October 28th, 2010
12:16 PM ET
Editor's note: Video produced by Brandon Ancil. Shot by Jarrett Bellini and Mandy Carranza. Text by Dan Gilgoff.
Lobsang Tenzin Negi wears a lot of hats.
He’s a former Buddhist monk who presides over a Buddhist monastery in - of all places - Atlanta, Georgia. He directs Emory University’s unique partnership with Tibet's government-in-exile.
And he’s a highly regarded meditation teacher, designing meditation courses for much of the recent scientific study of the practice.
Like many Buddhists, Negi insists that a person doesn’t don’t have to be Buddhist to benefit from meditation.
October 26th, 2010
08:45 AM ET
From CNN's Dan Gilgoff:
Can people strengthen the brain circuits associated with happiness and positive behavior, just as we’re able to strengthen muscles with exercise?
Richard Davidson, who for decades has practiced Buddhist-style meditation – a form of mental exercise, he says – insists that we can.
And Davidson, who has been meditating since visiting India as a Harvard grad student in the 1970s, has credibility on the subject beyond his own experience.
A trained psychologist based at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he has become the leader of a relatively new field called contemplative neuroscience - the brain science of meditation.
Over the last decade, Davidson and his colleagues have produced scientific evidence for the theory that meditation - the ancient eastern practice of sitting, usually accompanied by focusing on certain objects - permanently changes the brain for the better.
October 26th, 2010
08:10 AM ET
Everyone has busy, stressful days and feels distracted by a multitude of tasks and obligations. Many people find stress reduction, as well as physical benefits, in meditation, as found in an ongoing study.
Here's the low-down on what meditation is and how to get started.
What is meditation?
Meditation is training in concentration, mindfulness and compassion, says Sharon Salzberg, a meditation teacher and author who co-founded the prominent Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. It is not merely relaxing, but rather training the mind in specific skills.
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.