Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Benefits of Chanting

There is a mantra for everything – for every ill and every challenge. There are as many reasons to chant as there are stars in the sky. Among the many benefits of chanting mantras are an increase in self-esteem and intuition, relief from anxiety and stress, and a boost in physical health. But don’t take our word for it – chant mantra for yourself and experience the healing power of sound! 
1). Chanting Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Meditation channels the flow of energy through the mind-body circuit, adjusting the chemical composition of our internal states and regulating brain-hemisphere imbalances, contributing to a natural abatement of fear and despair–emotions that underlie both of these common afflictions. By balancing the nervous system, chanting regulates the chronic stress and tension that is the norm for many people in today’s hyper-stimulated lifestyle. And by balancing the endocrine system, chanting normalizes hormone production, which balances our moods and overall sense of well-being.
2). Chanting Releases Neuroses
Chanting delivers us from the excessive preoccupation with our bodies and with material concerns. It delivers us from fear of old age and death. We begin to identify with the timelessness of the soul and consequently begin to shed neurotic habits that no longer serve and that no longer seem relevant. By returning us to what is essential, it clears away subconscious habit patterns. Embraced by the steady rhythm and by the vibration that connects us all, our thoughts combine wholly with the sound current. As the captain sets the canvas to the wind, thus pulling the boat out of trouble, it is through mantra that we steer ourselves out of our own stormy seas and into clear waters.
3). Chanting is Soothing 
The power of mantra is betrayed in the roots of the sanskrit word, man, meaning mind, and, tra, meaning deliverance, or, projection. Thus, chanting the sacred sound of the mantra delivers us from our sense dependency, from our unrelenting habit of looking toward the senses for gratification; pleasures that are and that will always be, fleeting and limited–how much can you eat? Or drink? Or buy? Sense gratification never really gratifies. We are always left either unfulfilled and guilty–wishing we had never started, or else, wanting more and lamenting the loss. 
Chanting is a pleasure that transcends the senses, it takes us beyond the bounds of time and space (which is why we don’t have to understand the mantra). Thus it soothes in a most profound way. It soothes on a cellular level. It merges our finite identity with the infinite, and so dissolves us. It relieves us from the sights and sounds and stimulation of the material world and delivers us into a spiritual space, where the sound is God. The material needs are reduced to nothing but mind chatter, and like smoke pumped into the sky, will be scattered into the expanse. Through the sweetness of devotional surrender, mantra turns the negative into positive. I once heard it said: “as music has charms to soothe a savage beast, so the spiritual sound of mantra soothes the restless mind.”
4). Chanting Engenders Compassion
While the first stages of mantra meditation deliver our restless minds from their self-inflicted distress, eventually, chanting into the all-engulfing wave of vibrations arouses our experience of ourselves as spiritual beings. It opens our perception of ourselves as undifferentiated from God. It awakens the divine light and love within us. As George Harrison has said of his lifelong Bhakti practice, chanting is “a direct connection with God.” When our spiritual identity is awakened, we experience the unity of all life, which consequently awakens our hearts and opens our capacity for compassion, whereupon we may live out our material lives free of animosity, envy and pride.
5). Chanting Boosts Immunity
It’s all about the hypothalamus. The control tower of the brain, it regulates communication between the nervous system and the endocrine system, taking in information from the entire body, before transmitting outward again, via chemical messengers. These couriers, such as serotonin and dopamine, are known as the “happiness hormones,” due to the impact they have on our moods. The hypothalamus is Office in Charge of many bodily functions we tend to think of as automatic, like temperature, metabolism and nervous system, as well as pituitary secretion, affecting everything from mood to appetite to sleep. It is perhaps the single most important link in the mind-body connection.
What common western manuals won’t tell you, is that it is the breath that turns the key to this super-circuit, this central hub, this brain of brains. Breath helps to adjust all the rhythms of our body–not only the familiar circadian rhythms, but the lesser known ultradian rhythms, which monitor the smaller-scale energy cycles that occur throughout the day. Because our nervous systems are often overtaxed, these rhythms are thrown out of balance. But through the technology of sound, we begin repairs. And when breath is set to sound–Wowee Zonkers! The positive effects on the parasympathetic nervous system – that part of the nervous system that tells us everything is alright – are multiplied and the healing response is triggered and it all translates into healing and stronger immunity.
6). Chanting is Easy 
You don’t have to sing well because it’s not about singing, in the usual sense. We’re not memorizing complex lyrics, layering harmonies, and we’re not certainly not busting out powerhouse solos. It works whether it’s done alone, or in a group, as in a powerful kirtan. It works whether it’s done softly or in full voice, as long it is from the heart and with the belly. Although for enhanced effect, we can add eye-focus and a gentle hand mudra, these are simple to include and can be incorporated gradually.
7). Chanting is Free
All you have to do is show up. As Krishna Das has said, it won’t work if you don’t do it! All that is needed is some time and an open heart. The benefits of chanting cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can only be experienced through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Mantra.
8). Chanting Opens Intuition
Pronunciation: By enunciating the mantra, the tongue taps certain points along the roof of our mouths, sending signals to the hypothalamus, which in turn, regulates the chemical activity streaming into all parts of the brain and body. It might be likened to tapping the keys of a piano–inside the casing, a hammer bounces up and strikes the strings which are tuned to produce a specific and foreseeable note; behind the curtains a remarkable vibratory process is going on.
Rhythm: Through repetition of the mantra, patterns of sound are inscribed onto the brain. The unconscious becomes the conscious, the automatic becomes the deliberate, the mindless becomes the heartfelt. The repetition frees us from our destination-fixation–from our need to rush to the end. The repetition is the whole point. Through repetition, the mantra washes over us, as the waves in the sea gradually get us wet. It dissolves us into unison, which is the essence of yoga. We “die” in a sense, as our ego fades into the infinite, as it gets unavoidably absorbed by the sound.
Projection: When we chant from the navel point while articulating the mantra, we not only stimulate the upper palate, but  we vibrate the central channel by which prana, or, life force, flows–what yogis for millennia have referred to as the shushmuna (or shushumna by some translations). This dual process is said to move us into the realm of anahat–the realm “without boundary.”
9). Chanting Increases Radiance 
Our thoughts reflect and affect our mood, our attitude and our general tenor. Our thoughts are silent sounds. And sounds are electromagnetic vibrations. The more refined our thoughts, the more elevated our vibration; the more elevated our vibration, the closer we get to the highest vibration of all–our own divine nature. The entire universe was built on sound, which is nothing but vibration. By vibrating a certain combination of sounds, we are able to tune into various levels of intelligence, or consciousness. Thus, chanting mantras is a conscious method of controlling our moods, and in turn, our frequency and resultant all-around radiance, much like changing the channel on the television.
10). Chanting is Empowering
In the Hindu and related Dharmic traditions that use mantra meditation as a regular part of practice, you will find there is a mantra for everything–for every ill and every challenge. To note just a few examples, in the Tibetan tradition, the Om Mane Padme Hum mantra has been used for centuries to invoke the blessings of compassion. In the Hindu tradition, the Ganesh mantra–Om Gam Ganapataye Namah–is chanted to the elephant-headed deity to remove obstacles. And, in the Kundalini Yoga tradition, the Siri Gaitri Mantra–Ra Ma Da Sa–is chanted for healing.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Nobel Prize-Winning Biologist Explains How Meditation Opens Genetic Fountain Of Youth In Your DNA

Science Editor, Medium
Gene expression is to the human body what computer codes are to programs. Genetics and epigenetics are the blueprints that make us who we are. These blueprints are both permanent (DNA) and under a constant state of revision (epigenetics). This genetic dance controls our physical appearance, our personality, our health — and even how long we live. Our DNA’s genes are contained in microscopic double-spiraled threads called chromosomes, and at the tips of these chromosomes are our telomeres — akin to the plastic tips on the ends of our shoelaces. The healthier our lifestyles are, the longer these protective telomeres are. And the more unhealthy we are, the shorter these protective telomeres get. Effectively, by looking at their length they can tell us how much life we have used and how much life remains inside of us.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn is the renowned biologist who won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of how the length of these telomeres is regulated. Her groundbreaking research revealed a biological indicator called telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes our telomeres and protects our genetic heritage. It’s Blackburn’s discovery that led to the first genetic indications of a fountain of youth hiding inside our DNA. If you’ve ever wondered why some sixty-year-olds look and feel like forty-year-olds and why some forty-year-olds look and feel like sixty-year-olds, the answer lies in our telomeres.
In one of their studies, for example, Blackburn and Epel write: “We review data linking telomere length to cognitive stress and stress arousal and present new data linking cognitive appraisal to telomere length. Given the pattern of associations revealed so far, we propose that some forms of meditation may have salutary effects on telomere length by reducing cognitive stress and stress arousal and increasing positive states of mind and hormonal factors that may promote telomere maintenance. Aspects of this model are currently being tested in ongoing trials of mindfulness meditation.”


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How mindfulness is changing law enforcement

Why mindfulness?

Living in the moment might seem like a strange thing to teach police officers. But mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been the subject of hundreds of studies, showing that it helps decrease stress, pain, anxiety, and depression in medical patients and in other groups. 
More recently, studies have found that mindfulness on the job can help workers to reduce stress, improve communications with the populations served, increase worker safety, and better work performance

Goerling is capitalizing on this research to help police officers and other first responders with their performance. He believes that mindfulness training holds the key to many of the goals we as a community have for police—that they learn to treat others with respect and caring, and use restraint when necessary in carrying out their duties.
“Mindfulness opens up the space in which we make decisions—we’re not so linearly focused or so stressed because we are under threat,” he says. “We may still be under threat, but because I’m regulating my stress response and my emotions—anger, fear, and ego, which is a huge problem in our culture—I’m more aware of my options.”
Read the full article: 

How Mindfulness Is Changing Law Enforcement

Meditation is helping police officers to de-escalate volatile situations, improve community relations—and improve their own well-being. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

What is Kundalini Yoga


Kundalini yoga has been described as “yoga for householders.” It’s meant to fit into the daily grind of work and parenting. Though the repetitive motions of some poses can be tiring, you don’t have to be in excellent shape to practice Kundalini yoga, nor do you have to commit your life to the practice. Kundalini yoga is not based in any philosophy of ascetism or self-denial. Each class consists of a different kriya, or set of poses that are designed for a specific purpose, such as opening the heart, fighting off illness, or nurturing creativity. Each class includes mantras and meditations that support the purpose of the oriya.

read more here. 

Gong Bath - Blood Testing - Before & After; Part 1 of 2





Remarkable physical change in blood cells following a 45 minute Gong Meditation. 


What we discovered was a remarkable healing transformation took place affecting the Red and White blood Cells, T- Cells and Platelettes. Sherry observed the Blood terrain opening up enhancing the flow of Oxygen & Nutrients, Red Blood Cells were less congested and the energy potential of the cell increased, the Immune System was incredibly stimulated and White Blood Cells were much more active, larger, brighter & inflammation indicators decreased. Also the amount of damaged Cells from possible parasitical damage decreased from 70% down to around 30%. All of this from just Sacred Sound. Amazing. 


The Role of Yoga in Healing Trauma


"What we're learning," says one author of a study that focuses on girls in the juvenile justice system, "is that fights go down on wards after adolescents participate," in yoga. Girls, she adds, "are requesting medicine less often."


The Role Of Yoga In Healing Trauma

Two Georgetown pilot studies showed girls and young women who did yoga reported better self-esteem and developed skills that they could use in stressful situations — taking care of their own children, for example.
Educators and others who work with youth are, increasingly, paying attention to the science of trauma.
Large studies show that people who have been through one or more "adverse childhood experiences" have not only poor mental health outcomes, but also higher incidence of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Those experiences might include such things as physical abuse, the incarceration of a close family member or mental illness in their household.
Further, statistics show that compared with boys, girls experience different forms of childhood trauma, with an impact that adds up over time. They disproportionately experience sexual violations, for example. And, for girls, this abuse is more likely to occur in the context of a relationship, Epstein says, which interferes with forming intimate and trusting relationships with others.
The new Georgetown Law report argues that, since the effects of trauma can be physical, "body-mind" interventions, like yoga, may be able to uniquely address them. Regulated breathing, for example, calms the parasympathetic nervous system. Practicing staying in the moment counteracts some of the dissociative effects of trauma. And the physical activity of yoga, of course, can directly improve health.
Yoga that is specifically designed for victims of trauma has modifications when compared with traditional yoga teaching.
Read more here.