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Pokemon Go: Does “Augmented Reality” Augment Reality?

pokemon-go

The term “augmented reality” refers to technologies — like Pokemon Go — that superimpose characters and other objects on images of the real world.

But does “augmented reality” necessarily augment reality?  The term “augment” connotes an improvement, not just an addition.  Just consider that in the last few weeks Pokemon Go has been reported to:

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If You Can’t Change it, Learn to Mindfully Accept it

If You Can’t Change it, Learn to Mindfully Accept it

When something bad happens to you it can be easy to ask “Why me?”, these type of thoughts can consume us, but they don’t have to. A bit of good can always come out of bad situations, especially if we’re mindful about how we treat our experiences. So what can we do when we find ourselves in this type of situation? We navigate through them and keep looking to the future.

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Your Career Anxiety Is All In Your Head

Your Career Anxiety is All in Your Head

Have you ever heard the saying “confidence comes from within?” When you begin to practice mindfulness, you learn that that phrase is very true! It doesn’t take accomplishments and a vast knowledge of everything in your career for you to feel confident at work—it just takes a little mindfulness.

Continue reading Your Career Anxiety Is All In Your Head

The 3 Greatest Lessons Only You Can Teach Yourself

The 3 Greatest Lessons Only You Can Teach Yourself

Throughout our lives we’re taught so much at school, from our parents and other family members, through our friends, but one thing that must be self-taught is mindfulness. No one teaches us how to be mindful, although some schools are making an effort to bring mindfulness and yoga to the classroom, it’s really something we must personally dedicate ourselves to in order to really benefit from.

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Meditation: The Newest Employee Benefit

Meditation: The Newest Employee Benefit

Forget about hip cafés in the office, company cars, and gym memberships, the best company perk might be something a little simpler. As meditation increases in popularity, many employers are taking notice and hopping on board by offering free mindfulness and meditation classes to their employees.

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Is Living in the Here-and- Now Everything You Expected?

Is Living in the Here-and-Now Everything You Expected?

Is mindfulness, living in the here and now, really everything that people expect? With a little time and practice it can be.

It doesn’t matter what your reason was for getting into mindfulness in the first place, becoming more mindful could change you in ways you’ve never even considered. Many people begin their journey into mindfulness to help reduce stress and anxiety. It starts with short mediation sessions and grows into a way of life.

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Could Mindfulness be the Solution to Opioid Addiction?

Could Mindfulness be the Solution to Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction and overdose has been a growing epidemic, not only in the US, but around the world. It’s estimated that between 26.4 and 23 million people worldwide have an opioid abuse problem. For the many of these people the problem isn’t that they’re using the drugs to get high—often times they begin using these medications to relieve chronic pain, but as their tolerance grows, they become addicted.

Continue reading Could Mindfulness be the Solution to Opioid Addiction?

Learn to be Mindful But Don’t Let it Become a To-Do

Learn to be Mindful But Don’t Let it Become a To-Do

Is mindfulness something that comes naturally to you? Do you act and think mindfully without any thought or effort? Or is mindfulness just another task on your to-do list?

Mindfulness is a wonderful practice, with the variety of ways it can change our lives there’s no wonder that it’s gaining so much interest in today’s society. But if you’re trying to become more mindful by forcing yourself to participate in mindful activities, like meditation, then is it really helping? You might not want to hear it, but the honest truth is that if you fake mindfulness, it just doesn’t work.

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amaZEN U: An Amazing Way to Bring Yoga to Schools

 

amaZEN U: An Amazing Way to Bring Yoga to Schools

Yoga in schools is something that has been a controversial topic since it was introduced in public schools years ago. Having roots in Hinduism there has been the question of whether yoga is a religious practice, and thus violating the separation between church and state.

Some argue that the religious association of yoga means it does not belong in schools; others, like amaZEN U, see yoga as a way to teach mindfulness, empathy, improve focus, and take “brain breaks” throughout the school day to improve performance in the class.

Continue reading amaZEN U: An Amazing Way to Bring Yoga to Schools

3 Quick & Simple Meditation Techniques to Practice Each Day

 

3 Quick & Simple Meditation Techniques to Practice Each Day

Meditation is simple technique that anyone can use to help find calm, clarity, and relaxation during stressful times. Practicing meditation has countless benefits—both mental and physical. By practicing meditation just 20 minutes a day (they don’t even have to be 20 consecutive minutes) you’ll start seeing the benefits of this mindful practice. Try starting out with these 3 meditation techniques:

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Dealing with Presidential-Sized Stress

Dealing with Presidential-Sized Stress

 

Although the presidential election is still months away and the 2 parties have yet to choose their nominee, the election is clearly in full swing, and has been for a while! The busy schedules of the candidates, constant public appearances, and tough questions can be described as one thing: stressful.

So how is it possible to stay calm and grounded when you barely have a minute to yourself? For Hilary Clinton the answer to all that stress is meditation!

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6 Ways Mindfulness Can Change Us

 

mindfulness changes

If there’s one thing that I could confidently say can impact every single aspect of our lives (work, health, relationships, etc.) its mindfulness, but in our crazy lives mindfulness can be lost.

Being more mindful can affect multiple aspects of our lives. Whatever you’re putting your energy into doing right now could be affected, and improved, with a little bit of thoughtfulness.

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Wiring your Brain to Love Yourself

 

Love Yourself  heart picture

Happiness is something that anyone can create for himself or herself—we can mindfully wire our brains to be happier and love ourselves. If you’ve ever learned about Pavlov’s dogs (which I’m sure we all have), then you understand the power of the brain and what “re-wiring” can do to the mind.

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A World of Difference: The Benefits of Meditation

 

benefits of mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness and meditation have been proven time and time again, especially for it’s ability to help leave stress behind. The benefits of meditation are almost countless, although Live and Air did a pretty great job of listing a good chunk of them—76 benefits of meditation, to be exact!

Continue reading A World of Difference: The Benefits of Meditation

Learn to Practice Mindfulness at Work

Learn to Practice Mindfulness at Work

Do you ever feel aimless and unfocused at work? Do you leave the office at the end of the day feeling like you got nothing accomplished? If so, you are not alone. New research shows that people spend almost 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. In other words, many of us operate on autopilot.

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What’s Worthy of Your Time?

 

What’s Worthy of Your Time?

In two of our recent blogs we talked about distraction and the theories behind why we as a society are so distracted—the two oldest theories, and one new theory—but how can we combat distraction?

Continue reading What’s Worthy of Your Time?

Make Each Evening Worth Remembering

 

Make Each Evening Worth Remembering

Morning rituals are an important part of many people’s daily routines, but have you ever thought about evening rituals? Evening rituals can help to put us in a better, happier place at the end of the day and allow us to have a positive memory of the day.

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The Third Theory of Distraction: Is There a Solution?

The Third Theory of Distraction: Is There a Solution?

In our previous post Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?, we talked about the two oldest and biggest theories of distraction: spiritual and material distraction. But there’s a new theory of distraction that’s been brought to light by Matthew Crawford in his new book “The World Beyond Your Head: Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction.”

Continue reading The Third Theory of Distraction: Is There a Solution?

Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?

Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?

Distraction, it’s something that happens to all of us in today’s modern society. It can be enjoyable at times (scrolling though Facebook while waiting for a flight), but it can also lead to some terrible situations (scrolling though Facebook while driving).

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Could the Internet be Making us Dumber?

 

Could the Internet be Making us Dumber?

Is the internet giving us a false sense of knowledge? That’s what three Yale psychologists set out to find in a very interesting study.

This study conducted by Matthew Fisher, Mariel K. Goddu, and Frank C. Keil has shown that simple researching on the internet can inflate one’s estimate of their own internal knowledge. This phenomenon isn’t related to any particular subject and can even transfer into other, un-related subjects!

Continue reading Could the Internet be Making us Dumber?

Pause, and Just Relax with Help From Your Phone

Pause, and Just Relax with Help From Your Phone

You’re sitting at work with what feels like 10 million things to do before the day is over and you’re starting to feel the stress build… sound familiar? You need to relax, but at the same time, if you stop to relax, that means less time you’ll have to work on everything—it’s truly a dilemma. What if the solution to your problem was sitting right beside you? What if your phone could give you that short stress-relieving break you need without wasting too much of your time?

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Shutdown Rituals: Leave The Work Stress at Work

 

Shutdown Rituals: Leave The Work Stress at Work

We hate to admit it, but nearly all of us take work home with us, it can be hard to just pack up and the end of the day and leave everything at the office. Whether we literally take home things to do after leaving work, or mentally take work problems home, it happens. Unless your job requires it—leave work stress in the office!

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Wisdom Films for the Modern Age

Wisdom Films for the Modern Age

I just attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 called, “Wisdom Films for the Modern Age.”  We may not think about film as a form of technology anymore because we are so familiar with it, but film and the various mechanisms for distributing it are technologies that act as amplifiers.

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The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom?

 

The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom? by Robert Plotkin

This morning I attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 entitled, “The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom?”  Here’s some highlights.

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Time to Vote for Technology For Mindfulness on the Wisdom 2.0 “People’s Stage”

We have an exciting update to share. I am applying to appear on “The People’s Stage” at the upcoming Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco this February. Check out my one-minute video contest entry.

 

There are about 100 entrants, but only four will be selected to appear on stage. Help me become one of them by casting your vote!

Continue reading Time to Vote for Technology For Mindfulness on the Wisdom 2.0 “People’s Stage”

Review: stickK – How mindful technology can help you achieve your goals

How often do you set a goal that you don’t stick to? Ever forget to follow through on a new years resolution? We’ve all done it. Most of us have done it when it comes to losing weight. We say we’re going to do it, but somewhere after week one we trail off. This is exactly what stickK looks to resolve.

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Mindful Gratitude

grateful

 

In keeping with the holiday season, today’s post is a simple reminder to set an intention to be grateful. If I were to represent the topics of my thoughts over the course of a day as a pie chart, the biggest slice usually represents things to do, with a tiny sliver dedicated to things to be thankful for. Furthermore, thoughts and feelings of gratitude often come and go fleetingly, without my mind resting on them and giving them the attention and focus they deserve.

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Presentation on Apps for Focus and Mindfulness at MIT

MIT Radius Mindful Group

 

I will be giving a presentation tomorrow (Tuesday, November 17) on apps that can help to promote focus and mindfulness at MIT (Room 4-270), as part of the Radius “Hack Your Mind” program.  There has been a boom in mindfulness apps over the last year or two, which makes this an exciting time to give the presentation.

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Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Trish Weinmann

In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we are posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.” Below is a blog post by Trish Weinmann.

Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Trish Weinmann

Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Sang H. Kim

In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we are posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.” Below is an essay by Sang H. Kim.  

Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Sang H. Kim

Mindful Technology Tip: How to Control Interruptions

Distraction technologyDo you find it hard to remain focused and mindful in the face of a constant barrage of interruptions from your devices: smartphone ringing, email notifications blinking, text messages chirping?  Fortunately there are a variety of ways to configure your devices to limit when, where, and how they interrupt you.

Continue reading Mindful Technology Tip: How to Control Interruptions

Review: Focus@Will Uses Music to Help You Stay Mindful

Focus@Willmindful technology  is a web site that plays music designed to increase the amount of time you can stay focused.  I started using the site a few years ago, after seeing two of the site’s founders, Will Henshall and Dr. Evian Gordon, give a presentation about the site at one of the Wisdom 2.0 conferences.

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Guest Blog Posting on Everyday Mindfulness: Mindfulness Lessons from the Martial Arts

Guest Blog Posting on Everyday Mindfulness: Mindfulness Lessons from the Martial Arts

 

I’ve had the privilege of writing a guest blog posting on Everyday Mindfulness entitled, “Responding Not Reacting: Mindfulness Lessons From The Martial Arts.”  In it I describe some lessons I have learned about responding rather than reacting from my training in martial arts over the years.  In particular I thought it would be interesting to explore how an action can be a response even when it is immediate, in light of the fact that I often hear it said that responding is about pausing before taking action.

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Gmail Offers Anti-Mindlessness Insurance

Google Gmail recently finalized its “Undo Send” featureGmail, which enables you to recall an outgoing email up to ten seconds after you hit “Send” on it.  The feature works by delaying the sending of the email for ten seconds, so that if you hit “Undo Send,” the email will not be sent in the first place.

Continue reading Gmail Offers Anti-Mindlessness Insurance

Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Elizabeth Wood

In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we are posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.” Below is a poem by Elizabeth Wood expressing what mindfulness means to her.

Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Elizabeth Wood

Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Robert Plotkin

In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we are posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.”  Below is our founder, Robert Plotkin’s view of what mindfulness means to him.

Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Robert Plotkin

Electric Toothbrushes: A Tool for Mindfulness?

Electric Toothbrushes: A Tool for Mindfulness?

  I started using an electric toothbrush about a year ago after scoffing at them for many years. Now I love it. What I didn’t expect was that it would both provide some good mindfulness training and also encourage mindlessness.  Let me explain.

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Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Zan Barry

As the word “mindfulness” gains wider use and moves more into the mainstream, confusion can arise about what it means.  In addition, “mindfulness” means different things to different people.  In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we will be posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.”  The piece below by Zan Barry is the first in the series.  Stay tuned for more!  

Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Zan Barry

How to Vacation Mindfully

Phone on beach, mindful technology

 

It was easier to “get away from it all” on vacation before smartphones and the Internet. Our ever-present devices now blur the line between work and vacation, making it more important than ever that we be actively mindful on our vacations, lest our precious time away from work become little more than a week-long telecommute, leaving us feeling like we need a vacation to recover from our vacation.

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A Sneaky Way to Eliminate Technological Distractions at the Dinner Table

Have you ever sat down with your family for dinner, only to be faced with the glare of smartphones from everyone at the table?  If so, then Dolmio Australia claims to have a technological solution to the problem:

Continue reading A Sneaky Way to Eliminate Technological Distractions at the Dinner Table

iPad Update a Step Back for Mindfulness?

Apple recently announced that iOS 9 for the iPad will allow two apps to be displayed side-by-side simultaneously.  This feature, like every multitasking “improvement,” is being promoted as a way to enable users to be more productive, so why do I find myself feeling sad that Apple didn’t continue to hold the line against the “everything, everywhere, all-the-time, simultaneously” philosophy that consumes device and operating system design all too often?

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5 Tips for Using Technology More Mindfully

phone

 

We all complain about how technology distracts us and makes it harder to be mindful. Now is the time to stop moaning and take charge. Here are five tips for using technology to help you be more mindful.

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HeadSpace Review: Just Pause for 10 Minutes A Day

HeadSpace Review: Just Pause for 10 Minutes A Day

 

If you look up “meditate” you will most likely come across a definition similar to the one above. It’s funny because when I think of meditation, I think of the opposite of “thinking deeply.” I meditate to calm my mind and slow down.

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Smiling Practice at a Legal Conference

This weekend I am attending a legal conference with 10,000 intellectual property attorneys from nearly every country in the world.  It is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and to begin to form new relationships.

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“Hack Your Mind” Series on Mindfulness and Technology at MIT

I have had the pleasure and privilege to take part in organizing a series of events on science, technology, and mindfulness at MIT under the banner of “Hack Your Mind.”  The series was organized by Radius (formerly the Technology and Culture Forum) in partnership with Community Wellness at MIT.

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Nattch Offers a Social Networking System with Reduced Distractions

Nattch is an online social networking system that only allows users to post updates about their actual lives–no links to other information on the Internet allowed.  The goal is to limit posts to information about users themselves, and to eliminate the clutter and temptation of links to external–and usually irrelevant–information.

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Too Bad Law Firm’s Mindful Email Policy Was Just an April Fool’s Joke

The law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges sent an email to its employees on April 1 stating that electronic messages would not be transmitted by the firm’s servers late at night or be delivered to employees while on vacation.  Seems like a reasonable and respectful way to counter the constant need for connectivity among professionals, in an effort to reduce stress and improve health and well-being, right?

Continue reading Too Bad Law Firm’s Mindful Email Policy Was Just an April Fool’s Joke

Why is Facebook like Crack? How technology sucks us in and how mindfulness can help us step out

Judson Brewer, MD PhD, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness, will be giving a presentation at MIT on Friday April 17, from 12pm-1pm in Room 66-144 on how mindfulness can help break us out of addictive patterns in connection with Internet use.  See full details below.  Sponsored by MIT Radius.

Continue reading Why is Facebook like Crack? How technology sucks us in and how mindfulness can help us step out

David Levy Teaches Course on “Information and Contemplation”

University of Washington Professor David Levy teaches a course entitled, “Information and Contemplation,” in which he guides students through mind-training exercises, such as engaging in only one digital task at a time, to raise students’ awareness about how they use computer technology.  He also begins each session with a short meditation.  Read more about it at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

 

Mexican Resort Introduces Digital Detox Program

The Grand Velas Resorts in Mexico have introduced a “Digital Detox” program.  If you sign up for the program, a “Detox Concierge” will cleanse your suite of digital distractions upon your arrival, such as by removing the flat screen television from the room, replacing it with classic board games, and taking your personal electronic devices from you and storing them in a safe. I was interested to hear Sharon Brody’s commentary about the program on NPR this morning, which the NPR web site entitles, “Digital Detox Vacation: For Those Who Have Everything–Except Willpower.” 

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Attention as a Resource

Matthew B. Crawford has an interesting piece in the New York Times suggesting that we view our attention as a resource and recognize that “a person has only so much of it.”  “What if we saw attention in the same way that we saw air or water, as a valuable resource that we hold in common? Perhaps, if we could envision an “attentional commons,” then we could figure out how to protect it.”

 

The average cellphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day.

The average cellphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day.

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