Tag Archive: meditation

Clever medicine


Mindfulness has been described as “the practice of learning to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance.”

A new review provides convincing evidence that specific types of “mindfulness practices” have benefits for patients with certain physical and mental health problems.

Dr William R. Marchand of the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City reviewed published studies and evaluated the health benefits of mindfulness-based practices.

“An extensive review of therapies that include meditation as a key component — referred to as mindfulness-based practices — shows convincing evidence that such interventions are effective in the treatment of psychiatric symptoms and pain, when used in combination with more conventional therapies,” says Marchand.

His study is published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.

As part of the research, Marchand reviewed published studies evaluating the health benefits of mindfulness-based practices.

Experts often say that “Practicing mindfulness is simply experiencing the present moment, without trying to change anything.”

Researchers assessed three popular techniques:

  • Zen meditation, a Buddhist spiritual practice that involves the practice of developing mindfulness by meditation, typically focusing on awareness of breathing patterns.
  • Mindfulness-based  stress reduction (MBSR), a secular method of using Buddhist mindfulness, combining meditation with elements of yoga and education about stress and  coping strategies.
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which combines MBSR with principles of cognitive therapy (for example, recognizing and disengaging from negative thoughts) to prevent relapse of depression.

Investigators discovered evidence that MBSR and MBCT can help to relieve general psychological distress and mitigate depression and anxiety.

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”
―     Alan Wilson Watts

For me, there is no greater joy than playing with my children. We play football, softball, volleyball,badminton, tennis,  krav maga, ride bikes , shoot pool etc,etc,etc. We are an active and competitive bunch.

Add to that, There is a special joy associated in competing with them on a level playing field. The fairest fights are in running.

My 16 year old daughter is a good case in point. We have run several 10k’s together and although she is more a sprinter than a jogger, we compete!  Sometimes she gets the better of it, sometimes not. Our styles are vastly different. I am slow and steady. Average abt 10.5 /min mile. She can burst abt a 7 min mile but struggles stringing a few of those together. Like most kids, she shuns advice of “pace” and “rhythm”.  I try to convey my notion of “jogging meditation” and to enjoy the grind of the moment at a pace both efficient yet challenging at whatever level your at. I actually get into a zen type meditation groove as I concentrate not on the distance but on the moment. It is sooo much more enjoyable when she runs with me because i realize the impermanence of our opportunities to do this as she gets older and i treasure every second of those competitive runs. She sprints ahead to open up abt a 1/4 mile lead then she shuts down till I catch up. She might spot me a few hundred yards then sprint past like she is lo lo jones. I smile and wave as she repeats these intervals.

When she was very little we used to read about the tortoise and the hare. I use that parable  now to try and council pace and rhythm.  Slow and steady wins the race,etc. She says “tell that to the Kenyans” and repeats an observation she had as a 5 year old. “That story is ridiculous anyway, who would take a nap in the middle of a race ?!?

I may can fault her running style, but I  certainly cant fault her logic.