Mindfulness meditation improves brain function

9 03 2011


Just two months participation in a mindfulness meditation program can have a considerable effect on the regions of the brain linked to sense of self, memory, stress and empathy.

A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) used MR imaging to study the brain structure of 16 study participants two weeks before taking part in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. The same measurements were also taken of a control group of 16 people.

The meditation participants took part in weekly meetings in which they focused on awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind, and also used recorded resources with which to guide meditation each day. With an average daily practice of just under half an hour, participants responses to a mindfulness questionnaire exhibited improvements. MR images showing an increased density of grey-matter in the hippocampus and decreased density in the amygdala pointed to positive improvements in the areas of learning and memory, compassion, self-awareness and introspection, and also to reduced stress.

The study’s senior author, Sara Lazar, PhD, of the hospital’s Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, said ‘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. 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.’

Britta Hölzel, PhD, a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany and first author of the paper commented; ‘It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life. Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change.’

Source: Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging

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Tips & pointers for building a spiritual life from scratch

16 11 2010

Daily Necessities
Tips & pointers for building a spiritual life from scratch

Pray                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Meditate Be aware/Stay awake
Bow
Practise yoga
Feel
Chant and sing
Breathe and smile
Relax/Enjoy/Laugh/Play
Create/Envision
Let Go/Forgive/Accept
Walk/Exercise/Move
Work/Serve/Contribute
Listen/Learn/Enquire
Consider/Reflect
Cultivate oneself/Enhance competencies
Cultivate contentment
Cultivate flexibility
Cultivate friendship and collaboration
Lighten up
Celebrate and appreciate
Dream
Give thanks
Evolve
Love
Share/Give/Receive
Walk softly/Live gently
Expand/Radiate/Dissolve
Simplify
Surrender/Trust
Be born anew

from Awakening The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das





Advanced Spiritual 12 Chakras System

16 11 2010

 

 

 

 

 

Besides the 7 primary chakra energy system there exists an extended chakra system, which is just now coming into humanity’s awareness. This energy system is latent in most people; however, as more people advance spiritually, and practice meditation this extended energy system begins to form in the etheric, outside of man’s body. This extended system is the next step in the spiritual evolution of our planet. Once, a long time ago, the Great Masters were of the few to access and use this powerful energy system.
Now, the time has come for others to become aware of this system and reap the rewards of using it in your daily and spiritual lives.

Muladhara ~ Base or Root Chakra (ovaries/prostate)

Swadhisthana ~ Sacral Chakra (last bone in spinal cord )

Manipura ~ Solar Plexus Chakra (navel area)

Anahata ~ Heart Chakra (heart area)

Vishuddha ~ Throat Chakra (throat and neck area)

Ajna ~ Brow or Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland or third eye)

Sahasrara ~ Crown Chakra (Top of the head )
Traditionally your connection to the divine (Atmic level of divinity), contains programs to be used by 8th chakra including the release of basic psychic skills ~ Telepathy, seeing Aura, Lucid Dreaming, Out of Body Travel, Healing

Chakra 8 – energy center of divine love, of spiritual compassion and spiritual selflessness, your karmic residue, activates spiritual skills contained in the seventh chakra,

Chakra 9 – soul blueprint ~ The individual’s total skills and abilities learned in all the life times

Chakra 10 – divine creativity, synchronicity of life; the merging of the masculine and feminine within, unlocking of skills contained in the ninth chakra

Chakra 11 – Pathwork to the Soul, the individual’s ability to acquire advanced spiritual skills ~ Travel beyond the limits of Time and Space, Teleportation, Bi-location, Instantaneous precipitation of thoughts, Telekinesis in some cases

Chakra 12 – Connection to the Monadic level of divinity, advanced spiritual skills, ascension, connection to the cosmos and beyond





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Laughter is the best medicine

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Researchers study tai chi benefits | Harvard Magazine Jan-Feb 2010

30 08 2010

Researchers study tai chi benefits | Harvard Magazine Jan-Feb 2010.





The Law of Chilling Out

31 07 2010