The Still Mind

Our world observed from stillness


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San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation | NBC News

San Francisco students meditating in class – Image via We Are Change

Original story via NBC News:

Silence isn’t something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes.

And school administrators tell NBC News that the violence outside of the school, which is situated in one of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods, was spilling into the school and affecting the students’ demeanor.

“The kids see guns on a daily basis,” the school’s athletic director, Barry O’Driscoll said, adding, “there would be fights here three-to-five times a week.” Continue reading

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Scientists Confirm Perception and Genes Linked

Becoming an adept meditator does more than simply relax the mind and body. It is in this relaxed mind/body state where the most beneficial and rewarding aspects lie, and it’s not just reserved for surface level changes. Our trillions-strong community of cells feel it too, and scientists have the data to prove that where there is a change in perception and awareness, there is a change in the most foundational levels of our organism.

A study headed by Herbert Benson of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that not only do the typical physiological effects of meditation and relaxation play out, but there is a marked change in genes as well. The study was conducted with 26 volunteers, all of whom had no previous meditation experience. Their gene profiles were analyzed prior to teaching them any meditation techniques. Benson and his colleagues found, after eight weeks of 10 to 20 minute relaxation exercises practiced daily, upon analyzing the volunteer’s gene profiles again, that beneficial genes expressed more than non beneficial ones. This lends credence to claims of perception literally shaping one’s health. (source article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23480-meditation-boosts-genes-that-promote-good-health.html#.UbnaALvLigV)

is a chipThese findings also tie into cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton’s findings in his decades long research in epigenetics, which propounds Continue reading


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Evening Stillness – Getting A Better Night’s Sleep

Credit: Lifestyleintegrity.com

Waking up in the morning is hard for a lot of people, and for the majority of us, we all need a pick-me-up to get us going. However, constantly feeling as though one NEEDS a pick-me-up is a sign that one’s sleep patterns, and perhaps lifestyle in general, is not supportive of a balanced, and healthy body.

After we rest, we should not feel as though we haven’t rested, and thus need something to energize our bodies – that’s what the sleep was supposed to be for.

Each person’s way of life is unique, so we shall prescribe a general restorative remedy that can help to assist in aiding a peaceful night’s rest: Continue reading


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Disappearing Body Meditation

disappearing body meditation

Slowing the mind down allows the body to release from its shackles of physiological and kinesthetic sensation. At times when this happens, the world as we know it becomes something other than that which we are familiar with in everyday life. The phenomenon of the “disappearing body”, where the sensical awareness of the body literally “disappears”, and what is left in its place is what I described as the “electron effect”–one’s being existing in a blanket of probable positions around the local environment–is such a time.

For meditators, the “disappearing body” phenomenon may not be a new thing, but if you’ve never experienced it before, or are wondering how to experience it again, then I’m here to help you initiate it, if you wish. If you’ve ever laid completely still, and released yourself from kinesthetic feeling, then you’ve most likely come into contact with this body-cloaking experience.

The Meditation

As is usual, find a place and time where/when you will experience no interruptions, and commence relaxation. If you are laying on a bed or the floor (as opposed to sitting cross-legged or in a chair), as you are relaxing your muscles, Continue reading


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Progressions in Meditative Practice – The Bi-directional Effect

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It is no mystery anymore of the degree to which meditation can be an instrumental force in the overall health of an individual, and if you would like to see the myriad of benefits which meditation brings (and have not done so already), you can read my post “100 Benefits of Meditation“. In addition to the health benefits, are some pleasant consciousness expansion effects which deserve some attention.

Once you have been meditating for a few months (maybe longer or shorter, depending on the individual), the benefits will slowly begin to manifest in ways that one might not expect. Today, I will introduce briefly one marvelous effect that the correct practice of meditation will present to the sitter. This effect is one where the dedicated focus on stilling the mind and body births an exhilarating phenomenon I call “The Bi-directional Effect”. Why? Because the sensation that I’m speaking of feels as though the body is Continue reading


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Mindful Steps – The Art of Moving Stillness

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The walking of everyday life tends to be birthed of a certain purpose, and rarely is a purpose of walking for the sake of walking. Busy-ness serves as the bow that launches the arrow of intent of such walking. Hurried walking from one day with the intent of making it through to the next day as quickly as possible, leads to weeks, then months, then years, and left unabated, then a lifetime of hurried steps. Hurried steps are not limited to walking, for the movement from place to place is the offspring of the workings of the mind. Thus, hurried steps reflect a hurried mind, and a hurried mind becomes a hurried life (I’m sure we all are familiar with the adage “haste makes waste”).

Walking may seem like the most simplest of activities, and sure it may be, but when we walk, are we really aware of the act of walking, or is it more of a means to an end? Mindful walking, however, is something far more involved than one might realize, simply because Continue reading