Meditation

  • The Biological Boon Behind Incense Paid Member

    A new study reveals one reason why incense and spiritualism go together like zendos and zafus. Beyond the symbolic tradition of burning incense lies a biological benefit: it can help ease anxiety and depression. When scientists administered incensole acetate, a compound found in incense, to mice, the compound affected them in "brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs." Adds Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion--burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!" Read all about it over in Science Daily. More »
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    "The still point of the turning world" Paid Member

    Meditation and art. More »
  • A 3-Year Retreat Paid Member

    Back in the old days when there were fewer distractions, you wouldn't miss as much spending a few years in a mountaintop cave. But these days... but 28 people did just that in Australia recently (except for the cave and mountaintop parts.) From the Buddhist Channel. Plus, new treatments for Parkinson's disease at Taiwan's Tzu Chi Hospital. More »
  • 8 killed in Kardze Paid Member

    Police fired on monks and civilians in Kardze in eastern Tibet, killing eight. Radio Free Asia has a lot of info on this. The monks objected to a re-education program they were forced to undergo, and the government objected to their objections. Some sources say as many as fifteen were killed, and there are also reports of at least two monks in Sichuan province committing suicide: On Saturday, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, based in India, said two monks committed suicide last month in Sichuan's Aba County following government oppression. More »
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    Meditation and reducing depression; MBCT Paid Member

    Scientists in Britain study meditation and its effects on the brain. (The government funds this?) The popular Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is discussed. MBCT is recommended for people who are not currently depressed, but who have had three or more bouts of depression in their lives. Trials suggest that the course reduces the likelihood of another attack of depression by over 50%. The National Health Service pays for MBCT. More »
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    Change Blindness Paid Member

    Interesting article in the New York Times today about how we often fail to notice change, even when it's right in front of our eyes. Would meditators do better on the test given in the article than non-meditators? What do we choose to pay attention to? How much attention do we pay to the world around us? For most of us, the answer is Not much, the article concludes. Plus: the Dalai Lama's blog. Satire alert. More »