Sep 182017
 

For thousands of years the practice of yoga has enhanced lives.

Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hinduism, it also refers to one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal toward which that school directs its practices. In Jainism yoga is the sum total of all activities—mental, verbal and physical.

Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

Hatha Yoga

Ha and tha, the sun and moon, refer to the two opposite currents that regulate all processes in our body. There is nothing mysterious about it because anything in our universe exists because of a positive and negative charge. Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are specifically dealing with the intention of gaining control over the flow of these life-currents.
Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. It is thought that by perfecting the body, creating a healthy physical condition, and raising Kundalini (dormant energy) upwards along the spine, the body becomes better prepared for yogic awakening. The first effects felt are usually improved health and strengthened nervous system. Some Hatha Yogis may even demonstrate control over internal organs, blood flow, and breathing. The ability of some Yogis to even stop the breathing and heart beat completely for a period of time has been demonstrated under laboratory settings.

Traditional Hatha Yoga consists of:
1. Asanas (postures);
2. Shat Karmas (six cleansing techniques, also known as Shat Kriyas);
3. Pranayama (control of breathing with retention);
4. Bandhas (locks) and Mudras (seals) for the regulation of Prana (life-force) and Kundalini; and
5. Samadhi (Union with God, realization of the Self, ecstasy, nirvana).

There are many good books available on this subject and one is wise to have a copy handy that also includes pictures of the various asanas and mudras.

Further Reading: Health Benefits of a regular Hatha Yoga practice


 

Raja Yoga / Radja Yoga

Raja Yoga means royal and is sometimes called the crown of Hatha Yoga. Raja adds concentration after body and mind are cleaned and trained to stay calm and attentive. The improvement in our power of concentration, as a result of Raja Yoga, moves all of our attention towards the source of our Being in order to become that Being. Raja Yoga is a complete system, also refered to as Ashtanga Yoga because of the eight (ashta) limbs (anga) the system rests on.

The Eight Limbs (Ashta-anga) are:
1. Restraints (yamas: harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of senses)
2. Disciplines (niyamas: cleanliness, purification of body, mind and nervous system, study of metaphysical principles, contemplation on God)
3. Postures (asanas)
4. Control of breathing and life-currents (pranayama)
5. Turning the attention within (pratyahara)
6. Concentration (dharana)
7. Meditation (dhyana: prolonged periods of perfect concentration and contemplation)
8. Holy Trance (Samadhi)


Bhakti Yoga (Union through Devotion and Love)

Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of selfless love, compassion, humility, purity and the desire and serious intention to merge with God. It is nothing else than to follow the ‘First Commandment’: “to love God with all your heart, mind and soul.”

The following persons are known as outstanding examples of Bhakti Yogis:
·  Daya Mata (1914-2010)
·  Shree Maa
·  Anandamayi Ma (1896 – 1982)
·  Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)
·  Ma Yoga Shakti
·  Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi)

Bhakti Yoga Meditation – a complete guide for understanding the philosophy and practice of bhakti for practitioners at any level. Following the teachings of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, we offer online meditation instructions, mp3 downloads of meditation kirtan, lectures and other helpful accessories, tips and suggestions for you to progress in your bhakti meditation.


Jnana Yoga (The Yoga of Knowledge)

Jnana Yoga is practical Philosophy/Metaphysics. It is both theory and practice. Jnana Yoga uses the intellect as a tool to understand that our true Self is behind and beyond our mind. It is a Quest for the Self by direct inquiry into “who we are.” It is, however, a mistake to think that the Source could be found with the intellect alone.

For the purpose of Self-discovery, Jnana Yoga probes the nature of the Self through the question: Who am I? Through persistent probing, fixing our attention on the source of our Being, we regain our real Self. We remember who we are. The inquiry, as the result of practising Jnana Yoga, leads us towards clear Awareness by removing our attention from that which we are not. Along with Bhakti Yoga (Devotion), Jnana is listed among the best approaches for becoming aware of the eternal Self (God).

Shankara and Ramana Maharshi are the classic authorities concerning Jnana Yoga. Like Hatha and Raja Yogis, Jnana Yogis also acknowledge the relationship between breathing and thinking. They found that breathing slows automatically through concentration on the “I-AM.”

For more in-depth information, please see extended article: Jnana Yoga


Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga refers to actions designed to rid the body and mind of obstructions. Kriya Yoga is a complete system including mantras, meditation, and other techniques towards controlling the life-force and bringing calmness and control over body and mind. The goal is to unite with pure Awareness (God). Since pure Awareness is our original condition, it is also referred to as Self-awareness.

The following organizations are known to be genuine sources for the original techniques:
·  Ananda Church of Self-Realization
·  Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA)
·  Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)
·  Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas
·  Temple of Kriya Yoga

For more in-depth information, please see our extended article: Kriya Yoga


Karma Yoga (Self-less work for our fellow neighbour)

Karma is the total sum of all our actions (mental and physical), in this life and before. Karma Yoga is the yoga of Service or self-transcending Action, whereby the yogi directs all actions towards God. By serving God and humanity (without selfishness, egoism, and attachment) the heart becomes pure, the ego fades and, over time, or even over many lifetimes, one becomes increasingly in tune and unified with God. Enlightenment (Samadhi, nirvana, union with God) is naturally realized through Karma yoga.


Surat Shabd  Yoga:

The practice of joining the Soul (surat) with the Word (shabd) and merging (yoga) with it; once the soul merges into the Shabd, it is carried by the Shabd to its source, the Lord.

This form of yoga connects the soul to the universal consciousness through the use of meditation and inner sound (Shabd Dhun) ‘The music of the word’; the Shabd, the Audible Life Stream, The ‘Word’; Spiritual Sound; Sound Current. The creative power, the source of all creation, which manifests as sound and light in the spiritual regions. As the soul manifests in the body as consciousnesses, The Word of God manifests itself as inner spiritual Sound. It is the Word or Logos of the Bible; Kalma, Isme-i-Azam, Bang-i-Asmani, or Kalma-i-Ilahi of the Quran. It is the Nad of the Vedas; Nam, Ram Nam, Gurbani, Bani, and Dhun of the Adi Granth. It is called the Tao by the Chinese; Vadan and Saut-i-Surmad by the Sufis. The Zoroastrians call it Sharaosha, and it is known by many other names.

The secret of hearing the Shabd within oneself can be imparted only by a (Sat Guru) True Master. Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

True Master (Sat Guru) (light giver) is the chief instrument of the Supreme Ruler to contact this world of humanity… The ‘Word’ made flesh.

There are many Masters (Man/Woman) in each life time.   (Living Master)     (The Word made Flesh)

 

A Book that changed my life by answering all my spiritual questions…. THE PATH OF THE MASTERS by Julian Johnson

Die to Live….. A book of questions and answered by Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

 

Truest Religion…. How you focus on your 24 hour day.

Truest Prayer….. Asking for strength to go through your daily destiny.

The True Master….. informing you to love the lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.

True Teachings of the Saints (Sant Mat)   ( Sat Guru- Sat Sang- Sat Nam )

WellnessWillpower  Mantra …..    ThankyouforgivingmethischancetosayThankyou.  Repeat this throughout the day.

Please see the list of Yoga Organizations for excellent sources of various Yoga disciplines.

A full 42 minute yoga class with Sarah Holmes:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcC8hZPwj6w

And a little comic relief:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EGTETc5oFU&feature=related

 

 

 

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Sep 112015
 

Drumming is as fundamental a form of human expression as speaking, and likely emerged long before humans even developed the capability of using the lips, tongue and vocal organs as instruments of communication.

The first sound we ever heard while still in our mother’s womb, was the beating of her heart, and the rhythm of her breath. No matter our race, gender, age, religion or belief system, this common experience exists for all human beings.

When newcomers are first introduced to drumming, they often say “oh, I don’t have any rhythm,” in an attempt to excuse themselves for their imagined inadequacy.

The truth is: We All have Rhythm!

Rhythm is our natural inheritance. It exists in our bodies, our hearts, our breath. It exists in the vibration of atoms, the cycles of the seasons, the ticking of clocks, the orbit of the earth. There is no part of creation that is without rhythm!

Fat Congas

Fat Congas

 

Lalo Gatos

Lalo Gatos

Drumming is a practice that spans the globe and has a presence in every culture. It has been used for centuries in rituals, ceremonies, communication, rites of passage, music and dance, celebration, healing, community building, and cultural events.

Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Current research is now verifying the therapeutic effects of ancient rhythm techniques. Recent research reviews indicate that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well-being, a release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self.

Other studies have demonstrated the calming, focusing, and healing effects of drumming on Alzheimer’s patients, autistic children, emotionally disturbed teens, recovering addicts, trauma patients, and prison and homeless populations. Study results demonstrate that drumming is a valuable treatment for stress, fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, mental illness, migraines, cancer,multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, paralysis, emotional disorders, and a wide range of physical disabilities.    Eddie D Katz

djembe-drumming

Reduces Tension, Anxiety, and Stress

Drumming induces deep relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. Stress, according to current medical research, contributes to nearly all disease and is a primary cause of such life-threatening illnesses as heart attacks, strokes, and immune system breakdowns. A recent study found that a program of group drumming helped reduce stress and employee turnover in the long-term care industry and might help other high-stress occupations as well.1

Increases Brain White Matter & Executive Cognitive Function

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease found that two months of drumming intervention in Huntington’s patients (considered an irreversible, lethal neurodegenerative disease) resulted in “improvements in executive function and changes in white matter microstructure, notably in the genu of the corpus callosum that connects prefrontal cortices of both hemispheres.”[ix]The study authors concluded that the pilot study provided novel preliminary evidence that drumming (or related targeted behavioral stimulation) may result in “cognitive enhancement and improvements in callosal white matter microstructure.”

Control Chronic Pain

Chronic pain has a progressively draining effect on the quality of life. Researchers suggest that drumming serves as a distraction from pain and grief. Moreover, drumming promotes the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the bodies own morphine-like painkillers, and can thereby help in the control of pain.2

Socio-Emotional Disorders

A powerful 2001 study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that low-income children who enrolled in a 12-week group drumming intervention saw multiple domains of social-emotional behavior improve significantly, from anxiety to attention, from oppositional to post-traumatic disorders.

Boosts the Immune System

A recent medical research study indicates that drumming circles boost the immune system. Led by renowned cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, the study demonstrates that group drumming actually increases cancer-killing cells, which help the body combat cancer as well as other viruses, including AIDS. According to Dr. Bittman, “Group drumming tunes our biology, orchestrates our immunity, and enables healing to begin.”3

Accesses the Entire Brain

The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. Vision for example is in one part of the brain, speech another, but drumming accesses the whole brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). According to Michael Thaut, director of Colorado State University’s Center for Biomedical Research in Music, “Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, as with Parkinson’s patients…” The more connections that can be made within the brain, the more integrated our experiences become.

Releasing Emotions

Drumming can be used to express emotions whether you want to release alone or in psychotherapy. We can drum a multitude of emotions such as happiness, fear, sadness and anger. Friedman states “happiness is usually played as a series of rapid, syncopated beats. Fear might be expressed as staccato tappings. Sadness usually evokes slow, ponderous beats while anger becomes hard, loud and energetic.”

Friedman discusses the concept of “Alchemical Drumming” to release unhealthy emotions whether it is anger, frustration or guilt into the drum. Through simply tapping a drum, negative emotions can be transformed into healthy ones.

There is nothing like drumming to bring one into a sense of personal power. It builds self-confidence and esteem. In one exercise we did, we drummed a repetitious beat for over a half an hour to put us in touch with the warrior archetype. This beat conjured up a sense of determination, power and perseverance helping to push through “whiny” thoughts like my hands are sore, my back aches or this is taking too long.

Clave Stick Patterns

Self-confidence will build when you start discipline playing rhythms to a steady beat. Learn the Clave(stick) patterns for they are the skeleton rhythm pattern ( 3-2 and 2-3) for most Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Clave comes from a blend of cultures, African and Spanish originating in Cuba. This will give you confidence to musically  communicate with other musicians. Rock and Roll have elements of 3-2 Clave introduced by Bo Diddly, The Dixie Cups and Buddy Holly and continues into modern music.

Sources:

lalogatos@msn.com/get to know clave/lessons

http://www.alternativedepressiontherapy.com/drumming-therapy.html

http://healing.about.com/od/drums/a/drumtherapy.htm

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/6-ways-drumming-heals-body-mind-and-soul

http://www.transformationalarts.com/inspirational-articles/co-founder-vitality-articles/healing-rhythms-of-the-drum

– See more at: http://www.the-open-mind.com/how-drumming-heals-the-body-mind-and-soul/#sthash.zE4Vh49P.dpuf

Nov 272014
 

 

November 27, 2014

By Dr. Mercola

GRATITUDE

While it’s certainly good to have an annual holiday to remind us to express gratitude, there’s much to be said for the benefits of cultivating the spirit of thankfulness year-round.

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. Scientists have even noted that gratitude is associated with improved health.

As noted in a previous article on this topic published in the Harvard Mental Health Letter,1 “expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better:”

“The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.

With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves.

As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

…People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude).

Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.”

Gratitude—It Does a Body Good

Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of biologic psychology at Duke University Medical Center once stated that: “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”2

One way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. In one study,3, 4 people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more, and they had fewer visits to the doctor compared to those who focused on sources of aggravation.

As noted in a previous ABC News article,5 studies have shown that gratitude can produce a number of measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including:

Mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine) Inflammatory and immune systems (cytokines)
Reproductive hormones (testosterone) Stress hormones (cortisol)
Social bonding hormones (oxytocin) Blood pressure and cardiac and EEG rhythms
Cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters (dopamine) Blood sugar

Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

Cultivating a sense of gratitude will help you refocus your attention toward what’s good and right in your life, rather than dwelling on the negatives and all the things you may feel are lacking.

And, like a muscle, this mental state can be strengthened with practice. Besides keeping a daily gratitude journal, other ways to cultivate a sense of gratitude include:

  • Write thank you notes: Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank-you letters can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.
  • Count your blessings: Once a week, reflect on events for which you are grateful, and write them down. As you do, feel the sensations of happiness and thankfulness you felt at the time it happened, going over it again in your mind.
  • Pray: Expressing thanks during your prayers is another way to cultivate gratitude.
  • Mindfulness meditation: Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a lovely memory.
  • Being Thankful for Breathing.

Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude

Three years ago, the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California,6 in collaboration with the University of California, launched a project called “Cultivating Gratitude in a Consumerist Society.” This $5.6 million project aims to:

  • Expand the scientific database of gratitude, particularly in the key areas of human health, personal and relational well-being, and developmental science;
  • Promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in medical, educational, and organizational settings and in schools, workplaces, homes and communities, and in so doing…
  • Engage the public in a larger cultural conversation about the role of gratitude in civil society.

In 2012, 14 winning research projects were announced, with topics covering everything from the neuroscience of gratitude, to the role of gratitude for the prevention of bullying. The organization has a number of resources you can peruse at your leisure, including The Science of Happiness blog and newsletter,7 and a Digital Gratitude Journal,8 where you can record and share the things you’re grateful for. Scientists are also permitted to use the data to explore “causes, effects, and meaning of gratitude.”

For example, previous research has shown that employees whose managers say “thank you” feel greater motivation at work, and work harder than peers who do not hear those “magic words.” As noted in a previous Thanksgiving blog post in Mark’s Daily Apple:9 “[R]esearch10 has shown that being on the receiving end of a person’s gratitude can boost subjects’ sense of self-worth and/or self-efficacy. It also appears to encourage participants to further help the person who offered the gratitude but also another, unrelated person in an unconscious ‘pay it forward’ kind of connection.”

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Starting each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for is one way to put your mind on the right track. Also, remember that your future depends largely on the thoughts you think today. So each moment of every day is an opportunity to turn your thinking around, thereby helping or hindering your ability to think and feel more positively in the very next moment.

Most experts agree that there are no shortcuts to happiness. Even generally happy people do not experience joy 24 hours a day. But a happy person can have a bad day and still find pleasure in the small things in life.

Be thankful for what you have. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, remember the 1,000 reasons you have to smile. Face your past without regret; prepare for the future without fear; focus on what’s good right now, in the present moment, and practice gratitude. Remember to say “thank you”—to yourself, the Universe, and others. It’s wonderful to see a person smile, and even more wonderful knowing that you are the reason behind it!

Thank You For Giving Me This Chance To Say Thank You Again For Giving Me This Chance To Say Thank You……

To Your Spiritual Wellness

Feb 122013
 

 Photo Memoriesmemories with picturesPhotos Stimulates Memory-Positive Vibration

By Eddie Katz

Caring for a person with Limited-Life creates challenges in keeping them engaged with the world and able to enjoy their last days, weeks and possibly months.

Paying Homage to Memories is a way to connect with your loved ones who are late in their lives.

  • Create Photos categorized by year starting as young as possible.
  • Make small photo albums with not too many of immediate family members and relatives because of short attention span.
  • Photo albums can be filled with memories of this life (places, people), this world (vacations), your connection! Positive vibration.

It creates stimulating conversation.

Memories/Positive Connection

Memories/Positive Connection

memories

It is eventual  we will notice our parents not interested in the things that used to stimulate them like food or TV and their memory is fading more and more. That’s when photos put smiles back and a sense of dignity that connects you with them and this world.

Making the best out of our visits should always include bringing photos filled of positive memories. With such short time left, connecting to memories is the most stimulating experience leaving you and your loved ones more spiritually at peace from the visit.

Memories by way of Music

By Dr Mercola

Music predates language and speaks to us on a primal level. Thinking back to your adolescence, you probably associate key memories with the soundtracks that played during these formative years.

Before this, music likely began shaping your reality during infancy — there’s even evidence that babies respond to music while still in the womb. At the other end of the spectrum, elderly people, too, including those struggling with degenerative conditions, come alive again when they hear their favorite tunes.

“What is it about music that moves us so intensely and directly, and how can it be employed in the treatment of neurological and physical disorders?” Such are the questions answered and explored in the above documentary, “Music on the Brain.”

Miraculous Results Simply by Sharing Music With Dementia Patients

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, patients often become moody and withdrawn. They may forget events as well as their own personal history, leading to a loss of identity and self.

The simple act of listening to music may help people with Alzheimer’s to reconnect with the people around them and even remember past life events, which is why the non-profit organization Music & Memory has made this their mission.

The organization works with nursing home staff and elder care professionals, along with family caregivers, to create and provide personalized music playlists using digital audio systems like iPods to people with dementia.

When executive director Dan Cohen first thought of the idea in 2006, he was surprised that none of the 16,000 long-term care facilities in the U.S. used iPods for their residents.1

He spearheaded efforts to change that, and today personalized music programs are available in thousands of nursing homes and other facilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond.

In the video below you can see a clip of nursing-home resident Henry, who was “reawakened” by listening to his favorite musical artist, Cab Calloway.

As Music & Memory put it, “These musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can bring participants back to life, enabling them to feel like themselves again, to converse, socialize and stay present … The results can be nothing short of miraculous.”2 The video below speaks for itself.

Personalized Music May Reduce Agitation and Use of Drugs in Alzheimer’s Patients

It’s interesting to note that some of music’s benefits appear to be rooted in its familiarity. That is, a person’s favorite music or songs they associate with important events can trigger a memory of the song’s lyrics, the related event and even the feelings and experience of it.

In many cases, listening to individualized music appears to be more effective than listening to a random song.

In one study of 39 people in a long-term care facility in Iowa, for example, listening to individualized music led to a significant reduction in agitation (such as anxiety, shouting and irritability) both during and after the session — more so than occurred when residents listened to generic classical relaxation music.3

Other research has shown individualized music may calm agitated patients and lead to significantly lower anxiety scores.4

The success of the technique depends on nursing staff being able to figure out a patient’s musical preferences, which is why you may want to ask your aging relatives about their favorite songs now (or relay yours to your caregivers) just in case.

It’s also dependent on a person’s interest in music throughout life. You needn’t be overly musical to appreciate music emotionally, as virtually everyone does, but as written in the World Journal of Psychiatry (WJP):5

“ … [I]t would not be appropriate for a person who did not have an appreciation for music prior to the onset of cognitive impairment. A positive correlation is expected between the degree of significance that music had in the person’s life prior to the onset of dementia and effectiveness of the intervention.”

However, listening to music is a simple, inexpensive and risk-free intervention that has the potential to benefit many.

The response from nursing homes that have implemented Music & Memory’s individualized music program has been overwhelmingly positive, with many even reporting reduced drug use as a result. Margaret Rivers of Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital & Nursing Facility in New York City told Music & Memory:6

“One of the more positive results we’re seeing is a reduction in the need for psychotropic medication. Music soothes the residents to the point where they actually may not need all of the medications that they needed prior to going on [Music & Memory’s] program.”

Familiar Songs May Help Alzheimer’s Patients Recall Memories

When you listen to music, a broad range of neural networks become engaged, including those linked to autobiographical memories and emotions.7 The brain region behind your forehead, known as the medial prefrontal cortex, is one of the last to atrophy among Alzheimer’s patients; it’s also the hub that music activates.

Petr Janata, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at University of California (UC) Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain, conducted a study to map the brain activity of subjects as they listened to music. He said in a press release:8

“What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.

It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye … Now we can see the association between those two things — the music and the memories.”

Janata is among those who believe providing Alzheimer’s patients with digital music players and customized playlists could improve their quality of life. In some cases it may also help them to share those memories as well.

When Alzheimer’s patients sat in rooms filled with music and were asked to tell a story about their life, their stories contained more meaningful words, were more grammatically complex, and conveyed more information (per number of words) than stories told in a silent room.9

The findings suggest that exposure to music may help people with Alzheimer’s disease to overcome neurolinguistic limitations. This makes sense, the study’s co-author noted, because “music and language processing share a common neural basis.”10 In the video below, the late Dr. Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author of “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” explained how listening to familiar music may allow Alzheimer’s patients to access personal memories that have otherwise become inaccessible.

Your Brain Is Hard-Wired to Respond to Music

Music on the Brain discusses that music may have evolved from an earlier form of emotional communication, an emotional proto-language of the sort you may hear between a mother and a baby. Tone of voice and pitch are incredibly important before language emerges, and it’s thought this early form of communication eventually split into language, which conveys more information, and music, which conveys emotion.

When you hear music, many areas of your brain light up. Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations.

At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated.11 Meanwhile, oxytocin, the bonding hormone that’s released when we interact with our loved ones, is also released by music, specifically by singing together.12

Many evolutionary biologists believe that music was fundamental in our ability to function as humans and hold together large communities of people, as music is capable of producing oxytocin, i.e., bonding and sharing emotions, on a massive scale.

Music Helps People With Parkinson’s Disease Move More Freely

Even brain areas that control movement are affected by music. This may seem strange until you consider that movement, such as drumming, was once essential to creating music. Today, music is now being used to help people with diseases like Parkinson’s to move more freely.

Slowness, tremor, stiffness and impaired balance are common in Parkinson’s patients, but emerging research suggests music may be an effective non-drug intervention.13 People who ordinarily are unable to control their movements are suddenly able to follow the beat of a song and dance. The music seems to provide an external rhythm that bypasses the malfunctioning signals in the brain.

A variety of neurological disorders have shown improvement from music-based interventions, including not only Parkinson’s disease but also multiple sclerosis and stroke. In fact, music-based interventions had similar or greater effects than conventional rehabilitation on upper limb function, mobility and cognition among people with neurological disorders.14

Music Opens a Back Door for Memory Recall in Your Brain

By tapping areas of your brain linked to both emotions and memory, music can act as a back door to help you access past events that would otherwise be lost. As Music & Memory put it:15

“Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things — names, places [and] facts — is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.

Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.

Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.”

If you’re a caregiver to someone with dementia, creating a personalized playlist for him or her is a simple way to help them reconnect with the outside world and feel like themselves again, even for a little while.

On a larger scale, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may want to suggest they consider the use of individualized music for their residents. Music & Memory also accepts donations of gently used Apple music players, including iPods, iPhones or iPads. If you have one you’re no longer using, consider donating it to this worthwhile cause.16

THANKYOUFORGIVINGMETHISCHANCETOSAYTHANKYOUFORGIVINGMETHISCHANCE

Photos make positive memoriesTOSAYTHANKYOU……….…..

Nov 202012
 

Choose positive energy and acceptance

All your spiritual questions answered…. imagine the calm of

an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.

Of many ways to the one …try Sant Mat ( Teachings of the Saints)… teaches to focus and give love and thanks to that which gives us breath, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind.  Find a parable and make it your repetition to repeat when ever your mind gives way to it. IE.-  thankyouagainforgivingmethischancetosaythankyouagainforgivingmethischancetosaythankyou

A mantra is that type of  tool to create your focus. A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer.”the word”  A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation” (cf. spiritual transformation).  A good example in Hebrew….

Hebrew
V’ahav’ta eit Adonai Elohekha b’khol l’vav’kha uv’khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol m’odekha.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

In Sanskrit ..repeat and chant …… Radha Soami (Swami)…..  Lord of the Soul

Om or aum  (written universally as ) is a mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin, sacred and important in various Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It is said that A represents the waking state. U the dream state and M the state of deep dreamless sleep. the fourth state, sounds in the resonance following M.

In Arabic (الله اكبر)   Grammar: phrase; 2 words;  Allahu Akbar……… ‘God is the Greatest’

In Christian 
Our Father which art in heaven,

Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Adorable One.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme.

Give us this day our daily bread;

Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And Love is reflected in love;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;

And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.

By the merit I accumulate from practicing generosity and the other perfections,

May I attain Enlightenment in order to benefit all living beings.

Takes Wellness Willpower…   opens your heart

May 242010
 

 For thousands of years the practice of yoga has enhanced lives.

Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hinduism, it also refers to one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal toward which that school directs its practices. In Jainism yoga is the sum total of all activities—mental, verbal and physical.

Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

Hatha Yoga

Ha and tha, the sun and moon, refer to the two opposite currents that regulate all processes in our body. There is nothing mysterious about it because anything in our universe exists because of a positive and negative charge. Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are specifically dealing with the intention of gaining control over the flow of these life-currents.
Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. It is thought that by perfecting the body, creating a healthy physical condition, and raising Kundalini (dormant energy) upwards along the spine, the body becomes better prepared for yogic awakening. The first effects felt are usually improved health and strengthened nervous system. Some Hatha Yogis may even demonstrate control over internal organs, blood flow, and breathing. The ability of some Yogis to even stop the breathing and heart beat completely for a period of time has been demonstrated under laboratory settings.

Traditional Hatha Yoga consists of:
1. Asanas (postures);
2. Shat Karmas (six cleansing techniques, also known as Shat Kriyas);
3. Pranayama (control of breathing with retention);
4. Bandhas (locks) and Mudras (seals) for the regulation of Prana (life-force) and Kundalini; and
5. Samadhi (Union with God, realization of the Self, ecstasy, nirvana).

There are many good books available on this subject and one is wise to have a copy handy that also includes pictures of the various asanas and mudras.

Further Reading: Health Benefits of a regular Hatha Yoga practice


 

Raja Yoga / Radja Yoga

Raja Yoga means royal and is sometimes called the crown of Hatha Yoga. Raja adds concentration after body and mind are cleaned and trained to stay calm and attentive. The improvement in our power of concentration, as a result of Raja Yoga, moves all of our attention towards the source of our Being in order to become that Being. Raja Yoga is a complete system, also refered to as Ashtanga Yoga because of the eight (ashta) limbs (anga) the system rests on.

The Eight Limbs (Ashta-anga) are:
1. Restraints (yamas: harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of senses)
2. Disciplines (niyamas: cleanliness, purification of body, mind and nervous system, study of metaphysical principles, contemplation on God)
3. Postures (asanas)
4. Control of breathing and life-currents (pranayama)
5. Turning the attention within (pratyahara)
6. Concentration (dharana)
7. Meditation (dhyana: prolonged periods of perfect concentration and contemplation)
8. Holy Trance (Samadhi)


Bhakti Yoga (Union through Devotion and Love)

Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of selfless love, compassion, humility, purity and the desire and serious intention to merge with God. It is nothing else than to follow the ‘First Commandment’: “to love God with all your heart, mind and soul.”

The following persons are known as outstanding examples of Bhakti Yogis:
·  Daya Mata (1914-2010)
·  Shree Maa
·  Anandamayi Ma (1896 – 1982)
·  Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)
·  Ma Yoga Shakti
·  Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi)

Bhakti Yoga Meditation – a complete guide for understanding the philosophy and practice of bhakti for practitioners at any level. Following the teachings of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, we offer online meditation instructions, mp3 downloads of meditation kirtan, lectures and other helpful accessories, tips and suggestions for you to progress in your bhakti meditation.


Jnana Yoga (The Yoga of Knowledge)

Jnana Yoga is practical Philosophy/Metaphysics. It is both theory and practice. Jnana Yoga uses the intellect as a tool to understand that our true Self is behind and beyond our mind. It is a Quest for the Self by direct inquiry into “who we are.” It is, however, a mistake to think that the Source could be found with the intellect alone.

For the purpose of Self-discovery, Jnana Yoga probes the nature of the Self through the question: Who am I? Through persistent probing, fixing our attention on the source of our Being, we regain our real Self. We remember who we are. The inquiry, as the result of practising Jnana Yoga, leads us towards clear Awareness by removing our attention from that which we are not. Along with Bhakti Yoga (Devotion), Jnana is listed among the best approaches for becoming aware of the eternal Self (God).

Shankara and Ramana Maharshi are the classic authorities concerning Jnana Yoga. Like Hatha and Raja Yogis, Jnana Yogis also acknowledge the relationship between breathing and thinking. They found that breathing slows automatically through concentration on the “I-AM.”

For more in-depth information, please see extended article: Jnana Yoga


Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga refers to actions designed to rid the body and mind of obstructions. Kriya Yoga is a complete system including mantras, meditation, and other techniques towards controlling the life-force and bringing calmness and control over body and mind. The goal is to unite with pure Awareness (God). Since pure Awareness is our original condition, it is also referred to as Self-awareness.

The following organizations are known to be genuine sources for the original techniques:
·  Ananda Church of Self-Realization
·  Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA)
·  Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)
·  Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas
·  Temple of Kriya Yoga

For more in-depth information, please see our extended article: Kriya Yoga


Karma Yoga (Self-less work for our fellow neighbour)

Karma is the total sum of all our actions (mental and physical), in this life and before. Karma Yoga is the yoga of Service or self-transcending Action, whereby the yogi directs all actions towards God. By serving God and humanity (without selfishness, egoism, and attachment) the heart becomes pure, the ego fades and, over time, or even over many lifetimes, one becomes increasingly in tune and unified with God. Enlightenment (Samadhi, nirvana, union with God) is naturally realized through Karma yoga.


Surat Shabd  Yoga:

The practice of joining the soul (surat) with the Word (shabd) and merging (yoga) with it; once the soul merges into the Shabd, it is carried by the Shabd to its source, the Lord.

This form of yoga connects the soul to the universal consciousness through the use of meditation and inner sound (Shabd Dhun) ‘The music of the word’; the Shabd, the Audible Life Stream, The Word; Spiritual Sound; Sound Current. The creative power, the source of all creation, which manifests as sound and light in the spiritual regions. As the soul manifests in the body as consciousnesses, The Word of God manifests itself as inner spiritual Sound. It is the Word or Logos of the Bible; Kalma, Isme-i-Azam, Bang-i-Asmani, or Kalma-i-Ilahi of the Quran. It is the Nad of the Vedas; Nam, Ram Nam, Gurbani, Bani, and Dhun of the Adi Granth. It is called the Tao by the Chinese; Vadan and Saut-i-Surmad by the Sufis. The Zoroastrians call it Sharaosha, and it is known by many other names.

The secret of hearing the Shabd within oneself can be imparted only by a (Sat Guru) True Master. Maharaj Charan Singh Ji

True Master (Sat Guru) (light giver) is the chief instrument of the Supreme Ruler to contact this world of humanity… The ‘Word’ made flesh.

There are many Masters in each life time. (Living Master)  (The Word made Flesh)

 

A Book that changed my life by answering all my spiritual questions…. THE PATH OF THE MASTERS by Julian Johnson

Truest Religion…. How you focus on your 24 hour day.

Truest Prayer….. Asking for strength to go through your daily day.

The True Master….. informing you to love the lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.

 

Please see the list of Yoga Organizations for excellent sources of various Yoga disciplines.

A full 42 minute yoga class with Sarah Holmes:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcC8hZPwj6w

And a little comic relief:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EGTETc5oFU&feature=related

 

 

 

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May 242010
 

willpower brain                       WILLPOWER

willpower dogwillpower strong

Synonyms :          continence, restraint, self-command, self-containment, self-control, self-discipline, self-government, self-mastery, self-possession,  will, energetic determination.

 

Give us all you have and we will give you all we possess!willpower muscle

“The fear of the unknown is the beginning of wisdom”

Love is not only the beginning of wisdom; it is wisdom of the highest order.

Concentrated Attention is the key that unlocks all stores of wisdom, of truth and of spirituality.

 Will Power

Think of Will Power like religion, any religion, this is the inner experience of the individual.

To get to that experience, you must leave the outer world, in thought at least, and go within yourself.  Willpower is another word for meditation.

How does one go inside?

By detaching from the outer or sense world and withdrawing your attention upon something inside your mind.

This appears simple enough, and is the method of acquiring all willpower training and religious experiences—leaving the outer world and entering the inner world of consciousness.

Concentrating the attention upon something inside of one self is the way to all willpower development and spiritual experiences.

Methods differ—so will the experiences differ.

 DEVELOPING WILLPOWERwillpower dog

The mind is a slave of the senses and sensual pleasures.  Concentrate your attention, to keep the mind steady in between your eyes and brain and not let it come down.

The purpose is attaching yourself to your inner sound (a gift of your mind).

This sound keeps your mind detached from your senses and where willpower develops.

Now the mind is dominating the soul, and the mind itself is dominated by the senses (sight, feeling, touch, taste, hearing and sensual pleasures).

With the practice of concentrative attention we have to reverse the whole process, so that the soul dominates the mind, and the mind dominates the senses.

That is the purpose of developing willpower.  Walk On.   ThankYouForGivingMeThisChanceToSayThankYou…………

willpower muscle