36 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. 7. Team Cooperation

      The below reminds me of working in Google Docs, which can indeed be a delightful site for collaboration.

      Still--and perhaps I've just been monastic in my stance while reading Engelbart--I wonder about the power of isolated individual deliberation ahead of or in some other less immediate relation to the cooperation described here.

  2. Aug 2018
    1. The researchers anticipated that four aspects of mindfulness would predict higher self-esteem: Labeling internal experiences with words, which might prevent people from getting consumed by self-critical thoughts and emotions; Bringing a non-judgmental attitude toward thoughts and emotions, which could help individuals have a neutral, accepting attitude toward the self; Sustaining attention on the present moment, which could help people avoid becoming caught up in self-critical thoughts that relate to events from the past or future; Letting thoughts and emotions enter and leave awareness without reacting to them.
    1. 3 steps to self-compassionFirst: Make the choice that you’ll at least try a new approach to thinking about yourself. Commit to treating yourself more kindly — call it letting go of self-judgment, going easier on yourself, practicing self-compassion or whatever resonates most. To strengthen the muscle, Dr. Brewer suggests “any type of practice that helps us stay in the moment and notice what it feels like to get caught up. See how painful that is compared to being kind to ourselves.”
  3. Jun 2018
    1. But it’s the second part of that definition that has proven the most helpful for me: ‘recognising that one’s own experience is part of the common human experience’. It’s the idea of taking a zoomed-out look at yourself, and realising that you are more similar to others than you are different, even (maybe especially) considering how ridiculous you often are. As Neff herself said in an interview with The Atlantic in 2016: ‘[W]hen we fail, it’s not “poor me,” it’s “well, everyone fails.” Everyone struggles. This is what it means to be human.’In fact, it’s this part of the definition of self-compassion that makes me question whether it should be called self-compassion at all. Neff’s concept isn’t really about adoring yourself, or not entirely, anyway; this piece of it isn’t actually about you. Rather, it’s about the importance of recalling that you are but one small part of an interconnected whole.
  4. Nov 2017
    1. This is more a ‘dark side’ of the secular mindfulness movement than of mindfulness per se (though there have been precursors of the issue in Zen).Most (all?) schools of Buddhism teach mindfulness in a broader ethical context which includes conscious cultivation of compassion & empathy as you write.But Buddhism also often claims that mindful insight reveals compassion to be intrinsic to the mind. Ethics then falls out of phenomenology, and its cultivation is therefore more like sharpening the senses than it is cultural indoctrination. This seems like its most interesting and important claim.
    2. It was shocking to hear, especially from a guy who has spent four decades doing mindfulness meditation in the foothills of the Himalayas. For Ricard, the Buddhist approach to mindfulness – unlike its secular counterpart – doesn’t have this problem of being ‘mindfulness without morals’, as it emphasises concepts such as compassion, caring, empathy and altruism.
    3. There are a lot of people speaking about mindfulness, but the risk is that it’s taken too literally – to just ‘be mindful’. Well, you could have a very mindful sniper and a mindful psychopath. It’s true! A sniper needs to be so focused, never distracted, very calm, always bringing back his attention to the present moment. And non-judgemental – just kill people and no judgement. That could happen!Ricard was only half-joking, because he knows that secular mindfulness courses have become popular in military training and amongst Wall Street bankers, who hope it will keep them calm and give them the edge when the financial stakes are high. He then told me about a study at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig showing that taking a mindfulness course can help you deal with stress but has no discernible impact on pro-social behaviour.
  5. Oct 2017
  6. Nov 2016
    1. Meditation, hence, is the ultimate tonic for the health and mind of students. It is ironical that despite the known benefits of meditation, students tend to ignore it. They are ever reluctant about meditation, assuming it to be a strenuous act. But the truth is meditation is a very simple exercise to mind and body.

  7. Mar 2016
    1. Dr. Alan Watkins has a developed a wonderful method for meditation to solve a problem that matches so well the information and insights here. We new that meditation was one important way out of packing. Now we know what type of meditation is essential.

  8. Nov 2015
    1. Routine meditators also retain more brain cells, while the rest of us lose 4% of ours as we age.
    2. Mindfulness at work means noticing and examining the habits of behavior, thinking, and feeling that we’ve created. Sometimes, what appears to be a problem is only a problem because of the expectations or feelings we attach to it, not the reality itself. Healey encourages us to create some distance between ourselves and our emotions and simply observe. We can also keep an eye out for little assumptions or habits that are making us unhappy, like jumping for the phone when it rings. Finally, we can cultivate mindfulness by meditating as well as injecting it into everyday experience.
    3. studies show changes in gene expression after 8 hours of meditating in the lab
    4. They have helped people reduce chronic pain, improve psoriasis, and increase their immune response to the flu shot. One study of mindfulness/compassion meditation out of Emory University showed reductions in stress markers, and even a simple long exhale (ahhhh) increases vagal tone. And – last but not least – a three-month meditation training program boosted telomerase activity, indicating longer telemores and perhaps a longer life expectancy.
    5. Kabat-Zinn says that meditation is not the goal; the point of cultivating mindfulness is to learn to live our lives like they really matter now, rather than constantly living in regret or anticipation.
    6. When our mind wanders during meditation, a group of brain areas called the “default mode network” activates. Scientists aren’t exactly sure what this network does – it may be directly involved in mind wandering or simply be carrying out brain maintenance when we aren’t thinking about anything in particular. As soon as we realize our mind is wandering during meditation, other brain regions for detecting relevant events light up. As we refocus our attention on the breath, the executive brain network takes over. Experienced meditators who repeat this process thousands of times start to show differences in the brain. They develop more connection between the self-focused part of the default mode network and brain regions for disengaging attention, which makes it easier to shut off that area of the brain when they realize their minds are wandering. Over time, meditation improves working memory, fluid intelligence, and standardized test scores.
    1. Any Hollywood writer will tell you that attention is a scarce resource. Movies, TV shows, and books always include “hooks” that make you turn the page, stay on the channel through the commercial, or keep you in a theater seat. Scientists liken attention to a spotlight. We are only able to shine it on a narrow area. If that area seems less interesting than some other area, our attention wanders.
    1. Ask Yourself Three Questions. Utilize the meditation technique known as Naikan, which involves reflecting on three questions: “What have I received from __?”, “What have I given to __?”, and “What troubles and difficulty have I caused?”
  9. Oct 2015
    1. The problem, of course, is that most people don’t have very good control over their attention. Part of this is due to human nature, shaped by evolution: Our forbearers who just focused on the reflection of sunlight in the water—they got chomped by predators. But those who were constantly vigilant—they lived. And today we are constantly bombarded with stimuli that the brain has not evolved to handle. So gaining more control over attention one way or another is really crucial, whether it’s through the practice of mindfulness, for instance, or through gratitude practices, where we count our blessings.
    2. Another region is the frontal regions of the prefrontal cortex—areas involved in controlling attention. Again, this should be no surprise: They’re focusing their attention in their meditation, so they’re getting more control over it, and they’re strengthening its neural basis.
    3. research has also shown that it’s possible to slow the loss of our brain cells. Normally, we lose about 10,000 brain cells a day. That may sound horrible, but we were born with 1.1 trillion. We also have several thousand born each day, mainly in the hippocampus, in what’s called neurogenesis. So losing 10,000 a day isn’t that big a deal, but the net bottom line is that a typical 80 year old will have lost about 4 percent of his or her brain mass—it’s called “cortical thinning with aging.” It’s a normal process. But in one study, researchers compared meditators and non-meditators. In the graph to the left, the meditators are the blue circles and the non-meditators are the red squares, comparing people of the same age. The non-meditators experienced normal cortical thinning in those two brain regions I mentioned above, along with a third, the somatosensory cortex. However, the people who routinely meditated and “worked” their brain did not experience cortical thinning in those regions.
    4. People who maintain some kind of regular meditative practice actually have measurably thicker brains in certain key regions. One of those regions is the insula, which is involved in what’s called “interoception”—tuning into the state of your body, as well as your deep feelings. This should be no surprise: A lot of what they’re doing is practicing mindfulness of breathing, staying really present with what’s going on inside themselves; no wonder they’re using, and therefore building, the insula.
    1. The positive response to the program was almost immediate. “In one classroom, the children went from having the most behavioral problems in the school—as measured by number of visits to the principal’s office—to having zero behavioral problems, after only two to three weeks of instruction,” says Schonert-Reichl.

      Mindfulness training in schools seems to have some major benefits.

    1. If you find yourself overwhelmed by anger against yourself or others, sitting meditation sounds like the one for you. If you frequently feel tired or sick, yoga is worth a try. While the body scan did not seem to yield as many benefits as the other two practices, that’s an area that needs further investigation. For example, it’s possible that body scan paired with sitting meditation or yoga could be helpful.

      Researchers found some benefits across all three groups. In all three groups participants reported reduced rumination, as well as greater self-compassion and well-being. These results echo decades of research showing that mindfulness practices improve physical and mental health.

    2. The study, published last month in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, suggests that meditating for just 30 minutes a day for eight weeks can increase the density of gray matter in brain regions associated with memory, stress, and empathy.

      One of those regions was the hippocampus, which prior research has found to be involved in learning, memory, and the regulation of our emotions. The gray matter of the hippocampus is often reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

      The researchers also found denser gray matter in the temporoparietal junction and the posterior cingulated cortex of the meditators’ brains—regions involved in empathy and taking the perspective of someone else—and in the cerebellum, which has been linked to emotion regulation.

    3. Participants for the gene study came into the lab and meditated for eight hours. Blood samples were taken before and after those hours of practice and then Davidson and crew looked for gene-expression changes over the course of that time in the lab. Results from this meditator group were compared to a control group that was not familiar with meditation and that came into the laboratory for “a day of leisure.” That group watched quiet videos, read, and took gentle walks. The findings? The control-group participants didn’t show the same kind of gene-expression changes, Davidson says. It’s the first study that shows “we can actually see gene-expression changes within a very short period of time.”
    4. “One of the important foci in our research is looking at inflammation, which has been implicated in many chronic illnesses,” Davidson says. “And there’s now increasing evidence to suggest that at a very basic biological level, certain kinds of meditation practices seem to modulate inflammatory systems. They down-regulate particular molecules—we call these proinflammatory cytokines—which are directly implicated in inflammation.”
    5. Davidson says. “It has yet to be studied in the specific area of meditation practice, but we can ask the question, for example, is it better to sit for 30 minutes a day, or is it better to have 10 three-minute periods of practice that are sprinkled throughout the day? We don’t know the answer to that.”
    6. Davidson shocked his professors by taking off for India to explore meditation practice and Buddhist teachings. After three months there and in Sri Lanka, he came back convinced he would do meditation research. He was quickly disabused of this notion by his professors, who let him know that if he had any hope of a career in science, he’d better stow the meditation and follow a more conventional path of research. He became a closet meditator and an affective neuroscientist—a deep student of the emotions.

      This seems to be the theme for scientific pioneers in recent decades.

    7. also did a briefmeditation intervention and in their subjects they were able to show that themeditation program resulted ina greater activation in reward circuitryso more contentment and pleasure and in this caseanticipatory pleasure because they were showing this activationin response to opportunities, to help opportunitiesto be of assistance.
    8. And what they found was that the individuals who participated in the meditation programhad longer telomeres than the individuals who were in the control group after a three-monthexperience. This was first finding in that vein. Elissa Epel and her colleague did anotherresearch project where they looked at a mindfulness-based program for people with eating disorders andshowed that people who did the mindfulness had a 39% increase in telomerase activitywhich corresponds to lengthened telomeres and that this telomerase activity actuallypredicted benefits in other aspects of their treatment program having to do with the people’seating habits. So there’s this interesting effect that is being reiterated that mindfulnessactually seems to make people age more gracefully.
    1. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a secular practice of mindfulness has entered the mainstream in recent years largely through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. The MBSR program usually has students meet for two to three hours per week for eight weeks, practicing at home between classes. They learn practices such as the "body scan," in which they focus their attention along each part of the body, trying to be aware and accepting of whatever they sense in these body parts, and the "raisin meditation," where they slowly use all of their senses, one after another, to observe a raisin in great detail, from the way it feels in their hand to the way its taste bursts on the tongue.
    2. Meditation: Though mindfulness and meditation are closely related, they are not synonymous. As Jon Kabat-Zinn describes in his video, one can practice mindfulness while not doing a formal meditation practice, and there are many different kinds of meditation that go beyond mindfulness meditation. The term "meditation" refers to a wide range of practices that simply involve training the mind to achieve a particular state of consciousness, especially for relaxation. That said, mindfulness meditation, based on a technique adapted from Buddhist Vipassana meditation, is a basic and commonly practiced form of meditation.
  10. Oct 2013
    1. NEXT to writing is meditation, which indeed derives strength from it and is something between the labor of writing and the trial of our fortune in extemporary speaking

      Writing is not spontaneous but requires thought