as the way you hoist the phone to your ear when it rings. By really examining this action—seemingly so inconsequential, so unworthy of examination—you feel like it’s something you’re doing for the very first time. You may detect anxiety traveling down your arm and tension as you pick up the phone. Experiencing everyday actions up close in this way is not about being self-conscious. It’s about bringing choice, attention, and awareness back into things that you’ve allowed to become automatic. By opening up to the tiniest habit, you make it possible to crack open the larger habits, which seem more resistant to change. You can look at every action and interaction freshly.
    4. also in situations that may seem insignificant, but which could become more significant if left unexamined. Let’s say you’ve taken  the attitude that the tasks  assigned to you are unimportant or undervalued. Ask yourself if you feel that way because it is true. Or do you feel that way because you’re so used to telling yourself it’s true that you can’t think of it in any other way?
    5. Becoming aware of the impact the slight has had on you is the first step. Separate yourself from yourself just enough to allow you to examine, free from rote reactions, how your body, emotions, and thoughts are combining to gear up for a response.
    6. Each of us has our own pet scenarios that chafe against our expectations. When they pop up, they threaten to stir up jealousy, anger, defensiveness, mindless striving, and a stew of other possibilities. We may end up saying or doing something hurtful, something we’ll regret later and may have to apologize for. We leapt before we looked. Conversely, when we stop to examine how we typically respond to situations, we create space for more creative and flexible responses. Ultimately, as we build the habit of mindfully examining our responses in the moment, mindful awareness becomes our new default mode.
    7. It can be difficult enough to be open-minded toward others, but it is even more difficult to be open-minded toward oneself. It takes real training. To discover the ways of perceiving you’re apt to blindly apply, experiment with keeping yourself curious, attentive, and receptive. Whenever you detect yourself falling into an old, familiar pattern, stop and examine what is actually going on. Notice the physical sensations in your body; notice the emotions that have bloomed; notice what stories your mind is generating that make your body tense and inflame your emotions. But it’s important not to disparage yourself for falling into an old and unhelpful pattern. Recognize the potentially explosive negative charge generated by your body, thoughts, and emotions. Accept that it has arisen, then make the decision to be in control of it instead of being controlled by it.
    8. The positive response to the program was almost immediate. “In one classroom, the children went from having the most behavioral problems in the school—as measured by number of visits to the principal’s office—to having zero behavioral problems, after only two to three weeks of instruction,” says Schonert-Reichl.

      Mindfulness training in schools seems to have some major benefits.

    1. If you find yourself overwhelmed by anger against yourself or others, sitting meditation sounds like the one for you. If you frequently feel tired or sick, yoga is worth a try. While the body scan did not seem to yield as many benefits as the other two practices, that’s an area that needs further investigation. For example, it’s possible that body scan paired with sitting meditation or yoga could be helpful.

      Researchers found some benefits across all three groups. In all three groups participants reported reduced rumination, as well as greater self-compassion and well-being. These results echo decades of research showing that mindfulness practices improve physical and mental health.

    2. The study, published last month in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, suggests that meditating for just 30 minutes a day for eight weeks can increase the density of gray matter in brain regions associated with memory, stress, and empathy.

      One of those regions was the hippocampus, which prior research has found to be involved in learning, memory, and the regulation of our emotions. The gray matter of the hippocampus is often reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

      The researchers also found denser gray matter in the temporoparietal junction and the posterior cingulated cortex of the meditators’ brains—regions involved in empathy and taking the perspective of someone else—and in the cerebellum, which has been linked to emotion regulation.

    3. Our conversation veers toward how teaching mindfulness can sometimes be mistaken as training people to simply improve their own performance—through better concentration, through better training of attention and awareness. Davidson, interjects: “What we do always needs to be in the service of others. That’s the difference.”
    4. Davidson says. “It has yet to be studied in the specific area of meditation practice, but we can ask the question, for example, is it better to sit for 30 minutes a day, or is it better to have 10 three-minute periods of practice that are sprinkled throughout the day? We don’t know the answer to that.”
    5. also did a briefmeditation intervention and in their subjects they were able to show that themeditation program resulted ina greater activation in reward circuitryso more contentment and pleasure and in this caseanticipatory pleasure because they were showing this activationin response to opportunities, to help opportunitiesto be of assistance.
    6. basically what they've been able to showis that certain regions of the brain seem to getmore densely interconnected and more responsiveafter meditation and those ones seem to be areas of the brain that areinvolved inwhat we call interoceptive awareness, which is also the same area that’s implicated in empathy so so we get stronger at responses in our in our insula in response to information from the outside world after having participated in a meditation programathis should make us more empathetic, and thisindeed that’s what we observed.
    7. And what they found was that the individuals who participated in the meditation programhad longer telomeres than the individuals who were in the control group after a three-monthexperience. This was first finding in that vein. Elissa Epel and her colleague did anotherresearch project where they looked at a mindfulness-based program for people with eating disorders andshowed that people who did the mindfulness had a 39% increase in telomerase activitywhich corresponds to lengthened telomeres and that this telomerase activity actuallypredicted benefits in other aspects of their treatment program having to do with the people’seating habits. So there’s this interesting effect that is being reiterated that mindfulnessactually seems to make people age more gracefully.
    1. Awareness: Self-awareness points to the ability to attain insight into one's own attitudes, motives, reactions, strengths and vulnerabilities.
    2. Attention: According to psychologist and philosopher William James, attention "is the taking possession of the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what may seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thoughts…It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others." Many compare attention to a spotlight, which makes certain information from the inside or outside world more available to conscious awareness, while filtering out less useful information. Attention is limited, in that it can only hold a finite quantity of information in mind for a limited period of time, and selective, in that it orients to information that is deemed important in a given moment.
    3. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a secular practice of mindfulness has entered the mainstream in recent years largely through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. The MBSR program usually has students meet for two to three hours per week for eight weeks, practicing at home between classes. They learn practices such as the "body scan," in which they focus their attention along each part of the body, trying to be aware and accepting of whatever they sense in these body parts, and the "raisin meditation," where they slowly use all of their senses, one after another, to observe a raisin in great detail, from the way it feels in their hand to the way its taste bursts on the tongue.
    4. Meditation: Though mindfulness and meditation are closely related, they are not synonymous. As Jon Kabat-Zinn describes in his video, one can practice mindfulness while not doing a formal meditation practice, and there are many different kinds of meditation that go beyond mindfulness meditation. The term "meditation" refers to a wide range of practices that simply involve training the mind to achieve a particular state of consciousness, especially for relaxation. That said, mindfulness meditation, based on a technique adapted from Buddhist Vipassana meditation, is a basic and commonly practiced form of meditation.
    5. Mindfulness. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.
    6. Now notice again that ‘open,kind, and discerning’suggest that we’re not rigidly forcing our minds to pay attention all the time to somethingthat we intend to pay attention to, but rather that we’re present in the moment and notforcing anything, including forcing ourselves not to mind-wander.
    7. Now notice again that ‘open,kind, and discerning’suggest that we’re not rigidly forcing our minds to pay attention all the time to somethingthat we intend to pay attention to, but rather that we’re present in the moment and notforcing anything, including forcing ourselves not to mind-wander.
    1. during periods of mind-wandering, regions of the brain’s default mode network were activated. Then when participants became aware of this mind-wandering, brain regions related to the detection of salient or relevant events came online. After that, areas of the executive brain network took over, re-directing and maintaining attention on the chosen object. And all of this occurred within 12 seconds around those button presses.


      I'd be interested to see how sleep deprivation relates to this; I find my mind wanders easily when I haven't had enough sleep. Yet another reason to get more sleep to be happy and healthy.

    2. there is a strong relationship between mind-wandering now and being unhappy a short time later, consistent with the idea that mind-wandering is causing people to be unhappy. In contrast, there’s no relationship between being unhappy now and mind-wandering a short time later. Mind-wandering precedes unhappiness but unhappiness does not precede mind-wandering. In other words, mind-wandering seems likely to be a cause, and not merely a consequence, of unhappiness.
    3. A particularly generative field is contemplative neuroscience, which involves collaborations between scientists and expert authorities in the traditions that have informed the concept of mindfulness.
    4. For example, when your mind wandered off in that meeting, it might help to know you’re slipping into default mode—and you can deliberately bring yourself back to the moment. That’s an ability that can improve with training.
    5. One brain area stood out in this analysis: the medial prefrontal cortex, a part of the default mode network that is particularly related to self-focused thoughts, which make up a good portion of mind-wandering content. It turns out that experienced meditators deactivated this region more quickly after identifying mind-wandering than people who hadn’t meditated as much
    6. more experienced meditators have increased connectivity between default mode and attention brain regions, and less default mode activity while meditating.
    7. a wandering mind isn’t all bad. Not only can we leverage it to build focus using FA meditation, but the capacity to project our mental stream out of the present and imagine scenarios that aren’t actually happening is hugely evolutionarily valuable, which may explain why it’s so prominent in our mental lives. These processes allow for creativity, planning, imagination, memory—capacities that are central not only to our survival, but also to the very essence of being human. The key, I believe, is learning to become aware of these mental tendencies and to use them purposefully, rather than letting them take over. Meditation can help with that.
    8. the Killingsworth and Gilbert study I mentioned earlier found that when people’s minds were wandering, they tended to be less happy, presumably because our thoughts often tend towards negative rumination or stress. That’s why mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly important treatment of mental health difficulties like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even sexual dysfunction.
    9. What are other practical implications of this knowledge? Recent behavioral research shows that practicing meditation trains various aspects of attention. Studies show that meditation training not only improves working memory and fluid intelligence, but even standardized test scores. 
    10. Ironically, mind-wandering itself can help strengthen our ability to focus, if leveraged properly. This can be achieved using an age-old skill: meditation
    11. It may seem surprising, but mind-wandering is actually a central element of focused attention (FA) meditation. In this foundational style of meditation, the practitioner is instructed to keep her attention on a single object, often the physical sensations of breathing. 
    12. a recent study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert sampled over 2,000 adults during their day-to-day activities and found that 47 percent of the time, their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing. Even more striking, when people’s minds were wandering, they reported being less happy.
    13. mindfulness is about dedicating our awareness to the present moment, in a kind, non-judging manner
  28. Sep 2015
    1. Among those who reported helping others, present-focused attention predicted increased positive emotions—such as compassion, elevation, and joy—but did not predict negative emotions. By contrast, non-judgmental acceptance predicted decreased negative emotions—such as distress, disgust, and guilt—but did not predict positive emotions.
    2. In ongoing work with Barbara Fredrickson, I am exploring how levels of mindfulness predict helping behavior as well as the emotions associated with helping. Mindfulness has two important sub-components: the ability to attend to the present moment and the ability to accept experiences without judging them. I found that both aspects of mindfulness predicted helping behavior.