Category Archives: Mindfulness

Brief Review of Conference: Advances in Meditation Research: Neuroscience and Clinical Applications


Heather and I attended this conference in New York City on January 17th, 2013. The meeting was held in the World Trade Center Complex, Building 7.  For a non-city dweller, it was difficult to identify the building even after getting explicit directions from the hotel concierge.  After walking right past the entrance, a helpful police officer pointed at the 60 story glass-fronted building and said, in a wonderful New York City accent:  “It’s right there in front of you—you can’t miss it.”  I walked toward it, around it, and eventually Heather appeared near the entrance.  We walked in and the … Read more

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Healing Words – The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine


In the Preface of his powerful book, Healing Words – The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, Dr. Larry Dossey writes, “For many years, I’d ignored prayer. I considered it an arbitrary, optional frill that simply was not in the same league as drugs and surgery. I had in fact tried to escape spiritual or religious influences in healing, fancying myself a scientific physician.” Thankfully Dr. Dossey’s studies brought him in contact with scientific evidence of prayer’s healing power.  Upon discovering a lone scientific study supporting the power of prayer, he began to probe scientific research for further … Read more

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The Healer Within


“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” -Hippocrates Today, many of us place a great deal of power in the hands of doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in order to “get healthy.” Turning to external resources for help seems to be the norm. Feeling sick? Schedule a doctor’s appointment or pop a pill and you’ll feel better. Sadly, many of us have lost track of the incredible capacity of the human body to heal itself. It is fairly easy to recognize our body’s ability to heal itself naturally. If you’ve ever … Read more

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A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last


“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ― Mark Twain Stephen Levine’s transformative book A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last (Crown, 1997) echoes Twain’s belief about death. Though many of us do everything in our power to avoid the topic of death and dying, Levine has spent his career embracing the subject. In addition to being a counselor for the terminally ill, he has published numerous works on spirituality and dying. With A Year to Live, the … Read more

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Moving to Mindfulness


Mindfulness is very “in” right now. This practice of bringing attention to the present rather than the worries of yesterday and tomorrow is growing in popularity – police officers, office workers, even politicians are doing it. Congressman Tim Ryan even wrote a book about it. Titled, A Mindful Nation, his book purports to tell “How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit.”  This is a good first step.  Our book, Sustainable Wellness, expands upon his section on health care and delivers a proven sustainable approach for individuals to follow. While mindfulness and … Read more

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Buddhist Monks – Zen Body, Zen Mind


Many people acknowledge that meditation has health benefits – especially the ability to decrease stress. However, its advantages are reportedly much more far-reaching. Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School researched the effects of meditation on the health and body and his book “The Relaxation Response” (published in 1975) introduced the concept of meditation to many Americans.  He found that meditation can help treat both psychological conditions, including depression and anxiety, as well as diseases like cancer. In an interview with Health Insights Today, Dr. Benson stated, “What we found was that when people practiced Transcendental Meditation, there were … Read more

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On Looking from the Inside Out


The gift of a life threatening illness can be that it causes us to stop and reflect on those parts of ourselves we would rather not examine. Do we need to wait for some major event to happen look at our life in a different way? If we apply our awareness to our self with a gentle and open curiosity, perhaps we can live each day more in tune with the preciousness that abounds both inside and outside of our self. Awareness, forgiveness and acceptance can make all things new! Living from the inside out is illustrated by this poem … Read more

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Meeting Your Authentic Self


If asked, most of us could probably list at least three of our strengths and three things we would like to change about “who we are.” Think carefully about where that information originated. Is it rooted in what others have said throughout your life about your good and not-so-good behavioral characteristics, embedding that in your consciousness as “truth?” Perhaps you have delved deeply within through meditation, therapy, or other practices to identify who you actually are—your “authentic self.” It is important to keep your mind open and curiosity alive when approaching finding out who you truly are. Guard against self-censoring … Read more

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Terms of Endearment


In our book, Sustainable Wellness—An Integrative Approach to Transforming Your Mind, Body, and Spirit, Heather and I clarify the terms that appear throughout all chapters. The terms health, wellness, illness, and disease can have different meanings among people using or hearing them. Here are the definitions we use: Health – a state of balance with our external and internal environment. It is a dynamic state that can include responses to acute and chronic challenges. Wellness—the individual experience of that balanced state we call health. Illness—a state of imbalance which occurs when challenges come up and demand a response from our … Read more

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