Meditation: Prioritize your mental health and happiness in self-isolation
Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher and author. She is the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana(mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.
Our lives have been transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. How can we successfully adapt to the new demands and rules of a society that is sheltering in place? What can we do to nurture our minds and keep our moods in check during a time of unprecedented stress? In this interactive live session, Sharon Salzberg, meditation teacher and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS), shares her expertise on meditation and mindfulness practices that can help you thrive in isolation; the best strategies for coping with confined cohabitation, remote work and boredom; and ways we can prioritize and protect our mental health and happiness.
Explore Sharon Salzberg's COVID-19 meditation resources at sharonsalzberg.com.
This Big Think LIVE session is moderated by Big Think staff writer Derek Beres. Derek is a multi-faceted author, media expert, and fitness instructor based in Los Angeles. He is currently working on his next book, Hero's Dose: The Case for Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy. Learn more at derekberes.com.
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Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?
- Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
- The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
- These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.
Researchers at UT Southwestern noted a 47 percent increase in blood flow to regions associated with memory.
- Researchers at UT Southwestern observed a stark improvement in memory after cardiovascular exercise.
- The year-long study included 30 seniors who all had some form of memory impairment.
- The group of seniors that only stretched for a year did not fair as well in memory tests.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
According to a man that knows more than 20 languages, the key is to start in the middle.
- Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann says there is indeed a fast track to learning a new language. It involves doubling down on your listening and reading.
- By taking the focus off grammar rules that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to remember, you can instead develop habits by greater exposure to the language. Kaufmann likens the learning process to a hockey stick.
- In the beginning you make major progress as you climb the steep hill of the hockey stick, whereas the long shaft of the stick is the difficult part. Because you're not seeing day-to-day changes, you might lose motivation. So, stay the course by consuming content that interests you.