Harvard Study Unveils What Meditation Literally Does To The Brain

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Dear Friends,
I totally love it when we have a confirmation by science over the effect of spiritual experiences, so many people share on the planet. The past shows, that it is easier for the human collective to believe in something, when it first found acceptance on a scientific level. So it is with this study from the University of Harvard an the practice of meditation. Hope you enjoy the read and a lovely Sunday!
Love and Blessings
Edith

Numerous studies have indicated the many physiological benefits of meditation, and the latest one comes from Harvard University. An eight week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brains grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. (1)

“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.
Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School Instructor in Psychology. The study involved taking magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the brain’s of 16 study participants two weeks prior to participating in the study. MRI images of the participants were also taken after the study was completed.

“The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.” 6For the study, participants engaged in meditation practices every day for approximately 30 minutes. These practices included focusing on audio recordings for guided meditation, non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind.
“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.”
Britta Holzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany

How To Meditate

A common misconception about meditation is that you have to sit a certain way or do something in particular to achieve the various benefits that it can provide. All you have to do is place yourself in a position that is most comfortable to you. It could be sitting cross legged, lying down in a bed, sitting on a couch etc, it’s your choice.
Another common misconception about meditation is that you have to “try” to empty your mind. One important factor I enjoyed reading from the study mentioned above is that participants were engaged in “non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind.”  When meditating, you shouldn’t try to “empty” your mind. Instead, try to let your thoughts, feelings and whatever emotions you are feeling at the time flow. Don’t judge them, just let them come and go and be at peace with it.

I also believe that meditation is a state of being/mind more than anything else. I feel that one does not have to sit down for half an hour and “meditate” so to speak in order to reap the benefits of it, or to be engaged in the practice itself.  One can be engaged in meditation while they are on a walk, for example, or the time they have right before they sleep. Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one way to meditate.12038470_875606275841513_6742026420207416581_n

“You will have to understand one of the most fundamental things about meditation: that no technique leads to meditation. The old so-called techniques and the new scientific biofeedback techniques are the same as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation is not a byproduct of any technique. Meditation happens beyond mind. No technique can go beyond mind.” – Osho

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9 Animal Species That Use Psychoactive Substances In The Wild

1524815_185511901649386_324707819_nDear Friends,
from day to day now, we are tapping deeper into the awareness of our shared reality with the Animal Kingdom. More and more people receive messages by the other world, transported by animal spirits. Reading this article I can’t help but ask myself if this facts might not be helpful for the human race, when we harmonize our energy field with the Animal Kingdom.
Many of the below mentioned animals are well known helper for us, in indigenous traditions identified as Power animals. I like to think, that the Dolphin in it’s  “trance-like state” is able to tap into the energetic field of humanity to charge us with the amazing qualities their lives represent to us. Same for the Jaguars – who are royal animals to many cultures, the Horse – part of Native American inheritance, the Reindeer the same 
for the Nordic countries and Pics  , part of cultural believes worldwide.
So couldn’t it be possible that animals in altered states of awareness also use the same highways of information than humans do and therefor are channeling their characteristics, love and support to us, when consuming psychoactive substances!?? What Do you think? Anybody who can share such an experience?

Wishing you loving and nurturing connections with the animal world!!
Edith

2401829514by Gonzo Nieto
For millennia, our ancestors have enjoyed, and even regarded as sacred, a variety of mind-altering substances. Cultural artifacts, visionary artwork and rituals in many indigenous cultures and past civilizations point to this fact. As Ethan Nadelmann remarked in a recent TED talk, “Our desire to alter our consciousness may be as fundamental as our desires for food, companionship, and sex.”

While Homo sapien consumption for consciousness-expanding purposes is well-documented throughout anthropology and history, ample evidence suggests we are not the only creatures who seek mind-altering plants and substances in their environment.
Indeed, plenty of our animal friends enjoy mind-altering substances: Some eat fermented fruits, psychoactive mushrooms, and opium poppies. Others rub themselves with crushed ants or angry millipedes.
The initial attraction to these substances might not be just to get high, but for nutritional or protective purposes. For example, fermenting fruits might be attractive to certain species because the process signifies the fruit is at its highest caloric value, and is also going to rot soon. In other cases, naturally occurring intoxicants might serve some curative function or contain nutrients that are otherwise scarce in the environment.
But, there’s compelling evidence to suggest that altering one’s state of mind for the simple purposes of experiencing that altered state is a natural drive common to many inhabitants of the animal kingdom. See for yourself.

1. Lemurs and capuchin monkeys get high off of millipedes.

The idea that some animals get high off other animals is an intriguing one, and lemurs and capuchin monkeys seem to be doing just this with poisonous millipedes. The millipedes store toxic chemicals, including cyanide, which they release in defense when provoked. The primates pick up and agitate millipedes and then rub them all over their bodies, coating themselves in the defensive secretions — here’s a BBC documentary clip on this. As mentioned in the video, the primary reason for this seem to be protection against a variety of parasites, but the monkeys and lemurs also seem to enjoy a thoroughly blissful intoxication as a result. The monkeys, being more social animals, have been seen passing a millipede around, reminiscent of a group of people passing around a joint.

images (1)2. Dolphins enjoy the psychoactive effects of poisonous pufferfish.

Similar to the lemurs and monkeys above, dolphins have been observed hanging out in groups of four to seven, passing around an angry pufferfish. The pufferfish releases an extremely potent poison called tetrodotoxin which is more deadly than nerve gas or the venom of the black widow spider, and thus is one of the most toxic compounds known to man. Evolutionary biologist Dr. Christie Wilcox is skeptical of the theory that dolphins are intentionally doing this for the purpose of intoxication and pleasure, but there is some compelling evidence to the contrary. For example, the BBC documentary Spy in the Pod showed dolphins passing around a pufferfish and then floating near the surface of the water, apparently in a “trance-like state.”

3. Many species of birds do what is called “anting.”

A seemingly odd behavior, ravens, myna birds, jays, magpies, and other birds sometimes either rub themselves with ants or get intimate with anthills to coat themselves in ants (see a jay do it here). This is called anting, and its purpose remains unclear.
An article published in the journal of the American Ornithologist’s Union in 1974 reviewed the possible explanations for anting. One theory is that the birds are coating themselves with the ant’s defensive chemical secretions, thus applying a protective coating much like when we apply insect repellent.
Another possibility is that the secretions serve to soothe the bird’s body during molting season. Others point to the curious movement sometimes observed during anting (described by one ecologist as “a curious dance that involved flopping around on the grass with its wings outstretched and its beak open”) as proof of an intoxicated state, suggesting that anting is pleasurable for the birds.
Perhaps the answer is a combination of these theories. Similar to how humans use cannabis, anting may at times serve a protective or curative purpose, while at other times be done mainly for the enjoyment of the altered state it brings about.

4. Many animals seek out fermented fruits in the wild.

It has been widely reported that elephants get themselves drunk from the marula tree’s fermented fruit. Anecdotal reports of these stumbling elephants go back over a century, and the phenomenon was portrayed in the film Animals are Beautiful People by James Uys (Uys also made The Gods Must Be Crazy). The idea is that the fallen fruit ferments either on the ground before being eaten, or in the elephant’s digestive system, yielding one drunk pachyderm.
As fun as it is to think about inebriated elephants, this theory has been debunked by an article published in the Physiological and Biochemical Zoology journal in 2006, and it’s been suggested that the clips shown in the above video were staged by artificially sedating the elephants. For starters, elephants don’t eat the rotten fruit from the ground, instead preferring to ram the tree trunk to shake loose the ripe fruit, even when there’s fruit on the ground available. Another hypothesis, which suggests that the fruit ferments in the digestive system, is also out of the question; the fruits are not in the digestive system long enough for that to happen, and the sugars needed for fermentation are metabolized by the elephant before they can be converted to alcohol by yeast. And, in order to get drunk an elephant would need to eat 1,400 fully fermented marula fruits — an unlikely feat. Despite its improbability, the myth, and convincing videos of seemingly drunk elephants, persist.

images (2)However, there have been confirmed reports of other animals that regularly consume fermented fruit. The pen-tailed treeshrew, native to Thailand and Malaysia, is known to regularly snack on the nectar of the bertam palm tree, sharing this indulgence with the slow loris and several other mammals native to that area, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2008. The palm’s flower bud houses a species of yeast that ferments the nectar, bringing it to a beer-like alcohol content of up to 3.8%. It is estimated that, in one night, the treeshrew can consume the equivalent of nine alcoholic beverages. However, they show no overt signs of intoxication because their bodies use more efficient ways of breaking down alcohol than we do, preventing the accumulation of alcohol necessary for getting drunk. Similarly, bats regularly encounter and consume fermented fruits in the wild. Like the treeshrew, they show no signs of intoxication. When scientists gave bats an alcohol solution and made them fly an obstacle course, they performed no worse than their sober counterparts.

Monkeys also have a taste for alcohol — not only do they seek out fermented fruits, but they also like to steal alcoholic drinks from tourists. And their taste for alcohol has allowed for some pretty interesting research on their drinking habits. Vervet monkeys that were given access to alcohol in a social setting show some striking parallels to the drinking patterns of humans.
The monkeys could be grouped into social drinkers, which prefer sweetened drinks and only drink in the company of others; regular drinkers, which prefer their drinks straight, make good leaders, and are socially dominant; binge drinkers, which are aggressive and can drink themselves to death within months if given unrestricted access to alcohol; and abstainers. What’s more, not only the types of drinkers similar to humans, but the proportions of each of these behavior patterns in the monkeys studied reflects those found in human populations. These findings raise the possibility that our patterns of drug consumption are more fundamental aspects of our animal nature than we might think.

wacky-horse-570x3675. Horses seek out locoweed for its intoxicating effects.

Locoweed refers to any plant that produces the chemical swainsonine. It is thought that horses are initially attracted to these plants because they remain green longer than other plants once winter comes around. However, they begin to seek it out for its intoxicating effects, increasing their use over time. Farmers do their best to eliminate locoweed from their properties, as its frequent consumption is damaging to the animal’s health. A study published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2003 found that horses that ate the weed for two weeks developed significant weight loss and signs of depression. Swainsonine interferes with a metabolic enzyme, resulting in the buildup of the simple sugar mannose in neural cells. If severe, this buildup can lead to heart problems, reproductive difficulties, and neurological damage to the horses.

6. Jaguars eat the ayahuasca vine.

According to this Discovery article, humans aren’t the only ones that use Banisteriopsis caapi (one of the two plants used to make ayahuasca) as a psychoactive. This Amazonian jungle vine contains several compounds called beta-carbolines that potentiate the DMT in the ayahuasca brew by inhibiting bodily enzymes that would otherwise be responsible for breaking down the DMT. It turns out that jaguars also seek out the leaves of this jungle vine.
Higher doses of harmala alkaloids often result in vomiting and diarrhea characteristic of ayahuasca, so one possibility is that they consume the vine to purge the intestinal tract of possible parasites; a study of the Amazonian Piaroa tribe published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs suggests that eating the leaves grants the jaguar heightened sensory perception, helping them hunt. However, the jaguars are also known to roll around in ecstasy after consuming the vine, suggesting to some that its use is primarily for pleasure. See it for yourself here.

images7. Reindeer eat the psychoactive Amanita muscaria mushrooms.

These red-and-white psychedelic mushrooms, native to temperate and boreal regions in the Northern Hemisphere and thought to be the sacrament referred to as Soma in one of Hinduism’s foundational texts, are also a favorite snack of reindeer. As Gordon Wasson relates in his book Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, reindeer are reported to prance about after eating the fungi — which are commonly referred to as “fly agaric” — apparently reveling in their intoxicated state. Reindeer are also an integral part of the history of Amanita use by indigenous peoples of Northern Europe and Siberia. As Reset.me recently reported, a 2009 BBC video explains how the Sami people indigenous to the Arctic Circle have long used fly agaric mushrooms in their visionary rituals. It is theorized that the connection between reindeer, Sami and fly agaric mushrooms is the basis for the legend of Santa’s flying reindeer.

Not only did these people herd reindeer, the animal being their main source of food and clothing, but they also got high with a little help from their reindeer friends. The effects of Amanita muscaria are characterized by a certain unpredictability, as their ingestion can bring about a range of thoroughly unpleasant side-effects and physical symptoms. In time, it was discovered that muscimol, the active compound of the mushrooms, is not processed by the body but is instead flushed out through urination while the more toxic compounds responsible for the body load are broken down. This led to the practice in some places of drinking the psychoactive urine of the shaman who had eaten, and thus purified, the mushroom. Some shamans even drank the urine of reindeer that had eaten the mushrooms. It turns out that the reindeer, intelligent in their own right, also realized that they could get high from the urine of a human that had consumed the mushroom, leading to what Cracked humorously referred to as “The Circle of Piss.”

8. Wallabies ravage opium poppy fields.

Tasmania is a leading producer of opium poppies for the pharmaceutical industry, supplying the morphine necessary for the production of painkillers. There’s only one problem: wallabies love the poppies. They’ll raid a field, gorge themselves on poppies, and crush the plantations in the process. As reported by BBC in 2009, the issue of stoned wallabies was even discussed at a parliamentary hearing on the security of opium crops in Tasmania, with the country’s attorney general stating that wallabies were “entering poppy fields, getting high as a kite, and going around in circles.”

download9. Pigs dig up truffles containing cannabinoids.

Black truffles, a gourmet delicacy for us humans, are also a sought-after snack for pigs. These mushrooms grow exclusively below ground and are identified by pigs by their aroma, said to be reminiscent of wet earth, dried fruit, and cacao.  A recent article in the journal Phytochemistry revealed that the black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) contains the cannabinoid anandamide, a compound structurally related to THC that is also found endogenously in the human body and is a key component of the body’s endocannabinoid system. Anandamide derives its name from the Sanskrit word ananda, meaning “bliss.” Researchers suggest that the anandamide in black truffles might be “an ancient attractant to truffle eaters that are well-equipped with with endocannabinoid receptors,” indirectly suggesting that humans might be drawn to truffles for the same reason.

Source: http://reset.me/story/psychoactive-substances-natural-8-animal-species-use-wild

This Video Proves That Consciousness Is What Drives And Creates Everything

”There is no matter.. as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.”   – Max Planck

”If you have a golf ball sized consciousness when you read a book you will have a golf ball sized understanding, when you look out , a golf ball sized awareness and when you wake up in the morning a golf ball sized wakefulness. But if you could expand that consciousness, then you read the book – more understanding. You look out – more awareness. And when you wake up – more wakefulness. Its consciousness, and there’s an ocean of pure vibrant consciousness inside each one of us. And its right at the source and base of mind, right at the source of thought and also at the source of matter.”
~ David Lynch

Prepare to watch an outstanding video which depicts that consciousness is what drives and shapes everything. This means ultimately everything in the universe and that even matter is consciousness in the most subtlest and dense form.
This video has Grant Morrisson, David Lynch, David Icke, Gregg Braden, Michael Talbot, David Wilcock, Wayne Dyer, Neil Kramer and Bill Hicks in it.

Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race

Dear Reader!

In this moment of time, society defines me and my life situation as the following: white, middle aged woman; of European, middle class upbringing; living in a third world country of Latin and Indigenous population; in an particularly on human awakening, personal growth and oneness embracing mixed race community. My friends my clients and everybody else I ever loved, are of all age, race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, spiritual belief systems and cultural diversities possible – AND – within the first 2 paragraphs I watched myself doubting Robin DiAngelo out of emotional reaction!!!
A part of that is based on cultural differences between Europe and the USA and because I was blessed by the age of 5 with friends from Japan and Iran (different color, race, religion, language, social background). So I had the impression she does not look at a very big picture – but that changed quickly!

A similarity I found the author and me monitor in our work, is – the misunderstanding between the feelings of comfort and safety in us white people.

As a significant part of my work is, to challenge the human mind to a conscious, free willed, mental death – for the sake of an awakening into higher levels of consciousness and vibration, I often see a behavior pattern indicting a deeply rooted fear – that every loos of comfort is at the same time the loos of safety. Healing does not have to be comfortable – and healing it is that our racism needs!

This, is definitely the most amazing, mind blowing, moving & interesting article on racism I read in a long time!!
I hope you enjoy the discomfort it brings :-)!!! Please bless me with your productive comments and emotional reactions!!!

BLESSINGS!!!Edith

White-Fragility‘White fragility’ is a defensive response to real conversations about race.
Last year, a white male Princeton undergraduate was asked by a classmate to “check his privilege.” Offended by this suggestion, he shot off a 1,300-word essay to the Tory, a right-wing campus newspaper.In it, he wrote about his grandfather who fled the Nazis to Siberia, his grandmother who survived a concentration camp in Germany, about the humble wicker basket business they started in America. He railed against his classmates for “diminishing everything [he’d] accomplished, all the hard work [he’d] done.”
His missive was reprinted by Time. He was interviewed by the New York Times and appeared on Fox News. He became a darling of white conservatives across the country.
What he did not do, at any point, was consider whether being white and male might have given him—if not his ancestors—some advantage in achieving incredible success in America. He did not, in other words, check his privilege.

robin-diangelo-300x188To Robin DiAngelo, professor of multicutural education at Westfield State University and author of What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, Tal Fortgang’s essay—indignant, defensive, beside-the-point, somehow both self-pitying and self-aggrandizing—followed a familiar script. As an anti-racist educator for more than two decades, DiAngelo has heard versions of it recited hundreds of times by white men and women in her workshops.
She’s heard it so many times, in fact, that she came up with a term for it: “white fragility,” which she defined in a 2011 journal article as “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include outward display of emotions such as anger, fear and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence and leaving the stress-inducing situation.”

When the Black Lives Matter movement marched in the streets, holding up traffic, disrupting commerce, and refusing to allow “normal life” to resume—insofar as normalcy means a system that permits police and vigilantes to murder black men and women with impunity—white people found themselves in tense conversations online, with friends and in the media about privilege, white supremacy and racism. You could say white fragility was at an all-time high.

I spoke with DiAngelo about how to deal with all the fragile white people, and why it’s worth doing so.

Sam Adler-Bell: How did you come to write about “white fragility”?
Robin DiAngelo: To be honest, I wanted to take it on because it’s a frustrating dynamic that I encounter a lot. I don’t have a lot of patience for it. And I wanted to put a mirror to it.
I do atypical work for a white person, which is that I lead primarily white audiences in discussions on race every day, in workshops all over the country. That has allowed me to observe very predictable patterns. And one of those patterns is this inability to tolerate any kind of challenge to our racial reality. We shut down or lash out or in whatever way possible block any reflection from taking place.

Of course, it functions as means of resistance, but I think it’s also useful to think about it as fragility, as inability to handle the stress of conversations about race and racism.
Sometimes it’s strategic, a very intentional push back and rebuttal. But a lot of the time, the person simply cannot function. They regress into an emotional state that prevents anybody from moving forward.

white racism-thumb-550x252SAB: Carla Murphy recently referenced “white fragility” in an article forColorlines, and I’ve seen it referenced on Twitter and Facebook a lot lately. It seems like it’s having a moment. Why do you think that is?
RD: I think we get tired of certain terms. What I do used to be called “diversity training,” then “cultural competency” and now, “anti-racism.” These terms are really useful for periods of time, but then they get coopted, and people build all this baggage around them, and you have to come up with new terms or else people won’t engage.

And I think “white privilege” has reached that point. It rocked my world when I first really got it, when I came across Peggy McIntosh. It’s a really powerful start for people. But unfortunately it’s been played so much now that it turns people off.
SAB: What causes white fragility to set in?
RD: For white people, their identities rest on the idea of racism as about good or bad people, about moral or immoral singular acts, and if we’re good, moral people we can’t be racist – we don’t engage in those acts. This is one of the most effective adaptations of racism over time—that we can think of racism as only something that individuals either are or are not “doing.”

In large part, white fragility—the defensiveness, the fear of conflict—is rooted in this good/bad binary. If you call someone out, they think to themselves, “What you just said was that I am a bad person, and that is intolerable to me.” It’s a deep challenge to the core of our identity as good, moral people.
The good/bad binary is also what leads to the very unhelpful phenomenon of un-friending on Facebook.
SAB: Right, because the instinct is to un-friend, to dissociate from those bad white people, so that I’m not implicated in their badness.
RD: When I’m doing a workshop with white people, I’ll often say, “If we don’t work with each other, if we give in to that pull to separate, who have we left to deal with the white person that we’ve given up on and won’t address?

imagesSAB: A person of color.
RD: Exactly. And white fragility also comes from a deep sense of entitlement. Think about it like this: from the time I opened my eyes, I have been told that as a white person, I am superior to people of color. There’s never been a space in which I have not been receiving that message. From what hospital I was allowed to be born in, to how my mother was treated by the staff, to who owned the hospital, to who cleaned the rooms and took out the garbage. We are born into a racial hierarchy, and every interaction with media and culture confirms it—our sense that, at a fundamental level, we are superior.

And, the thing is, it feels good. Even though it contradicts our most basic principles and values. So we know it, but we can never admit it. It creates this kind of dangerous internal stew that gets enacted externally in our interactions with people of color, and is crazy-making for people of color. We have set the world up to preserve that internal sense of superiority and also resist challenges to it. All while denying that anything is going on and insisting that race is meaningless to us.
SAB: Something that amazes me is the sophistication of some white people’s defensive maneuvers. I have a black friend who was accused of “online harassment” by a white friend after he called her out in a harsh way. What do you see going on there?
RD: First of all, whites often confuse comfort with safety. We say we don’t feel safe, when what we mean is that we don’t feel comfortable. Secondly, no white person looks at a person of color through objective eyes. There’s been a lot of research in this area. Cross-racially, we do not see with objective eyes. Now you add that he’s a black man. It’s not a fluke that she picked the word “harassed.” In doing that, she’s reinforcing a really classic, racist paradigm: White women and black men. White women’s frailty and black men’s aggressiveness and danger.

But even if she is feeling that, which she very well may be, we should be suspicious of our feelings in these interactions. There’s no such thing as pure feeling. You have a feeling because you’ve filtered the experience through a particular lens. The feeling is the outcome. It probably feels natural, but of course it’s shaped by what you believe.

imagesSAB: There’s also the issue of “tone-policing” here, right?
RD: Yes. One of the things I try to work with white people on is letting go of our criteria about how people of color give us feedback. We have to build our stamina to just be humble and bear witness to the pain we’ve caused.
In my workshops, one of the things I like to ask white people is, “What are the rules for how people of color should give us feedback about our racism? What are the rules, where did you get them, and whom do they serve?” Usually those questions alone make the point.
It’s like if you’re standing on my head and I say, “Get off my head,” and you respond, “Well, you need to tell me nicely.” I’d be like, “No. Fuck you. Get off my fucking head.”

In the course of my work, I’ve had many people of color give me feedback in ways that might be perceived as intense or emotional or angry. And on one level, it’s personal—I did do that thing that triggered the response, but at the same time it isn’t onlypersonal. I represent a lifetime of people that have hurt them in the same way that I just did.
And, honestly, the fact that they are willing to show me demonstrates, on some level, that they trust me.

SAB: What do you mean?
RD: If people of color went around showing the pain they feel in every moment that they feel it, they could be killed. It is dangerous. They cannot always share their outrage about the injustice of racism. White people can’t tolerate it. And we punish it severely—from job loss, to violence, to murder.
For them to take that risk and show us, that is a moment of trust. I say, bring it on, thank you.

When I’m doing a workshop, I’ll often ask the people of color in the room, somewhat facetiously, “How often have you given white people feedback about our inevitable and often unconscious racist patterns and had that go well for you?” And they laugh.
Because it just doesn’t go well. And so one time I asked, “What would your daily life be like if you could just simply give us feedback, have us receive it graciously, reflect on it and work to change the behavior? What would your life be like?”
And this one man of color looked at me and said, “It would be revolutionary.”

mlkSAB: I notice as we’ve been talking that you almost always use the word “we” when describing white people’s tendencies. Can you tell me why you do that?
RD: Well, for one, I’m white (and you’re white). And even as committed as I am, I’m not outside of anything that I’m talking about here. If I went around saying white people this and white people that, it would be a distancing move. I don’t want to reinforce the idea that there are some whites who are done, and others that still need work. There’s no being finished.
Plus, in my work, I’m usually addressing white audiences, and the “we” diminishes defensiveness somewhat. It makes them more comfortable. They see that I’m not just pointing fingers outward.
SAB: Do you ever worry about re-centering whiteness?
RD: Well, yes. I continually struggle with that reality. By standing up there as an authority on whiteness, I’m necessarily reinforcing my authority as a white person. It goes with the territory. For example, you’re interviewing me now, on whiteness, and people of color have been saying these things for a very long time.

On the one hand, I know that in many ways, white people can hear me in a way that they can’t hear people of color. They listen. So by god, I’m going to use my voice to challenge racism. The only alternative I can see is to not speak up and challenge racism. And that is not acceptable to me.
It’s sort of a master’s tools dilemma.

dem321SAB: Yes, and racism is something that everyone thinks they’re an authority on.
RD: That drives me crazy. I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen in 20 years in the grocery store, and they’ll say, “Hi! What’ve you been doing?”
And I say, “I got my Ph.D.”
And they say, “Oh wow, what in?”
“Race relations and white racial identity.”And they’ll go “Oh, well you know. People just need to—”
As if they’re going to give me the one-sentence answer to arguably the most challenging social dynamic of our time. Like, hey, why did I knock myself out for 20 years studying, researching, and challenging this within myself and others? I should have just come to you! And the answer is so simple! I’ve never heard that one before!

Imagine if I was an astronomer. Everybody has a basic understanding of the sky, but they would not debate an astronomer on astronomy. The arrogance of white people faced with questions of race is unbelievable.

Source: http://www.alternet.org/culture/why-white-people-freak-out-when-theyre-called-out-about-race

New Study Links Social Anxiety To Being An Empath

21Written by Amateo Ra| Have you ever felt anxious being around other people? For some, the feelings of social anxiety can be so intense that someone can feel totally paralyzed just to be out in public. Could social anxiety’s hidden link to empathy give us a greater understanding into the lives of those affected?

Social anxiety can often be an extremely confusing, challenging and even interesting experience for many. Fear is the primary feeling generally attributed to social anxiety, and those who experience it often can’t seem to discover the origin of the social anxiety within themselves.

All logic can seem to fail in the face of social anxiety. The feelings associated may not seem to go away even with common treatments & healing techniques. Social anxiety overtime can turn into stories of being judged, not belonging or feeling so alienated that you look at Earth as the furthest thing from being at home.
A new Scientific Study recently released published on PubMed shows that people with social phobias and anxieties are hypersensitive to other peoples states of mind. People who are more socially anxious are able to discern the mental states of people much more accurately. As the study concluded:

Results support the hypothesis that high socially anxious individuals may demonstrate a unique social-cognitive abilities profile with elevated cognitive empathy tendencies and high accuracy in affective mental state attributions.
This helps shed major light on the subject, finding a hidden link between social anxiety and being an Empath. They used specific testing to measure levels of empathy within specific individuals, and found that those same individuals demonstrated high levels of social anxiety-like behavior.

angstAnxiety – What does it all mean?

It means that the very ability to feel the energy, emotions and feelings of others can be extremely overwhelming to the point of inducing social anxiety for the average empathic person.
Most importantly, it means that if you are experiencing Social Anxiety, it could be because you are a highly sensitive person with a very special gift.

I believe this awareness can dramatically affect those who suffer from Social Anxiety, as rather than feeling like something is wrong with you and that you need to be fixed, psychologically, medically and with pharmaceuticals, you can just simply be very aware of your energy and how being around others affects you.

Being an Empath means you literally feel what other people are experiencing emotionally. You can feel it in your body, your mood, sensations and in your thoughts. You can also feel it consciously and on a subtle level without realizing it, which is what this recent study found.

Man with conceptual spiritual body artAs a culture we tend to be a highly emotionally illiterate species, not knowing what to do with our emotions, how to process them, and consciously relate to them. This can lead to a lot of people carrying very heavy emotional baggage or emotional pollution. And a lot of people means a lot of weight, and being an Empath you can easily feel all the unspoken things other people are carrying.

Of course, if you are around a lot of people with a lot of emotional pollution, you are going to pick up on that and feel all of that energy, thus leading to the connection to Social Anxiety.

Interestingly enough, the study also correlated empathy and social anxiety to understanding the mental state of others. Meaning, as an empath, you not only can you understand how other people feel, you can understand how they think and the frame of mind they are taking in making their decisions.

telepathy.jpeg.pagespeed.ce.5PHqC3p5ENAs an Empath, it can be a lot for someone to handle, as the source of their discomfort is not just the weight of their own life’s challenges and experiences, but also the energy of others all around them, both the good and the bad, all of which can be a lot to integrate and digest.

It’s worth mentioning, from experience and hearing the stories of those who have broken through social anxiety, many have done so by working on healing themselves, changing their surroundings, being careful of what environments they place themselves within and who around, as well as being more conscious of the energy they take on, spending more time in nature, and practicing clearing it, processing and integrating emotional energy, as to not get toxic with the feelings of the World.

I believe this is major news, and that more scientific studies like this are needed to give ourselves a deep glimpse into what makes us humans, full of a vast range of often incomprehensible experiences. As we get to shed light on the functions of and inner-workings of human energetics, we can create more conscious relationships toward each other.

you-are-an-empath.jpg.pagespeed.ce.GRQYfYXo-xSo in all, if you are an Empath with Social Anxiety, you’re not crazy! You are normal person with a specific kind of design, purpose, and unique yet shared experience of life.
Be easy on yourself and conscious with what kind of people and surroundings you immerse yourself in, as there is a strongly likelihood you will take on what they are feeling, or trying to ignore feeling, and it’s important you don’t let it make you crazy!

Source: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/new-study-links-social-anxiety-to-being-empath/

also read this relate articles: https://edithboyertelmer.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/30-traits-of-the-empaths-are-you-one/
https://edithboyertelmer.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/1053/
https://edithboyertelmer.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/solar-expansion-the-divine-mother-energy-and-multi-dimensional-experience/

It takes a lot of information to get the bigger picture together… use this articles to inform yourself! hope you enjoy and have fun!!

Blessings Edith

Harvard Study Unveils What Meditation Literally Does To The Brain

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Numerous studies have indicated the many physiological benefits of meditation, and the latest one comes from Harvard University.

An eight week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brains grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. (1)

“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.
Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School Instructor in Psychology

The study involved taking magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the brain’s of 16 study participants two weeks prior to participating in the study. MRI images of the participants were also taken after the study was completed.

“The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.” 

ccFor the study, participants engaged in meditation practices every day for approximately 30 minutes. These practices included focusing on audio recordings for guided meditation, non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind.

“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.”
Britta Holzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany

How To Meditate

A common misconception about meditation is that you have to sit a certain way or do something in particular to achieve the various benefits that it can provide. All you have to do is place yourself in a position that is most comfortable to you. It could be sitting cross legged, lying down in a bed, sitting on a couch etc, it’s your choice.

Another common misconception about meditation is that you have to “try” to empty your mind. One important factor I enjoyed reading from the study mentioned above is that participants were engaged in “non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind.”  When meditating, you shouldn’t try to “empty” your mind. Instead, try to let your thoughts, feelings and whatever emotions you are feeling at the time flow. Don’t judge them, just let them come and go and be at peace with it.

I also believe that meditation is a state of being/mind more than anything else. I feel that one does not have to sit down for half an hour and “meditate” so to speak in order to reap the benefits of it, or to be engaged in the practice itself.  One can be engaged in meditation while they are on a walk, for example, or the time they have right before they sleep. Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one way to meditate.

stock-footage-man-doing-sitting-meditation-at-waterfall-in-the-tropics“You will have to understand one of the most fundamental things about meditation: that no technique leads to meditation. The old so-called techniques and the new scientific biofeedback techniques are the same as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation is not a byproduct of any technique. Meditation happens beyond mind. No technique can go beyond mind.” – Osho