News, Press & Media

Technology-Assisted Meditation: Is this the future of meditation? - Psychology Today (posted December 11, 2018)

Meditation was originally a practice in learning to be alone with oneself. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal put it powerfully: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” I’m not sure it is that simple, and one could easily argue that sitting in meditation isn’t a panacea for humanity’s problems. The process of learning to meditate has posed a multitude of problems as well. Meditation centers, as we have seen in the past year, and years before that, are rife with scandals of the abuse of power and sexuality. Since the advent of meditation apps (Headspace was launched in 2010, more than 31 million have downloaded the app), it seemed that learning and practicing meditation had become simpler. But has it?             

The Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Cambridge HealthAlliance/Harvard Medical School recently held a symposium on Technology-Assisted Meditation. (For more on the creation and goals of CMC, see this post.)  Read more here.

CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion Research Team Wins Award at Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Network Forum

Our research team received a first-place award for best poster presentation at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Network Forum on Friday, November 16, at the J. B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School. The forum brought together over 300 individuals in the integrative medicine community to seed new ideas and opportunities through shared learning.

CMC’s poster, “Impacts of mindfulness training in primary care on patient self-regulation and accessibility,” was selected for first-place out of 45 submissions. Posters were judged on how well they highlighted research across the translational science spectrum. The winners were chosen for their innovation, rigor, and impact.

Richa Gawande, PhD, CMC Research Programs Manager, presented the work on behalf of the team of authors, who included My Ngoc To, BA (poster author), Elizabeth Pine, BA, Todd Griswold, MD, Timothy Creedon, MA, Alexandra Brunel, MA, Angela Lozada, BS, Eric B. Loucks, PhD, and Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD (Principal Investigator of study). Gloria Yeh, MD, MPH, presented the award.

Too impatient to meditate? A mild shock to the scalp could help - Popular Science (December 2018)

The benefits of being mindful take time, but there might be a way to speed them up.

Researchers are exploring whether a technology called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can help make meditation easier and get more people to do it regularly. Read more here.

Want To Start Meditating? There's An App For That - WGBH Living Lab Radio

Meditation is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years. In its original form, it requires nothing more than a place to sit.

But meditation and mindfulness have gained newfound popularity in recent years. And, as with everything else in our lives, technology seems to be creeping in — from meditation apps to experiments with brain-stimulating electronic signals.

Experts gathered in Boston at a recent symposium at Harvard University to discuss the possibilities and ramifications of technology-assisted meditation. Read more here.

With mindfulness, life’s in the moment - Changing minds in more ways than one

The popularity of mindfulness has been bolstered by research suggesting that it reduces stress, improves attention and memory, and promotes empathy. Dr. Suzanne Westbrook, one of our MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) instructors is featured for her work teaching mindfulness at Harvard. Read more here.


How Mindfulness May Change the Brain - Harvard Gazette

The Harvard Gazette shares how researchers have been studying the ways mindfulness meditation can change the brain in depressed patients. Our Center for Mindfulness and Compassion is among the featured groups in this article, exploring meditation’s effects on the brains of clinically depressed patients, a group for whom studies have shown meditation to be effective. Read more here


One Moment at a Time: Mindfulness, Meditation, and Hope for Addiction Treatment - BASIS, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Zev Schuman-Olivier helped conduct the first federally-funded, randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness intervention for addictive disorders. In an op-ed, he shares his personal journey toward mindfulness meditation and incorporating this practice into addiction treatment. Read more here.


Shifting Out of Autopilot: The Health Benefits of Being Present - Scout Cambridge Magazine

Some researchers say the average person has 50,000 thoughts a day. The CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion offers a mechanism to quiet that inner traffic. Scout Cambridge, a bimonthly local lifestyle magazine, ran an extensive feature on the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion in its latest issue, focused on tools for wellness. Read more here.

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