All Journal Entries by Douglas Gentile

December 4, 2017
Modern life is anxiety-ridden.  A surprising number of my students have diagnosed anxiety disorders.  Things don’t always go our way, and often it feels like they never do.  We spend inordinate amounts of time planning and...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Religion & Spirituality     Link
December 19, 2016
I recently presented some research at the International Symposium on Contemplative Sciences, a conference that brings together scientists and contemplative people from many traditions.  The study tested a variety of methods people could use to...
Buddhism, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Technology     Link
October 9, 2016
After many years of training (much of it with the Interdependence Project) and many more years of personal practice, I crossed a new threshold recently by taking formal precepts and becoming a novice priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order.  This...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Religion & Spirituality     Comment (1)     Link
September 11, 2016
I was recently in Australia and heard an aboriginal D'harawal people's dreaming story that discussed what are known to them as the Three Truths.  Gawaian Bodkins-Andrews defined the Three Truths as:
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Religion & Spirituality     Comment (1)     Link
July 11, 2016
Like many people, I have been wishing for more balance in my life recently.  The political and social worlds seem chaotic and heartbreaking.  I spend many days chasing after deadlines that I am not sure I care much about.  I would...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Nutrition & Body Wellness, Religion & Spirituality     Link
June 12, 2016
A modern koan -- Question:  Do you have Buddha Nature?  Answer:  Well, duh. The concept of "Buddha Nature" is often difficult to understand, but it is a radically optimistic doctrine.  It says that not only are we responsible for...
Buddhism, Religion & Spirituality     Link
May 29, 2016
Warning – I describe in some graphic detail the recuperation from a surgery.
Buddhism, Meditation Practice     Link
June 29, 2015
I sat outside on a lovely early summer morning. The sun played hide-and-seek with the clouds, which in turn were playing chase with the breezes. The garden had turned a rich green from the recent rains, and the strawberry flowers whispered of treats...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice     Link
February 23, 2015
Beginning a mindfulness meditation practice is difficult.
Meditation Practice, Religion & Spirituality     Link
October 27, 2014
Although humans like to believe that we’re rational cognitive creatures, we're actually fundamentally very emotional creatures. You might expect that we would be good with something that we have had experience with our whole lives. Yet one of...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Religion & Spirituality     Link
October 20, 2014
Anger is a funny emotion, because although it often causes us and those around us suffering, we deep down kind of like it.  We like the feeling of power it gives, the sense of righteousness that sometimes accompanies it, and the feeling of...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Science & Technology     Comment (2)     Link
September 29, 2014
I've been thinking about how relationships, mindfulness, and meditation work.  All of them seem to share a striking characteristic.  When everyone is happy, they all seem to flow easily.  But when someone is feeling a strong emotion (...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Science & Technology     Link
May 5, 2014
In re-listening to one of Ethan Nichtern's classes at the IDP, I was struck by something he almost said. In a class about the importance of sangha (the collective level), he stated that if you were all alone in the universe, enlightenment could...
Buddhism, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Technology     Link
April 14, 2014
I've been watching the free online course on Buddhism and Modern Psychology by Princeton professor Robert Wright (available here).
Buddhism     Comment (1)     Link
February 24, 2014
Buddhism is a practical philosophy - it's meant to be tried and tested in the "real" world.  It's designed to help us understand where we get in our own way to happiness. To newbies, it sometimes sounds pretty depressing when we talk about the...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice     Link
February 17, 2014
Psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan study motivation. In particular, they have been interested in what makes people intrinsically motivated at work, school, etc.  The theory, called Self-Determination Theory, states basically that humans...
Buddhism, Science & Technology     Link
February 10, 2014
I sometimes ask people how often they multitask, whether they feel like they need to do it in order to succeed, and how good they are at it.  Not surprisingly, most people say they multitask a lot, that it is necessary for their success, and...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Science & Technology     Link
February 3, 2014
In Sharon Salzberg's new book, Real Happiness at Work, the first chapter is about balance. She discusses several dimensions to balance, but one that I find fascinating is equanimity.  Equanimity is considered one of the four Heavenly Abodes in...
Buddhism, Events, Meditation Practice, Religion & Spirituality     Comment (2)     Link
February 2, 2014
Mindfulness and meditation are getting a lot of press these days, with a lot of new science coming out and people wanting to find sanity in an increasingly complex world.  We should not be surprised, then, if the press begin to make hyperbolic...
Buddhism, Meditation Practice, Nutrition & Body Wellness, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Technology     Comment (1)     Link
January 27, 2014
In my last post, I discussed how people use media (music, TV, video games, Internet, etc.) to modify their moods and as coping strategies.  On the one hand, both of these uses seem positive and beneficial, at least when used mindfully.
Buddhism, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Technology     Link
January 20, 2014
This month we're discussing mindful consumption, specifically examining our habits around electronics. I study the media's effects on people and have heard people talk about media being an "addiction" for almost 20 years.  There are some really...
Buddhism, Science & Technology     Link
January 13, 2014
I have a graduate student who is pursuing her PhD in Apparel Marketing, and is particularly interested in considering the relations between mindfulness, self-compassion, and consumption of luxury brands.  We're interested in several things. One...
Buddhism, Science & Technology     Comment (6)     Link
January 6, 2014
In a recent discussion with old friends, we pondered different ways of experiencing the “self.”  One felt that the self was something true that can be found and held dear.  This could be accomplished, in her example, through painting -...
Buddhism, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Technology     Comment (2)     Link
December 16, 2013
Many platitudes about the holidays focus on the joy of giving.  Of course, ideas become platitudes by being generally true or at least by being generally accepted as true.  As a parent, I gain a great deal of joy from watching my children...
Buddhism, Religion & Spirituality, Science & Technology     Link

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