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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Keith Rowley

Keith Rowley

Brief meditative exercise helps cognition - 5 views

  • "Simply stated, the profound improvements that we found after just 4 days of meditation training- are really surprising," Zeidan noted. "It goes to show that the mind is, in fact, easily changeable and highly influenced, especially by meditation."
  • The meditation training involved in the study was an abbreviated "mindfulness" training regime modeled on basic "Shamatha skills" from a Buddhist meditation tradition
  • "Findings like these suggest that meditation's benefits may not require extensive training to be realized, and that meditation's first benefits may be associated with increasing the ability to sustain attention,"
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  • seems to be strong evidence for the idea that we may be able to modify our own minds to improve our cognitive processing -- most importantly in the ability to sustain attention and vigilance -- within a week's time."
  • Both groups also improved following the meditation and reading experiences in measures of mood, but only the group that received the meditation training improved significantly in the cognitive measures. The meditation group scored consistently higher averages than the reading/listening group on all the cognitive tests and as much as ten times better on one challenging test that involved sustaining the ability to focus, while holding other information in mind. "The meditation group did especially better on all the cognitive tests that were timed," Zeidan noted. "In tasks where participants had to process information under time constraints causing stress, the group briefly trained in mindfulness performed significantly better."
  • participants were instructed to relax, with their eyes closed, and to simply focus on the flow of their breath occurring at the tip of their nose. If a random thought arose, they were told to passively notice and acknowledge the thought and to simply let 'it' go, by bringing the attention back to the sensations of the breath."
  • "The simple process of focusing on the breath in a relaxed manner, in a way that teaches you to regulate your emotions by raising one's awareness of mental processes as they're happening is like working out a bicep, but you are doing it to your brain. Mindfulness meditation teaches you to release sensory events that would easily distract, whether it is your own thoughts or an external noise, in an emotion-regulating fashion.
  • "This kind of training seems to prepare the mind for activity, but it's not necessarily permanent," Zeidan cautions. "This doesn't mean that you meditate for four days and you're done -- you need to keep practicing."
Keith Rowley

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density - 1 views

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    Sara Lazar's report on the brain scan research they've done on meditators.
Keith Rowley

Meditation Research FAQ - 1 views

  • What I can say is that the MBSR program has been around for 30 years and there have been hundreds of clinical trials indicating that it is effective for reducing stress and many (though not all) clinical symptoms.
  • All the participants in our study went through the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) developed at the Center for Mindfulness
  • I can't stop thinking/my mind won't calm down/"Unusual phenomena" bother me when I meditate/I can't meditate—what should I do? OR When I meditate, I experience "unusual phenomena". What is going on? Is this an advanced state?
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  • The Buddha compared the mind to the strings of a lute (a guitar-like instrument): the lute can not be played if the strings are too tight or too loose. Similarly when attention is either too tight or too loose, you can't properly meditate. When attention is too loose, the mind wanders and you get lost in thought. Try narrowing your focus in different ways (e.g. just inhales instead of the whole breath, focus on a smaller area around your nose). Some people do a few minutes of yoga or loving kindness (metta) practice at the start of their meditation period to focus the mind, before switching to breath awareness meditation. Some people find focusing on sounds easier than focusing on breathing.
  • The goal is not to try to change anything, but to be aware of the desire to change it and then see if we can just relax and be ok with it even if it doesn't change. Are we trying to quiet the storm, or are we trying to find peace within the storm?
Keith Rowley

Meditation Research - 1 views

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    Cortical areas thicker in meditators, (graphic). Sara Lazar.
Keith Rowley

Mindfulness meditation benefits and changes brain structures in 8 weeks - 2 views

  • In a study published in the January 30 edition of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers concluded that an eight week mindful meditation practice produced measurable changes in participants' brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. This is the first study to document meditation-produced changes in the brain's grey matter over time.
  • Previous research has documented structural differences between the brains of experienced mediation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation. These brain changes included thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with the integration of emotions and attention. However, earlier studies were unable to document that those brain differences were actually caused by meditation.
  • mindfulness meditation (which focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind)
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  • significant improvements in the meditators' stress levels compared with pre-participation responses -- and reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, part of the brain which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.
  • ncreased grey-matter density in the hippocampus (an area of the brain known to be important for learning and memory) and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.
  • guided meditation
  • http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/~lazar/
Keith Rowley

Harvard Working Knowledge: Why Leaders Lose Their Way - Bill George - 1 views

  • Leaders who lose their way are not bad people; rather, they lose their moral bearings
  • we all have the capacity for actions we deeply regret unless we stay grounded.
  • Self-reflection: a path to leadership development
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  • narcissistic wounds from childhood.
    • Keith Rowley
       
      Their "crucibles." Or, as Eckhard Tolle calls it, "pain bodies".
  • What's the purpose of my leadership?
  • Why do I want to lead?
  • Often they reject the honest critic who speaks truth to power.
  • these problems are neither their fault nor their responsibility. Or they look for scapegoats to blame for their problems. Using their power, charisma, and communications skills, they force people to accept these distortions, causing entire organizations to lose touch with reality. At this stage leaders are vulnerable to making big mistakes, such as violating the law or putting their organizations' existence at risk. Their distortions convince them they are doing nothing wrong, or they rationalize that their deviations are acceptable to achieve a greater good.
    • Keith Rowley
       
      George W Bush!
  • Values-centered leadership
  • Leaders can avoid these pitfalls by devoting themselves to personal development that cultivates their inner compass, or True North.
  • reframing their leadership from being heroes to beingservants of the people they lead.
    • Keith Rowley
       
      Values-centerd leaders are "Go-Givers"
  • Leaders can avoid these pitfalls by devoting themselves to personal development that cultivates their inner compass, or True North. This requires reframing their leadership from being heroes to beingservants of the people they lead.
  • discipline
    • Keith Rowley
       
      Meditation is a good discipline to practice.
  • meditation
  • A system to support values-centered leadership The reality is that people cannot stay grounded by themselves. Leaders depend on people closest to them to stay centered. They should seek out people who influence them in profound ways and stay connected to them. Often their spouse or partner knows them best.
  • rue North Groups
    • Keith Rowley
       
      What is this???
  • Spouses and partners can't carry this entire burden though. We need mentors
  • heir choices don't matter, as long as they relieve stress and enable them to think clearly about work and personal issues.
  • Surround yourselves with people who will be honest with you about how you really are and what you are becoming, and then make them promise to not hold back… from telling you the truth."
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    Values-centered leadership. Bill George is great!
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