Saturday, 24 November 2012 18:50

How Quickly Can You Change Your Mind?

A few days ago I saw a power point presentation on you-tube about a recent study on the effects of meditation and compassion practice on the brain. While there have been more and more studies of this kind in the recent years and months, what struck me most about this study was that it showed just how easy it is to change our minds (or at least our brains) with such a little amount of time and effort.
Published in Meditation Blog
Sunday, 18 November 2012 02:22

Making peace with being stuck in a crowd

Despite the fact that a lot of scientists these days talk about the wisdom of crowds, which refers to the idea that together, a crowd of people will tend to converge to the right answer for most problems, I tend to dislike being in crowds. This really struck me recently because in Summer the town where I live is fairly empty, but now the academic year has started, it is very full again with students. As I was waiting for the traffic light a few days ago, I really felt quite antsy being surrounded by something like 60 other bikers. But then something hit me: why should I focus so strongly on how these people are in my way? They too are people like me, they try to be happy, and they try to get to their destination on time. As soon as I started to see these people as different "me"s, I felt much calmer and happier.
Published in Meditation Blog
Friday, 02 November 2012 21:30

Taming the mind with music

Natanyel Bohm-Levine sent us what he wrote for his application to Oberlin College in Ohio, USA:

The Buddha, on the essence of his teachings, said that sentient beings must learn how "to tame this mind of ours." My dad, a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, often tried to get me to incorporate Buddhist principles in my life.  I, however, did not understand the Buddha’s teaching until my summer at the Berklee College of Music, where I changed my understanding of what having a tamed mind actually means, and how it can help me become a better musician. In turn, I made quite an important discovery: playing music, for me, is a sort of meditation. 
Published in Meditation Blog
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 13:59

Minding Your Time, Enhancing Your Mindfulness

The Pomodoro Technique - named by an Italian after the “tomato” - is an approach to time management intended to enhance your focus and concentration and reduce the anxiety associated with time.  It’s a simple but effective way to improve your work and study habits.

And this ruby red can help you with mindfulness too!

The system involves the use of a kitchen timer set to 25 minutes of time, but you can actually use any timer.  This slice of time is officially called a “pomodoro”.  Wind your physical timer or click the Pomodoro online time for 25 minutes.  Then set out on a task without stopping until the timer rings.

Here’s where your mindfulness training comes in.

Published in Meditation Blog

All through my life, I’ve wished that I could reduce or eliminate the suffering that others go through. I guess this is built into the basic pre-programming that comes with being human. Most of the time this desire is in relative abeyance and I’m distracted from it, as I'm busy coping with my life. There are people in my life with a lot of pain, but I don’t think about it often as there’s nothing practical that can be done about it --- and I hate problems I want to help with but can’t do anything about! And, like all of us, I have (too) many defenses which blunt my perception of others’ suffering – that’s something I’ve needed to work with all my life.

Published in Meditation Blog
Inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's aims and ideals, especially those values of dialogue, non-violence and altruism, the Tenzin Gyatso Institute is delighted to announce the launch of the "Compassion in Society" programme. Compassion in Society will offer real-world tools for cultivating compassion, and demonstrate its universal applicability for modern men and women. Initially offered to young people, "Compassion in Society" will be launched at the "Empathy and Compassion in Society" conference that the institute is co-hosting in London from November 23-24. Featuring neuroscientists, psychologists, educators, policy experts and changemakers, the conference marks a new chapter of the Tenzin Gyatso Institute.
Published in Meditation Blog
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:59

Meditation is not Business as Usual

A few months ago at a meditation retreat for Business leaders in Australia called Practical Wisdom, which was led by Sogyal Rinpoche, I had the chance to ask a few top executives how meditation has helped them in their lives and in particular whether they had found any benefits in their work.

Here’s my interview with John Akehurst, a former CEO of a large oil and gas company, a non-executive director of a number of top 20 companies and a board member of Australia’s national reserve bank. What he said was quite incredible and possibly not what you would expect.

Published in Meditation Blog

One of the first findings on the effects of meditation on the brain were very large amounts of gamma brain waves reported in long-term practitioners (Lutz et al (2004)). An important problem with that study was the fact that we had no idea how these gamma waves came about. Were they caused by the meditation or were the people that took part in this study simply weird people? Recently, a new study was published that shed light on this issue.

Published in Meditation Blog
Saturday, 20 October 2012 07:52

Tips for waking up in the morning - part 3

Just in case you are not a fan of a clear and determined intention to practice right after getting up or you don't feel like morning meditation is something to look forward to, maybe this one works ...

Published in Meditation Blog
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 11:18

What's up? Meditating with your child

Our deepest wish as parents is for our children to be happy. We feel intensely our children’s pain and suffering and would literally do anything to help them. But often we find ourselves at a loss - we don’t know what is troubling them, or how to help, though we keep trying to talk it through, figure it out, fix it up!

Really listening and attending to our children can often be enough to ease their suffering. However, sometimes they do not know what is distressing them, or they may feel powerless to change an old habit such as worry and anxiety, an explosive temper, or fragile self-esteem. Some children also feel that they are in some way ‘bad’, they feel unloved and unlovable.*

Published in Meditation Blog