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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

The Laboratory Archives

Don’t Own Your Mind

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Our brains are little factories. Their chief product is, of course, thoughts. They also manufacture images, memories, and emotions. Best of all, they fabricate stories. Our brains can do this unbidden, without any direction from us. Given the slightest encouragement, they’ll […]

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Life Interrupted

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’ve been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won’t be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My […]

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Letting Go of Hopeful Remnants

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A friend of mine who is 70-years-old and very fit, talented, and successful has male pattern baldness–the hair line recedes until there is only a ring of hair left around the bottom of the head. One of my professors in […]

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Mindfulness Matures

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent article in the Sunday Times is critical of the mindfulness movement. I read through some of the comments to the article and they thought the piece was cynical or misinformed. I think the presence of a critical, high […]

How to Create Solitude in the Context of Relationship

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Solitude is necessary for my existence just as water is. Without it, I wither and become listless in my desiccated state. I am not, however, a hermit. I am in a committed relationship, married in fact, and must negotiate my […]

Three Reasons Why I Wrote the Awakened Introvert

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am excited to announce that my next book, The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills for Maximizing Your Strengths and Thriving in a Loud and Crazy World, is just about to be released! I am happy that this workbook will soon […]

The Interovert Revolution (no this is not a typo)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently misspelled introvert in a draft of an article I was writing. While I was correcting, I read what I had written: “interovert.” It was an easy enough fix, just remove the “e.” However, interovert has meaning on its […]

The Value of Unplugging

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As you know from my last post, I was on vacation and while I was dealing with technology, I was also mostly unplugged, at least in a relative sense. I contemplated the meaning of vacation and reflected on its purpose […]

I Want my WiFi Now!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent adventure I had illustrates the limitations of the technology in certain places and how easily our expectations can give rise to a world of frustration. On Thursday March 12, I listened with great interest to Fresh Air that […]

The Train’s Eye View of the Landscape

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am sitting on a train riding from Essex Junction, Vermont to Hartford Connecticut where I will be teaching my workshop at the Copper Beech Institute. I haven’t been on an Amtrak train since I was in graduate school over […]

A Chilling View Inside the Quiet Room: Electric Shocks Preferred to Sitting Still

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A study recently published in Science provides a window into the restless soul of Americans and a compelling case of why we need mindfulness. University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson and colleagues conducted a series of experiments where subjects spent […]

The Science of Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent analysis of mindfulness research studies (known as a meta-analysis) was published by the Association for Health and Research Quality (AHRQ). This government agency does major reviews of various therapies. The good news is that mindfulness has come of age […]

Sit Still

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you listen carefully to my meditation instructions, you might detect a contradiction. On the one hand, I de-emphasize the posture because I don’t want people to get deterred by the physical difficulties of sitting. On the other hand, I […]

Report from the Internal Front: A Week of Silence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings everyone. I have a report from the meditation retreat I embarked upon in early December. I should have written sooner when the impressions were fresher, but daily life has a way of asserting itself. The week in silence feels […]

Violence is Everywhere … Or is It?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the privilege of seeing Steven Pinker talk at the University of Vermont the other day. Pinker is the author of How The Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Language Instinct, The Stuff of Thought, and most recently, The […]

Rethinking Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Kelly McGonigal tells us how to make stress our friend in her TED talk. As a health psychologist, she talks about how she made stress the enemy to her students and how she has now changed her mind. She points […]

What’s Right With America is Wrong with America

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

People love to hate New Jersey. In Vermont, we have bumper stickers that say “Don’t Jersey Vermont.” I did most of my growing up in the Garden State and recently spent some time there. It is a place of contradictions […]

Free the Mind: A New Documentary on Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the great pleasure of reviewing the new film by Danish filmmaker, Phie Ambo: Free the Mind. It’s a beautiful and compelling film about how mindfulness can help us to overcome fear and heal from trauma. It features of […]

Military Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The following is a guest blog post by one of the current students in my Mindfulness in Health Care course at the University of Vermont, Melinda Rouille. She is a therapist at a local veteran’s clinic. Something that we all […]

The Transparent Brain: A New Sense of “Clarity”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Scientists at Stanford have developed a technique for imaging brains called “clarity.” In this process, the fat is cleared from the brain revealing the underlying neural structure. This is both fascinating and beautiful.          

Adam Scott: Masters Champion, Hero, Pride of Australia

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Adam Scott won the 2013 Masters in thrilling fashion. In doing so, he became the first Australian ever to claim the Green Jacket. Scott is the consummate champion and hero. His career fits the Hero’s Journey. I wrote about the […]

Mindful Eating

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have been teaching a new course at the University of Vermont in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. It is called Conscious Eating: Mindfulness for Wellbeing. We have been exploring mindful eating by reading Jan Chozen Bays wonderful […]

An Innovative Approach to Reducing Stress and Burnout and Fostering Student Self-care and Professionalism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Committee for the Program in Integrative Health (PIH) recently had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Avaid Haramati from Georgetown Medical School. Adi, as he was affectionately called, talked about the course he has […]

What is the Role of Positivity in Mindfulness?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Author Oliver Burkeman was interviewed about his book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. His thoughts are a helpful antidote the tyranny of positive thinking as reflected in my recent review of the movie, “The Cure […]

The Mindful Brain: Hype or Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent New York Times Sunday Review opinion by Alissa Quart rails against the misuse of neuroscience. The brain is a hot topic and like anything, I suppose, will succumb to popularization and misrepresentation. I was glad to see that […]

Science Trumps Pseudoscience: The Hidden Wonder of Connective Tissue

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was delighted to see four my of my colleagues from the University of Vermont College of Medicine Program on Integrative Health featured in this Vermont Public Television documentary on connective tissue and acupuncture. Featured are Helene Langevin, Robert Davis, […]

“The Cure Is .. Transform Your Health”: Another Dangerous Pseudoscience Film

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently sent a preview of the film, The Cure Is … . Watching the trailer, brought to mind the pseudoscientific and therefore dangerous films, The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know. Perhaps you have received an invitation to view this film […]

Mindfulness in the Workplace: A Natural Fit

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Wall Street Journal gave a recent shout-out to the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace. The article states: “One of the most effective stress-beaters, research shows, is a training program called “mindfulness-based stress reduction,” developed years ago at […]

Integration is Better Than Rigidity or Chaos

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Last Friday morning, I had the pleasure of being in a audience for the two Dan’s or Dan Squared, as they joked. First, Dan Goleman–author of Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Ecological Intelligence, and others. The second–Dan Siegal– author of Mindsight, […]

Mindfulness, Psychotherapy, and Prescription Drugs

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch part one of my interview with Dr. Tyler Nelson on the overuse of prescription drugs in this country. We talk about alternative treatments, such as mindfulness and how they may play a role in offsetting prescription drug use.   […]

Mindfulness for Common Problems: Seven Things to Know About Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, I will introduce a new series of posts with practical, mindfulness-based advise for dealing with common problems. These problems include stress, anxiety, depressed mood, pain, overeating, sleep difficulties, and more. Each post will provide principles and techniques for handling […]

A Mindful Nation: The Revolution Has a Voice in Congressman Tim Ryan

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The eleventh district of Ohio has a remarkable representative to congress–Tim Ryan. In 2005, of all the members of House of Representatives who received a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s magnum opus–Coming to Our Senses–apparently Congressman Ryan is the only one […]

Mindfulness Revolution for Kids

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My colleagues at the University of California San Diego recently held a conference called Bridging Hearts & Minds of Youth. The conference audio and videos are now available if you missed this conference. They are planning the conference again for next February. […]

The Mindfulness Revolution Carries On

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I missed this Newsweek article when it came out on January 1, but I’ve heard a bunch of mentions of it just recently. It’s another high profile exposure for mindfulness. The article is entitled, “Mindfulness Meditation Rediscovered.” A curious title, […]

Coming to Ground: Science and Buddha Suggest Humility

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I spent this past weekend at the Barre Center for Buddhist studies leading a workshop on metaphors and the Buddha’s teachings. We shared poems, conversation, and meditation practice. We contemplated the ubiquity of metaphors, their power to inspire and influence, […]

You are HOW You Eat: Mindful Eating in the Age of Gluttony

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The adage goes, “You are what you eat.” And this may be the case. It is also the case that, “You are how you eat.” This is the message of mindful eating. You can eat anything mindfully Mindful eating is […]

Is There A Real You? Julian Baggini Explores The Buddha’s Favorite Question

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch this video by Julian Baggini, author of the Ego Trick. The answer to the question is yes and no, mostly no — there is no real self if you are looking for some core, essence, or unchanging “permanent truth” that […]

Teaching Doctors to be Mindful

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There is a basic irony in our health care system (well, probably more than one!). Our doctors, nurses, and physician assistants are some of the most stressed professionals. Medical resident training only recently instituted a rule limiting the number of […]

TED Tuesday: Allan Jones: A map of the brain

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Ever since I took a neurospsychology course from Dr. Maryanne Wolf at Tufts University (author of Proust and the Squid), I have held a fascination with the human brain. The brain imaging technology discussed in this course lies close to […]

TED Tuesday: Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dr. Love, as he is affectionately known, Paul Zak discusses his research on the molecule of connection — oxytocin. While this may be an oversimplification, he presents fascinating findings on experiments of trust and trustworthiness, and opines on whether oxytocin may be […]

The Buddha’s Dharma in Burlington, Vermont

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Fall and Winter community meditation schedule for the Exquisite Mind Psychotherapy and Meditation Studio has been updated. We will now be sitting four days a week at the studio and conducting a half-day retreat the second Saturday of each […]

Creating a Mindful Society Conference: Free Live Streaming!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Previously, I announced the Creating a Mindful Society Conference, sponsored by the Omega Institute and to be held in New York City on September 30 and October 1. You can go in person or you can now access it live […]

Another Look at Forgiveness: Not What You Might Think

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If we are holding onto a grievance towards others or ourselves, this can be damaging to our sense of wellbeing and even our health. The grievance story is like poison, it festers, fulminates, and preoccupies. Meanwhile, our stress response systems […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living, Part Five: Be Good

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Imagine what the world would be like if generosity, kindness, and wisdom prevailed over greed, hatred, and ignorance.  We would devote our resources to education, science, creativity, wellness, and infrastructure rather than spending on defense. Instead of destroying the infrastructure […]

Metaphor Monday: The Glass is Alway Full Even if You’re a Pessimist

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Folk wisdom asks if the glass is half-empty or half-full. The optimist sees it as half-full, focusing on the positive; the pessimist sees it as half-empty, focusing on the negative. Yet, if you really think about it, the glass is […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Part Three: You Do Have The Time: If You Are Breathing You Can Be Meditating

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Meditation can happen in any moment of your day. It can happen while you are taking your shower, walking to work, and eating your lunch. There are many opportunities to meditate including doing a formal practice where you are doing […]

TED Tuesday: Ron Gutman

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Speaking of smiling. Check out this seven minute talk and you can’t help but smile :-). Ron Gutman makes a quick and convincing case for the super powers of smiling. A few interesting numbers: Kids smile on average 400/day (not […]

Metaphor Monday: The Power of Orange and Smiling

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently bought these iridescent orange running shoes. I just love them. The color is bold, bright, and downright audacious. Every time I put them on I feel happy. How could you not? Is it possible to understand and practice […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living, Part Three: Put That Big Brain To Good Use

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I alluded to in the entry, The Mindfulness Revolution, any good revolution needs a manifesto. So here it is, part one of ten. There is a book out called the Mindfulness Manifesto and I confess that I haven’t read it. […]

Zen Brain 2011: Consciousness and the Fundamental Nature of Mind Series :: Part Two

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Want to learn about your brain on meditation? Listen to the podcasts from this recent conference featuring Joan Halifax, Richard Davidson, and others. Here the description from the Upaya Institute and Zen Center website: Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice distinguish […]

TED Tuesday :: Rebecca Saxe: How we read each other’s minds

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Check out this fascinating video about the right temporal parietal junction (RTPJ) which helps us to “read minds.”  

Zen Brain 2011: Consciousness and the Fundamental Nature of Mind Series :: Part One

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Want to learn about your brain on meditation? Listen to the podcasts from this recent conference featuring Joan Halifax, Richard Davidson, and others. Here the description from the Upaya Institute and Zen Center website: Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice distinguish […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: The Mindfulness Revolution in Your Brain

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The New York Times and the Boston Globe have recently written about a forthcoming study on the brain changes associated with mindfulness meditation. This is great news and is not really new. Researches such as Britta Holzl, Sarah Lazar, and […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: How To Evolve From Our Worst To Our Best

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: How To Evolve From Our Worst To Our Best In the beginning we were reptiles with one mandate — survival. […]

MBCT versus Medication

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We’ve known for some time that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for preventing further episodes of depression for people who have mad multiple episodes of depression.  The pioneering work of Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale has […]

Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy? on TED Talks

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dan Gilbert’s research was recently published in Science and featured in the New York Times and discussed in my blog entry from 20 November 2010. Here is an excerpt in case you missed that: A recent article in Science (reviewed […]

Science Saturday :: Happiness and Attention

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent article in Science (reviewed in the New York Times) lends support to what practitioners of mindfulness already know. First, our minds wander a lot. According to the study about 47% of the time (and the percentage of wandering […]

Teachers and Talks: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Meditation doesn’t just make us feel good; it changes our brains. Studies show that meditation changes both structure and function of our brains (in beneficial ways) beyond the period of meditation. Recent advances in neuroimaging along with encouragement from His […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Is Your Dog a Pessimist?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A British veterinary study reported in the New York Times finds that dogs who have separation anxiety can demonstrate what the researchers call “pessimism” — a more enduring state of negative emotion. We’ve known for a long time that dogs […]

TED Tuesday: Swami Dayananda Saraswati: The profound journey of compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Starting with Karen Armstrong’s introduction of the Charter for Compassion, TED presents a series of talks from multiple religious perspectives on the issue of compassion. Watch Swami Dayananda Saraswati here speak about compassion from a developmental perspective. Be big, be […]

Welcome to Mindfulness Matters: Tools for Living Now with Dr. Arnie Kozak

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am very happy to be here writing my blog on Mindfulness Matters: Tools for Living Now with Dr. Arnie Kozak. This blog will cover a range of mindfulness-related topics. It will present and comment on mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist […]

Biology Casts Its Vote For Impermanence

posted by exquisitemind

First, mapping the human genome, now creating synthetic life. These are some of the accomplishments of Craig Venter, founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute a nonprofit genomics research institute. He was interviewed on the NPR program, On […]

Auction for a Mindful Society

posted by exquisitemind

I was excited when my book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness was included in the Auction for A Mindful Society, the first annual hosted by the Shambhala Sun foundation. The products and services offered will help […]

“Monk’s Enlightenment Begins With A Marathon Walk”

posted by exquisitemind

11 May 2010 NPR presents an intriguing story of walking Japanese Zen monks. These monks aren’t going for a stroll. One monk completes the “Sennichi Kaihogyo, 1,000 days of walking meditation and prayer over a seven-year period around Mount Hiei. […]

Idealization, Scandal, and Buddhist Redemption

posted by exquisitemind

Tiger Wood has announced his return to golf for the 2010 Masters. Few stories have garnered as much attention and jaw dropping voyeurism as this sexual scandal. Indeed, Tiger’s return to golf in the Master’s will be “will be the […]

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health: “Your Brain on Yoga”

posted by exquisitemind

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox Massachusetts is a unique institution and community. If you don’t already know about, please allow me to introduce you to it. I just returned from directing a course there over the weekend […]

Metaphor as Upaya (Skillful Means)

posted by exquisitemind

Much of what we communicate relies on comparing one thing to another; something known to help us understand something less known. This is the most basic sense of metaphor: understanding one thing in terms of another. When the Buddha gave […]

“We are human beings who take form through an impetus to joy, interest, and concern”

posted by exquisitemind

A recent New York Times Blog by Judith Warner describes the author’s journey into mindfulness (http://warner.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/the-worst-buddhist-in-the-world/). The initial reaction of her husband was “I never thought that you, of all people, would get into that New Age stuff,”  That’s funny, Pema […]

It’s a new day

posted by exquisitemind

It’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the inauguration. People are excited and who can blame us? Obama is an orator who inspires us with invitations to the best parts of ourselves. People were queued up outside of […]

Wild Chickens in Uncertain Times

posted by exquisitemind

The current economic challenges we confront may qualify as wild chickens or evenpetty tyrants (petty tyrants can range from simply annoying to distraction to holding the power of life and death). The financial crisis reveals the impermanent matrix that underlies the […]

Happy New Year 2009

posted by exquisitemind

Greetings from The Exquisite Mind for the New Year: 2009 While the transition to the New Year can be a fruitful time for reflection and review, let’s not forget that every day can be New Year’s Day when we bring […]

Previous Posts

Everything Essential Buddhism Book
I was recently on the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV in Vermont. We spoke about the Buddha and Buddhism themes that are covered in my new book, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book. It's always a pleasure to talk with mark and a touch of sadness to ...

posted 10:05:58am Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Don't Own Your Mind
Our brains are little factories. Their chief product is, of course, thoughts. They also manufacture images, memories, and emotions. Best of all, they fabricate stories. Our brains can do this unbidden, without any direction from us. Given the ...

posted 6:36:24pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Relationships 2.0 Interview August 11
Tune in Tuesday August 11 at 6 PM (3 PM PST) for my radio conversation with Dr. Michelle Skeen, host of Relationships 2.0. We'll be discussing relationship challenges for introverts and guidance from my book, The Awakened Introvert. If you ...

posted 9:00:13pm Aug. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Mindfulness A to Z
2015 has been a busy year for me publishing books. In May, The Awakened Introvert came out (New Harbinger). In July, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book came out (Adams Media). Soon, Mindfulness A to Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now (Wisdom ...

posted 12:46:02pm Aug. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Life Interrupted
I've been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won't be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My mind will ...

posted 4:50:31pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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