Posted by: Chris Maloney | July 4, 2011

Mindfulness: Improves Overall Brain Function.

A drop of water frozen by flash

Image via Wikipedia

I just did a search for mindfulness, and there were no posts, which is startling for a subject that has millions of practitioners and has been used for thousands of years. 

In a nutshell, mindfulness is the process of becoming fully self-aware.  The Vipassana tradition uses awareness of the breathing without allowing other thoughts to become distracting.  The Zen Rinzai school uses meditations on koans, complex simple questions that confuse the mind into awareness of the different levels.  An example of this is the:  “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” koan. 

Other Buddhist traditions like the Zen Soto school may use a combination of recitations of the sutras, walking meditation, and just sitting. 

Within Western traditions, the monastic traditions are very similar and we have the example of cloistered monks and nuns as parallels. 

Modern life has the beat poets, 60’s gurus and teachers, and a resurgence in recent years of all these traditions. 

The key is not to attach to any one tradition, but to engage daily in mindful activity.  Your brain will train itself to become more interconnected on different levels.  Modern researchers (below) are using this idea to help individuals and groups interact better. 

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