From time to time, I like to pass on any interesting articles on the topic of meditation. As I’ve written many times before, meditation is a very useful adjunct to psychotherapy – and like psychotherapy is a practice that has the potential to improve quality of life. (I would not recommend it as replacement for psychotherapy – that would be just as silly as recommending psychotherapy to someone interested in meditation.)
I’m not that familiar with Mr. Harris, but he’s written a number of books with intriguing titles and I was immediately struck by his clear, straightforward, pragmatic and informed meditation instructions. He strikes a very nice balance of both committed and skeptical, one many writers on the topic should be envious of.
Here’s the link to his article, How to Meditate. Definitely worth a click.
And here’s a brief excerpt in which he compares learning to meditate with learning to walk a tightrope:
As every meditator soon discovers, such distraction is the normal condition of our minds: Most of us fall from the wire every second, toppling headlong—whether gliding happily in reverie, or plunging into fear, anger, self-hatred and other negative states of mind. Meditation is a technique for breaking this spell, if only for a few moments. The goal is to awaken from our trance of discursive thinking—and from the habit of ceaselessly grasping at the pleasant and recoiling from the unpleasant—so that we can enjoy a mind that is undisturbed by worry, merely open like the sky, and effortlessly aware of the flow of experience in the present.
photo by vinoth chandar (creative commons)
I’m just passing this on, in case someone might find it useful. There’s nothing more irritating to a depressed person than being told you should just do blah blah blah. If you’ve never been depressed, the simplicity of some of the suggestions might shock you. Such as “Wash Up” or “Get Dressed” or “Go Outside”.
In any case, some food for thought at PsychCentral.
Mostly at my new blogs I post shorter stuff, but for some reason I posted a longer piece regarding the use of what increasingly seem like our overlords — our electronic devices. Very much for parents, but anyone struggling with judicious use of technology may find something of interest. Links to a number of recent articles and some books, too. There’s also a cute picture. You can find it here: https://laeastsiderdepressed.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/the-godzilla-mayhem-of-kids-parents-and-family-screen-time-tokyo-is-torched/
Unsurprisingly very nice piece by Dachel Keltner and Paul Ekman in the New York Times on the portrayal of emotions in the recent Pixar movie “Inside Out.”
…studies find that sadness is associated with elevated physiological arousal, activating the body to respond to loss. And in the film, Sadness is frumpy and off-putting. More often in real life, one person’s sadness pulls other people in to comfort and help.
First, emotions organize — rather than disrupt — rational thinking. Traditionally, in the history of Western thought, the prevailing view has been that emotions are enemies of rationality and disruptive of cooperative social relations.
Also posted at LA Eastsider Depressed
photo by nevil zavery (creative commons) I’ve got another blog kicking around. Though it’s called LA Eastsider Depressed it’s devoted to a number of topics, much like this blog. The style is a little less wordy than here, and I’m making more of an effort toward variety — quotes, images, videos, poetry, etc. Some of the recent posts:
At the meditation blog I’ve gathered a grab bag of mindfulness related links, reflections, resources. There’s a real attempt to forward material that I’ve found to be practically useful or at least intellectually stimulating.