The Gratitude Dance

There is much to be grateful for. There is so much joy to be shared with our brothers and sisters across the world! This “Gratitude Dance” shows the way. Please share!

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Change Brain Structure With Meditation

More Brain With Meditation

An 8-week study of the effects of meditation on the brain has discovered some astounding things. Not only does meditation make noticeable improvements in our feeling of well-being, it actually changes the brain physically, producing more grey matter in certain regions of the brain and reversing the effect of aging on the brain.

In a study that appeared in the issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team of researchers report about meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s grey matter.

“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,” says Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study’s senior author. “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.”

Previous studies from Lazar’s group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced mediation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.
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The Wondrous Whale

Wondrous Whale

Once upon a time in a magnificent ocean filled with brightly coloured corals, a great diversity of fish and other lovely ocean creatures there lived a wondrous whale. The whale was very large and also very loving.

The whale was very happy living in the deep blue ocean with all the many friends he had. Near the surface where the water of the ocean was very clear, the whale could see all of the other ocean creatures very well, but deep down where the water was dark and murky he couldn’t always be sure.

Fortunately, the whale had a handy tool he could use called echolocation. The whale would simply send out calls into the ocean and then he would listen carefully to the echoes of those calls that came back to him. This is how the whale was able to find food for himself and to know which other ocean creatures, corals and other objects were around him.

Many of the ocean creatures didn’t quite understand how the whale’s special gift worked and so the whale tried to explain it to them.

“When the sound I make reaches another fish or plant for instance, some of this sound is sent back to me. So by listening to these echoes from my surroundings I am able to sense where other ocean creatures and plant life are,” the whale explained.

One of the smaller fish found all of this very confusing and wanted to go up to the large whale and ask him about it. At first he was a bit worried about asking more questions since the whale had explained it all many times before. But then he decided to be brave and do it anyway.

“Aren’t you afraid to send out sounds?” the fish asked the whale. “Don’t you worry about what will come back to you?”
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How Not To Be Ignorant About The World

If we don’t know where we are how will we understand where we are going? Hans Rosling and his son provide a riveting talk that provides us clues on how to make sense on where the world is headed.

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Helen Keller

Found Light

In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.

Within herself,
Found loveliness,
Through the soul’s own mastery.

And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.

—Langston Hughes

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