Friday, December 17, 2010

Zen can help bring pain under control: study

HealthDay News, Businessweek
Although people who engage in Zen meditation feel pain, new research reveals, they don't think about it as much.

The observation could have a bearing on the treatment of chronic pain among patients struggling with the impact of conditions such as arthritis and back pain.

Pierre Rainville, a researcher at the University of Montreal, and his colleagues report their findings in the journal Pain.

"Our previous research found that Zen meditators have lower pain sensitivity," said senior author Rainville in a news release from the journal. "The aim of the current study was to determine how they are achieving this."

"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], we demonstrated that although the meditators were aware of the pain, this sensation wasn't processed in the part of their brains responsible for appraisal, reasoning or memory formation," Rainville noted. "We think that they feel the sensations, but cut the process short, refraining from interpretation or labeling of the stimuli as painful." More>>

The Zen of News

Bodhi Day - the day of the Buddha's enlightenment
(OneIndia) Bodhi Day is celebrated to commemorate the Buddha's enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. It falls on the the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, or the 8th of December. Bodhi Day is observed by Zen and Shin, traditions that stem from the Mahayana form of Buddhism, though not widely celebrated like the Buddha's birthday, enlightenment, and parinirvana combined: Vesak. Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha, meditated to find the solution to the universal problem of suffering.

Europe's largest Zen center to be built in Germany
BERLIN ( - Europe's largest Buddhist center got the go ahead for a site at a former military complex outside Cologne. The European Institute of Applied Buddhism, set up by Thich Nhat Hanh, will construct a complex to house 60-80 monastics plus up to 200 guests. There are already 20 Buddhist monks and nuns living on the site in Waldbroel, east of Cologne. The 10 million euro ($14 million) project is to provide seminars and courses, teaching strategies to deal with issues such as conflict, anger, or grief. It is expected to open in 2015.

Yoga: it's not just for lunatics any more
(Vancouver Sun) In the late 1800s, the few Americans who had heard of Hatha yoga knew it as a set of circus tricks practised by charlatans and dangerous lunatics, capable of driving Christian men and women insane if they dabbled in its darkness. Fast-forward to Easter 2009, at the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. The activities were yoga for kids, dancing, storytelling, and Easter-egg decorating. In The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America, Stephanie Syman traces this metamorphosis through the people who made it happen. She begins with poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and his contemporary, Henry David Thoreau...

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