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Archive for January, 2011

Here’s proof

Guess the latest buzz in the west. Mindfulness therapy! A meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga, this is taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the US. Scientific credentials of mindfulness therapy were reported in a review article of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. After combining results of 39 previous studies involving 1,140 patients, the researchers concluded that mindfulness therapy was effective for relieving anxiety and improving mood.

Mindfulness therapy encourages patients to focus on their breathing and their body, to notice but not judge their thoughts and to generally live in the moment. Zindel Segal, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto is one of the pioneers behind mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, a treatment that combines mindfulness with cognitive behavioral therapy.

In last December, Segal and colleagues published a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggesting that the treatment was as effective as antidepressants for preventing relapses of depression. Over 18 months, about 70% of patients taking a placebo suffered at least one more episode of depression. By comparison, only about 30% of patients receiving therapy or taking an antidepressant had a setback.

So-called ‘verification’ of the benefits of meditation are many. That there is a world beyond our senses, beyond the material, is dawning on even the skeptics. Experiments like the recent teleportation of DNA only confirm that a universal consciousness has to be involved.

Why not try it? Simply sit down and just be. Try not to think anything or focus the mind on anything… you will be most reluctant to stop!

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Something stale in the air

It is the sign of the catastrophe to come in 2012. At least that’s what many are saying, about the bird and animal deaths being reported. Not just a few here and there but hundreds together. First 6000 blackbirds in Arkansas, next 500 starlings in Louisian, then jackdaws in Sweden, 80,000 drum fish elsewhere…

Something in the air… but what? Was it a change of the magnetic pole that caused the mass deaths? Or electrostatic charge on quartz deposits? Or gas mining? Or fireworks? Or was it as some are trying to say nothing unusual!

Whatever it is due to, world consciousness is now focussed on the 2012 December date. Small consolation that some say it simply could be the end of something, not life on earth. End of what? Conflict? How wonderful. But will peace have value without conflict rearing its head somewhere?

Could 2012 be the purging of humanity through a series of calamities? Already climate change scientists are telling us we have under-rated the consequences of no-change. We have seen floods and droughts in the last few months while the last year was the warmest one in record.

In the fine balance of our ecosphere, all it requires is one small nudge to set things awry. Are we not already seeing signs of that? In our lifestyles and behaviour? In the many ways that show we do not care for anything than a few personal comforts? We have placed ourselves outside the balance and expect the system to nurture us.

Perhaps a few hard knocks could still knock some sense into us. Perhaps a few survivors will live to tell the tale of a species that got drunk on its ‘power’.

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The joy of life

Hills of Dehradun, a beautiful picture from a friend

Yes, it has been a long time since I dusted this place! Blame it on a frame of mind or simply chores, which include health care of a family person who almost went close to death and came back. The last few days have been quite a learning journey. Hopefully setting the trend for the new year.

Sometimes questions flood in, at times there are none. But the struggle to understand continues. The mode has changed. From head to heart. And the glimpse has been tantalising.

Whether it be wars on each other or on the environment, ultimately all it requires for a transformation is a moment of realisation of what we are. When the moment descends and one realises the inclusiveness of life on this universe, of how inter-related we are to each other, to animals, to rocks and trees, there is no conflict anymore.

But yes, it could take time, even lifetimes to catch that moment. I am not talking of the moment fo realisation of a Buddha. It hasn’t yet happened to me 🙂 But of the simple realisation of the connect.

Equally transforming is the realisation of the reservoirs we are – of unlimited love. I have been practising what Osho says and finding immense joy. Simply sit somewhere and tap your heart. Open it and let the love flow out, spill out into the room, area, city, state, nation, planet, universe… It overwhelms you to know you had this within and did not know. How rich we are and remain poor in our ignorance.

Well, yes the year promises to be one of inner growth. I wish everyone a wonderfully aware year. Let the love and joy simply flow.

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