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Lions Roar : November 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2012 79 Bicycles are the ideal vehicles for finding a more mindful state of being, suggests Dr. Ellen Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard and author of Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. “When you bike, you go to places you haven’t been before, a trail or a neighborhood, and you get to notice all of the things that are different,” she told Jonathan Simmons on Boston.com. “You also get to attend to your breathing...and to your experience.” In his recent book, The Nature Principle, author Richard Louv bemoans “nature-deficit disorder” and cel- ebrates the mind/body/nature connection. He cites research on the negative effects of losing our connection with the surrounding world and the salutary effects of healthy doses of dirt and animate life. His prescription: “Know who you are by knowing where you are.” A Ph.D. student at the Universi- ty of Washington has designed an interface called Reflect that encourages deeper listening in web-based discussions. Travis Kriplean says that the lack of sophisticated dialogue online has more to do with the structure of commenting boards and not necessarily with angry people publishing their thoughts. Reflect offers an ad- ditional space to the right of ev- ery comment where audiences are invited to restate and offer a reaction to what they have read in a 140-character bullet point. It adds an extra level of context and promotes a point-specific dialogue while deterring com- menters from skimming over what others have written. The goal is a deeper mutual under- standing between users. Be Here Now is a new documentary about Andy Whitfield, late star of the TV drama Spartacus. The film follows the ac- tor and his family through the last months of Whitfield’s cancer. It was created to “inspire others facing similar challenges, while pushing to accelerate the pace of cancer research,” a representative for the late actor told US Weekly. At one point, while waiting for test results, Whitfield and his wife, Vashti, got matching tattoos on their arms that read, “Be Here Now.” “It was our way,” says Vashti, “of saying that whatever happened, we would live in the moment.” The Mediators Foundation, which sup- ports the work of “visionary lead- ers,” bought and distributed copies of Congressman Tim Ryan’s A Mindful Nation to every member of the US House of Representatives and Senate. The foun- dation said the book “brings an urgently needed perspective to public policy.” Ryan reports that “Colleagues of mine from all over the country and both sides of the aisle are coming up to me on the floor and saying that they really get the message in this book. I’m gratified by that. It indi- cates that at a deep level, regardless of ideologies and positions of the day, people want to slow down, find quiet, and pay deeper attention to what’s going on in their hearts.” In partnership with the Shambhala Sun, Mindful brings you a selection of our reporting on the emergence of a mindful society. Mindful is a media initiative of The Foundation for a Mindful Society, with principal funding from the Hemera Foundation. We report on the spread of mindfulness and awareness practice into society and publish helpful advice and instruction for those interested in practicing mindfulness and related disciplines. To learn more, visit mindful.org. And look for our new magazine, Mindful, coming in February, 2013. ♦ PHOTOS(TOPTOBOTTOM)BY©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/STRATOL,VIDEOSTILLCOURTESYOFHAYHOUSE,VIDEOSTILLCOURTESYOFBEHERENOWFILM.COM,©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/DONNICHOLS/ERDOSAIN/HIRO-PM