September 23, 2011 By IntegrityAdmin Leave a Comment If you haven’t experienced the peace and tranquility that comes from meditation, consider starting a practice.
Update: Unfortunately I found the original writer of this post to be very non-credible and decided to remove their post.
Being mindful of your partner means that you are focusing on them and are attentive and thoughtful towards them. While meditation is often focusing on our breath or a noise, it can also be an act of focusing on a person and nothing else. Being mindful of our partner allows us to really see them as a unique individual who has their own set of beliefs, habits, and thoughts. Too often we expect our partner to be more like what we want them to be like; and when they do not become more like what we want, problems arise on both ends. When we practice being mindful, we become more aware of our relationship and pay attention to the little things as well as the big. In short, practicing mindfulness meditation towards your partner causes you to be happier in your relationship.
In this post, I’m going to let a true expert in the field take over and provide you with an incredible lecture on brain changes that can be accomplished through contemplative practices.
The major theme of Davidson’s research into contemplative and meditative practices is the observance that something goes on in the mind, or at least the brain, of individuals trained in meditative practices. Recent brain-imaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have implicated insula and anterior cingulate cortices in the empathic response to another’s pain. The brain and the cardiovascular system influence each other during the processing of emotion. Jerome Stone is a Registered Nurse and the author of the book Minding The Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind. Compassion Doesn’t Have to Hurt, in Nursing or OtherwiseAre Thoughts the Mind, or Just a Product of it? Download TWO FREE CHAPTERS of Minding the Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind and a FREE E-Book! Available to anyone who has, or had, a meditation practice previously and is interested in nurturing their practice. Sangha is a drop-in meditation class, open to anyone who would like to continue to meditate and learn, within a community of like-minded people. Sangha is a wonderful way to maintain your mindfulness practices and create a sense of community amongst people who are journeying the same path as you. Whatever there is of God and goodness in the universe, it must work itself out and express itself through us. Meditation allows us to tap into an inner peace that comes from going inward and connecting with a higher source.
The main thing to do in meditation is to relax and clear the mind by sitting, focusing and breathing. If you’re just starting meditation and want to make it a habit, consider teaming up with a “buddy” who will keep you motivated in your practice. If you want more stability, peace, and harmony, a meditation practice can change you from the inside out.
For instance, when you look at your partner are you really aware of them being there, or are you focusing on many different things at one time?

When you first met your partner, you likely sat in a meditation mode thinking about them as you fell asleep, while you were at work, and during many other times during the day. We develop compassion, patience, and acceptance when we practice mindful meditation on our partner. Whether you are talking to them or thinking about them, make them the focus of your thoughts and allow yourself to get completely wrapped up in them for a while. Although, many people say it is a good idea to meditate in the morning so that you start your day off on the right foot. The “something” that occurs varies depending upon the scope of the study, but a key similarity between his studies of meditation is that the brain of an individual who has a regular meditative practice appears more adept at reorganizing or recruiting certain neural pathways and processes to deal with challenges than does the brain of someone who does not have such a practice.
Davidson and his colleagues have enrolled long- and short-term meditators, some monks and other lay practitioners, to determine whether mindfulness and meditation have any observable affect on the brain and neural correlates of cognitive processes.[i] [ii] [iii] What Davidson and his colleagues have observed in these groundbreaking studies is that specific regions of the brain responsible for information-processing and emotional regulation can be mediated and modulated through the means of meditative practices. However, virtually nothing is known about the impact of the voluntary generation of compassion on this network. The study of the interactions of these systems during emotion regulation has been limited in human functional neuroimaging, despite its potential importance for physical health.
This deficit is believed to result from competition between the two targets for limited attentional resources. He also has over thirty years in a variety of health-care settings and is a long-time practitioner in meditation, with an emphasis in the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism and Christian and Kabbalistic Contemplation.
It offers students the opportunity to explore different styles of meditation that nurture calm and peace  in their lives.
Classes start Wednesday, March 30th, for a total of four consecutive Wednesday evenings (see our SCHEDULE for more information). There are many great benefits in having the power of two (or more) people engaged in the same goal. Chances are that you have a lot on your mind, and your partner may be a spec in your visual as you think, plan, ponder, and go about your day. However, when you become mindful of the food and pay attention to the taste, texture, and feeling as it slides down your throat, you are being mindful and simply paying attention to what you are doing.
Meaning, our relationship will not just be a memory among all the other things we did in our days, but rather an active part of our lives. Davidson at the end of this introduction (you can go directly there by scrolling to the end of this post). Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is responsible for many of the innovative inquiries into meditation that have been carried out at the Keck Lab. To investigate these questions we assessed brain activity using fMRI while novice and expert meditation practitioners generated a loving-kindness-compassion meditation state. We have previously reported that mental expertise in cultivation of compassion alters the activation of circuits linked with empathy and theory of mind in response to emotional stimuli. Here we show, using performance in an attentional-blink task and scalp-recorded brain potentials, that meditation, or mental training, affects the distribution of limited brain resources.
Students will learn how to relax, focus and centre their thoughts, de-stress and reap the health benefits that arise from a regular meditation practice. During the two week programme, we will review meditation techniques from previous sessions and explore additional ones that support us on the path to greater peace, calm and joy. There are numerous techniques and the goal is not to be perfect, but to simply practice breathing and clearing your mind.

You don’t need to meditate together; rather it’s helpful to support each other in an ongoing practice. To probe affective reactivity, we presented emotional and neutral sounds during the meditation and comparison periods.
Guided by the finding that heart rate increases more during blocks of compassion meditation than neutral states, especially for experts, we examined the interaction between state (compassion vs. Three months of intensive mental training resulted in a smaller attentional blink and reduced brain-resource allocation to the first target, as reflected by a smaller T1-elicited P3b, a brain-potential index of resource allocation. Discover how meditation can relieve stress, help you to relax, sleep better, focus your thoughts and improve your overall health. With practice, you’re continuously clearing your mind of negativity and allowing a stronger connection to the Universe and all of its gifts.
In my book, Just Give Your Head a Shake, I describe how to practice Buddhist Vipissana meditation. Our main hypothesis was that the concern for others cultivated during this form of meditation enhances affective processing, in particular in response to sounds of distress, and that this response to emotional sounds is modulated by the degree of meditation training. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the largest decrease in brain-resource allocation to T1 generally showed the greatest reduction in attentional-blink size. The presentation of the emotional sounds was associated with increased pupil diameter and activation of limbic regions (insula and cingulate cortices) during meditation (versus rest). Our findings revealed that BOLD signal in the right middle insula showed a significant association with heart rate (HR) across state and group. These observations provide novel support for the view that the ability to accurately identify T2 depends upon the efficient deployment of resources to T1. During meditation, activation in insula was greater during presentation of negative sounds than positive or neutral sounds in expert than it was in novice meditators.
The results also demonstrate that mental training can result in increased control over the distribution of limited brain resources. The strength of activation in insula was also associated with self-reported intensity of the meditation for both groups.
The positive coupling of HR and BOLD was higher within the compassion state than within the neutral state in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex for both groups, underlining the role of this region in the modulation of bodily arousal states.
Our study supports the idea that plasticity in brain and mental function exists throughout life and illustrates the usefulness of systematic mental training in the study of the human mind. This state effect was stronger for experts than novices in somatosensory cortices and the right inferior parietal lobule (group by state interaction). These data confirm that compassion enhances the emotional and somatosensory brain representations of others’ emotions and that this effect is modulated by expertise. Future studies are needed to further investigate the impact of compassion training on these circuits. Together these data indicate that the mental expertise to cultivate positive emotion alters the activation of circuitries previously linked to empathy and theory of mind in response to emotional stimuli.

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