Monday, September 8, 2014

How Does Mindfulness Reduce Depression? An Interview with John Teasdale

How does being aware of what you’re doing while you’re doing it help with depression?



There are a number of ways in which being mindfully aware of what you’re doing while you’re doing it can help with depression.

Depression is often kept going, from one moment to the next, by streams of negative thoughts going through the mind (such as “My life is a mess,” “What’s wrong with me?” “I don’t think I can go on”). Redirecting attention away from these ruminative thought streams by becoming really aware of what we’re doing while we’re doing it can “starve” the thought streams of the attention they need to keep going. That way, we “pull the plug” on what is keeping us depressed, and our mood can begin to improve.


John D. Teasdale Ph.D. was a leading researcher at Oxford University, and then in the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. Teasdale was a pioneer in the cognitive therapy advancements in the United Kingdom. He was one of the founders of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, MBCT

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meditatation is the way

I had the greatest opportunity to learn Meditation (the proper word is Bhavana, Ill explain why), from three great teachers: Professor Sumana Ratnayaka (www.pdn.ac.lk/arts/pali/sumana_rath.html), Mr. Gamini Priyantha, and Mr. Vipula Wanigasekara.

Mr. Gamini Priyantha and Mr. Vipula Wanigasekara (www.vipulawanigasekera.com) had two short but important discourses on meditation while Mr. Sumana Ratnayaka was with us for the  whole day observing Sil, in occasion with the Binara Poya that falls today (8th September).

One person had a question for Mr. Sumana Ratnayaka: How do we benefit from Meditation in out day today life?. The answer was brilliant. Mr. Ratnayaka explained that it is impossible to separate Bhavana from the day today life. Western notion of Meditation, does not cover the meaning of Bhavana. Bhavana is to be practiced not just when we are sitting on our meditation cushion, but to practice with our day-today actions, speech and thinking. In other words, there is no path to meditation; meditation is the way. :) There is no path to peace, peace is the path. There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path. :)

He suggested Mindfullness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana as a good book on mindfullness. You can read a full online copy here: www.vipassana.com/meditation/mindfulness_in_plain_english.php  Buy it here - www.wisdompubs.org/book/mindfulness-plain-english or on Amazon.

If you are interested in reading Tripitaka Sutta in plain Sinhala, He recommended the translation by Mr. Soyza. I found an on-line copy here. www.metta.lk/tipitaka/index.html.

We ended the day with the Karaneeya metta sutra. I also learned that Metta sutta extends kindness to the mother nature, including the trees.  Buddhism is totally my type of religion.

Metta to you. 


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Judging other People!

My friend says that she doesnt judge me. She means well but I don't believe so. Unless you  (or she) have attained some sort of a spiritual status through meditation, you can't prevent yourself from judging other people. We not only judge others, but ourselves. Most of the time, we judge ourselves negatively- I did bad. I was wrong. According to Jahan Brahm :), judging (which can be dangerously erroneous)  is one of the major causes of depression.

We judge the input we receive from all six senses. We judge what we see, hear. feel, smell, taste and even what we think. (Yes, mind that can emulate all the other senses is the most powerful of senses.). We judge our thoughts. Not being able to let go of thoughts prevents us from proceeding in meditation.

I judge everything too and suffer the consequences of not being able to perceive things as they are. But, Id be careful not to state my judgements. I know that the conclusions that I make, leading to judgements are highly erroneous. Stating my half-baked judgements can hurt someone, can lead to bad things.

Even Though we receive sensory inputs as they are, we look at them with distorted lenses. If the conclusions I make are dubious, then my judgements should be too. When I meditate, I let go judging my thoughts. As a result, when I don't meditate, I'm inclined to let go of the judgement of what I receive from the sensory inputs.- I see things as they are. When we don't judge, we see the beauty. :) This is my theory for now.

Love. ♥

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Too much to Read

What do you call it when you feel that you are "overwhelmed" by the amount of interesting books, information that is freely available for you to read. I went to this website that let the users download books in PDF, EPub, kindle formats and I felt so uncomfortable seeing the large collection-- Made me bite my teeth.
Just like a bodybuilder who is in a frenzy to build their muscles. Like a thug who wants to beat and get beaten.

Frustrating!!

Camille Paglia and Alchohol

I love Camille Paglia. I think she is the greatest known women intellectual living today. I agree to most of what she says, may it be civil liberties, sexual repression, Madonna. I wish I can write like her. But she is just an intellectual making philosophical, political arguments and interpretations. She should not be taken for a medical doctor, psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Stupid people should not even think about drinking alcohol. 

Its a slippery slope. Moderate? How much is moderate? Moderate is not going to get what boys want. Boys want to get wasted. Mayo Clinic recommendations are not going to do that. MC also advises alchohol use against middle-aged and young adults.

Paglia says in http://time.com/72546/drinking-age-alcohol-repeal/ that:
Alcohol relaxes, facilitates interaction, inspires ideas and promotes humor and hilarity. Used in moderation, it is quickly flushed from the system, with excess punished by a hangover.
Mayo Clinic Says:

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.

Examples of one drink include:
  • Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
  • Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
Moderate alcohol use may be of most benefit if you're an older adult or if you have existing risk factors for heart disease. If you're a middle-aged or younger adult, some evidence shows that even moderate alcohol use may cause more harm than good. You can take other steps to benefit your cardiovascular health besides drinking — eating a healthy diet and exercising, for example.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551

Alcohol make you think stupid and do stupid stuff. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cherish your Stupidity

If you feel stupid, you should cherish that feeling. You are growing up.

There are no shortcuts to intelligence. Heck I don't know what intelligence is, but whenever I feel that I'm stupid or I have been stupid, I feel less stupid. There is a word play here. Intelligent, wise, knowledgeable: different people might interpret the meanings differently. I cant draw the lines.

People with good IQ or people with the ability solve maths are not necessarily intelligent or wise. I don't know the right word anyway. So does people who passes exams with flying colors, getting through to posh universities, doing fancy jobs, with superior language skills.

Becoming wise (not Enlightened) is not a destination. It's a journey.

Most importantly, wisdom without compassion never takes off. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Freedom from Fear :)



Something wonderful happened to me in the bus the other day. As I was sitting in the last row of the bus, the well built man sitting next to me was suddenly looking at a direction, being very inquisitive. When someone does that, others' follow. Me too took a peek-a-book. And in that moment, the well built man put his hand inside my bag. hoping to get out something valuable. I saw it and I, involuntarily,  put my hand on my bag. The man  took his hand out and apologized. Yeah, he was a thief with manners.

I was terrified. I was hoping that this man would follow me around Pettah when I get down the bus. Here is the fun part full of wisdom, the stream of consciousness. I let go. I had couple of 1000ds and, my phone in my bag. But I let go of everything. Whats the big deal. The fear disappeared. I was free from fear.

:) :D

But don't leave the bag open, even a lil bit. It is an invitation for thieves.

~ finis ~