A six module (132 hours) study of mindfulness and compassion meditation program was designed in response to repeated requests from ISOD alumni, students and clients in the Adriatic region.
Mindfulness meditation is proven to make measurable positive development changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. In a study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter.
“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”
Famous american philosopher and development researcher Ken Wilber cites studies indicating that meditation is the only proven way to move our ego development beyond to some of the highest known stages (like Jane Loevinger’s “integrative” and “holistic” stage). He notes, “Less than 2 percent of the adult population scores at Jane Loevinger’s highest two stages of self development (autonomous and integrated),” and goes on to say, “No practice, including psychotherapy, holotropic breathwork, or NLP, has been shown to substantially increase that percentage. With one exception: studies have shown that consistent meditation practice over a several-year period increases that percentage from 2 percent to an astonishing 38 percent….” (Wilber, Ken. A Theory of Everything. Boston Shambhala Publications, 2000, p. 13)
Mindfulness practices like meditation are now used in technology companies such as Google and Twitter (amongst others), in traditional companies in the car and energy sectors, in state-owned enterprises in China, and in UN organizations, governments, and the World Bank.