Interested in improving your attention skills after reading stories like “A Nation Distracted” and “The Focused Life” in our March-April 2010 issue? Evidence suggests that meditation is a good place to start—and, as luck would have it, the alternative press is chock full of assistance. Here’s a smattering of stories and resources to get you started:
In 2008, Utne Reader reprinted Brad Warner’s “Learn to Sit Still,” a humble and humorous explanation of the state of non-thinking from the Buddhist review Tricycle. Warner, a Zen Buddhist monk, is the author of Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up.
“Got seat?” Jonathan Kaplan asks. Writing for Psychology Today, the clinical psychologist and founder of Urban Mindfulness describes how to get contemplative during your (not-car-driving) commute. “Meditating on the subway is probably not ideal,” he writes, “but it sure beats playing Brick Breaker on your Blackberry, messing with your iPhone . . . or skipping a meditation session altogether.”
Shambhala Sun has an excellent collection of meditation and mindfulness resources available online, culled from the venerable bimonthly’s archives. Yoga Journal offers an equally fine assortment of meditation stories and articles.
Although Penny Wrenn isn’t writing exclusively about meditation, in her piece for Natural Solutions the writer nonetheless makes some prudent observations about the efficacy of jumping headlong into a lifestyle change.
From the POZ archives, here’s a short and compelling piece about the health benefits of meditation for people living with HIV. Plus, a primer on types of meditation from “mindfulness meditation” to “centering prayer meditation” and get-started resources.