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There's More to Life Than Being Happy

There's More to Life Than Being Happy | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

"A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how.""

 

— Viktor Frankl

 

In a new study, which will be published this year in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Positive Psychology, psychological scientists asked nearly 400 Americans aged 18 to 78 whether they thought their lives were meaningful and/or happy. Examining their self-reported attitudes toward meaning, happiness, and many other variables -- like stress levels, spending patterns, and having children -- over a month-long period, the researchers found that a meaningful life and happy life overlap in certain ways, but are ultimately very different. Leading a happy life, the psychologists found, is associated with being a "taker" while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a "giver."

 

"Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided," the authors write.

 

How do the happy life and the meaningful life differ? Happiness, they found, is about feeling good. Specifically, the researchers found that people who are happy tend to think that life is easy, they are in good physical health, and they are able to buy the things that they need and want. While not having enough money decreases how happy and meaningful you consider your life to be, it has a much greater impact on happiness. The happy life is also defined by a lack of stress or worry.

 

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Healing, Meditation and Spirituality are Linked and Work Together

Healing, Meditation and Spirituality are Linked and Work Together | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Healing, meditation and spirituality are linked and work together.  Meditation heals, and healing improves meditation. Spirituality is what bonds healing and meditation together.

 

If you’re having trouble in meditation you may need to receive healing to clear the way. Similarly, meditation will improve your healing ability by raising your consciousness.

 

The convergence of healing, meditation and spirituality is easily missed. Healing and meditation are foundational  practices of spirituality. The end state of these practices is spirituality itself, with a caveat: Spirituality is an inborn, natural state, and practices aren’t there to get to any state. Although spirituality is already  a part of human makeup, it tends to be left uncovered, unclaimed and unacknowledged. 

 

Often life circumstances are sequenced in a specific pattern that leads to a spiritual ‘awakening,’ or sometimes there’s an affinity to spirituality from early on.

 

Spirituality is the embodiment of the truth that the way we know ourselves as bodies and individual egos is a very limited self-identity, one that traps us in many other erroneous identities and mistaken notions about life.

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9 Eco-Friendly Diets

9 Eco-Friendly Diets | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Is it time to lose those extra holiday pounds? This new year, don’t just resolve to cut calories, resolve to eat a diet that’s healthier for you and the planet.

 

Here are nine diets to help you lower your weight and your carbon footprint at the same time.

 

 

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Mladen Svetozarevic's curator insight, February 23, 2013 7:52 AM

Pravilna ishrana je kljuc zdravog zivota :) 

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It's Not You, It's Me: Breaking Up With Technology

It's Not You, It's Me: Breaking Up With Technology | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

E-fatigue: It's that mild, gnawing nausea that sets in once the marvels of a technology wear off. To understand e-fatigue, perhaps it helps to think about hype cycles. Popularized by Gartner — a Connecticut-based information technology consulting firm — a hype cycle is a way of describing the various stages of public response to certain digital technologies. There are five phases in a hype cycle:

1) Technology Trigger

2) Peak of Inflated Expectations

3) Trough of Disillusionment

4) Slope of Enlightenment

5) Plateau of Productivity

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The Connecticut School Shooting: How to Help Children Cope With Frightening News | Child Mind Institute

The Connecticut School Shooting: How to Help Children Cope With Frightening News | Child Mind Institute | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it
Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz on what parents can do to help their children cope with tragedy in a healthy way.

"When tragedy strikes, as parents you find yourself doubly challenged: to process your own feelings of grief and distress, and to help your children do the same.

I wish I could tell you how to spare your children pain, when they've lost friends or family members, and fear, when disturbing events occur, especially when they're close to home. I can't do that, but what I can do is share what I've learned about how to help children process disturbing events in the healthiest way.

As a parent, you can't protect you children from grief, but you can help them express their feelings, comfort them, and help them feel safer. By allowing and encouraging them to express their feelings, you can help them build healthy coping skills that will serve them well in the future, and confidence that they can overcome adversity."
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Mindfulness: Awaken from the movies of the mind

Mindfulness: Awaken from the movies of the mind | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Mindfulness — The Chinese character 念 is composed of two parts, the top 今 meaning "now; this" and bottom 心 signifying "heart; mind." 

 

Mindfulness is the quality and power of mind that is aware of what's happening—without judgment and without interference. It is like a mirror that simply reflects whatever comes before it. It serves us in the humblest ways, keeping us connected to brushing our teeth or having a cup of tea. It keeps us connected to the people around us, so that we're not simply rushing by them in the busyness of our lives.

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Why Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body — Our Health and Ecosystem Health

Why Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body — Our Health and Ecosystem Health | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it
New findings explain how politics, economics, and ecology can help or hurt our bodies.

 

Talking with Dr. Ted Schettler is probably unlike any conversation you have had with your physician. Raise the topic of breast cancer or diabetes or dementia, and Schettler starts talking about income disparities, industrial farming, and campaign finance reform.

 

The Harvard-educated physician, frustrated by the limitations of science in combating disease, believes that finding answers to the most persistent medical challenges of our time—conditions that now threaten to overwhelm our health care system—depends on understanding the human body as a system nested within a series of other, larger systems: one’s family and community, environment, culture, and socioeconomic class, all of which affect each other.

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In Constant Digital Contact, We Feel 'Alone Together' — Emotional dependence on digital devices

In Constant Digital Contact, We Feel 'Alone Together' — Emotional dependence on digital devices | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

"The pull of these devices is so strong, that we've become used to them faster than anyone would have suspected," says Turkle, a clinical psychologist and the founder of MIT's Initiative on Technology and Self. Her research investigates how devices are changing the way parents relate to their children, how friends interact, and why many people — both young and old — keep their devices in-hand all the time — even as they sleep.

 

All this leads to Turkle's theory that it is possible to be in constant digital communication and yet still feel very much alone. In Turkle's interviews with adults and teenagers, she found people of all ages are drawn to their devices for a similar reason: "What is so seductive about texting, about keeping that phone on, about that little red light on the BlackBerry, is you want to know who wants you," Turkle says.

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One-Moment Meditation for Managers

One-Moment Meditation for Managers | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Meditation can help managers learn that it’s okay, from time to time, to stop managing. For it is in the unmanaged moments—those moments when we are not in control, when we not sure of the answer, when we are curious, humble, and quiet—that inspiration is most likely to strike. Meditation training can also help managers listen better, relate better, and by developing a calmer personal presence, promote calmness in times of anxiety. Meditation training can help managers become more aware of their values, make more enlightened decisions, and bring more compassion into their actions.

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Busy Signal — How multitasking leads to ignorance

According to the Buddhist way of looking at things, each moment of consciousness is a precious gift. Awareness itself is the primary currency of the human condition, and as such it deserves to be spent carefully. Sitting quietly in a serene environment, letting go of the various petty disturbances that roil and diminish consciousness, and experiencing as fully as possible the poignancy of this fleeting moment—this is an enterprise of deep intrinsic value, an aesthetic experience beyond words. The more unified, stable, luminous, and attentive the mind is at this moment, the more profound the experience.

 

Our contemporary view of consciousness is so different from this, so much less. It is as if the accomplishment of mere tasks is of primary value, while the quality of awareness with which these tasks are undertaken is irrelevant. One can hurtle through the day doing this, that, and the other thing—often simultaneously—with great busyness and pressure, only to relax in the evening by trying to keep up with images that flash across the television screen multiple times per second. For many of us, the deep states of tranquil alertness of which the mind is capable are entirely unknown.

 

Yes, the chattering, cavorting, cacophonous monkey mind is capable of clever deeds and great mischief, and these things are not entirely without value. But the mind is also capable of settling down, gathering its power, and turning its gaze upon itself, and in such instances it can come to know itself deeply. Buddhists call this gaining wisdom, and this too is a valuable thing to do.

 

More importantly, perhaps, it is a healthy thing to do. It is now well known that a restful body is healthier than a body in constant states of stress. It is becoming better known that a restful mind is healthier than a mind beset with anxiety, compulsion, addiction, and other agitating states. It may even turn out to be the case that a restful society is healthier than one beset with tension, prejudice, exploitation, and war. I hope we have a chance to find out someday.

 

Meanwhile, peace is accessible. This, too, is an empirically demonstrable fact: try turning off the radio, the phone, the computer, and the TV; sit comfortably in a quiet place, relaxing the body and mind; mindfully breathe in, mindfully breathe out, and abandon—just for now—any thought or response that tends to disperse and divide your awareness. As you do this successfully for several moments in a row, you will find the mind gradually becoming more tranquil, more focused, more clear, and more powerful. The Buddha might have said: “I know of no single thing healthier than doing one thing at a time."

 

— Andrew Olendzki, Ph.D., is the executive director and senior scholar at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

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Parenting Happily

Parenting Happily | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Genuine happiness is something that a child not only feels, but can possess and carry with them into everything that they say and do. Of course, this doesn’t mean your child will always look “happy.” Genuine happiness is what allows your child to experience and express a range of emotions (sadness, anger, frustration, hurt, fear). But at the core the happy child experiences the world as a safe place, feels positively about himself (or herself) and has no doubt that he (or she) is worthy of being loved and cared for.

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6 Steps To A More Mindful Corporate Culture

6 Steps To A More Mindful Corporate Culture | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

"Mindful" is not a word typically associated with business--but it should be. Most companies have inadvertently created a culture that more closely resembles the behavior of a ten-year-old with ADD than it does a smart and disciplined organization. We're confident that a few highly successful firms will transform their corporate culture around a considered, mindful approach--and that such firms will enjoy success in the decades ahead. A mindful corporate culture will value substance over style, and stress single-minded focus over multi-tasking.

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Self-Compassion Fosters Mental Health

Self-Compassion Fosters Mental Health | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Being kind to yourself is a surefire way to improve your mental health and reach your goals, a growing body of work suggests. Now research has revealed an easy way to boost this self-compassion—by showing kindness to others.

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Strongest Study Yet Shows Meditation Can Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Strongest Study Yet Shows Meditation Can Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Previous studies have linked better health outcomes among heart patients who practiced meditation compared to those who did not, but none of those trials could definitively credit the brain-focusing program with the better health results. In the latest trial to address those limitations, however, meditation does appear to have an effect on reducing heart attack, stroke and even early death from heart disease, at least among African-Americans.

 
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Brain cells that feed on altruism discovered

Brain cells that feed on altruism discovered | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

People feel a difference between doing good for themselves and then for others, raising the question of how the brain encodes the behaviors.

 

Brain cells that fire only when monkeys act unselfishly may provide clues to the neural basis of altruism, according to a new study.
 
In the study, the cells fire in rhesus monkeys when they gave juice away, but not when they received it. The findings, published Dec. 23 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, may shed light on why many animals (including humans) exhibit kind, unselfish behavior that doesn't directly benefit them.
 
The new findings provide a "complete picture of the neuronal activity underlying a key aspect of social cognition," Matthew Rushworth, a neuroscientist at Oxford who was not involved in the study, wrote in an email."It is definitely a major achievement."

 

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This Year, Resolve to Love Your Body

This Year, Resolve to Love Your Body | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

What if we took all of that self-loathing, that shame, that judgment we derive from the size and shape of our bodies and we left it behind in 2012? In 2013 and beyond, we should resolve that self worth is no longer connected to one’s waistline. No more fad diets. No more holiday binges. In their place: love and appreciation for our bodies’ beauty and capabilities.

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How Spirituality and Health are Linked

How Spirituality and Health are Linked | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it
There are four important areas to discuss in understanding the link between spirituality and better health or wellness:

1. Medicine’s interest in spirituality
2. What is spirituality and spiritual health
3. Spiritual dimension of health
4. Health benefits of spirituality
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Silent retreats’ rising popularity poses a challenge: How to handle the quiet

Silent retreats’ rising popularity poses a challenge: How to handle the quiet | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it
People visiting silent retreats in a noisy, plugged-in world can stress about how to handle the quiet. Although participation in silent retreats is on the rise, many of those preparing to spend time at the hermitage said they were so unaccustomed to unstructured time alone that they made to-do lists — then feared they were doing “solitude” wrong and scrapped them. They agonized over what to bring and wear and eat, as if they were traveling to an exotic land.
Pamir Kiciman's insight:

Silence is a practice. You want to begin with cultivating quiet at home in small increments. Even on a daily basis, taking 5 minutes here and there can build up your silence "muscle." I've written about silence a lot. See these links:

 

http://reikihelp.com/blog/2010/09/silence AND

 

http://reikihelp.com/blog/2010/09/silence-again

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Brooke Levis, MA CPC's curator insight, January 24, 2013 10:38 AM

Having ventured into "silent retreat" zone, I can understand the anxiety in preparation.  I initiate a 24 hour loving kindness contract with myself after I check-in at Self Realization Fellowship, Encinitas, CA.  I fully acknowledge that my nerves, muscle tension and attention focus may be on hyper alert and I may feel significant discomfort the first 24 hours.

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapuetic tools are my lifeline enablingt transition into mindfulness and sink into the peace of being in the moment.

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Does Mindfulness Stress You Out?

Does Mindfulness Stress You Out? | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Sounds like a paradox, right? By all common logic, we shouldn't be stressed out if we're practicing mindfulness or meditation. We hear over and over in the news how those practices are supposed to help us relax. Yet I hear over and over from clients that the whole concept of mindfulness provokes anxiety. It's time to strip down the concept of mindfulness and make it accessible to everyone.

 

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If You're Too Busy to Meditate, Read This

If You're Too Busy to Meditate, Read This | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

If you're still looking for a business case to justify spending time meditating, try this one: Meditation makes you more productive. How? By increasing your capacity to resist distracting urges.

 

Research shows that an ability to resist urges will improve your relationships, increase your dependability, and raise your performance. If you can resist your urges, you can make better, more thoughtful decisions. You can be more intentional about what you say and how you say it. You can think about the outcome of your actions before following through on them.

 

Our ability to resist an impulse determines our success in learning a new behavior or changing an old habit. It's probably the single most important skill for our growth and development.

 

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Alida Birch's curator insight, December 12, 2012 11:18 AM

Staying focused is key to manifestation!

Anne Duncan's curator insight, April 4, 9:26 AM

Who says meditation is a waste of time? Not me... but I will try to be more consistent after reading Peter Bregman's post.

Meditation teaches us to resist the urge of that counterproductive follow through. That alone is a great reason to practice meditation.

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Free Your Mind: Experience Awe, Have More Time

Free Your Mind: Experience Awe, Have More Time | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

In the psychologists’ study, published this summer in Psychological Science, participants were shown commercials, then asked questions about time. Those who watched awe-inducing videos—which showed things like waterfalls, whales, and astronauts in space—or were asked to recall an awe-eliciting experience reported feeling more time-rich and less impatient. The group was more likely to say that they would volunteer their time to help others, since they felt less pressure from the clock. And they were more likely to report that they felt satisfied with life. (Here, awe is defined as “the emotion that arises when one encounters something so strikingly vast that it provokes a need to update one’s mental schemas.”)

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The Healing Power of Poetry

The Healing Power of Poetry | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Like a shaman’s drum or a Sanskrit chant, the rhythm of a poem entrains your heartbeat, the phrasing changes your breathing, and the sounds resonate within the crystalline structures in your bones and fascia. Many years later I came to understand this as the poem’s “shamanic anatomy”: current scientific research shows that your brainwaves, breathing and pulse literally change when you give voice to a poem, opening your mind beyond ordinary thinking. The physical elements of the poem literally create the biochemical circumstances for healing and insight.    

I became fascinated with poetry, not primarily as a literary art, but instead as a powerful healing medicine to unlock the richness of the inner life.

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Introducing Microgreens: Younger, And Maybe More Nutritious, Vegetables

Introducing Microgreens: Younger, And Maybe More Nutritious, Vegetables | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Researchers have conducted the first scientific analysis of nutrients in trendy seedlings known as microgreens. They found that most microgreens have higher levels of nutrients than their mature counterparts.

 

The researchers looked at four groups of vitamins and other phytochemicals – including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — in 25 varieties of microgreens. They found that leaves from almost all of the microgreens had four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant. But there was variation among them – red cabbage was highest in vitamin C, for instance, while the green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E.

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Better Eating Through Mindfulness

Better Eating Through Mindfulness | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Researchers are learning that teaching obese individuals mindful eating skills—like paying closer attention to their bodies’ hunger cues and learning to savor their food—can help them change unhealthy eating patterns and lose weight. And, unlike other forms of treatment, mindfulness may get at the underlying causes of overeating—like craving, stress, and emotional eating—which make it so hard to defeat.

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Is the Web Driving Us Mad?

Is the Web Driving Us Mad? | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Tweets, texts, emails, posts. New research says the Internet can make us lonely and depressed—and may even create more extreme forms of mental illness.

 

Does the Internet make us crazy? Not the technology itself or the content, no. But a Newsweek review of findings from more than a dozen countries finds the answers pointing in a similar direction. Peter Whybrow, the director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, argues that “the computer is like electronic cocaine,” fueling cycles of mania followed by depressive stretches. The Internet “leads to behavior that people are conscious is not in their best interest and does leave them anxious and does make them act compulsively,” says Nicholas Carr, whose book The Shallows, about the Web’s effect on cognition, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It “fosters our obsessions, dependence, and stress reactions,” adds Larry Rosen, a California psychologist who has researched the Net’s effect for decades. It “encourages—and even promotes—insanity.”

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