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Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Ginger Dawn Harman!!!

Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Make it Easy for earning a Beginner Level Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

“As soon as I read the e-mail from MaryJane listing the new merit badges for 2017, I squealed in delight when I saw mindfulness. I cannot begin to list all the positive effects of mindfulness. First, my health in general has improved. My blood pressure is lower, I am able to regulate my breathing much better and now only use my inhaler once a day. Moreover, I am sick less often and my immunity has improved greatly. I also feel less stress since I began practicing a mindful lifestyle. I meditate every day and have been using the Insight Timer app since Jan 1, 2016! I haven’t missed a day. I prefer the guided meditations, but I have also used the bell. For the purpose of this badge I started again on January 1, 2018.

There are many benefits to regular meditation. For one, the health improves. I am a great example of this. Interestingly, one of the central benefits of meditation is that it improves attention and concentration: One recent study found that just a couple of weeks of meditation training helped people’s focus and memory during the verbal reasoning section of the GRE. In fact, the increase in score was equivalent to 16 percentile points. In 2013, I participated in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia. It was an 8-week course that taught me how to meditate and live more mindfully. Our class had a nun, several doctors, a retired preacher, and a few who were battling different medical challenges or learning to practice mindfulness within the public school and health professions. There’s been increasing interest from educators and researchers in bringing meditation and yoga to school kids who are dealing with the usual stressors inside school, and oftentimes, additional stress and trauma outside school. Some schools have starting implementing meditation into their daily schedules, and with good effect: One district in San Francisco started a twice-daily meditation program in some of its high-risk schools—and saw suspensions decrease and GPAs and attendance increase. Studies have confirmed the cognitive and emotional benefits of meditation for schoolchildren, but more work will probably need to be done before it gains more widespread acceptance.

INeedMotivation.com made a wonderful list of 100 benefits of meditation.

Meditation is also completely FREE! It requires no special equipment, and is not complicated to learn. It can be practiced anywhere, at any given moment, and it is not time consuming (15-20 min. per day is good). Best of all, meditation has NO negative side effects. Bottom line, there is nothing but positive to be gained from it!

Oh and after you have meditated for a while, you might enjoy a Mindful retreat! Can you believe that I have done this and went an entire weekend with NO TALKING! I encourage everyone to give Mindfulness a try!”

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  1. m says:

    Buddhism teaches mindfulness. I actually met the Dalai Lama and am a huge fan of his attitudes and teachings. I have always had this saying on my door or fridge ” BE HERE NOW” , That says it all. And in our plugged in digital/smartphone age, very few are doing that. Yes mindfulness is the key.

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