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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published January 30, 2014.

An interesting, well-written article in Time Magazine about Mindful Meditation recently drew my attention for several reasons.

  1. This is a semester I finally have a huge amount of time to focus on reading, writing, reflection, and research as I plan an ordered exit from Carroll Land within the next two-to-four years. There is much yet for me to do before I move on.

2. Since my Oberlin College days, I have been interested in “East Asian” philosophies and religions. I recall being intrigued by Herbert Benson’s first empirical studies of the “Relaxation response.”

3. I have always admired his holiness, the Dalai Lama, who holds an honorary degree from Carroll COLLEGE (WI).  Ah, the things I remember that many here at Carroll do not know or recall since they weren’t here then:).

4.  I have been very impressed by the research and values of Richard Davidson, who shared the evolution of his research program in a well-written, thoughtful book, The Emotional Life of Your BrainHere are some of his current activities.

5. I have also found value in thinking about (though I have been remiss in practicing) the ideas in Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius’s Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. I have been blessed to have opportunities to pursue each in my 35 years here, surrounded by bright students and colleagues.

6. Some of my younger Carroll University colleagues are starting to gain well-deserved recognition for exploring these topics and building bridges across interdisciplinary areas. And their enviable publication rate even motivates me (in my way) to match/complement/ supplement their scholarly contributions—but at my speed, as I savor the twilight of my career here.

7.  President Obama (who is visiting Waukesha, WI today, which may explain the many hovering helicopters) has recently called for a BRAIN Initiative. Concomitantly, an explosion of apps and software claims to improve thinking and optimize brain power.

8. I have been intrigued by recent attempts to popularize and capitalize on such findings and initiatives. I am contemplating doing some modest research to address their claims—particularly those that purport to improve memory, enhance happiness, and enhance one’s ability to focus.

9. I’ve always been fascinated by the too much-neglected research of Ellen Langer’s creative work exploring concepts of mindfulness and mindlessness—as she uses the terms. I found fascinating her book Counterclockwise, though I am still struggling with believing its implications of age reversal. Still, there IS empirical evidence (needful of replication and extension) that subjective perceptions of age can be affected by the mere process of measuring variables related to aging. This merits further study.

10. So many questions to answer. Time to make some decisions and see where the research takes us.