20 Stories

Meditation Has Drawbacks, Too

Some practitioners experience fear, panic, say researchers

(Newser) - Meditation is widely considered a worthwhile practice, particularly as it relieves stress. But it can also cause stress, forcing practitioners to experience fear and even relive traumatic experiences, according to a new study. To put a spotlight on the little-discussed side effects associated with the practice, researchers at Brown University... More »

Lady Gaga: 'I Have a Mental Illness'

PTSD, specifically, singer reveals

(Newser) - During a visit to a Harlem shelter for homeless LGBT youth as part of NBC's #ShareKindness campaign, Lady Gaga revealed that she struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after being raped years ago . "I told the kids today, 'I suffer from PTSD.' I've never told anyone... More »

Solar-Plane Pilot Flies While Hypnotized

Bertrand Piccard says it helps him endure the long hours

(Newser) - One of the guys circumnavigating the globe in a cramped solar-powered plane has a unique piloting plan: Take a nap, hypnotize himself, repeat, LiveScience reports. Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard says it helps him endure the long hours, including the plane's five-day flight from China to Hawaii that began today.... More »

Buddhists: Mummified Monk Is Just in Trance

Lama found in lotus position may not be dead, experts suggest

(Newser) - The 200-year-old Buddhist monk found still seated in the lotus position is not dead, but is rather in a rare spiritual state known as tukdam, Buddhism experts suggest. Dr. Barry Kerzin, a famous fellow monk who is also a physician to the Dalai Lama, tells the Siberian Times that monks... More »

Scientists: The World's Happiest Man Is ...

... Matthieu Ricard, a confidant of the Dalai Lama

(Newser) - French neuroscientists have wired up a confidant of the Dalai Lama and declared him the world's happiest man—or at least the happiest one they know about, the Daily News reports. The brain scans of Matthieu Ricard, a renowned Buddhist thinker, show that his gray matter emits a quantity... More »

Ticket to Peace in Afghanistan: Yoga?

Former supermodel proposes meditation for imprisoned insurgents

(Newser) - A former male supermodel thinks he knows how to heal the rift between Taliban militants and coalition troops in Afghanistan—through yoga and meditation. Cameron Alborzian, who, incidentally, played Madonna's beau in her 1989 music video for "Express Yourself" and has worked as Ellen DeGeneres' private guru, pitched... More »

Do Your Brain a Favor: Meditate

Other coping mechanisms do more harm than good: research

(Newser) - Humankind has developed plenty of coping mechanisms over the centuries, from long walks to hard drugs. While many of these methods have endured, not all of them are in our brains’ best interests, writes Alice Walton at Forbes . Smoking and drinking, for example, can lead to a vicious cycle of... More »

Meditation: Better Than Morphine

Little more than one hour reduces pain dramatically

(Newser) - In pain? Before you reach for the hard drugs, reach for ... your meditation cushion. Researchers found that a little more than one hour of meditation training was enough to "dramatically reduce" pain, the Telegraph reports. Fifteen newbie meditators attended four 20-minute training classes on mindfulness meditation as researchers induced... More »

What It's Like to Spend 10 Days Meditating

Judith Soal embarks on a silent retreat in India

(Newser) - Judith Soal has no problem admitting she was looking for fireworks. When she signed up to participate in a 10-day silent retreat in Gujarat, India, she was expecting a meditative explosion, hoping to see colors, or experience supreme bliss, as others have, she writes for the Guardian . But five hours... More »

Tibetan Lama Says Meditation Cured His Gangrene

NYU researchers are studying his brain

(Newser) - Intriguing story in the Daily Beast about the divide between Eastern and Western medicine: When a Tibetan lama consulted three American doctors about his gangrene, all wanted to amputate his leg immediately. He ignored them and instead followed the advice of his mentor, the Dalai Lama, who told him to... More »

Om My! Meditation Changes Brain Structure

Brain scans indicate permanent, positive development

(Newser) - This might already be obvious to enlightened souls, but researchers are discovering that meditation may permanently change the physical structure of the brain. Neural circuits linked to focus, happiness and empathy may be strengthened through long-term meditation, effectively rewiring the brain and "lighting up" certain sections with a life-long... More »

Group Urges Docs to Prescribe Meditation

'Mindfulness' effective in preventing relapse

(Newser) - The best prescription for recurrent depression isn't pills or talk therapy, it's "mindfulness"—a combination of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques that empties the mind of negative thoughts. So claims a UK mental health organization so impressed by its effectiveness in combating chronic depression that they're urging doctors... More »

Transcendental Meditation Slashes Heart Attack Risk

Listen to Maharishi, cut risk of heart disease ills 50%

(Newser) - Transcendental Meditation's tangible—and significant—health benefits have been confirmed by another pair of heart-disease-related studies. In one, a nine-year look at black Americans with heart disease, those who practiced TM had a 50% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and death compared to a control group using traditional preventative... More »

Pricey Yoga Mats Defy Recession

(Newser) - Consumers are cutting back in all sorts of ways amid the recession—just not when it comes to yoga. Sales of designer mats, which fetch in the ballpark of $100, are surging, reports Time. One leading company, Manduka, has seen sales shoot up 87% on Amazon in the last 4... More »

In SF, a Center for Female Orgasm

Commune is devoted to female sexuality

(Newser) - Every morning as the rest of us fight sleepiness and traffic, a group of women at the One Taste Urban Retreat Center lie back and let a fully clothed male "research partner" coax them to orgasm, reports the New York Times. The co-ed commune in San Francisco also offers... More »

Om My! Meditation Lowers Blood Pressure

Study shows daily time-out may reduce medication needs

(Newser) - An Om a day might just keep the blood pressure medication away, reports NPR. Daily meditation helped lower the blood pressure in two-thirds of patients in a recent study who were striking out on the medication front. Participants used the “relaxation response” technique, of sitting quietly for 15 minutes... More »

Indian Guru to the Beatles Dies

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought Transcendental Meditation to the West

(Newser) - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian guru who inspired the Beatles and founded the Transcendental Meditation movement, died yesterday at his Dutch home, the Guardian reports. He was believed to be 90. Maharishi—known as the “giggling guru” for his playful witticisms—hosted the Beatles for a highly publicized retreat... More »

'Nose Bidet' Gives Sinuses Alt Relief

'Stuffy' people turning to ancient Indian neti pots to clear nasal passages

(Newser) - Sufferers of stuffy sinuses are turning to an ancient remedy to clear their nasal passages: the neti pot. Also called the "nose bidet," the neti pot is filled with non-iodized salt water, the spout is placed in one nostril, and water is poured in and streamed out the... More »

Scientology and Seinfeld: What's the Deal?

Comic dabbled—not that there's anything wrong with that

(Newser) - After raising a ruckus by acknowledging that he dabbled in Scientology, Jerry Seinfeld has cleared the record: “It is not my complete wacko resume. It’s just one aspect!” Seinfeld said he spent his younger days exploring “self-help things” —meditation, Aikido, yoga, and karate. Of Scientology,... More »

Burma Protests a 'Success,' Says Buddhist Leader

Famed anti-Vietnam agitator supports monks on US tour

(Newser) - Revered Buddhist spokesman Thich Nhat Hanh, famed for enlisting Martin Luther King's help against the Vietnam War, is supporting his spiritual brethren in Burma on a US tour. The monks' struggle against Burma is "already a success," he told Time, "because if monks are imprisoned or have... More »

20 Stories