Mindful voices

Tuesday, January 24 2012

When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?  

Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, Wherever You Go There You Are was my introduction to mindfulness and it inspired me to learn more about what it is and further develop my practice.

Did you take a class? If so, what sort of class did you take?  

I later took a class called Awakening Mindfulness at my local yoga studio and it helped deepen my understanding of mindfulness.

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posted by Mindful readers..., 11:57 am
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Friday, January 20 2012

Nobody likes making mistakes—that's a given. But at least we have the opportunity to learn something from them... right? Yes. But did you know that how you react to them makes a big difference in whether you learn from them?

Two new studies looked at what happens in people's brains as they make mistakes. One used college students performing a computer task; the other used doctors making decisions about which medications to prescribe. In both studies, participants received immediate feedback about whether they had made the right decision, and they were given opportunities to try again, using what they had learned.

It turns out that there are two typical brain responses to mistakes. One looks like a "wake up call." The brain hones in on the negative outcome, and treats it like a problem that needs solving. What happened, and why? The brain also increases its attention during the next decision, as if it is trying to prevent a repeat of the mistake. When this happens, people are much more likely to improve their performance and learn from the mistake.

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posted by Kelly McGonigal, 11:38 am
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Thursday, January 19 2012

The day Rabbi Harold Kushner was told by a pediatrician that his three-year-old son Aaron would never grow taller than three feet—suffering the symptoms of progeria, or “rapid aging”—his entire belief about God went out the window.

He would go on to wonder how a God that he had been so loyal to could do such a terrible thing to him. Rabbi Kushner went on to make it his life’s work to explore this idea, eventually penning a book about it—When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

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posted by Elisha Goldstein, 10:58 am
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Monday, January 16 2012

Mindfulness for youth is growing in leaps and bounds in educational, clinical and community settings throughout the world. Why is this? The simple answer—mindfulness works! There is evidence-based research supporting this (click here for articles). 

I recently had the honor of interviewing Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and author of three books, the latest being Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. As Hanson puts it, mindfulness training is a fundamental kind of literacy. It's a way of controlling our most fundamental property—our attention. In fact it's sometimes referred to as “attentional control.” In part, mindfulness can be a gateway to changing the brain, which fortunately has the ability to grow and be rewired.

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posted by Gina Biegel, 11:45 am
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Friday, January 13 2012

Despite grim bad-news stories, honor is in fact alive among those who serve the public. And so too is mindfulness.

Looking at the news online Wednesday night, I had that sinking feeling again: 

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posted by Rod Meade Sperry, 5:14 pm
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