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Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:32

Emma Seppala: Freeing the Mind from PTSD

Written by Erric Solomon

Emma Seppala, Ph.D, has done groundbreaking work on using yoga and meditation to help veterans cope with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Her work is featured in the “Free the Mind” documentary, reviewed hereWhile the most common treatment is to prescribe drugs, research shows that the drugs very rarely, if ever work. But for patients who meditate and do yoga, there are some very promising results. 

Sunday, 07 July 2013 14:55

More about Peaceful Weight Loss

Written by Brandt Passalacqua

[Editor’s note: After reading Brandt Passalacqua’s excellent blog post, I had to admit that my curiosity was piqued. So Brandt thought it might be fun to do an interview. Our schedules and distant time zones made it hard to connect and but we managed, through the magic of email, to get it done.]

Friday, 05 July 2013 11:14

I'm so glad I learned to meditate

Written by Tahlia Newland

I remember Sogyal Rinpoche saying that learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself. He was right. The best thing I ever did, not just for myself but for everyone around me, was to take the time I did to learn to meditate so that I can snap my fingers / switch my perspective / turn my mind and instead of being confused, frustrated, rushed and tense, I become calm, clear and  undistractracted. It's a kind of magic. I feel the tension and stress fall away. A smile blossoms on my face and in my heart. My work proceeds more efficiently and I am more empathetic to others.

Danish filmmaker Phie Ambo’s compelling new documentary “Free the Mind” is not only transformatively moving but informative and hopeful.  There's something restorative about watching the gentle, compassionate story highlighting the use of the non-pharmacological methods of mindfulness, yoga and meditation to overcome the anxiety and trauma suffered by the film’s subjects.

Professor Paul Gilbert, OBE has spent much of the last twenty years developing a therapeutic approach which he calls Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT). CFT is not a stand-alone therapy as such, but offers another approach to working or organizing ideas for practitioners of all sorts of therapy. It has been a promising approach, especially when working with patients who experience a great deal of shame or self-criticism.


Andy Fraser and I spent some time with him at the recent Buddhism and Medicine Forum and asked him to explain a bit about CFT and its relationship to Buddhist practice. It is very encouraging to hear about how centuries old practices of mindfulness and compassion can be combined with modern psycho-therapeutic approaches with remarkable results.


Thursday, 20 June 2013 16:14

Are we headed for slot-machine dharma?

Written by Maureen Cooper

It seems that everywhere you look now someone is telling us how to apply meditation to all and any aspects of our lives—work, parenting, health, education, politics, eating........The development of mindfulness training—which is based on Buddhist meditation but can be taught and practiced without any reference to religion in any form—has seen this trend take off in a big way. Now compassion training is following a slower and more cautious but equally impressive upward curve. Scientists are producing fascinating research results, which confirm what Buddhism has taught for the last 2,500 years—that mindfulness and compassion training have innumerable benefits both for the people who engage with it and for those they live and work with. Psychologists and therapists are coming to see that including mindfulness and compassion techniques in their approaches to patient support produces more sustainable results. Not only ground-breaking hi-tech companies such as Google, Paypal, Twitter, Facebook and Apple are seeing the benefits of mindfulness and compassion training for their staff but more mainstream companies like General Mills are setting up in-house programmes for staff.

The fourth installment of the Buddhism and Medicine series of conferences, a grand experiment bringing together Buddhist Masters, Doctors and Scientists, took place from May 31st through June 2nd at the Lerab Ling Buddhist Retreat Center in France. This year’s forum topic was “Compassion, Empathy and Health” and was attended by over 800 people. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 11:18

What can we really count on?

Written by Josh Korda

One of the most fundamental insights of spiritual practice is that despite all the safeguards civilization provides, the feelings of security we achieve through work, relationships and family, etc, we remain inherently vulnerable to abrupt loss and change. Everything is in flux: the world, people in our lives, moods and thoughts arising and passing in our minds. This fundamental change includes the way we relate to people, places and things: each new iGadget feels exciting and promising out of the box; months later it brings little more than a momentary diversion to the day.

Friday, 07 June 2013 10:56

Tahiti’s top 5 stress management tips

Written by Ian Gawler

Maybe it all began with the florid yet languid images of Paul Gauguin. But maybe it was the exotic tale of sailors in Mutiny on the Bountyrisking all for the romantic allure of the tropical paradise known as Tahiti that lead to this boy’s life long yearning to visit.

So just back from fulfilling a dream, lets go Out on a Limb once more, share some amazing photos and learn what Tahiti can teach us about stress management. But first

Phakchok Rinpoche explains how we can identify our ego by observing the process of our judgmental mind. He goes on to describe that through meditation and compassion we can learn to transcend our unrelenting habit of judging everything.