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Lions Roar : November 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2012 77 DISPATCHES FROM THE MINDFULNESS REVOLUTION, FROM THE EDITORS OF MINDFUL The Mindful Society The University of Virginia has established a new $12 million Contemplative Sciences Center. It will study the effect of meditation, yoga, and mindfulness training on professional stress and also investigate whether contemplative practices can be part of an effective treatment regimen for afflictions such as major depression and alcoholism. The hope is that in the next decade, UVA will emerge as a leader in researching how society can be transformed by contemplative and yogic practices, ideas, and values. Mindfulness programs are effective in helping veterans sleep, according to re- search presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep So- cieties. Mindfulness programs were shown to improve total sleep time, reduce time between lying down and going to sleep (“sleep latency”), and decrease the frequency of nightmares in veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. T.M. Shine had eighteen years of experience as a journalist when he was laid off in May, 2008. Following months of struggling with unemploy- ment and the negative job market, the Florida resident made a change to his CV. “I just wanted to find something to do where I could just be nice to people,” Shine told NPR’s Michel Martin. On the top of his resume, he wrote, “Looking for a position that both utilizes my job skills, and pro- vides a work environment that values being nice to everyone.” It worked; within a week he had a job with a nonprofit retail business. Shine told Martin he works hard on his efforts to be kind. “You know,” he said, “mine are cold, calculated acts of kindness.” Proving it’s never too late to start a compassionate life, Arno Michaelis, former frontman for the neo-Nazi punk band Centurion, recently under- went a very public transformation. He’s now promoting peace and toler- ance through his e-magazine “Life after Hate.” Michaelis talked about his violent past on the CBC radio program Metamorphosis. During the angry days of his white supremacist life, he said, there was no conscious thought— “it was just all fight.” The catalyst for change happened one day as he was picking up his daughter from daycare. Another father, a black man, was also picking up his daughter, and Michaelis says he was struck by the man’s ex- pression. “The smile on his face,” he says, “was the same smile I had on my face when I picked up my daughter.” PHOTOS(TOPTOBOTTOM)BYPHILIPLARSON/FLICKR.COM,©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/SHADRIN_ANDREY,MARKSELIGER,©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/NARVIKK