Learning to meditate saved author’s life

After 20 years in a high-pressure career, American writer, Kat Tansey’s active life was derailed by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which reached its peak on a cold, grey, rainy morning in 1993, when she faced an important decision: should she stay to fight another day with suicidal depression or should she take her life? Using meditation, she was able to overcome her depression. She wrote a book about her story called Choosing to Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master. This book is a true account of Kat’s journey from deep depression to emotional wellness, and her story will inspire all those caught on the hamster wheel of life and sufferers of stress and ‘must do’ syndrome.

Happiness increases after age 50

The study, based on a Gallup poll from 2008, finds that most people feel increasingly happy starting around age 50. In general, life satisfaction is high at age 18 but sinks until about 50. Then, it starts to climb again, increasing so steadily that most people feel better about their lives at 85 than they did at 18.

NY Times article

Meditation increases brain size

If you are a meditator, you are likely familiar with the more obvious benefits of practice, which include a reduction in stress, an increased ability to enact mindfulness, greater concentration  and a lowered tendency toward immediate and excessive emotional dysregulation. Recent research suggests that, in addition to the anecdotal psycho-social benefits evidenced by a regular meditation  practice, there is some empirical indication that meditation may contribute to a measurable differentiation between the brains of mediators and those of non-meditators.

U.S. Army adopts mindfulness practice

Mindfulness means monitoring your thoughts and emotions throughout the day. It is to be present in the moment and to focus on whatever you are working on.

The U.S Army is offering soldiers an ancient alternative to traditional methods of coping with deployment stress. “Mindfulness is a simple but ancient approach to living, which Western medicine has begun to recognize as a powerful tool for dealing with stress, illness and other medical or psychological conditions, and it can help soldiers in any circumstance”, said Army Maj. Victor Won, deputy assistant chief of staff for intelligence in 1st Armored Division’s general staff section. “Just as running or lifting weights can improve physical fitness, a daily routine of mindfulness will help to strengthen coping mechanisms, making it easier to recognize and react to negative emotions so they don’t grow stronger”, Won said.

If mindfulness practice is good enough for the most powerful military force in the history of the world, it is good enough for us too. We have and will continue to talk about mindfulness in class as it is such an essential part of today’s stressful world.

Meditation improves concentration

Below are two interesting articles on how meditation can help improve your concentration. Participants in the study attended a three-month retreat in which they went without television, phones, the Internet and books. They also practiced meditation for 5 hours a day. They had instructor-led meditation in the morning and evening, and they spent most of their free time in solitary meditation.

Both articles talked about the same study that was conducted.

Washington Post article
WebMD article

Vietnam Vet opens Carousel of Happiness attraction in Nederland, Colorado

Marine machine gunner used to listen to the music and picture a carousel in the mountains to cope with the stress of the Vietnam war. Now more than 40 years later, he has created that carousel in the mountains and opened it for the world to ride. Harrison built the carousel to honor the memory of two of his best buddies who were killed in action.

I found his story very touching. All the profits go to help children with special needs. Check out the video and the website below:


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