This morning I noticed that my extremely hilarious niece, Marjorie Ingall, a columnist for Tablet Magazine, posted this shout-out for Traci Stein’s excellent, new audio program for Procrastinators:

“I'm totally gonna buy it... soon.”

Today, I got from a friend a new paper by some Brown University scientists, offering a framework for understanding why mindfulness meditation can so effectively reduce depression and pain. 

Just to restate for those who are new to this mind-body stuff, mindfulness is a way of training the placement of your attention on present-moment experience, such as body and breath sensations, as well as moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings.  You just keep noticing these things and when your mind wanders, you notice that too, and just redirect your focus back to noticing breath, body sensation, thoughts and feelings. Pretty simple but very profound, and not so easy for most of us to do.

The paper proposes that mindfulness practitioners gain enhanced control over sensory cortical alpha rhythms that help regulate how the brain processes and filters sensations, including pain, and memories, such as depressive cognitions.

The lead author is Catherine Kerr, with co-authors Stephanie Jones, Christopher Moore, Matthew Sacchet and Sara Lazar.  You can learn more about the work of this team by clicking here.

I also want to remind you about our new HJ blog, where Traci Stein has posted a new piece on taking the time for self-reflection.  She writes, and I so agree:

“…often the most profound changes involve subtle but important shifts in how we treat ourselves, or how much space we create to accept ourselves in the present moment, even if there are things we’d like to be different…”

If you want to check out the rest, it’s right here:

Enjoy and take care.

All best,