Mindfulness, Meditation and Human Performance: A few ideas
- Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman & Richard J. Davidson. An extremely readable account of two things: the authors' personal journeys through meditation practices, life, and research, and a breakdown of scientific research thus far into the biochemical, neurological and genetic effects of meditation on the human mind/body.
- Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. This book give practical, wonderous information about how to lead bravely and authentically. I wish all managers where required to read this.
- Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. An interdisciplinary perspective on the human mind and human potential. The author is a noted neuropsychiatrist; this book presents a really rich mosaic of scientific perspectives (anthropological, psychological, neurobiological) to pose global questions related to identity, human connection, and the cultivation of well-being.
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Jon Kabat-Zinn is probably one of the most globally-known scientists spreading the power of mindfulness to the lives of ordinary people, institutions, organizations and universities. Full Catastrophe Living gives the reader an extremely thorough perspective on stress, pain, and healing, and our relationship to all three. Changing these relationships may be the key to wellness, better life balance, dealing with chronic pain or stress, and actual healing.
- Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior by Phil Jackson. A quick read and super interesting if you know anything about the NBA, Phil Jackson, and/or his philosophical outlook on playing the game of basketball. He's got an interesting life history in which many of his philosophies come from his spiritual education in both the Christian tradition and with the teachings of the Lakota Sioux.
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. Mindfulness in a Buddhist context. Although I am not Buddhist, this book opened up the ideas of mindfulness, compassion and equanimity towards myself and others in a way that I could relate to. Due to various reasons, I have bought this book from Powell’s three times for myself.
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Recommended at the MBRT retreat. This book jumped off the shelf and into my hand at Powell’s on my first outing to the self help section. If you listen to the Ted Talks (below), you’ll know what you are in for--a researcher-storyteller, full of humor, you are encouraged to lean into the vulnerability of being authentic.
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Recommended at the MBRT retreat. I haven’t read it all, but it continues on the theme of vulnerability, shame, and happiness.
- The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens by Dr. John Duffy. Introduced to me by Celeste Grover. Although not called “mindfulness,” the importance of being available for your teens is discussed as well as some tips on how to be self aware as a parent and keep your emotions in check.
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress without Losing my Edge, and Found Self Help that Actually Works by Dan Harris. Recommended at the MBRT retreat. Super popular memoir on Dan Harris’ journey beginning with a mental crisis on National TV to embracing mindfulness. His podcasts are also very engaging, and there's an actual 10% Happier app now that seems very cool as well.
Ted Talks (www.Ted.com)
So many to choose from on many topics. A few featured at the MBRT retreat. Share as you find more!
- Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
- Funny truthful look at the positive outcomes that can come from leaning into our vulnerability
- Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
- A humorous and interesting take on the importance of stress. Featured at MBRT retreat. (JM)
- Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment
- Want to know how they figured out how much of the time we are lost in thought? Here it is.
10% Happier (www.10percenthappier.com)
- “Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation... Basically, here's what this podcast is obsessed with: Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment (whatever that means)?”
- Many interviews with very interesting people about their mindfulness practices and philosophy. Latest for me: Jon Kabat Zin, a scientist who, when faced with what to do with his life asked: What work would I pay money to do? And then did it.
On Being with Krista Tippet (https://onbeing.org/)
- “On Being opens the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?” Many interviews with interesting thinkers.
- Interesting insight on love and relationships with Alain de Botton--mindfulness, although not named, is in there. https://onbeing.org/programs/alain-de-botton-the-true-hard-work-of-love-and-relationships/
- Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant--Resilience after losing her husband on vacation and reclaiming joy for herself and her children. https://onbeing.org/programs/sheryl-sandberg-and-adam-grant-resilience-after-unimaginable-loss/
Meditation Apps and Resources:
- British Accented Andy lead you in meditations of varying lengths. First 10 meditations are free to try, then there is a monthly charge.
Insight Timer (https://insighttimer.com/)
- A pretty amazing compilation of guided meditations, body scan practices, courses on wellness and performance and just general contemplative goodness. I was amazed at the variety of practices represented on this site (which is also an app, of course), and to make things even better, IT'S FREE. I think there's a deluxe version of this app that charges, but I've never needed it, as the content is extremely vast and rich. If you want to experiment regarding the style of meditation you like or respond to, this is the app for you.
Healthy Mind Program: https://tryhealthyminds.org/
- This is a relatively new app that Dr. Richard Davidson has pioneered for foundational learning of mindfulness practices based on Four Pillars of Well-Being: Awareness, Connection, Insight and Purpose. I encourage you to check this out and add it to your apps FOR FREE. All content is free, and the trainings are evidence based and very insightful.
On-line Recordings (FREE)
- Shared by a fellow Smiling Scientist, here are some FREE guided meditations from very reputable sources (JM):
- From University of California at San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness, this is part of the their Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. MBSR predates MBRT and is basically the same set of ideas without the law enforcement context. (JM)
- From the Department of Veterans Affairs, five different downloadable meditations.