Discovering Meditation (04:57)
As a freshman in college, David Gelles discovered Buddhism and spent time studying in India before beginning a career. He started writing a book after mindfulness began entering Western workplaces.
Alpha Waves (07:23)
Contemplative neuroscientist Christopher Moore studies meditation and attention. Alpha waves are generated in the brain when sleeping, but can be deployed, enhancing concentration.
Attention Span (03:33)
In Darlene Cohen’s study, students who practiced meditation remained on task longer and performed work more thoroughly than untrained counterparts. Mindfulness will not create supercharged workers.
Meditation and Response (04:57)
Neuroscience confirms that meditation leads to an increased ability to consider and respond to situations. Focusing on the body is a training ground for focusing on external stimulation, integrating the past, and planning.
Increasing Grey Matter (04:43)
Eight weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction can lead to increased grey matter in the prefrontal cortex. Neuroplasticity confirms Buddhist teachings of practice and transformation.
Benefits of Meditation (05:49)
Research study participants improved attention spans with 3.5 weeks of training. A yoga and meditation intervention for Aetna employees resulted in a $9 million reduction of health care costs.
Mindfulness Research (02:58)
Cynics in the scientific community do not take mindfulness studies seriously. Most scientists would not look at meditation data in the 1950s.
Ripple Effect (06:10)
Owners of privately held companies have made significant operational changes after studying mindfulness. Focusing the mind cultivates attention and leads to insight.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs (07:16)
These programs are being rolled out prior to adequate scientific study. While the benefits are confirmed, too many researchers are practicing Buddhists for the studies to be considered objective.
Mindfulness in Practice (04:29)
This practice can cause emotional hardship or immediate realization and should be undertaken with quality supervision. Unqualified teachers take advantage of the demand by posing as professionals.
Mindfulness Moving Forward (06:04)
Employees interested in mindfulness can start lunchtime meditation groups. Empirical, interdisciplinary studies in contemplative neuroscience are needed to validate current research.
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