When choosing the top 10 posts we found it extremely difficult because we LOVE so much of this information. So we reached out to our Facebook page stats to help us narrow down our choices. There are so many more great posts and comments worth reading in this blog but this little snippet will help you to see 2018 in a glimpse. Counting down from super great posts to the most liked and shared blog post:
Probably in less time than you surf the web, you could increases your cognitive judgment, your emotional resilience, and reduce your stress through meditation.
Jha, director of the University of Miami’s Contemplative Neuroscience said “We found that getting as little as 12 minutes of meditation practice a day helped the Marines to keep their attention and working memory — that is, the added ability to pay attention over time — stable.” Our attention is fragile. Jha likens our attention to “a flashlight you can direct to whatever you choose.” “If they practiced less than 12 minutes or not at all, they degraded in their functioning.”
One 15-minute meditation may help people make better choices, according to new research from researchers at INSEAD and The Wharton School. The findings are published in the February issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
"Most people have trouble admitting they were wrong when their initial decisions lead to undesirable outcomes," says researcher Andrew Hafenbrack, lead author on the new research and doctoral candidate at INSEAD. "They don't want to feel wasteful or that their initial investment was a loss. Ironically, this kind of thinking often causes people to waste or lose more resources in an attempt to regain their initial investment or try to 'break even.'" Co-author Zoe Kinias said, "First, meditation reduced how much people focused on the past and future, and this psychological shift led to less negative emotion. The reduced negative emotion then facilitated their ability to let go of sunk costs."
Then, in the emotional well-being area, one recent study found that a brief mediation practiced for 25 minutes for three consecutive days diminished meditators’ stress level. Published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, this provides an initial indication that brief meditation training reduces stress reactivity, but also increases cortisol reactivity to social evaluative stress. This seems to indicate that brief meditation training fosters greater active coping efforts, resulting in reduced psychological stress appraisals and greater cortisol reactivity during social evaluative stressors.
Some people think they may not have enough time available in their life to meditate. Of course the studies show many more benefits for daily regular meditation over months but the above studies show that even a beginner, with as little as 12 -15 minutes can gain benefits with meditation.
The Ishaya Foundation offers a weekend course that can teach you the basics of The Art of Ascension.
Have you heard that the mind is actually more effective at dealing with pain than medication? Studies show that meditation can be more powerful than morphine. Morphine has been shown to, on average, reduce chronic pain by about 25%. A beginning meditator has received on average 40% reduction in pain and an experienced meditator experiences up to 93% reduction in pain.
Cancer patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute can take free meditation classes due to a philanthropic grant. “I see meditation almost as a requirement in any therapeutic regimen for cancer treatment,” said Patricia Arcari, co-director of Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies. “The meditation helps with pain management, nausea, and other side effects of the treatments, but it also helps them express more self-compassion and appreciation of life.”
To see why meditation is more powerful than drugs, it helps to understand more about pain vs suffering and what’s really transpiring:
Yogis have known about this tendency of the mind to suffer for thousands of years and how to treat it. Science is just now getting around to studying the actual events in the brain.
Studies show the human mind does not simply feel pain; it also processes the information that it contains. Its first responsibility is to find the underlying causes so that you can avoid further pain or damage to the body. But In effect, the mind zooms in on your pain for a closer look as it tries to find a solution to your suffering. Since our mind likes to create habits, it begins doing so repeatedly. This “zooming-in” amplifies your experience of pain.
Also, as we avert our experience of suffering (or try to push it away), we tense our muscles and create even more tension with increased pain and suffering.
So, what have the yogis said for thousands of years and what makes meditation more powerful than morphine? It’s simply the act of bringing your awareness to what you’re actually experiencing in the present moment without judgment that reduces suffering. That ability or skill is developed by a daily practice of an ancient time-honored practice like The Art of Ascension. Using this tool daily has many wonderful by-products, one being an ability to experience “what is” without judgement.
One of the fallacies about our experience of pain is, at first glance it seems so solid. But the deeper we go into awareness, we realize nothing is solid. From our daily practice, we learn through experience that everything in life comes and goes.
So, for an experienced meditator, when or if they experience pain, suffering becomes optional.
Neuroscience “will play a huge role in the future of business education,” says Michael Platt, a Wharton professor.
Business education of the future will not be limited to accounting, strategy and finance. The future includes heart-rate monitors, meditation and new courses that help students improve productivity, influence decision-making and handle stress.
MIT’s Sloan School of Management has offered “Neuroscience for Leadership Course” since 2014. “Demand is growing because business leaders who are ahead of the curve know that emotion can impact their performance,” says Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura, Columbia’s director of organizational learning and research.
Thomas Bonfiglio, a regional director with American Medical Response in New York found good results after taking the MIT course by introducing meditation into the workplace. “We have a lot of aggressive, alpha-type personalities,” he says. “It was often difficult to get the group to work together.” But after introducing meditation, they worked more quickly and effectively, Mr. Bonfiglio says.
When NYU introduced Mindfulness in Business program, hundreds of MBA students participated and at least 15 faculty and staff members attended various programs. Following the program, students told them they were made more self-aware, more focused, and better able to recognize and understand their own thoughts and emotions. Many felt that it made them better leaders, and expressed the need for continuing the programming.
A graduate school in Japan, called Shizenkan, is re-orienting their approach to teach innovation-oriented management. Courses will be taught in both Japanese and English, and will include meditation and other spiritual practices. Anil Sachdev, the founder Delhi's School of Inspired Leadership in India, or SOIL, said "to [foster] inspired leaders with character, competence, enthusiasm and social responsibility, we need to transform higher education." They are following the direction of the Japanese school to incorporate more experience-based learning to include meditation and ethics to address the trend they view in America that lacks corporate responsibility and has issues with fraud.
Jeremy Hunter, from Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University outside Los Angeles, believes meditation should be at the center of business schools' teaching. He argues that improving the workplace and productivity is about improving the quality of attention. "To me, it's fundamental to how work gets done these days," he said. "Basically, that's what work is, attention."
Committing to a daily practice of meditation is a simple method that will improve attention, allow one to be more self-aware, handle stress with less turmoil, as well as improve productivity.
Daily practice is key. The most important thing is to find a practice that you will do every day. Many of the teachers of Ascension tried many techniques before trying the Art of Ascension. One reason we like it, is because it is easy to use and can be used anywhere. After all the other things I tried, I knew that this is one I could and would use daily.
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