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Mindful : December 2016
Teamaker Taylors of Harrogate and Kew Gardens in London want to save the honeybee. They created this fantastic Great Beedapest Hotel, which attracts bees with herbal tea treats, to inspire others to set up urban bee houses and plant native wildflowers throughout the UK, which has seen its bee population plummet. A Play about Meditation is a Smash in NYC Want to know someone really well? Meditate together in silence. That’s the finding of many a per- son who’s gone on a retreat. It’s no surprise, then, that a key premise of Small Mouth Sounds—an off- Broadway play about six people on retreat—is how much we say in silence. After a successful first run in 2015, the play was remounted this fall, to great acclaim. Van- ity Fair wrote that it “pushes the audience to confront how alone we actually feel, and whether our interpersonal relationships do anything to help.” After one performance, meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg was asked to lead a short meditation and answer questions. “I love this play,” she says. “It beautifully executes the very hard job of depicting what people go through on retreat— with wisdom and humor, and largely without words.” MINDFULNESS AND MOOD Studies suggest that mindfulness inter- ventions may ease mood problems, and research- ers in India think they’ve identi- fied a mediating factor. In a survey of 417 university students, those with greater mind- ful awareness repor ted higher self-esteem, which in turn was associated with lower anxiety and depression. TURBULENCE? NO SWEAT Even the steeli- est among us get nervous when the flying gets tough. Now one airport is offering help: meditation. Belfast’s George Best Airport, in partnership with the Nor thern Ire- land Association for Mental Health, has begun offer- ing 20-minute pre-flight mind- fulness classes, along with a handout of mind- ful tips for flying, to passengers and airline staff. The Teen Brain on Social Media UCLA research- ers scanned the brains of 32 teenagers viewing images on a photo-sharing net work. They tended to “like” photos where the like score was high (even though the researchers had randomly assigned the scores). Seeing such images triggered greater activity in a brain circuit associated with reward. But activity was weaker in decision-making neural regions when teens saw images of risky behaviors such as smoking. These findings are in keeping with earlier studies that have found the brain during this life stage tends to be highly attuned to reward-seeking and peer approval and more apt to take risks (see page 70). “Emphasizing key mechanisms of mindfulness... may significantly contribute to the prevention and treatment of problematic internet use and internet addiction.” –Mindfulness Journal December 2016 mindful 11 PHOTOGRAPHBYTAYLORSOFHARROGATE