Monday, 7 December 2015

A Buddhist Christmas Carol



 
"You are fettered,'' said Scrooge, trembling.  "Tell me why?''
 

"I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?''

Scrooge trembled more and more.
 

"Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, "the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!''

Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.
 

"Jacob,'' he said, imploringly.  "Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob...''

... here's a Buddhist interpretation of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas story.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Why nothing composed of matter can be inherently existent


Ten properties of inherently existent entities:
 

(1) An inherently existing entity exists in splendid isolation without the need to reference any other entity. It is completely defined by its own nature.

(2) An inherently existing entity is uncaused.

(3) It is indestructible.

(4) It is eternal.

(5) It is unchanging when viewed externally.

(6) It cannot undergo any internal changes of state.

(7) It either has no constituent parts, or if it has parts those parts are inseparable.

(8) Consequently, nothing can be ejected or removed from it.

(9) Nothing can be added to it (this would change its definition).

(10) No change in external conditions (up to and including the destruction of the entire universe) can affect it.


The fact that an inherently existent object would be indestructible rules out anything composed of physical particles being inherently existent, because every subatomic particle is in principle destructible.   Every particle of matter can be annihilated in a burst of energy when it reacts with its corresponding antiparticle, in accordance with the familiar mass–energy equivalence equation,
E = mc2 .


More at Buddhist Philosophy

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Buddha of Absolute Freedom



by Karen Dobres  at The Huffington Post

 
"...The Buddha of Absolute Freedom doesn't live up a mountain but in Kilburn, Hackney, Essex... anywhere. He turns out to be a state of unshakeable and genuine happiness that anyone can reveal, because it's already in there somewhere waiting to get out.

The trick is to believe that and to let him out. So I'm trying every day to let her out. Not up a mountain, not even sitting cross-legged. Just trying to be me..."  read it all

Friday, 6 November 2015

Ku Klux Klan church targets Buddhists in Thailand.


Give me that old time religion

The Southern Baptist Church, notorious for its support of the Ku Klux Klan, is now attempting to convert Thai Buddhists to their brimstone-burning version of Christianity.    Why  they should be targetting these 'sons of Ham' (people of color)  isn't clear.   Maybe they're looking for a new supply of slaves  since the last lot got uppity.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Neuroscience backs up the Buddhist belief that “the self” isn’t constant, but ever-changing

This could be YOU

From Quartz 

by Olivia Goldhill

"While you may not remember life as a toddler, you most likely believe that your selfhood then—your essential being—was intrinsically the same as it is today.

Buddhists, though, suggest that this is just an illusion—a philosophy that’s increasingly supported by scientific research.

“Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness,” Evan Thompson, a philosophy of mind professor at the University of British Columbia, tells Quartz. “And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”

Neuroscience and Buddhism came to these ideas independently, but some scientific researchers have recently started to reference and draw on the Eastern religion in their work—and have come to accept theories that were first posited by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago...."  Read it all



Related posts

Sutra and Tantra in Buddhism

The webcrawler in your mind.


The Emptiness of the Mind in Kadampa Buddhism



Sunday, 1 November 2015

Blasphemy laws versus the inalienable right to cause religious offense.



Should religions and their founders be uniquely protected against criticism and ridicule, in a way that political and philosophical systems are not?  And if so, what would happen if the Nazi Party started marketing itself as a religion? Would that put Nazism and Der Fuhrer beyond criticism?

 

Alternatively, should religions have to take their chance in the free marketplace of ideas, as do secular belief systems?

Here's a thought-provoking article by philosopher Roger Scruton:


"To people like me, educated in post-war Britain, free speech has been a firm premise of the British way of life. As John Stuart Mill expressed the point:

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

 
That famous statement is not the last word on the question, but it is the first word and was, during my youth, the received opinion of all educated people. The law, we believed, would protect the heretics, the dissidents and the doubters against any punishments devised to intimidate or silence them, for the very reason that truth and argument are sacred, and must be protected from those who seek to suppress them.

Moreover, public opinion was entirely on the side of the law, ready to shame those who assumed the right to silence their opponents, whatever the matter under discussion, and however extreme or absurd the views expressed.

All that is now changing. Under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, it is an offence to stir up hatred towards religious and racial groups. "Stirring up hatred" is an expression both loaded and undefined. Do I stir up hatred towards a religious group by criticising its beliefs in outspoken terms?..."
 

Ed Miliband promised last April that a future Labour government would make Islamophobia into an aggravated criminal offence, and meanwhile the consequences for a civil servant, a policeman or a teacher of being accused of this fault are serious in the extreme."
 

This takes us back to what John Stuart Mill had in mind. It is not falsehood that causes the greatest offence, but truth. You can endure insults and abuse when you know them to be false. But if the remarks that offend you are true, their truth becomes a dagger in the soul - you cry "lies!" at the top of your voice, and know that you must silence the one who utters them..."
 
More here


Fortunately, in contrast to some of the more intellectually-challenged religions,  Buddhism has no need of special protection from criticism, as it is firmly grounded in philosophy and science


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Buddhist Halloween


























Should Buddhists celebrate the ancient Celtic Druid festival of Halloween?     What did the Druids have in common with Buddhists?



Monday, 12 October 2015

Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs, the name of Asoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star.



 


From Lankaweb 

”Ashoka (264 to 227 B.C.), one of the great monarchs of history, whose dominions extended from Afghanistan to Madras… is the only military monarch on record who abandoned warfare after victory. 


He had invaded Kalinga (255 B.C.), a country along the east coast of Madras, perhaps with some intention of completing the conquest of the tip of the Indian peninsula. The expedition was successful, but he was disgusted by what be saw of the cruelties and horrors of war. He declared, in certain inscriptions that still exist, that he would no longer seek conquest by war, but by religion, and the rest of his life was devoted to the spreading of Buddhism throughout the world.

He seems to have ruled his vast empire in peace and with great ability. He was no mere religious fanatic. For eight and twenty years Asoka worked sanely for the real needs of men. 

Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Asoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star. From the Volga to Japan his name is still honoured. 

China, Tibet, and even India, though it has left his doctrine, preserve the tradition of his greatness. More living men cherish his memory to-day than have ever heard the names of Constantine or Charlemagne...”    Read it all

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Low karma insect spray


Dettol surface cleanser isn't marketed as an insect spray, it isn't an insecticide and it doesn't kill insects. However one of its properties (which isn't mentioned on the label) is the ability to subdue insects.

A well-aimed squirt will  stop the most energetic bluebottle in mid flight so that it drops to the ground, then wanders around slowly in a tranquillised state where it may be picked up and escorted off the premises.    Flies that aren't removed will recover in a few minutes and then start buzzing round again.

The product is low-toxicity, low allergenicity and may be used in food preparation areas and for cleaning babies' high chairs and changing mats.

So if you want to avoid the karma of killing sentient beings, and the consequences of spraying your home and family with insecticidal  toxins and allergens, give it a try. At worst you may be creating the karmic causes to one day be ejected from an establishment in an inebriated state.




Saturday, 26 September 2015

Adorable bunnies put through hell for European petfood.


Farm rabbits crammed into cages

European animal lovers, next time you see the words 'containing rabbit' on your pet's food package, spare a thought for the lives of young rabbits put through a life of suffering from babyhood to the time they are minced into a food supplement.

From the Daily Express

"...Sickening details of the cruelty have emerged from farms in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece, which offers an insight into the miserable lives of more than 330 million rabbits..."

"...Despite being one of Britain's favourite pets, many of the rabbits are turned into food for pets, much of which is bound for the UK..."

"...The animals are confined to small wire cages, which they are born in and where they stay until slaughter 80 days later..."


"...While newborns are crushed against the wire to kill themselves or left to fall through the sharp metal bars on the floor of their cramped hutches - where they will starve to death....

"...The bodies of these dead animals are then simply left to rot, with other rabbits forced to walk across the carcasses to make their way around the cramped cage..."


May Arya Tara take all these sentient beings to her pure land, and may Dorje Shugden make the perpetrators and enablers of this evil trade become aware of the horrendous negative karma they are bringing upon themselves.





Tuesday, 1 September 2015

When Pakistan was Buddhist.

Buddha Statue from ancient Pakistan


'All too often, Pakistan is portrayed as a country of bombs, beards and burkhas. The view of it as a monolithic Muslim state is even embodied in the name of the country, 'the Islamic Republic of Pakistan'.

Yet, as Sona Datta shows, it used to be the meeting point for many different faiths from around the world and has an intriguing multicultural past - a past about which it is to some extent in denial. It also produced some extraordinary and little-known works of art which Sona, from her work as a curator at the British Museum, explores and explains...'  view it here

Friday, 21 August 2015

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Sunday, 2 August 2015

MANIPULATIVE CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS IN SRI LANKA: SOME PERSPECTIVES


From Lankaweb

by  Senaka Weeraratna

PREFACE

Buddhism which has been the moral and spiritual force in Sri Lanka in the last 2500 years, having survived a prolonged period (nearly 450 years) of persecution and discrimination directed at its adherents under western colonial rule, now faces a serious challenge from a growing Christian evangelical movement, represented mostly by foreign funded non-governmental organisations (NOGs) based in the country. This movement has as its overall aim the creation of a numerically and politically powerful Christian community in Sri Lanka (and also in South Asia) through a rapid conversion into Christianity of large numbers of Buddhists placed mostly in depressed and poverty stricken economic circumstances. The visibility of these NGOs in increasing number in traditionally predominant Buddhist regions, and the generation of alarming reports comprising narratives from affected individuals, and observations and studies conducted by third parties, has produced public anger and calls to combat this threat to the long term survival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

The use of unethical means such as financial, educational, medical, and the media by the Christian evangelical groups to induce Buddhists to change their religion has been viewed as a glaring abuse of the tolerance displayed by Buddhists towards other religions, and a violation of fundamental freedoms enshrined in the National Constitution.  The aggressive conduct of foreign missionaries in their attempt to spread Christianity and other Abrahamic religions, and undermine the traditional status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as has happened in South Korea in the last few decades, carries with it the seed for a potential religious conflict in the future.

The purpose of this essay is to examine in brief the aim of organised conversion, the Constitutional provisions, the history of Christian Missionary work in Sri Lanka, the methods and strategies employed to convert people, the reasons that compel people to change their religion, the implications for the status of Buddhism if conversions continue to take place on a large scale, and the options available to the Government of Sri Lanka to protect and preserve Buddhism...   Read it all

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Cardinal Tauran: Catholic-Buddhist seeks to grasp "ultimate Truth"

Cardinal Tauran: Catholic-Buddhist seeks to grasp "ultimate Truth"

From Vatican Radio


The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran - RV
23/06/2015 10:36
(Vatican Radio) The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, said on Wednesday he sees Buddhist-Catholic dialogue as “a part of our ongoing quest to grasp the mystery of our lives and the ultimate Truth.”

He was giving the keynote address of a weeklong Catholic-Buddhist Dialogue in Rome being sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID).
The meeting will include 46 Catholic and Buddhist interreligious and social action leaders in the United States.  The Catholic participants are from New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Washington D.C. area (representing the USCCB, the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, the National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Georgetown University).   The Buddhist participants represent major Buddhist communities and organizations in those five cities.

Catholic-Buddhist interreligious dialogue in the USA, which in the past focused largely on developing mutual understanding, seeks with this new form of dialogue to build upon the traditional form by fostering interreligious collaboration to address the social problems faced by people in our communities.  Accordingly, the theme of this Catholic-Buddhist dialogue will be “Suffering, Liberation, and Fraternity.”  As part of the overall agenda, time will be given to discuss how Buddhists and Catholics in the five cities can continue to expand this fraternity upon their return and to collaborate in addressing social ills.

The Buddhist participants are leaders of communities in the five U.S. cities that represent the rich variety of Sri Lankan, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Tibetan Buddhism traditions.  They have been involved in interreligious relations and are committed to building fraternal collaboration with the Catholic Church.  The Catholic participants are representatives of the USCCB and the PCID, Archdiocesan Ecumenical Interreligious Officers, leaders of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, and other Catholic social services agencies, as well as Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (MID), the Friars of the Atonement, and the Focolare Movement that is hosting the dialogue in Rome.  The program included participation in the Papal audience on Wednesday...

Keynote Address by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the U.S. Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue, Rome, Italy, June 23, 2015

 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Nama, Rupa and Namarupa


Nama and Rupa are two fundamental divisions of phenomena in Buddhist philosophy.

Nama refers to the mental aspects of humans and animals, whereas rupa refers to all physical phenomena, including human and animal bodies regarded as biophysical machines. Rupa is mechanistic, whereas nama is mental. 

Although nama and rupa interact,  Buddhist philosophers reject the possibility that nama can be reduced to rupa (hence our minds are not machines)

Since Buddhism is a process philosophy, nama and rupa are regarded as being in a constant state of flux and impermanence, and are processes rather than things or substances.

The Sanskrit word nama is related to the English word 'name', and similar cognates in other Indo-European languages, thus showing the intentional and semantic aspect of the term.    Rupa means 'form' or mereology, including those physical processes which act to change forms.

All aspects of rupa may be modelled, explained and simulated by a Universal Turing Machine, since all concepts of mechanism, and physical and chemical causality, are subsumed by the Universal Turing Machine.   In contrast, the principal activities of nama - intentionality or aboutness and qualitative experience - are beyond the capabilities of a Turing Machine.
 

More

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/73.htm

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha262.htm

http://buddhism.about.com/od/Existence/fl/Nama-rupa-Name-and-Form.htm

http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/namarupa.htm


http://www.abhidhamma.org/Rupa 1.htm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namarupa

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Where do pets go when they die? Annihilation or rebirth?






Rituals to strengthen your karmic bond with your dead pets.

Some religions don't recognise the spiritual and karmic significance of the human-animal bond. Traditionally, the Abrahamic religions state that only humans have souls, whereas animals are automata (biological machines) whose minds cease at death.

Joseph Rickaby SJ, an influential Jesuit theologian, said that animals had no souls, no rights and no feelings and were no more than automata - like clocks - and if they squeaked or made noises when damaged this was equivalent to the mechanical sounds a clock would make if it fell to the floor and was similarly damaged.

In contrast, the Buddhist view is that animals' minds survive death just as humans do. All sentient beings (creatures that experience suffering and happiness) have non-material minds. Consequently, the funeral rituals to help pet animals in future lives are essentially the same as for humans.   More here



Friday, 12 June 2015

Fake atrocity stories and pictures of 'Buddhist attacks' on Muslims in Burma (Myanmar)



From Atlas Shrugs,

Muslims are waging jihad in Burma. But the Buddhists aren’t having it. Burma is 90% Buddhist. These are a peaceful people. The Muslims have brought war to Burma. Bodh Gaya, the holiest site for the Buddhists the world over, was bombed in a series of Islamic terror attacks. Read more on the jihad in Burma here: Rohingya Hoax.

Anywhere Muslims immigrate, conflict follows. And so it goes in Burma. To shore up their false narrative, Muslims are circulating fake pictures. They’ve learned well from the “Palestinians.”

Jamphel Yeshi

    “The fake pictures of the Rohingya crisis,” BBC, June 6, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The plight of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar was thrust into the spotlight last month after thousands of migrants were left stranded at sea – but not all the images being shared online are what they seem to be.

The Rohingyas are a distinct Muslim ethnic group mainly living in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are not recognised as citizens of Myanmar and face persecution in the majority Buddhist country, where many live in crowded camps. Powerful and seemingly genuine pictures and videos emerged of what Rohingyas must endure in Myanmar after thousands of migrants were left adrift with low supplies of food and water last month. But BBC Trending found some of the images being shared online don’t show Rohingyas at all – but instead come from other disasters and news events.

Many of these images are graphic and disturbing. One of the photos, for instance, that shows up in search results shows Buddhist monks standing among piles of body parts. On Facebook and Twitter, the photograph has been cited as an example of Buddhist violence against Rohingyas. But the picture is not from Burma at all – it was actually taken in the aftermath of an earthquake in China in April 2010.

Another picture shows a man on fire running across the road. One group that shared the photo on Facebook suggesting the man suffered horrific abuse – that he was chopped up and burnt alive. But the real story is much different. In fact, the photo is of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan activist who set himself on fire in Delhi in 2012 to protest against the Chinese president’s visit to India.

There are many disturbing pictures of children circulating as well. One shows a boy tied to a wooden pole, with the marks of beatings visible across his back. While online posts call him a Rohingya boy, he’s actually a seven-year-old Thai child who was beaten up by a relative for stealing sweets earlier this year...  Read it all

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Bangladesh government filled indigenous Buddhist regions with Muslims to outnumber and evict locals

Sujata Chakma (11 years old when raped and murdered)

"The flash crowds of Muslims from Bengal and Bangladesh that are crowding their way into Burma (Myanmar) is an artifical creation. Here is a background to these conflicts that originate in Muslim persecution of native Buddhists and Christians in Bangladesh. Myanmar is positioned neck to neck with Bangladesh and Bengal, so illegal Muslim infiltration is a constant problem. The Muslim held government and army of Bangladesh is committing genocide of Buddhists and Christians to get rid of all non-Muslim elements, with the financial backing and Sunni Salafi encouragement from the Middle East.

To make sure that the media does not get a hold of facts the Bangladeshi government issued an order that Jumma tribal people cannot speak to foreigners, or Bangladesh citizens from outside the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), except in the presence of a soldier or government official. While the Muslim run government is filling the Jumma region with Muslims to push out the indigenous locals, the Home Ministry has imposed strict restrictions on foreigners getting permission to enter the CHT.

The hill people have also been subject to what is called “Love jihad” (sex grooming) of young children and girls, with abduction, rape and murders serving as a tool used by the Bangladesh military and illegal Muslim Bengalis to force conversion to Islam.

On 9 May 2012 an 11-year old minor indigenous [Buddhist] Jumma girl named Sujata Chakma (11 years) was raped and killed by a Muslim Bengali settler in the Ultachari mouza area of Atarakchara union in Rangamati hill district. Muslim settlers are encroaching indigenous land by the encouragement of the Bangladesh government. Sujata Chakma along with her nephew (5 year old) named Triratna Chakma was grazing cows half a kilometer from the village. According to Triranta Chakma’s statement, a bearded Muslim Bengali man came and forcibly took Sujata away towards upward of Sadachara. The villagers rushed to the spot, but by then Sujata had been raped and brutally killed, and her head was almost severed with forceful cuts by a machette or long knife.

Attacks on indigenous peoples’ villages are the most common way to evict the inhabitants from their lands. A Tripura refugee in India from Bakmara Taindong Para near Matiranga described what happened to his village in 1981 when the settlers moved into his village:

“Muslims from different parts of Bangladesh were brought in by the Bangladeshi authorities. Before that our village was populated only by Chakma, Tripura and Marma [Buddhists]. With the assistance of the government these settlers were rehabilitated in our village and they continued to give us troubles… they finger at the Jummas [locals] and the army beats them and robs them. They took all the food grain. Whenever we seek any justice from the army we don’t get it. All villagers lived under great tension due to various incidents all around. Three days after an incident when six persons had been killed, just before getting dark, many settlers came to our village, shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ (Allah is Great). When they arrived we escaped so the settlers got the opportunity to set fire“.

A Chakma refugee in Tripura told what happened to his village in 1986:

“I lost my land. Settlers came and captured my land. They burnt our houses first. They came with soldiers. This took place on 1st May 1986 at Kalanal, Panchari. My house was in a village with a temple. The whole village of 60 houses was burnt. After seeing this we ran through the jungles and eventually reached India, coming to Karbook camp.”

The following interview refers to events which took place on 21 November 1990:

“Muslim settlers wanted to take us villagers to a cluster village (concentration camp), but we refused to go there. The villagers were beaten up by the Muslim settlers of which three families managed to escape, one of which is mine. These three families came to Kheddarachara for ‘jhum’ cultivation. We stayed there for one and a half years. The day before yesterday the Muslim settlers came to the same village and rounded up the households. The settlers were accompanied by Bangladeshi soldiers. I took shelter in a nearby latrine when the villagers were rounded up. Later I tried to leave the latrine to go somewhere else. The village had been surrounded. As I was trying to escape, the Muslim settlers shot me. It was a singled barreled shot gun. The incident took place in the early morning around 6 o’clock. After getting the bullet injury I ran away into a safe place. I don’t know what happened to the other villagers. I ran away from the place for about half a mile. Then I fainted and lost consciousness. Two refugees went there to collect indigenous vegetables and brought me to the camp about 10 o’clock. I have been twice attacked to be taken to a cluster village, the second time I was shot.”

Read it all 


How Islam will destroy Buddhism

Monday, 8 June 2015

Evidence Map of Mindfulness

From HSR&D

The following bubble plot broadly summarizes mindfulness intervention systematic reviews published up to February 2014 – and shows the clinical conditions addressed in reviews (bubbles), the estimated size of the literature based on number of RCTs in the largest review (y-axis), the effectiveness trend according to reviews (x-axis), and the number of reviews (bubble size) per clinical condition. Colors: green (various mindfulness interventions), pink (MBSR), purple (MBCT), blue (MBSR+MBCT), and yellow (unique mindfulness-based intervention).




Read the full article

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Global Decline of Buddhism



From Live Science
by Jeanna Bryner

"... Numbers for all of the world's major religions, except Buddhism, are expected to rise as the population does the same.

Islam will grow faster than any other major religion, and at a higher rate than the world population balloons, the survey found. In fact, Muslims are projected to increase by 73 percent between 2010 and 2050. If current trends hold, Christianity will also grow, albeit at a slower rate, increasing by 35 percent by 2050. That is about the same rate as the world's population overall is expected to grow by 2050.

If those numbers pan out, there will be nearly equal numbers of Muslims (2.8 billion) and Christians (2.9 billion) in the world by 2050, for the first time in history. Increases in a slew of other religions are also forecast: Hindus are projected to rise by 34 percent, from just over 1 billion in 2010 to 1.4 billion in 2050; Jews are expected to grow from just under 14 million in 2010 to 16.1 million by 2050

Also by 2050, some 450 million people in the world will be affiliated with various folk religions, such as African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions, the survey projected. That represents an increase of 11 percent relative to 2010 numbers..."


"...These shifts in the world's religions are the result of several factors, including differences in fertility rates, the size of the youth population and people switching faiths, Pew said. (Younger populations have more people with prime childbearing years ahead.)

For instance, a good chunk of the growth in Christianity and Islam is expected to happen in sub-Saharan Africa, where birth rates are high. Fertility rates varied by religion, according to Pew, with Muslims having the highest fertility rate, of 3.1 children per woman; Christians coming in second, with 2.7 kids per woman; Hindus and Jews with average fertility rates of 2.4 and 2.3, respectively; and Buddhists having one of the lowest fertility rates, at 1.6..."

read it all

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Four Proven Ways Mindfulness Can Help You at Work



From The Fiscal Times
by Maureen Mackey

"...In addition to reducing stress, Gelles shared three other benefits many corporate leaders, executives and workers are finding from mindfulness:

Increased focus and concentration. “We regain control of our attention.  We come back to our breath over and over again even when our minds wander – and they’re always wandering. Simple attentional training can yield big benefits in the long run.”

Improved creativity, calmness and compassion. “Many leaders who embrace mindfulness cite these valuable qualities. They especially find an increase in their empathy toward a range of constituents. Bill Ford at Ford Motor Company discovered this, as has Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna.” Workers find their frustrations are not as unique as they think. That new understanding can become a liberating force.

Fuller awareness of everyday tasks. “You notice your thoughts, your emotions – then you proceed,” said Gelles. “It’s about being aware of small moments. This can be even more effective than taking a big chunk of time to practice mindful meditation...”   read it all

Friday, 5 June 2015

Compassion without borders: Buddha and Jesus




From The Times Free Press
by Casey Phillips

"...The Buddha's prime message is one of boundless compassion, of treating all beings like a mother would treat her children," he says. "That ... also rang true to me because of my absorption of the message of Jesus, that the whole point of taking the Christ path is to become strong and luminous and selfless enough to love all beings.

"That was the fundamental link that was clear to me at the beginning."

Harvey is not alone in his beliefs; the similarities between the statements of Jesus and Buddha have been noted by many, including well-known Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who wrote the books "Living Buddha, Living Christ" and "Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers."

"When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa," Hanh wrote in "Living Buddha, Living Christ."

Other books on the links between the two include "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings," by New Testament scholar Marcus J. Borg and "Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: The Place of Zen in Christian Life" by Robert E. Kennedy. Some scholars also have noted the similarities between the teachings of Buddha and The Gospel of Thomas, the list of 113 sayings from Christ that were discovered in Egypt in 1945.

Harvey's own journey to embracing a universal spirituality that transcends organized religion traces its roots to the awe he felt at that initial encounter in the museum.

At age 9, he traveled from India to the United Kingdom to attend private school and "to be put through the English concentration camp of reason," but the sense of peaceful resonance he felt with eastern mysticism stayed with him.

By 21, he had attained a professorship at the University of Oxford -- the youngest person ever to achieve that position -- but he began to feel spiritually and emotionally unfulfilled. By his mid-20s, he was overcome by a deep, overwhelming sense of disillusionment with academia, with his faith and with himself..."  Read it all

Thursday, 4 June 2015

One Moment Meditation Works Synergistically with the Apple Watch to Control Media Overload





From Yahoo
by Martin Boroson

Are you overwhelmed by technology or feel like you just don’t have enough time? Martin Boroson, who first revolutionized meditation training by showing people they can do it powerfully in short bursts of time, is now bringing his technique of One-Moment Meditation® to the Apple Watch.

In creating One-Moment Meditation®, Martin Boroson realized that many people didn’t meditate, because their expectations were too high or they just didn’t have enough time to practice it regularly. Boroson discovered that it really only takes a moment. And with that innovation, he has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to get over the ‘time barrier’ and quickly refocus thoughts and calm the mind.

“The result of today’s constant digital reminders and monitoring can be a feeling that we are controlled by our devices and need to do more within the same amount of time. This has proven to be counterproductive and overwhelming to many,” says Martin Boroson. “The introduction of the Apple Watch is likely to create an even bigger change in how we experience time and appears to be making giant steps towards a more synergistic relationship between device and user. Combine that with the many benefits of momentary mediation, and time might just become yours again...” more

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Three Steps to Mindfully Shift Negative Thoughts and Feelings




from the Huffington Post
by Ronald Alexander, Ph.D.

The belief "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is false, at least as far as brain science is concerned. It has proven that the brain is far more malleable than we ever thought. We can develop new relationship, communication, and money-management skills at any age, especially with mindfulness training.

Mindfulness allows you to set aside the instantaneous, unwholesome thoughts that limit one's ability to think of creative solutions and embrace more positive, wholesome ones, laying new neural pathways and building what I call, mindstrength. This is the ability to very quickly and easily shift out of a reactive mode and become fully present in the moment. It gives you mastery over your thoughts and feelings, opening your eyes to whether the products of your mind are useful tools for self-discovery or merely distractions.

Often, unwholesome, painful thoughts are about the past and the future, or cause and effect: You might think, "If I wasn't able to do that in the past, I won't be able to do that in the future" and "Because of what I did in the past, I can't create the future situation I'd like." Again, by applying mindfulness training, you open a doorway to a mindful-inquiry process in which you can examine these beliefs and let go of a sense of being stuck or trapped. Painful and fearful thoughts about the past and future will prevent you from focusing on the present, and accepting where you are at this moment in time.

Here are three mindful techniques from my book, Wise Mind, Open Mind to help you shift painful afflictive thoughts and feelings.

Step One: Examine Unwholesome Thoughts...  read more

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Dealing with baggage from the past



From  The Huffington Post
by Charles Francis 

"....In the practice of mindfulness, we take a different approach to finding happiness. Instead of trying to please our senses, we seek to eliminate the sources of our unhappiness. These sources are generally unresolved issues from our past, and difficulty dealing with the present.

Many of us have things from our past that make us uncomfortable when we think about them. These can also be more serious events, such as abuse or loss of loved ones. By developing mindfulness, we begin to see all these events from a broader perspective, and this allows us to transform our views about them so that they no longer cause us pain. Mindfulness also enables us to develop greater inner strength, so that we can deal with any of life's challenges..."   full article 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Mindfulness very gently moving around the world's classrooms





From The Age
by Colleen Ricci

"Mindfulness meditation – the practice of quietening the mind to bring awareness and attention to the present moment – is increasingly being used in schools around the world as a tool to improve student wellbeing and enhance academic performance. Although originating in Buddhist religious tradition, it is a secular form of the practice that has become popular in classrooms and workplaces.

One particular program making headway on an international scale is the Britain-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. It provides two main courses designed specifically by teachers for use in the classroom: ".b" – pronounced "dot-be" (Stop, Breathe and Be) – aimed at older children, and "Paws-be" geared towards 7- to 11-year-olds. Now taught in more than 20 countries with a curriculum translated into numerous languages, co-founder Richard Burnett hopes that mindfulness meditation will one day be taught in all schools "just like reading and writing".

Why is it happening?

In recent years, mindfulness training has been incorporated into workplaces around the world, including government organisations, companies, hospitals and prisons. Research has overwhelmingly highlighted the many benefits of the practice in adult populations, including enhanced performance, improved emotional management and reduced workplace stress; inspiring even more workplaces to implement mindfulness training programs.

These favourable results have led educators to consider the potential value of mindfulness meditation in schools to improve student concentration and overall wellbeing; particularly given the myriad multimedia distractions they face and the rising incidence of anxiety and depression..."  read it all

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Senses Fail 'Pull the Thorns from Your Heart' on New LP



From  exclaim.ca  
By Gregory Adams

Senses Fail 'Pull the Thorns from Your Heart' on New LP
Everything seems to be in working order for long-running post-hardcore crew Senses Fail, who have announced that they have a new album release on the horizon. The New Jersey band will issue their Pull the Thorns from Your Heart, which will be their first full-length for Pure Noise Records, on June 30.

The group's sixth studio LP album follows a recent split 7-inch with Man Overboard, also released through Pure Noise, but it will be Senses Fail's first full-sized outing since 2013's Renacer. The record features 11 new tunes, which a press release explains were inspired by vocalist Buddy Nielsen's life-changing relationship with Buddhism. The PR adds that Nielsen's "devout dedication to Vipassana meditation and studies of Buddhist teachings have allowed him to find peace within himself, embrace his differences and eventually find comfort in his newfound identification as queer."

"This record is the complete documentation of my transformative spiritual experience from the darkness to the light," the singer said in a statement. "It is the completion of a journey I have been on since I started making music when I was 17. I want this record to be more than just words and music but a blueprint for how through contemplative practice you can come to love, grow and blossom out of the muck of life and into the light. It is not intended to motivate in steps or exact teachings but empower. It is above all a personal story of struggle and realization."

Pull the Thorns from Your Heart is arranged in four "non-sequential" acts that are named after Buddhist concepts (Annica & Sacca, Tisarana, Maransati and Brahmaviharas), with the band's sonic approach apparently hitting quite a bit harder than the enlightened lyrical content... "  full article

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Meditating Made Simple: How I Explained It to a 10-Year-Old




From The Huffington Post  
by Lulu Salavegsen

"...Recently my daughter asked me: "How do you really meditate? It's seems weird! I mean, how do I literally do it?"

Presented with a question like this, I get giddy! Translating something seemingly obscure with deep descriptions, but simplifying it makes me happy.

It went something like this:

It's like the mind is a blank white board, with a fresh start every morning. Then, life "happens." Adults encounter moods, people, stress, news, work, the long list of "to do's" and all the underlying emotional stuff on top of it. The "board" gets scribbled on and covered until no white is left! The point is to breathe deeply, sit in your own quiet to clear the board, wash it over, and erase the noise. What is the negative? You waste five minutes? I do that on social media daily.

How To Meditate (or at least my subjective suggestions):

1. Find a quiet place to sit, lay or be in lotus position.
2. Try to set aside a five or 10-minute block of time (increase to 20-90 minutes as you improve).
3. However you are positioned, close your eyes and try to think of nothing, soften your eyelids, feel your eyes get heavy in their sockets. Let your facial expressions melt into a calm. Relax even your tongue, feel it heavy and lay at the base of your mouth.
4. Stay in that quiet as long as you can.

Easy right? Nope! Not If your mind keeps reminding that you're hungry, or your foot is falling asleep, preschool sign-up is tomorrow... etc. So let me get specific because just getting kid-free, work-free space is near impossible. So here are some other options I love and actually benefit more from:

-- Find cool ambient or chanting music. I Love "Breath of the Heart" by Krishna Das, but go find whatever fits you, there are so many commercialized "meditative collections" available these days.

-- I took a suggestion from Buddha. He recommends we try to smile with every single part of the body starting with your forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, throat, ribs, heart, tummy, hips, thighs, knees, all the way to your toes. Usually, I'm beaming after this, simple exercises... and it takes about 8-10 minutes depending on how detailed you get. Try it! ..."   read it all 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Mindful of the moment


From  Newcastle Herald      
By PENELOPE GREEN  


"...The wonderful thing about Buddhism is that there is no leap of faith required, unlike other religions,’’ she says.

‘‘It is simply based on careful observation of reality.’’

Ms Thaarup-Owen is thrilled to have been asked by American psychologist Rick Hanson, author of the New York Times top-seller Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence  to contribute as the mindful eating expert on his next program.

She says Australian companies are catching up to their US counterparts, about a third of which incorporate mindfulness into their workplaces.

‘‘Once upon a time people were saying ‘you do what?’,’’ she says.

‘‘Then psychologists started catching on because the research is there.

‘‘Seventy five per cent of what we know about the brain we learnt in the last three years and every step of the way backs up mindfulness practice.’’

Individuals, she says, contact her because they are overwhelmed, stressed and saying their lives are in chaos. Companies come knocking because they want to boost employee output, reduce absenteeism and lift profits.

In each case, the starting place is attention training and learning the skills to allow thinking to be a tool rather than an obstacle... " read the full article


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Seven reasons to Meditate Now




From Yahoo Lifestyle

The word ‘meditation’ is being thrown around a lot at the moment. Everyone’s emphasising the importance of being ‘mindful’ and conscious of our body’s actions – including us! But why are we suddenly reiterating spiritual practices that have existed for thousands of years? Because it works.

Too often we turn to the medical world for a quick fix, when actually, your body may just be calling out for a meditative break. Don’t write off meditation – here are 7 reasons why you should start practising, now. 

Stop Stressing...

Relieves Aches And Pains...

Reduces Anxiety...

Alleviates Depression...

Maintains Healthy Relationships...

Maximises Gym Time...

Makes You Younger...



read it all


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Researchers probing potential power of meditation as therapy



From Medical Xpress

"...In the anxiety-related research, the subjects reported decreases in everyday anxiety of as much as 39 percent after practicing meditation. The scans of their brains while they meditated, meanwhile, showed increased activity in areas of the cortex associated with regulating thinking, emotions and worrying.

"In these studies we've been able to get a better sense of the brain regions associated with reducing pain and anxiety during meditation," Zeidan said. "Basically, by having people meditate while their brains are being scanned we've been able to objectively verify what people like Buddhist monks have been reporting about meditation for thousands of years."

Zeidan and Wells are currently working together on two new research trials. One, led by Zeidan, will attempt to determine more precisely how mindfulness meditation reduces pain and improves health. The other, led by Wells, will further investigate her pilot study's findings about meditation and migraines with a larger number of participants..."   more

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Kids need downtime





Perth finds peace of mindfulness with growing popularity of meditation in WA

From Perth now

BY VETTI KAKULAS

"...CPS principal Anne Fraser said the 550 students at her primary school “loved” mindfulness meditation.

All staff were taught the practice.

“Kids aren’t getting a lot of downtime,” Ms Fraser said.

“We found that being able to take a few minutes out of the day to clear your mind, concentrate on relaxing

your body and put a smile on your mind was beneficial.

“The kids say it’s great to have those moments to just relax and it helps them prepare for their afternoon

lessons.”...  read it all

Monday, 25 May 2015

Buddhism in Russia and the Lankan connection



From Asian Tribune  
by Janaka Perera

“...Russia is in a special position in the sense that it is the only European country that recognizes Buddhism as one of the traditional religions. One of the world’s oldest it has been practiced for over three centuries by Buryats, Kalmyks,Tuvans and other peoples native to this country, Buddhism’s philosophy and spiritual practice have had a deep-reaching influence on the customs and traditions of all those who live here and all those who follow this religion. Of course the unique Buddhist culture is an integral and greatly valued part of Russia’s common historical and cultural heritage.”

Buddhism was incorporated into Russian society in the 17th Century when Kalmyk people traveled to and settled in Siberia which is now the Russian Far East. Russia's main school of Buddhism is Tibetan Buddhism which spread to Mongolia and via the latter to Russia.

The introduction of the Buddhist teaching into the country generated an interest in the subject among Russia scholars and academics. There have been Slavic converts to Buddhism since the 19th Century. But it is only after 1990 that real growth of Slavic converts to Buddhism began. They are based in the large cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg where there is greater access to urban Buddhist centres and facilities.

Although religious practices were suppressed in former Soviet Russia under communist rule, academic interest in different civilizations and cultures was renewed after Stalin’s death. This included the study of Buddhist philosophy and culture and their role in Russia’s relations with Asian countries, including Sri Lanka.

The journalistic notes by Vladimir Yakovlev Russian diplomat and the first Soviet Ambassador in Sri Lanka give a good insight to this. He had taken the decision to write them since very few Sri Lankans remembered his compatriots who had acquainted Russia with this island..."   read it all

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Meditating fireman will risk whales and jellyfish as part of swim to St Kilda




From The Greenock Telegraph

A FORMER Greenock fireman is taking the plunge on a marathon swim in the North Atlantic — among Orca whales and giant jellyfish.

John Dyer, 60, is part of a nine-person relay team swimming 65 miles from the island of Harris to St Kilda for charities, starting on Monday.

They had to give up an attempt to do it last year because of bad weather, but are determined to make it this time.

He will use his body and mind during the epic challenge.

He said: “I’m physically and mentally more prepared than last year, and again I plan to use meditation to help me.

“I learned meditation at the Buddhist Centre in Glasgow and I went to India as part of it. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

“Swimming long distances is all about focusing — and meditation definitely helps.”

The brave swimmers are going from Hushinish on the Isle of Harris to Sy Kilda to raise money for The Leanne Fund, The Fishermen’s Mission, Yorkhill Children’s Charity and Aberlour Child Care Trust..."  more

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Mindfulness could be key to reducing pain and depression for MS sufferers.



From  The Daily Mail 

by Hilary Freeman

"It's the meditation method beloved of Hollywood stars, big business and politicians. Now mindfulness could hold the key to reducing pain and depression in people suffering from the debilitating disease multiple sclerosis.

Based on ancient Eastern methods of meditation, mindfulness is said to ease the stresses and strains of everyday life by encouraging people to pay more attention to the present moment.

Researchers have hailed it as a cost-effective and side-effect-free way to keep at bay the symptoms of progressive MS, which include pain, fatigue and problems with speech and swallowing, and for which there is currently no effective treatment..."     read more:



Friday, 22 May 2015

Is it correct to call the Buddha’s Teaching a religion?


From The Sunday Times Sri Lanka 
By Dr. Primrose Jayasinghe

"Having just ushered in a traditional new year, swiftly to be followed by the most important Buddhist celebrations, it seems an opportune moment to take stock of what one has learned during the past year, especially any ‘new revelations’. My thoughts were mixed as I had done only a few important things, but the one thing that kept recurring was the thought that Buddhism is not really a religion after all! Let’s consider if this might be valid:

To my mind, Buddhism is a doctrine that surpasses the narrow confines of a ‘religion’. These are my own inferences, having read some of the salient features of Buddhist Teaching.

‘Although there are places of Buddhist ‘worship’ that one could visit in order to contemplate His Teaching (The Dharma or The Doctrine), there is no compulsion to attend these temples’

Buddhism is very well established throughout the world, more particularly in the East, and still continues to offer solace, without distinction, to the millions who have followed Buddha’s Teaching for over 2,600 years. Although there’s no convention for an institutionalisation of Buddhism as a ‘religion’, as found in the various other popular religions of the world, the Buddha’s Teaching swept far and wide merely by word-of-mouth, encompassing the Middle East, ancient Greece and parts of Europe (including Russia), on its way to becoming a world ‘religion’. Presently, however, while it persists in the East, Buddhism has dwindled elsewhere, as newer religions have become established. ‘The Teaching of the Buddha’ or Buddhism, in commonly parlance, is generally practised as a ‘religion’, with all the trimmings associated with that word. I cannot help but wonder whether this is truly the right thing to do. It is possible that some readers concur with my line of thinking, but let me present my case anyway, about why I think ‘religion’ is a misnomer here.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘religion’ as a “belief in, and worship of, a superhuman controlling power – a God or Gods”. Thus, it is obvious that Buddhism cannot be defined as a ‘religion’ in these conventional terms. The very first fact we accept is that Buddha is not a God; hence there is no compulsion to ‘worship’ him. There is no acknowledgement of a super-being in heaven, with an omnipotent presence and power over beings on Earth. The Buddha is human, with no ‘controlling power’. Therefore, the use of the word ‘religion’ is already questionable. Buddha is not derived from a ‘powerful spiritual being’, so He is not a ‘messenger’ from heaven; neither has He described Himself as a ‘God’. Though there is no coercion to worship Him, all Buddhists will invariably show Him respect as acknowledgement of His status – as a Buddha or “Enlightened One” – by bringing their palms together. This is not only a mark of reverence but also an expression of gratitude for the incomparable Teaching He has placed before us. According to the Mangala Sutta, to ‘venerate’ those who deserve to be venerated, is a ‘blessing’. So to Buddhists, the Buddha is a ‘special human being’ suitable to be revered and venerated..."   more

 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Will mindfulness lessons help to calm my children?




From The Telegraph
by Alice Smellie


"The celebrated meditation technique helps many adults reduce stress levels. But can it be taught effectively to youngsters?

"...Mindfulness, which is said to have originated among Buddhists more than 2,500 years ago, is a form of meditation. It is currently so globally popular it’s being embraced by celebrities, medics and even the military.

Now, and with the backing of experts, it’s becoming increasingly available for children. My three – Archie, 10; Oscar, nine; and Lara, six – as well as Archie’s friend George, are trying out a class with the help of mindfulness and relaxation teacher Sarah Salmon, who teaches in pre-schools, schools and in one-to-one sessions at home.

“Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation,” says Danny Penman, author of the phenomenally successful book Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World. “Basically, you are paying full conscious attention to whatever is going on around you and what’s going on in your mind.”

This sounds simple, and even a bit vague, but doing meditation has been clinically shown to alleviate stress, anxiety and even depression and chronic pain, as well as improve general quality of life. Converts talk of feeling calmer and happier..." Read it all



Mindfulness in Schools

 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Experts Recommend Meditation to Ease Arthritis Symptoms




From    Digital Journal 

"...Steven Rosenzweig, M.D., an emergency medicine doctor, believes that there are three ways the practice can help patients. It lowers pain intensity, keeps the cycles of pain escalation moderated, and makes pain less intrusive on the patient's thoughts or life. Meditation allows individuals to realize that there is more to life than focusing on pain. It can help patients concentrate on the moments of pleasure and enjoyment.

Many people in the medical community agree that meditation or mindfulness practice can significantly help arthritis patients take control of their emotions and pain, as well as manage them successfully. There are even scientific studies that show meditation practice may have positive results on arthritis pain..."

Read more


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

How a skeptical anchorman became a Buddhist


From  CNN 
by Dan Harris

"If you had told me as recently as a few years ago that I'd ever become a Buddhist -- never mind that I might even admit to it publicly -- I would have coughed my beer up through my nose.

I was raised by secular scientists in The People's Republic of Massachusetts. (I did have a Bar Mitzvah -- but only for the money.) I've spent my career as a proud skeptic. My favorite part of being a journalist is the right -- the obligation, really -- to doubt everything and everyone.

And yet, here I am ... a Buddhist.

This declaration means both less and more than you might think.

Less, because Buddhism is not really a faith -- at least not as I understand or practice it. And more, because the version of Buddhism I've embraced is something that could be useful to millions of skeptical people who might otherwise reflectively reject it. Maybe even you.

But first, how the hell did this happen to me?..."


Read the rest 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Preschoolers taught the art of meditation and pottery


From Channel News Asia
By Nadia Jansen Hassan

"...At My Little Gems Preschool, students learn to take deep breaths to improve their concentration. It is part of the curriculum for the children to meditate with teachers every day. Sessions go on for about 15 minutes, and children keep their fingers on their lips to help them focus on their breathing.

Said Mr Sim Chong, a father of three: "We found that there was a remarkable improvement in their ability to focus and concentrate, even if it's for a family meal or in the evenings, when we sit down to read story books."

Mr Sim’s daughter, Kay Ann, said she practises meditation as it helps her to think faster and clearer. "When mummy and daddy read story books, I can pay attention,” she said.

"Those children with training in mindfulness and meditation would be able to be more perceptive of the environment, and hence have a choice in focusing their attention in what they need to do,” said Mr Ben Lim, the principal at My Little Gems Preschool..."   Read it all

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Why artists need mindfulness



From  ArtsHub 
by Madeleine Dore 

"Mindfulness meditation is in vogue with celebrities singing its praising and countless courses, articles, and workshops promising to make you a guru. But beyond the buzzword, mindfulness has been proven to enhance immune function, increase positive mood and focus attention, make you look and feel younger, and improve mental health. What is more, mindfulness has specific benefits for creative professionals.

For artists who rely on a clear mind to nurture creativity, often face uncertainty in their careers, and have a greater susceptibility to depression, a mindfulness practice can be transformative....

"...Previously a documentary filmmaker, founder of Mindful in May Doctor Elise Bialylew told ArtsHub that mindfulness directly relates to creativity.

It is particularly helpful with creativity block. ‘If I need to write an article or a blog post or if I am just doing any kind of writing and I feel stuck, I will sit and do twenty minutes of practice.

‘I just know if I sit in quiet and not force it but rather be with presence, things usually become clearer rather than when you are getting yourself stuck in a “no idea” kind of place,’ added Bialylew.

To help you generate new ideas

Mindfulness has the ability to clear the mind and make room for new thoughts and ideas. For Bialylew, the idea to start Mindful in May came to her while meditating.

‘We live in a time that is so overloaded with information that our brains don’t have the space to integrate ideas,’ she told ArtsHub. ‘I think that meditation allows you space for a kind of incubation and way for ideas to rise to the surface in new ways.’"  Read it all