The Mindfulness Blog

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What MLCCG Is All About

Simple. Secular. Scientific.

That really is what MLCCG is all about, but before unpacking those concepts, a bit of credit where it is due. The message, "Simple. Secular. Scientific." was first articulated by Dan Harris--a tremendously personable guy, of whom I am a big fan. And, not coincidentally, Dan is also a meditator.

Simple. There is a popular saying among meditators that meditation is simple, but it's not easy. Others like to say that if you can breathe, you can meditate. That my sound a bit glib, but it's actually true. But, physically, meditation can be a lot more taxing (at least, initially) than might appear to be the case. An important pointer: Make sure your hips are higher than your knees--it will make sitting much more ergonomically agreeable.

There are, of course, many different meditation traditions, many different postures, and many different "anchors" upon which we can rest our attention: breath/sound/visual, etc. But whatever tradition, posture or anchor you may choose, meditation is not about emptying your mind. It's about noticing, or observing your mind as it thinks thoughts and feels emotions.

The real challenge is learning not to judge, or attach to those thoughts or emotions--that's why we call it a practice!

Secular. To be secular is to be of this world. For those of us at MLCCG, that means the tools we sharpen and the skills we train through meditation are real, practical tools and skills that are relevant to the "real" world, in which we all live and work.

MLCCG recognizes and honors traditions that are religious or philosophical, but we also recognize that religion and/or philosophy is not everyone's cup of tea. And to those who assert that meditation is an "all or nothing" proposition that requires us to accept the religious or philosophical trappings that are part of certain traditions, MLCCG would respectfully disagree.

Mindfulness and meditation can be--are--of this world, and we believe that they can enrich the personal and professional lives of all men and women through mindfulness and meditation, without all the religious or philosophical accoutrements.

Scientific. I think we may have a guest blogger who will be talking more about the nexus between science and meditation, so I'll keep my comments on this particular point, to a minimum. In a word, I see neuroplasticity as the intersection of the mindfulness, meditation, and science.

Neuroplasticity is the now widely accepted notion that our brains don't necessarily stop changing early in life, but rather, continue to maintain the capacity to create new neural connections throughout our entire lives!

The phenomenon of neuroplasticity has driven a recent spate of both academic and scientific study into meditation because--as you no doubt will have already read or heard--there exists a demonstrable and objectively verifiable connection between the practice of meditation and the fact of neuroplasticity. Brain training for all generations--who'd have thunk it?

Simple. Secular. Scientific. Turns out, there really is something to this meditation thing.


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