Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Qigong master projecting his chi energy



I have begun taking a Qigong class to bring more health to my body and immediately felt positive changes especially with my rotator cuff. Yesterday when I was doing an expansion and contraction of the chi ball or energy ball it became so fun as my arms would expand without any effort and the compression was like pushing on a pillow. It is meditation in motion.

Angelic Human Race

Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down

Little Drummer Boy



I cannot listen to this song without crying in joy. Just like Krishna or Shiva, Jesus takes whatever we give with devotion and returns it a thousand fold.

Tuvan Throat Singers - Huun Huur Tu



Years ago when the Tuvan singers first came to the States I had the pleasure of seeing them. The music felt so familiar to me. Mind blowing!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

*Quantum Physics* The Reality As You Know It Does Not Exist



What is real? I love how quantum physics really takes us to a place of not knowing more about the world we live in, but to the realization that we cannot truly know anything. Ramana Maharshi extolled his students to hold onto what one can only be certain about, and that is that there is a sense of existence or I-ness. And to do that one follows a self-inquiry of: who am I? Then one watches from whence the thoughts arise, until one is established in the Silence of the origin and destination of every thought. The mind finally shuts up in its habitual screaming that it knows what is really going on. All is Great Mystery.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine



This is perhaps my favorite Christmas song. I first heard it many years ago when I was living in Australia. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Playing with Krishna


This morning I played Frisbee with Krishna. Well, not exactly Frisbee, but with his chakra. In the dream I was having some difficulty accommodating one of our teenagers (no surprise there!), who was naturally rebelling. While I was going through this, a thought came to me from Krishna (in dreams you just know) that it was all right that my child was doing this because there needs to be separation from the parents so they can find their own path. But then there was a kind of gentle warning that whatever we give to Krishna he will throw it back, with perhaps a little more zing to improve our skill. And that was when I saw these thoughts take form into Krisna throwing his disc. And the thought came that since everyone is Krishna then whatever we throw at anyone, whether thoughts, words or deeds, all will come back to us in perfect reflection. And then my wife woke me up to go to church.

In reflecting upon this dream I feel that the message was that no matter what we need to do to find our path, no matter how challenging it might be to others who want to keep us the way they want us to be, we must do it, but with the remembrance of doing it as gently as possible. For after all, he will throw it right back at us. In the book Siddartha, Siddartha complains to his friend, Vasudeva, about his son leaving him; and his companion reminds him that he has no right to stop his son from choosing his path, and, anyway, Siddartha had done the same to his father.

Another important message of the dream was it was another reminder how powerful is the chanting of mantras. Yesterday, I was composing a simple Hare Krishna song on the guitar, and a few days before that I was telling a story at a storytelling swap about a time when I was chanting Hare Krishna when I was rescuing a man from his assailant, where I was enclosed in a bubble of protection (another story). I have had many dreams where I was saying the mantra (more than any other mantra or divine name) and powerful events would occur.

Hare Krisna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna
Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama
Hare Hare

May you recite the sweetness of God’s many Names upon your journey.

JANAKA'S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER--DECEMBER


Where?

Where to find truth
in this world gone mad?
Where to find refuge
from the crushing of the wheel?
Where to find peace
in this whirlpool of frenzied activity?
Where to find happiness
in this place of beckoning phantom forms?

It is in the Silence
amidst the relentless screams.
It is in the center
of the spinning wheel.
It is in the eye
of the raging hurricane.
It is in the I
of the Eternal Self.



Hello friends, family and associates,

While much of America begins preparing for Christmas and the holidays by waiting in lines on Black Friday and surfing the web on Cyber Monday, there is another way of making ready to receive the darkest part of the year. And it is Nature herself that gently calls for us to follow her. As the leaves continue to fall and reveal the skeletons of trees, and the garden plants withdraw back into the soil, the bare foundations of the Earth is revealed. It is her way of disrobing to allow us to glimpse her naked glory, her contours, her foundations.

Yet we are not separate from her. She is our self calling for us to do the same. While the shouts of the world want us to wrap ourselves up in the throes of shopping, pushing through the crowds of garish malls, to drive around the blocks in quest of parking spaces (taxing our parking angels to their limit), she calls us to the silence and hush of snow-clad fields. And to gaze into the long-growing crystalline nights and see the celestial images looking down. No matter what faith one has, or doesn’t have, there is a magic at this time when one goes into this inevitable darkness, willingly, to come to that virgin silence that awaits everyone. When one touches that Silence one changes, because the ever-birthing Consciousness, the I AM, can look out of one’s eyes, and with blossoming heart, look out onto the world.

Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a great story of the descent into the darkness, descending past his fearful habits of his separated ego, and emerging from his heart and finding his true place on the earth, realizing that his happiness lies in the whole and not by constricting his actions to only himself.

May everyone have a joyful holiday, however you spend it, and give yourself a few precious moments to find the Infinite Child within you.

As Tiny Tim says: God bless us, everyone.

Janaka

EVENTS

A couple of weeks ago and old friend from the Bodhi Tree days and storyteller, Michael McCarty, came up to Santa Rosa to tell tales at the a Tellebration event. It was great to hear his stories and to meet the storytelling community up here. There is a storytelling swap the first Tuesday of the month where the public is invited to attend and tell a tale (see my website for details). There you will find me. I just landed a storytelling gig and will be telling "Tales from Around the World" at the Santa Rosa Central Library on March 12. I am on the lookout for more storytelling venues--birthdays, spiritual gatherings, libraries, etc. My storytelling repertoire and resume can be seen here.

I have started A Course in Miracles study group that will meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. For those of you who do not know this amazing work, it is a non-dualistic course about forgiveness and remembering your eternal divine nature. The meat of the course is a workbook of 365 lessons to help one change one's perception of reality: from that of individual bodies that are born, age and eventually rot, to seeing that all of creation is moving upon the unified foundation of Love. Over 20 years ago I began this course and I experienced the Grace that was promised, and still do. It is a very practical curriculum. The group is open, so if you would like to learn more about it let me know.

ARTWORK

More artwork has been posted at my Janaka's Art Studio at http://www.janakasart.artfire.com/. I would love to hear your input about my work. And remember that I have found a good source for making affordable good-quality prints, for those who cannot afford the originals. Remember the holidays and support the arts. With every original painting you get one of my books of your choice.

Attached are images of the three most-viewed works of my studio. Thanks to my brother I have a new camera for which to shoot my finished current work, soon to be posted when I get some sunny days to shoot the pieces. This past month I have done some portraits, one of which is one of Johnny Cash. I saw a great photo of him and had to do my impression of it. His music is a family favorite here, especially Aiden's (my 5-year-old boy). I actually let him add some color to the work as he is becoming very deliberate in his artistic endeavors.

WRITINGS

If you would like to see some of my writings visit my blog, Triliving: Celebrating Truth, Beauty and Goodness (http://www.janakastagnaro.blogspot.com/). And if you do visit, do leave a comment please. While I can see that people are viewing it from all over the world, very few people take the time to leave a comment. At this point I would almost welcome the inane commentary that one typically sees posted under Yahoo articles...well, maybe not. I have a lot of great videos posted on it, many are thanks to sharings by Facebook friends. Also, if anyone would like to read my manuscript of The Teachings of Yama: A Conversation with Death I would love your opinion. I want to get that book published; it has been in cyber gestation for too long. If you are interested I will send an attachment.

Please give me your feedback on this newsletter. Anything else you would you like me to cover? And if you want off the list just press Reply and message No Thanks. And if you like this newsletter and my work, please pass this on. Your support is invaluable.

Peace

Offering to the Community:
Fine Art; Tarot Readings, Meditation and Spiritual Guidance; Inspirational Books; Storytelling

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cyber War and the Need for True Communication


Cyber war wages across the internet as hacker supporters of WikiLeaks attack prosecutors of Julian Assange. To the hackers it is a battle of keeping the internet free of government control, although now I am afraid the FTC will use this as an excuse of needing more control. As one who uses the internet to disseminate my views out into the world I certainly want freedom of expression, with no one telling me what is appropriate or not. After all, I know there are many who would find what I said as wrong. But when I stand with founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Perry Barlow, and say that attacking anyone for their views goes contrary to freedom of expression, I hope I am not attacked by these freedom hacksters.

My stand with WikiLeaks is this: I agree there needs to be independent outlets, free of government or big-business media, where whistle blowers can go to. Otherwise the shadows of government, corporations and powerful individuals will not be brought to the light. However, just as there is Right Speech, which is: Is what I am about to say kind, true and helpful; so there should be right speech on the internet. To release all information is like someone just telling it like it is, no matter what the consequences. Yet a lot of harm can be done with that manner of expression. There are needed secrets at times in all businesses, agencies, and with families. Otherwise things may be revealed too soon, taken out of context; something might have been said when the person was out of balance, in depression, in anger, and in balance the same person may have regrets over it. Why should they be held in a noose over it? Who has not said anything they later regretted?

It will be interesting to see how this war turns out. Like most wars, opposing sides will not see things as they really are, but will see acts, statements and such as symbols, rallying points to justify continued attack. In war all perspectives become polarized of us versus them. In this conflict it is the battle between freedom and form, the individual versus government. Yet both sides have their perspective that is legitimate. It is like the left brain fighting against the right brain. We need both to be a balanced humanity.

I hope peace will be remembered. And to have peace one must stand in the shoes of the other to see from their perspective. Hell, this is really all about communication. What is communication? It is communion. It is coming together in union. That is how we form community. And the community I want for my family and for all the world is community where all viewpoints are acceptable, that there be diversity and not my way or the highway.

Peace,

Janaka Stagnaro

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Lord's Prayer and Commentary


The other day I was attending, for the first time, the Episcopal Church around the corner from where I live and we began to recite the Lord’s Prayer. And as I was reciting this famous, holy prayer, thoughts about the non-dualistic aspect of it began to race through my head; however, I had no time to actually reflect on each word but to take it in as a gestalt, to be latter reflected upon. So here it is. Is this the right interpretation? Of course not. It is just another perspective of how one reaches Awareness of God, or All That Is, or Whatever you want to call That which is the Source and Administrator of Creation and is beyond and unaffected by Its Creation. The God I speak of is beyond all words or attempts of the created mind to define the Indefinable.


Our Father, Who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name,
Thy Kingdom come
Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
And deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever
Amen

Our Father, Who art in Heaven

The use of Father dates back to the post matriarchal time, where the male impulse on the planet held sway, for whatever evolutionary needs humanity needed at the time. Today, there is the need for the male and female impulse to be equally honored and thus utilized, in both humanity as a whole and with each individual. I prefer, instead of the appellation Father, Mother/Father God in honor of Unity. Regardless, using a paternal name is in recognition that all of us are created by the Creator. In the Hindu tradition there are many aspects of the Divine that one can focus on: some will focus on the Mother, some on the Father, others on the Friend, the Child, the King or Lord. Yet by keeping the Father aspect as the Point of Reference, there is an important reason why it is wise to do so. The masculine aspect has the propensity to be able to be emotionally uninvolved or become one-step-backward in a situation. Just go to a playground and you will see a different reaction by parents when their child becomes hurt. In a generalization, the mother races over and holds the child to her bosom, while the father looks dispassionately to see if the child is really hurt or not. To reach Heaven there is a dispassion that is needed. If one takes everything personally one is simply entertaining the egoic mind, which is the little mind of separation. He did this to me and made me unhappy. This happened to me and now I am happy. Both of these attitudes are the same, for both have outside circumstances affecting how one feels. Now traditionally, worshippers of God the Father have seen Him as a deity in some faraway place called Heaven. However, from a non-dualistic perspective Heaven is a state of Unity Consciousness. It is not anywhere “out there” but “in here”; and since it is found inwardly, then, consequently, it is found out there. You have to go inside to the place of happiness that is untouched by any external circumstance. When that happens then everything is Heavenly because God is everywhere. If you look for God somewhere first, then God cannot be found, because God cannot be confined by anything corruptible, by anything that is being altered by time. “Seek thee first the Kingdom and everything will be added onto you,” the Master said.

So in a nutshell the first line says:

Rest in your Heart, where God resides, and look not outside yourself.

Hallowed be Thy Name.

In the beginning the Word was with God and was God. There are many ancient traditions that recognize the power of speaking God’s Name. In the Hebrew tradition, the Name of God is seen as so sacred that the true name cannot be uttered. Yet in other traditions uttering God’s name either aloud or inwardly is seen as invoking God’s Presence, and to keep a focus on God’s Holy Name is a way of keeping the mind anchored on the Infinite instead of the temporal. That is why one should not call God’s name in vain because then God’s Name is dissipated in a sense as to its special significance. But does it really affect the power of God’s Name and thus, subsequently, God? Not in the least, for nothing of the temporal can affect the Infinite, no more can a drop of water stop the tides of the ocean. I was initiated by a Holy Mother, Sri Karunamayi, with the Saraswati Mantra, where the Divine Name was written with honey upon my tongue, as a reminder that the tongue was created to speak sweetly of Divine things.

Speak God’s Name with reverence.

Thy Kingdom come

What comes must go, Ramana Maharshi reminded those who came to him speaking of visions and states of Consciousness. In other words, do not fixate on anything that is temporary but only on That which has always been and always will be. Yet in our linear way of looking at reality, with past and future, we have a tendency to look forward to things to come, that salvation awaits us at some distant time. But if Heaven is our salvation or freedom from suffering, the only place and time that is true and not fleeting is the Present, in the Here and Now. In the Hindu tradition Heaven, or swarga, is simply a level of consciousness where gods/angels and saints reside, but is seen as something that is not to aim for. It is simply a place where one’s merits are rewarded. It is not freedom, which entails residing in Awareness of the Permanent. I had a dream where Jesus told me that not only must I renounce hell but Heaven as well. In other words, abide in the Eternal that is beyond all levels. And didn’t Jesus tell his disciples and anyone who would listen to hear the good news, for the kingdom of God was at hand? Heaven was already there, it was just there awaiting those with eyes to see.

However, we live in a time where a level of Consciousness is rising, when we are beginning to see that our needs are found in the other, where a new paradigm is being created where the past paradigm, where survival of the fittest held sway, is passing away. It is a wondrous vision to hold onto and to invoke into matter, for that is the type of world that I would like my children to grow up in. Yet again, when my eye is single and I look into the world, then this Kingdom is not a future state but is already here, for everything and everyone shines in a holy light. That holiness is always here, for God’s holiness is true and cannot become truer. It is or it isn’t. And since we are all created by God, and God can only create like Himself, then we are all the same Essence of God, for Father and Son are One.

May you see Heaven here and now.

Thy Will be done

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is very clear about this, that God’s will cannot be denied, and what God Wills is that His Son be as He is. God wills that His Son be happy, powerful and one with all of creation. It is done. It has been accomplished the moment the Son was created in the likeness of the Father. And there is no power that can usurp what God wills for there is nothing outside of God who is All That Is. What is outside of God is not real or true, for only God the permanent is True. What is outside of truth is nothing but a shadow and cannot affect God’s Son or Creation. That is why the voice of the ego, or Satan, which is nothing more than the thought of separation from God, a thought of believing one is only a body that is born to rot away, was told by Jesus to “get thee behind.” One does not follow a shadow because then one is not moving to the sun of Truth. Walking to the Light one’s shadow lies behind. When one is facing the sun, is one concerned with the shadow, those petty whisperings of a delusional mind? Know the Truth of your nature and be done with the falsehood of the ego.

Trust that God wants you to be happy.

On Earth as it is in Heaven

God is everywhere. There are no gaps of the omnipresent Lord, or God is not omnipresent. Just like when I play with my 5-year-old and I put on my “impenetrable force shield,” no matter what super weapon his mind conjures, since my force shield is impenetrable than nothing can penetrate it. The power of logic! My first teacher cast me out to the “outer rim of darkness” when I would not surrender to him—he who claimed to be THE Son of God. I was very distraught at the time and felt like Cain cast out from the Holy of Holies. But then God had different ideas and sent a little old lady to my side with an invitation to her home in Canberra, Australia, where she held ACIM study group. It was then that I was reminded that I am as God created me and can never get outside of Him, for I eternally dwell in Him, and He in me. I went back and confronted the teacher and told him that he had no power over me. I have also come to realize that the earthly pleasures and sufferings have no power over who I really am. At first upon my Spiritual journey I tried to fight against the worldly ways to become more holy. But the Earth has no power over Spirit and when one is united in awareness with God then all of Earth has God in it. Just as Quantum physics is revealing to our modern minds that there is nothing that is solid, that all is energy, and there is no separation between the observer and observed. We are not separated from the Earth, but we are separate in our awareness holding onto the idea that there is a world out there where we can become happier or miserable. So God’s will is for all of us to awaken to the fact that God is already here. This is the good news. We do not have to wait until we die to reach Heaven. And by being aware of God’s Presence then we create a Heavenly realm of co-creation.

Let joyous creation flow through you.

Give us this day our daily bread

Why bread and not our dream house or car or whatever it might be? We don’t need much, no matter what the commercials tell us. The American dream is nothing but a nightmare if that is your goal, your focus. It will only be emptiness in the end. If you look at the American culture where we work and work and work, both parents toiling away from home, the children being cared for by institutions, where is there time for quiet reflection, for listening to the presence of God who whispers: “How Holy is my Child.”? But we are so busy we do not hear and so we live meaningless lives. Look at St. Francis and how he took up the ways of the Master and lived so simply and brought our attention to God’s creatures whose needs God provides without exception. It is not holier to live a simple life, but it is easier to maintain. A Buddhist rule is to not have more than you can manage with a peace of mind. Some people are more adept at juggling many things—I am not. So I live pretty simply. I have tried to teach my children the very hard lesson that needing is not the same as wanting.

All that you need God will provide.

And forgive us our trespasses

We don’t need forgiveness from God for God sees only Himself—sees only the Truth. The separated mind of the ego believes that we can somehow usurp our divine inheritance in time and diminish the Eternal. How nonsensical. We are forgiven for we have been given our divine eternal Essence. “Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Of course they knew not what they did, for they thought they could actually kill the Son of God. But believing that they were bodies killing another body it reinforced the idea of body identification. Guilt is a great veil that covers the lamp of Love within us. It cannot extinguish it; only hide it from our Awareness. The Holy Spirit, according to ACIM, is the voice of forgiveness, reminding us that we are not bodies and that we are forever in God.

Know that God sees you as innocent, as you are created by Him.

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

The Holy Spirit gently blows a cool breeze upon our brothers when we ask to see past the temporal event that has seemed to have caused us pain, and seek to see the Christ in the other. What we give, so we receive. If we give the gift of forgiveness, not against a wrong, but for our misperception of not seeing the Beloved in our brother, then we receive the Awareness of Christ within. The Eternal cannot be touched by a little piece of time. Forgiveness is the bridge to Truth. Real forgiveness is not seeing someone who has done wrong to you and you magnanimously relieve them of their guilt. To see in such a way says what happens in time is real and can affect Spirit. To be born into Spirit is to know that nothing of the world can touch you. When Francis forsook his rich father and all his inheritance he said to him that he was born again into Spirit and had only one Father. The Great Spirit.

May you see the Christ in your brother.

And lead us not into temptation

What is temptation but believing that something out there can cause my Eternal Spirit, that is forever united with my eternal happiness, to be either less and more than it is. Temptation of focusing my attention on the temporal, instead of the infinite, just causes me to lose my Awareness of the truth. In a dream I watch dream characters do their thing, whether good or bad. There is usually a character I identify as me in the dream, but there is always a watcher of the dream, like one watching a movie. The watcher is never bothered by the activities of the dream characters, for it knows it is but a dream. Sometimes the me in the dream becomes the watcher and knows it is but a dream, and then the dream becomes a wonderful experience and can be altered to reflect the joy of that discovery. Temptation is just believing that our lives are what we are. And that in itself causes great mental suffering. Because believing in this body-dream death cuts us down like lambs to the slaughter. When the Watcher enters our Awareness, death is no more.

So should we just act in anyway we want to? No. There are actions that reinforce the idea of separation from our brother and from God. All religions give us guidelines how to act to help us come back to that Awareness. The only problem with some of these guidelines is that they become gods in themselves and people worship them instead of the Spirit behind them, and are used to justifiably judge one’s neighbor as well as oneself. There is really one simple rule, and the simpler the better—act in love. Be kind. Be filled with gratitude. See your brother’s need as yours. That is Love.

Let Love guide you in all your actions.

And deliver us from evil.

There certainly seems like there is evil in the world. Just look at the news every night. And your mind will certainly whisper constantly that something bad most likely is going to happen, for look how the world has been. The future follows the roots of the past. But when the mind is present and abides in God and hears the reminders of the Holy Spirit, evil does not exist. ACIM talks about the revelation. And the revelation is just that: The world is innocent. When you look upon the world, when that light of grace shines from your eyes, you will see that nothing has ever happened to the son of God, to you, to anyone. It is the most freeing experience in all the world, for it comes from beyond the world. Evil is just believing in what the senses tell you. Victor Frankl describes his revelation on a march when he was a prisoner in Auschwitz and he saw the clear glowing image of his wife: “Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, ‘The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory....’” Victor was delivered from evil, although he still suffered under the hands of his captors. But he became free.

May you see all actions with the eyes of Christ.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen

I guess there is some controversy as to this last line as it is said that originally it was only the power and the glory. I do not want to go there. What this says to me, regardless, is for us to recognize that God is the only Power in our lives and the more we recognize and have gratitude for God then we are able to manifest it in our lives in a glorified way. God dwells in our Hearts most and when we follow the urgings of our heart we give God glory. This power, being free of the world, can do anything. There are no laws but God’s, is a lesson in ACIM. There is no disease that cannot be cured, there is no dream that cannot be lived, there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. ACIM talks about the true Creation, or the true kingdom of God, that is being manifested now and forever. You may think of this true creation as being in another dimension, a higher frequency to the one that we generally exist in with our dense judgment-oriented existence. Yet it is a dimension that we can glimpse in exalted states of mind.

May you express God’s power in all you do, in creating a beautiful world.

********



The Holy Spirit’s Prayer

Rest in your Heart, where God resides,
And look not outside yourself.
Speak God’s Name with reverence.
And may you see Heaven here and now.
Trust that God wants you to be happy.
Let joyous creation flow through you,
And all that you need God will provide.
Know that God sees you as innocent,
As you are created by Him.
May you see the Christ in your brother.
Let Love guide you in all your actions;
And see all actions with the eyes of Christ.
May you express God’s power in all you do,
In creating a beautiful world.

Amen. OM.


--Janaka Stagnaro


Matisyahu Performs "One Day"



I love how in America you can have an Hasidic Rastafarian. Matisyahu grew stronger in his Jewish roots by listening to Reggae. Go figure. May One day may there be no more war!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mindfulness and Meditation Work for Depression


The following is an article I read on Yahoo today. It is refreshing and encouraging to see more and more of the Western health community recognize the importance of meditation and mindfulness. From a spiritual perspective, depression is simply too much of 'me' or ego. Focus becomes so much on one's self--a self that is seen as separate from All That Is--with the mind blasting away with reinforcing thoughts, that it creates a hopeless, fearful state. A pressed down heaviness. When one centers more on one's breath, for example, or upon a mantra or affirmation, then one will be able climb out of the worri-so-me vortex.


Therapy Works for Depression

by Amanda Chan, My Health News Daily Staff Writer LiveScience.com


Meditating daily and being mindful of life events that make you happy or sad may be as effective as taking medication to prevent a relapse of depression, a new study suggests.


By undergoing what is called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, people can learn how to meditate and pay attention to emotional triggers, said study researcher Zindel V. Segal, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada.


"When you do that, you gain better control over cognitive emotions that can trigger relapse without you being aware of it," Segal told MyHealthNewsDaily.


Antidepressants provide chemicals that impact brain regions involved in depression. Research shows that only about 40 percent of people in remission for depression adhere to their medication regimen, Segal said.


The new finding suggests that mindfulness therapy could be used as a substitute for or addition to medication, Segal said. However, "if someone is on an antidepressant, coming off needs to be decision made with a health care professional," he said.


The study was published in the December issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.


Effects of reflection


Researchers studied 84 people ages 18 to 65 who had taken medication to treat their depression over an eight-month period, and were in remission. The researchers divided them into three groups: one continued taking medication, one underwent mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and one had their medication slowly replaced by a placebo.


"All of these patients received treatment through a hospital, so this is something that was conducted with mental health professionals keeping track of them continuously to detect possible relapse," Segal said.


After 18 months, 38 percent of people who'd learned to meditate had relapsed, according to the study. Forty-six percent of people in the medication group relapsed, and 60 percent in the placebo group relapsed.


Because of the way the results were analyzed statistically, researchers could not conclude whether the difference between the meditation and the medication groups was due to chance, Segal said. But they could show the improvements in both of those groups over those taking the placebo was not due to chance.


The mindfulness therapy consisted of eight weeks of group training sessions, during which patients learned how to monitor their thinking patterns. They were taught to change their automatic reactions to triggers for sadness, and instead use those times as an opportunity to reflect on their feelings, Segal said. They were also taught to come up with an action plan with strategies for coping with early signs of relapse.


After the training sessions, the patients were required to set aside about 40 minutes a day for meditation and mindfulness exercises, he said.


"If you had depression triggers," Segal said, you might turn your attention instead to the fact that "you enjoy eating your food, and that you walk outside and it's a bright sunny day."


Seeing results


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can be a good alternative to medication for multiple reasons, Segal said. Although the therapy sessions cost money, the maintenance after those sessions - daily meditation and being mindful of depression triggers - doesn't cost a dime, he said. Maintenance medication, on the other hand, is an ongoing expense.


Pregnant women and people who don't like the side effects or don't want to constantly be on medication may also want an alternative to maintenance antidepressants, said Elizabeth Robinson, an assistant psychiatry professor at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the study.


By teaching someone a new skill, they have something they can carry over with them, "whether they continue taking medication or not," she said. Robinson teaches mindfulness-based cognitive therapy classes in Michigan and sees results in her students first-hand.


"What you see with people is they take a different look, their perspective on their personal experience shifts," she said.


Beyond dealing with depression, meditation can help people find different ways of navigating relationships, Robinson said.


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is only available in large cities or places with large medical presences. Segal is researching ways to make the therapy available to people in remote communities, possibly over the Internet.


Pass it on: Health care providers could provide information about meditation as an option to their patients who don't want to continue taking antidepressants to prevent relapse, a new study suggests.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gregg Braden on Curing Cancer using our own Technology of Emotion



Gregg talks about this hospital in China that uses no medicine! They have practioners who are basically witnesses of the patient, feeling in their hearts as if the woman is already healed. This is very similar to Science of mind treatments as well as what A Course in Miracles ask us to do. It is not focusing on the ailment, but on the healing that has occured. The power of the unified field of Love.

First Contact - Barack Obama (Galactic Federation of Light Annoucement i...



While this is happening, this invitation to expand our humanity past our planet, there is still the xenophobia that is very prevalent and fostered by such fear-mongering movies like Skyline, which not only tells us to be very afraid of the ETs but also to fear the Light. Ultimately, we all need to hold the Light in our hearts and expand to help one another and see no one as an alien but view all as brothers and sisters, whether of this world or beyond. There is only One.

Creative Meditation - God, The Fountain Of Happiness And I, The Soul, Da...



A beautiful creation of music and art.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!


A great counterbalance to the madness of the malls. How powerful is sacred music!

Christmas Time


The following is an excert from my book, "Footprints Along the Shore of an Incoming Tide." I wrote it years ago when I was living in the wild swirling energy of Los Angeles. When I returned from my work with the Peace Corps in Cameroon and subsequent travels around the world, I arrived in America just around Christmas time. The culture shock I experienced, as I watched my fellow Americans run around in the frenzy of buying, was overwhelming. And I left again and went traveling some more in search of a sane place. Of course I never found a sane place until I found the sanity within me, the realization that happiness only comes from within our Divine Nature. Still there are some places on this planet where the simplicity of living is perhaps more conducive to that realization of inner happiness.
So while the pull here in America is to buy, buy, buy and rush around in traffic and add to the stress of completing the shopping list, give yourself some moments of quiet, away from everyone, and just listen to the Silence that awaits in the darkness of this time. And be Present.


Christmas Time

Outside in this city of images of Los Angeles, the world swirls about in madness in this time of celebrating the birth of Spirit and inner Peace. All of Nature, in this time of the longest night, reminds the humans to quiet one’s life and look inside, to make room for contemplation. But in this city, and all the cities of this land, the bright lights of advertisement signs pull us away from traveling upon our breath into the cradle of our souls. And to the malls we run.


O fools, run you hither and tither
To buy things that will only fade away.
With smiles and bright packages
You give gifts that will last
As long as a thought.

You scurry around
Like rats on a warehouse floor,
Cursing and fighting each other
Over crumbs you plan to give with love.

Review your gifts
And see what you wish to get.

What promotion might you receive?
What appeasement of a familial should?

What does the Master give
At this time of celebrating
The birth of the Master?

Nothing more important
Than the blessing of a smile.

Why does the Master smile?
For he sees things as they really are.

He smiles at himself.

Under the heavy foot of time,
As gifts break
Or are torn asunder
Or crumple into tangled shapes,
The smile of the Master never fades.

Why should it fade
When the Master is safe from time?

Smile.

Smile with the knowing of who you are
In the Peace of the Spirit
Of this day.

Go into the quietude
Of the cavern of the Self
And know the Truth.

There is no one to give a gift to;
No one from whom to receive.

Be your Self.
Free from the rampage of time.

And smile.

Smile upon your Self.
And thus smile upon the world.