Mindful education – teaching meditation to kids via Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe”

"take a moment to think of just... flexibility, love and trust" Steven Universe is a coming-of-age cartoon featuring a boy (Steven) and his friends in a fantasy land of gems, aliens, and humanoids. All but two of the major characters are female, and the show premiered as Cartoon Network's first animated series created solely by a woman.The show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, has said that she intended to "tear down and play with the semiotics of gender in cartoons for children" because she c … [Read more...]

In Japanese “Most Handsome Monk Contest”, a female meditation teacher wins

Yesterday an organization in Japan held its second annual "Most Handsome Monk Contest" in Tokyo. One participant chopped through 10 cement blocks as part of the talent round. Another monk, a DJ, presented a mock radio program for the audience. But Koyu Osawa, the first ever female participant, won over the audience by leading them through a short meditation practice.In her post-victory interview, Osawa said "I want to connect with people who have never tried it before, or have always wanted … [Read more...]

Returning, or “5 meditations on the desert”

A little over a week ago, I packed my bags, spent a night in Missoula, MT, picked up 3 (and then 4) fellow travelers, and headed into the wilds of Utah where we met two more friends. I'm not a seasoned backpacker or hiker, having spent usually only a day or two in the "back country" and six days last year hiking 80+ miles of the Wind River National Wilderness Area with two good friends who are much more knowledgeable than I probably ever will be.However, I am a long-time meditator (over 15 … [Read more...]

The Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness: 8 Helpful Tips

A guest post from Janet Miller You don’t have to be a Buddhist (or a hippy) to practice mindfulness, and you don’t have to spend hours sitting on the floor in meditation. Practicing mindfulness is simply bringing awareness to yourself and your existence. By practicing mindfulness in your life, you can feel more focused, less stressed, and more happy. Here are eight ways to introduce mindfulness into your life.1. Mindful BreathingThe breath is a common object of meditation, and a grea … [Read more...]

Mindfulness and Self-Care: Why Should I Care?

A guest post by Edwin Ng with Ron PurserEditor's note: this is the second in a two-part series by Edwin Ng and Ron Purser, part one can be found at the Huffington Post here.Part One considered the current hype surrounding workplace mindfulness against the dubious history of management science. Part Two here considers the use of critical mindfulness in experiments with ethical self-care.Though we are skeptical about celebratory claims, we actually do hope that mindfulness might bec … [Read more...]

Study shows most Americans shouldn’t meditate: repress awful life events instead

Lead author Willow B. England of Orange University in upstate New York describes why meditation has become an increasing malice to the American public. Her scientific research conflicts with the increasingly incoherent ramblings of French monk Matthieu Ricard, who says: "Everyone would be helped by meditating for half-an-hour a day. Meditation is a very vague term and there's a lot of cliché - like emptying your mind and relaxing and all that stuff. But it's really a means to cultivate or be f … [Read more...]

Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education

For the next three days I will be in Boulder CO at the Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education conference hosted by Naropa University. Come say hello if you see me.Tonight we had the opening panel discussion, where a number of the questions facing us over the next few days were raised:What should education be, and how does contemplative thought/study fit in? How can contemplative educators engage in decisions being made in Higher Education? What do we/they have to offer? Ho … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Health: Illuminating the Spectrum of Therapies

A guest post by Pierce Salguero About two months ago, we began to notice a new presence on the streets of Philadelphia’s Chinatown. A cadre of volunteers in red and gold jackets was hitting the pavement, handing out fliers in English and Chinese to announce the arrival of a new organization called Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door. Their glossy color fliers announce a “practical Buddhist approach to alleviating suffering and making life better.” Through the “effective and systematic” practices of sutra … [Read more...]


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