Monthly Archives: November 2015

Meditation reduces emotional pain

From Time Magazine online… (by Mandy Oaklander)

Open any magazine and you’ll find that mindfulness has gone mainstream. You’ll also notice there are studies that purport to show meditation’s benefits on just about everything, from kids’ math scores and migraine length to HIV management and bouncing back after a crisis. Now, an elaborate new forthcoming study looks at how the brains of meditators respond to pain, to be published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Dr. Fadel Zeidan, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has studied mindfulness for 15 years and has observed improved health outcomes as a result. “But what if this is all just a placebo?” he wondered. “What if people are reporting improvements in health and reductions in pain just because of meditation’s reputation as a health-promoting practice?” He wanted to find out, so he designed a trials that included a placebo group.

Zeidan recruited 75 healthy, pain-free people and scanned their brains using an MRI while they experienced painful heat with a 120-degree thermal probe. Then, the researchers sorted them into four groups and gave them four days of training. Everyone thought they were getting the real intervention, but most of them were getting a sham treatment.

“I want to be restrained about the efficacy of mindfulness, and the way to be restrained about it is by making it harder and harder to demonstrate its effectiveness,” Zeidan says.

Red the full article.

American Academy of Religion Eastern International Region 2016 Annual Meeting May 6-7, 2016

globalizing humanitiesAmerican Academy of Religion Eastern International Region 2016 Annual Meeting will be held at the University of Pittsburgh May 6-7, 2016. The event is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Detrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of Religious Studies. This year’s theme is Globalizing the Human(ities). For more information, go to  To download the event flyer as a pdf click here.

The Eastern International Region (EIR) of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) meets annually in April or May. The meetings are hosted by one of the region’s participating institutions in Ontario, Quebec, New York, or western Pennsylvania.

The keynote speaker of this years meeting will be American scholar and author, Mark Juergensmeyer who recently published Chatting with Myanmar’s Buddhist “terrorist.”