Psych Central

Archive for October, 2011

The Wisdom of a Leaf: Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Autumn LeavesI was sitting with a friend recently who told me that he was resting in his backyard bringing mindfulness to the sounds and sights around him when he had an insight. The trees and leaves around him in some way were just like him. No, he wasn’t on any psychedelics or intoxicants, he just had this awareness that he was not really that separate from the nature around him.

In that moment he said he felt incredibly connected and the worries that had surrounded him before seemed to drift away as a feeling of belonging arose. Belonging is the essence of well-being.

In his latest book, Your True Home Thich Nhat Hanh describes it best:


Voices: One Reason Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Think

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

colored pencils

Colored Pencils - image from Shutterstock

A short while ago I opened an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives. I’m calling this column of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, “Voices.”

A number of people wrote in with stories. If you have a story, continue to writing in and as long as there are good stories that teach the rest of us how mindfulness can work in our lives, I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.

Here’s a truly touching story of mindfulness and the importance of breaking out of our limited beliefs and letting people surprise us by Christina Conlan O’Flaherty, Psy.D. :


A Brief Insight into Everything

Monday, October 24th, 2011

mindful of sounds around youThe mind is a mysterious thing, it’s true, but some things about it are not that mysterious and can be observed through a simple practice giving us a brief insight into everything.

Read this first and then practice to get a front row seat into how your mind works:


Voices: Mindfulness and Healing the Loss of Someone You Love

Friday, October 21st, 2011

griefA short while ago I opened an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives. I’m calling this column of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, “Voices.”

A number of people wrote in with stories. If you have a story, continue to writing in and as long as there are good stories that teach the rest of us how mindfulness can work in our lives, I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.

Here’s a truly touching story of mindfulness, grief, courage and healing by Mimi Handlin, MSW, Senior Certified ADHD Coach:


The Post-Mindful Era: I Have a Dream

Monday, October 17th, 2011

mindfulnessA couple decades ago if you told people you were going to a yoga class, you may have looked into a face of confusion or judgment where the other person was thinking you were part of some new age movement. Now in the most conservative town men and women throw on their respective yoga gear and step into pose.

On the same note, just a few years ago if you told most people you were going to go to a meditation class, you would have gotten that same look, perhaps you still might today. However, we’re on the cusp of entering a mindful era, an era where the term and practice are starting to become more accepted and common.  We’re not quite there yet, but the explosion of research coming out of respected institutions such as Harvard, UCLA, Stanford, and major healthcare companies and the embrace in the corporate world is heading the train in that direction.

But what would a post-mindful era look like?


Voices: Using Mindfulness to Break Free from the Shame of Mental Illness

Friday, October 14th, 2011

mindfulness and mental illnessA short while ago I opened an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives. I’m calling this column of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, “Voices.”

A number of people wrote in with stories. If you have a story, continue to writing in and as long as there are good stories that teach the rest of us how mindfulness can work in our lives, I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.

Here’s an insightful true story from Parwathy Narayan about the power of self-acceptance.


Can Mindfulness Really Rewire the Brain?

Monday, October 10th, 2011

wiresThe burgeoning field of mindfulness, neuroscience and psychotherapy just never gets old to me. I am on a panel with Ron Siegel, PsyD, author of The Mindfulness Solution and Ruth Buczynski, PhD, president of the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) talking about a recent series that explored the question, Can Mindfulness Really Rewire the Brain? The series is free to listen to.

The series includes Dan Siegel, Rick Hanson, Tara Brach, Sara Lazar and Ron Siegel on the current state of affairs of mindfulness and neuroscience. The topics included the most current neuroscience research, how we can use it with trauma, chronic pain, depression, shame and even its potential benefits for aging.

The actual science that’s continuing to come out about mindfulness and its neurological benefits is incredibly motivating.

Did you know that mindfulness practice is showing that we can grow the area of our brain that’s responsible for learning and memory (the hippocampus)? So there’ll be less of the, “Honey, did you remember where I put my keys?”


Boost Resiliency: A Piece of Wisdom from the Ages

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

mindfulnessIf we look back at the world’s wisdom traditions we’ll find that for most, one of the greatest ways you can give is to be of service. The cynical person would say, “Well of course that was an organization’s way of getting people to work for free and to build a religion.” Another way of looking at it and what scientific research has confirmed is that being of service has measurable positive effects on our health and well-being. There’s a fundamental reason why this is true.


Voices: Who’s Driving Your Bus?

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

mindfulnessA short while ago I opened an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives. I’m calling this column of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, “Voices.”

A number of people wrote in with stories. If you have a story, continue to writing in and as long as there are good stories that teach the rest of us how mindfulness can work in our lives, I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.

Here’s a delightful and insightful true story from Brandon Rennels about the power of acceptance in our daily lives.


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