Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine who have been working with Olympic BMX cyclists to improve their athletic prowess have documented areas of the brain that appear to respond to mindfulness training.
What do you notice in people?
See the good in others.
Many interactions these days have a kind of bumper-car quality to them. At work, at home, on the telephone, via email: we sort of bounce off of each other while we exchange information, smile or frown, and move on. How often do we actually take the extra few seconds to get a sense of what’s inside other people – especially their good qualities?
What happens when you look at someone?
The Practice: See beings, not bodies.
When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: man, woman, your friend Tom, the kid next door, etc. Watch this happen in your own mind as you meet or talk with a co-worker, salesclerk, or family member.
The journal Pain has scheduled an article for publication in a future issue: "A non-elaborative mental stance and decoupling of executive and pain-related cortices predicts low pain sensitivity in Zen meditators." The authors are Joshua A. Grant, Jerome Courtemanche, and Pierre Rainville.
This study provides some insight into how pain is experienced in the brain and the potential power of mindfulness practice in impacting that experience. We often talk about distinguishing between sensation and distress when it comes to pain, and this study provides some insight into how that works and how mindfulness might play a role in reducing distress and thereby improving the quality of life of those in pain. Check it out!