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A disturbance of the life-bearing wind that supports the mind

Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to recommend meditation over on the green. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel on Jun 29, 2014 - 48 comments

The loudest thing in the world

"The thinking mind is like a perpetually-running chainsaw that thinks everything is a tree. It will use any excuse to rev up and start shredding something. Its purpose is to solve problems, so it wants everything to be a problem." How to stop your mind from talking all the time.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Apr 15, 2014 - 95 comments

Read this on your infinity machine

What Good Is Information? - "The internet promised to feed our minds with knowledge. What have we learned? That our minds need more than that" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 25, 2014 - 24 comments

If we want it to fall silent, aren’t we yearning for the end of self?

If perception of sound depends on our state of mind, then conversely a state of mind can hardly exist without an external world with which it is in relation and that conditions it — either our immediate present environment, or something that happened in the past and that now echoes or goes on happening in our minds. There is never any state of mind that is not in some part, however small, in relation to the sounds around it — the bird singing and a television overheard as I write this now, for example. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Sep 3, 2013 - 18 comments

A test for the mind as much as the body

The Self-Transcendence race starts today. It's a run around the block, 5,649 times around the block. Runners cover 3,100 miles, running 6 am to midnight over 52 days, at least 60 miles a day over concrete. The best runners average 75 miles a day. All the runners seem to have the same mantra. The first race was in 1997, “The first couple years, the kids threw things at us.”
posted by Smedleyman on Jun 16, 2013 - 35 comments

Gravity is the only glue

"Rock balancing is an art, discipline, or hobby (depending upon the intent of the practitioner) in which rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions". Here are a few practitioners:
Phillip A. Long
Renato Brancaleoni
Lila Higgins
Adrian Gray
Michael Grab
Terry Robison uses sticks beside stones
Dave Gorman
Peter Juhl shares basic principles
Team Sandtastic stacks rocks when they don’t build elaborate sand castles
Bill Dan has links to other balancers.
Extra: Balanced sand castles [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Jan 5, 2013 - 18 comments

DOWNTIME for the BRAIN

"Having felt what it’s like to have all the backlog of experiences cleared out of my head, I’m intolerant of letting it build up a backlog again. It feels too good when it’s all clean and clear. Another way of talking about this is to say that the frantic, amped up feeling of too much seeking clears away. When we are seeking all the time, we are intaking new material constantly without ever actually dealing with it."
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas on Nov 30, 2012 - 31 comments

Noble Silence

"I chose the meditation style known as Vipassana for several reasons. It's wholly nondenominational. No gods are prayed to, no mantras chanted, all religious iconography is prohibited. If you typically wear, say, a crucifix, you must remove it for the duration of the course. Also, there is no need for prior meditation experience – in fact, I was told, a neophyte is the ideal student because you won't have any bad habits to avoid – which suited me perfectly, as I'd never meditated before." [The Quiet Hell of Extreme Meditation]
posted by vidur on Aug 27, 2012 - 60 comments

The key to beginning a long journey toward understanding which, as we have learned, is something for which each human being cries out, cupping his hands over the mouth.

Strange and Unproductive Thinking, off David Lynch's fantastically weird album Crazy Clown Time, is a humorous, rambling, insightful essay disguised as a song in which the legendary director gives his thoughts on the purpose of evolution, the process that leads us to knowledge, and "the remarkable idea of a world free of tooth-decay".
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 12, 2012 - 5 comments

6 Things I Learned about Myself through 100 Hours of Meditation

6 Things I Learned about Myself through 100 Hours of Meditation
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 11, 2012 - 80 comments

Sukhi Barber

Sukhi Barber: Beauty & Emptiness. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 12, 2011 - 8 comments

Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha

Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book (pdf, html)
posted by MetaMonkey on Jul 30, 2011 - 72 comments

Eckhart Tolle Live Meditation

“Life is fulfilling when you are rooted in the essential Beingness of ‘I Am.’ . . . Then you bring that state of consciousness—that spacious state of consciousness—you bring that into your interactions with other people of great importance. It’s only then that you will stop treating other people as possible sources of fulfillment or as a threat.” —Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, on his June 26 live meditation broadcast.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jul 12, 2011 - 83 comments

Tibetan Singing Bowls

Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 6, 2011 - 7 comments

There is no "I"

Meditation, explained by Sam Harris. (slyt)
posted by Taft on Jul 3, 2011 - 49 comments

Labyrinthine

Labyrinths – not to be confused with mazes – are being rediscovered as tools for contemplation, meditation, reflection, and community well-being, as well as inspiration for architecture, music, dance, ritual, business, and visual art. [more inside]
posted by velvet winter on Dec 20, 2010 - 19 comments

The Art of Living

Doing Time, Doing Vipassana is a powerful 52-minute documentary (1 2 3 4 5) in which Goenka's form of meditation is once again introduced in India's largest prison. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 28, 2010 - 21 comments

If you can meditate in NYC, you can meditate anywhere.

How to Meditate in the NYC Subway System: The Interdependence Project brings a combination of "meditation, performance art, and activism" to the tunnel between Times Square/42nd Street and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Last year's Sit Down, Rise Up event involved a 24 hour meditation marathon in display windows at 19th and Broadway. (via The Worst Horse)
posted by desjardins on Mar 31, 2010 - 27 comments

"I thought it would be interesting to write music for public spaces..." - Brian Eno

Music For Real Airports is a multimedia art project collaboration between interactive artists Human and musicians The Black Dog. With the project set to launch April 24, 2010 at the Sensoria festival of music and film, the project recalls Brian Eno's 1978 work, Ambient 1: Music for Airports. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Feb 16, 2010 - 19 comments

Change Your Mind Change Your Brain

Change your mind, change your brain - Matthieu Ricard talks about creating the inner conditions for authentic happiness, and the effects of meditation on the brain. [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 31, 2010 - 17 comments

In Defense of Distraction

Thought-provoking NY Mag essay on the consequences of living in an age of perpetual distraction. Been thinking about this one a lot, in the context of MeFi and other addictions.
posted by jcruelty on May 26, 2009 - 52 comments

Enlightenment Therapy

Enlightenment Therapy: How a Zen master found the light (again) on the analyst’s couch. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2009 - 39 comments

Mindfulness for Stress Reduction

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness presentation at Google. JON KABAT-ZINN, PH.D., is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in various venues around the world.
posted by RussHy on Apr 19, 2009 - 12 comments

Cross-cultural psychiatry

West treats East. "To help traumatized Tibetan monks, doctors in Boston turn to cross-cultural medicine." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 14, 2009 - 16 comments

Twenty-nine Tao te Chings.

Twenty-nine Tao te Chings, a line at a time. For Sunday evening, a spare, meditative post. The Tao-te-Ching in 29 translations, line by line and side by side. I'll leave you to investigate the writings on your own; here alone are just the words to consider. Suggested: Mitchell. [more inside]
posted by Tufa on Jan 11, 2009 - 99 comments

I 've Told you,sit relax

And now, a singing crocodile dressed as a cowboy teaches you to meditate. [SLYT, via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 8, 2008 - 39 comments

Change Your Mind Day 2008

Change Your Mind Day 2008
posted by davar on Jun 8, 2008 - 32 comments

MettaFilter

"Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation" (PDF). A recent article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences on the neuroscience of meditation, focusing on how meditation alters and sharpens the brain's attention systems. The research is being done at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior (previously), who have also recently published research on the "Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation" (PDF), which describes how meditation can cultivate compassion by physically affecting brain regions that play a role in empathy. They shared this research with the Dalai Lama at the recent Seeds of Compassion forum.
posted by homunculus on Apr 27, 2008 - 13 comments

Don't Panic

Man buried alive saved by air trapped in his hat. [Via MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 6, 2008 - 53 comments

All Across the Universe

Mahrishi Mahesh Yogi: 1917-2008
posted by Xurando on Feb 5, 2008 - 61 comments

The Zen Mind

The Zen Mind - An Introduction. A Day in the Life of a Zen Monk. Zazen - A Guide to Sitting. Interview with a Zen Buddhist Priest (previously). [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 8, 2007 - 36 comments

May all beings be at ease

Most of us are sadly aware of the protests over the last few months by Buddhist Burmese monks. (previously 1, 2). To sustain themselves in the face of likely attack these monks have been chanting the Metta Sutta, the Buddha's teachings on compassion and loving kindness. The Metta Sutta is here in translation, some expositions (dharma talks) on the same subject: One by Sharon Salzberg who has done much to popularize metta in the west in the last 20 years, and a whole bunch from Dharma Seed, which makes buddhist teachings available on the web. You want to get in on the action? In the US you can try the Insight Meditation Society, which is based in Barre, Mass., but has lots of local branches. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Nov 1, 2007 - 12 comments

Chris Chester, B and The Providence of a Sparrow

'There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 't is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is 't to leave betimes?'
Chris Chester, author of Providence of a Sparrow: Lessons from a Life Gone to the Birds, a meditation on his life with B, an English Sparrow which he raised from a hatchling fallen from the nest, died suddenly early this past Spring. His nephew Marc Mowery has created Chris Chester - born May 14, 1952 died April 17, 2007 to his memory and has posted 6 of 8 short videos of Chris and Rebecca Chester and the sparrow named B on YouTube.
And here is The Sorrow and the Sparrow: The Life and Death of Chris Chester
Excerpt and video links within [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 25, 2007 - 9 comments

Neuroscience and Mysticism

Searching for God in the Brain. "Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 9, 2007 - 57 comments

Wondertwin powers, activate!

9 Superpowers made real. [Via Digg.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 20, 2007 - 33 comments

Meditation In Schools

The David Lynch Foundation via the man himself will announce, on May 1st, at 12 noon (EDT), the foundation's plan to stop school violence. Their plan? Teaching students how to meditate.
posted by jasonspaceman on Apr 30, 2007 - 65 comments

Shuntee.

The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga [print version]. Standard "omg commoditization" rant, but has a delectable anecdote wherein someone mistakes clingy navel-gazing for reflection. ("What part of no don't you understand?" his note said. "I never want to hear from you again.")
posted by Firas on Apr 6, 2007 - 103 comments

Ken Wilber stops his brain waves!

Ken Wilber can stop his brain waves on demand. This (WMV) is the famous EEG machine recording where Ken Wilber enters various meditative states, one of which is a type of "thoughtless," "image-less," or "formless" state, whose correlate is that his brainwaves come to an almost complete stop, as clearly recorded on this portable electroencephalograph (EEG) machine. Seeing somebody's brainwaves flatline in about 4 seconds is a sight not easily forgotten! Also on YouTube.
posted by skepticX on Mar 7, 2007 - 68 comments

Veterans' Health Care

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility. The Iraq war has transformed Walter Reed into "a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients." Meanwhile, despite predictions that the cost of medical care for veterans will skyrocket, the Bush administration apparently plans to cut funding for veterans' health care. Tired of waiting for the government, more people are taking the initiative in developing alternative facilities to help veterans.
posted by homunculus on Feb 18, 2007 - 88 comments

Bargain Bin Bliss

TM without the ™. When he's not directing one of the best movies of the year or sitting on intersections with cows, David Lynch is a vocal advocate of Transcendental Meditation. In his new book Catching the Big Fish, he talks about the Box and the Key, meeting Fellini, the Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit, why he doesn't do DVD commentaries--and TM, which he calls "the experience that does everything." If you're intrigued by TM but sketched out by the organization and the $2,500 fee, perhaps you'd like to know that there is a cheap, downloadable alternative.
posted by muckster on Dec 3, 2006 - 35 comments

If you meet the Buddha downtown, kill him!

Holy Madness! (Flash interface.) The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City has launched a website that allows you to pore over and compare Tibetan Buddhist artwork from their exhibits. Use the "Decode" feature to pick paintings apart and learn about their intricate components.

See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
posted by hermitosis on Aug 17, 2006 - 18 comments

Davy Crockett gives good head.

Invincible Defense Technology. When the U.S. developed the nuclear rifle in the 1950s —and then refined the technology with the backpack-sized nuclear weapon in the 1960s— our fate was probably sealed. Karma is a bitch after all, and small-scale nuclear terrorism is seen by many as inevitable. Just like Osama Bin Laden —and Mechano before him— America seems destined to create monsters which will turn against us. Our military's only hope, it seems, is Transcendental Meditation.
posted by If I Had An Anus on Mar 2, 2006 - 23 comments

Meditators have bigger brains

Meditation found to increase brain size (maybe) according to research led by Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar. Meanwhile, Atheist Manifesto author Sam Harris recently went on a meditation retreat and seemed to find it pleasant enough.
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2006 - 79 comments

The Little Buddha of Bara

A meditating teenage boy in south-central Nepal First mentioned by the BBC at the beginning of December; Ram Bahadur Bamjan is drawing the attention of scientists after attracting huge crowds in the past eight months and earning himself the name Buddha-reincarnate. No food, no water just snakebite. Is this: - holy or hoax?
posted by adamvasco on Feb 10, 2006 - 82 comments

Meditation and Neuroscience

Two Sciences of Mind. A good article on the emerging dialogue between neuroscience and Buddhism (previously discussed here). Allan Wallace of the Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama's plan to speak at an upcoming neuroscience conference has led to controversy and petition wars.
posted by homunculus on Oct 2, 2005 - 50 comments

I'm a phony and I love it! - Salon Interviews Thomas De Zengotita

Let's say you like cats. When you visit a friend's house and he happens to have a cat, you make a big deal about stroking it, picking it up, talking to it. And you do the same thing with every cat you encounter. It demonstrates to the people around you that you're a sensitive, sympathetic, tactile person. All these things are true of you, including your innate adoration of cats. But that doesn't mean to say you haven't cultivated your cat-fancying into a self-conscious, gushing performance that somehow represents you. This doesn't make you a phony; it makes you something else: mediated. "Me" culture : Reality is so passé
Salon interviews Thomas De Zengotita, author of The Numbing Of The The American Mind and Closure for You, Jedermensch ein Übermensch.
posted by y2karl on Mar 9, 2005 - 50 comments

Meditation and neuroplasticity

Meditation and neuroplasticity. A new study (PDF) describes the changes in the brains of Buddhist monks, using fMRI to scan their brains while they practice compassion meditation. The project was a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin and the Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
posted by homunculus on Nov 16, 2004 - 17 comments

Digital sand

Sand. (Java applet)
posted by Wet Spot on Oct 25, 2003 - 13 comments

Neuroscience and Meditation

Neuroscience and meditation. "Researchers are making the case that Eastern-style meditation is good not just for your emotional well-being but also for your physical state." This is a fascinating article (NYTM, reg. req.) on the convergence of Buddhist meditation and neuroscience (here's a previous post on the subject.) Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama is in Boston, presiding over a conference between biobehavioral scientists and Buddhists.
posted by homunculus on Sep 13, 2003 - 11 comments

Quiet music soothes that savage beast...

Dalai Llama muses: meditating monk sets "positive emotion" record : The 14th Dalai Llama, Tenzin Gyatso, muses on new research on the benefits of mindfulness meditation: "A University of Wisconsin-Madison research team has found that a small amount of "mindfulness meditation" results in positive, lasting changes in the brain and immune system." The mainstream medical community in the U.S. has now acknowledge the significant benefits of mindfulness meditatiion - "...a significant decrease in symptoms, both during and after the course."

[ Tenzin Gyatso ] "The calamity of 9/11 demonstrated that modern technology and human intelligence guided by hatred can lead to immense destruction. Such terrible acts are a violent symptom of an afflicted mental state. To respond wisely and effectively, we need to be guided by more healthy states of mind, not just to avoid feeding the flames of hatred, but to respond skillfully. We would do well to remember that the war against hatred and terror can be waged on this, the internal front, too.".....I once was host to Tenzin Gyatso's brother and several other Tibetan monks for a few weeks - and was never again quite the same. So, when Tenzin Gyatso speaks, I listen.
posted by troutfishing on Apr 25, 2003 - 22 comments

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