Vajra Blue

Mindfulness and Compassion. Understanding trauma in young people.


4 Comments

Conscious attention: looking after our inner world.

image

If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future. ― Eckhart Tolle

Our brains have a very narrow bandwidth for the conscious processing of information.  This means that we spend a lot of time letting autopilot run our lives, based on how the unconscious mind processes incoming information.  The unconscious processes information rapidly while the conscious mind is much slower.  This has important consequences for our survival but can create difficulties in the modern world.

The unconscious mind is not able to tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.  The same pathways in the brain can be triggered by either of them.  This means that we may respond to our internal thought processes or our current emotional tone, as if they were a response to real events in the outside world. Continue reading


3 Comments

Mindfulness: where does the research stand?

image

aglet, aiglet
ag·let  (ăg′lĭt)
n.

1. A tag or sheath, as of plastic, on the end of a lace, cord, or ribbon to facilitate its passing through eyelet holes.
2. A similar device used for an ornament.
[Middle English, from Old French aguillette, diminutive of aguille,needle, from Vulgar Latin *acūcula, from Late Latin acucula, diminutive of Latin acus, needle; see ak- in Indo-European roots.]

Mindfulness and meditation have been around for thousands of years.  It is only relatively recently that they have started to appear on the radar as potential treatments for physical and mental health difficulties.

Continue reading


Depression: the effects of mindfulness.

image

Your mind is not a cage.
It is a garden.
And it needs cultivating.
Libba Bray

The incidence of depression is rising rapidly, at least in the western world.  It has been described as the common cold of psychiatry and psychology.

Depression is a common disorder, but this does not make it either inevitable, or an acceptable part of modern life.  The lifetime incidence of depression continues to show a steady rise, with each succeeding generation having a greater risk.  For people born before the First World War, the lifetime risk was about 3%, for Americans currently in their midtwenties, current estimates put their lifetime risk to be approaching 25%. This rapid increase shows little sign of slowing down.

Continue reading


8 Comments

Neuroplasticity and depression.

image

Among other things, neuroplasticity means that emotions such as happiness and compassion can be cultivated in much the same way that a person can learn through repetition to play golf and basketball or master a musical instrument, and that such practice changes the activity and physical aspects of specific brain areas.” 
― Andrew Weil

Over the last twenty years it has become clear that the condition we call depression does not have one single cause or presentation. The accumulation of evidence shows that some types of depression are either brought about, or sustained by the way we think and interact with our world. Recent research suggests that an inflammatory response, brought about by our modern lifestyle, may also contribute to the development and persistence of such states.

The evidence also shows that our genetic makeup contributes to our risk of developing a depressive disorder. However, the presence of this genetic influence does not mean that depression is a purely genetic disorder.

Continue reading


The eyes have it where depression is concerned?

image

The eyes are the windows to the soul.
William Shakespeare

Depression can vary from a mild annoyance to a life threatening illness.  Those of us who have been in it’s clutches, would gladly escape any further experiences of Churchill’s Black Dog, and much time and effort has been spent in searching for ways to effectively treat the first episode  of the disorder and hopefully to prevent recurrence.
Continue reading