The Cycle of Desire – Why We’re Never Satisfied and Always Want More

 

You feel it don’t you? The feeling is stronger in some than it is in others, but it’s always there in everyone, in some form. The feeling is a longing for MORE… isn’t it? If you are aware enough to see it, and experience it, and see what it makes you do… you will realize this is true.

 

Where does this feeling come from?

There is an inherent feeling in human beings where we need to be more than what we are right now. Expansion is what we are looking for. These feelings cause conflict internally and externally because the longing for expansion and to be boundless is looking for expression. But we’re so identified with our physical nature that the only way we think of expressing this longing is physically. And we try to do this but the physical is limited… therefore it is impossible to totally achieve what we want on the physical plain.

Yet people are looking for the expression of this longing for expansion through money, possessions, status, power, some through the attention of others, some through the vanity of their own body, etc. We’re looking for fulfillment through achievement, but has that ever really worked for you? I asked myself the same question and had to honestly answer NO, and I was guilty of this for the first 28 years of my life. Once you achieve a goal you might feel good for a couple hours or maybe a day or two, but then another desire pops up and takes its place and you repeat the same cycle. Think about the last time you got a raise at work? Within 48 hours did you still feel happy? Or did you start thinking about what your next raise would be the next year?

When we turn our attention to the acquisition of material things we turn away from our true nature and away from the present moment. The present moment is the only place that you can find true happiness because it is the only place that truly exists. Is this not true? Can you show me the future? Can you show me the past? No, because they only exist in theory. The current moment is our ever present reality.

And when you really look at this feeling of longing even closer, it’s not even a wanting for more… it’s a wanting for ALL. If I gave you the world… how long would it be until you started looking to the stars and other planets? No matter what you have or get, no matter how great it is… you will just want everything. That is a reality of the human condition.

 

Your real desire for the object is actually not for the object itself, but for the end of the longing for that object. But once you get this object another object and desire will arise. This creates a cycle of never-ending longing and suffering.

 

It is okay to go after your goals and to experience life, but don’t let it happen compulsively, and don’t let it compromise your integrity or happiness. Detach yourself from it. When you realize this as the true nature of what you are experiencing, you break and transcend this cycle of longing. But remember, the wanting for Wisdom and Experience and Truth is a good thing. We are here to live life and pursue our true nature, and you will only find that through wisdom and experiences. You can never understand something truly until you have experienced it and it is in your perception.

Meditation and turning inward will take away these feelings of longing. With a little practice (give it some time), you will feel the boundless sensation in yourself and it will quench the thirst of your longing. You will no longer have to subconsciously impose this boundless longing on yourself or the outside world. This might not sound possible to someone who has never meditated, but please trust me.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I use to be a big skeptic of meditation. My whole life I was very left brain thinking, with a Type A personality. I use to think meditation was for hippies… until I did it for myself and experienced the amazing benefits. Present moment living and mindfulness, along with meditation, will take you to a higher level of consciousness and existence. If you want to be more peaceful, healthier and happier… START MEDITATING!!

 

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Author: Steven Wesley – Wake Up World

Listening Through the Noise: Steps Toward Inner Peace

Every now and then it gets harder to hear all those subtle voices within – those whispers of higher knowing or feeling that seem to guide us, inspiring us into creativity or just getting a sense of the deeper meaning. When we are connected with these inner voices, life is magical. They give us a depth to our being that makes us feel really alive. We experience a unique kind of ‘inner peace’.

The last time this happened to me I decided to take myself off for a walk in nature and, after a while, I put my mp3 player on and listened to my music on ‘random shuffle’, just seeing what came up. I had been feeling a bit numb, not really engaging life fully and retreating inside more than usual. Of course, this is fine — it is a natural process that you go through, so it’s important not to judge this state of being. However, being guided to simple actions such as going for a walk or listening to some music can help to move through things like this, processing whatever is inside and helping you to get back ‘in the flow’. For me, going into nature quietened some of the ‘noise’ which was preventing me from accessing these inner whispers, and listening to music helped to put me back in touch with my feelings.

What is this ‘noise’ and where does it come from?

The problem with ‘normal’ life in our society is that there’s too much noise. By ‘noise’ I don’t just mean loud things, although that is definitely one contributing factor. I mean that we are bombarded such that the senses are overloaded – traffic, TV, conversation, food, soft drugs (and hard ones). Of course, we are always entertained and there is always something to do. Appointments, cooking, eating, meeting friends, house work, bureaucracy, entertainment, entertainment and more entertainment…

You only have to observe a busy coffee shop to see it. Friends meet for coffee and conversation but seemingly cannot cope with the gaps, when conversation lulls or people go for a toilet break. I bet if you stay for a whole day just observing people you will not see one person, if left alone, who will not reach for a book or their phone or something else to occupy themselves.

Personal Noise:

Then there’s the more subtle personal noise. Our brains are wired to take in information, and gaps in thought are few and far between, particularly if we are surrounded by sources of stimulation. We process what’s going on around us, and our inner whispers are interpreted through the mind as well. However, there are other types of inner noise which can be quite disruptive – needs, desires and judgements. These can be a little harder to let go of than outside stimulation, even if we recognise their disruption to our inner peace. It requires a level of awareness that takes some practice, to recognise when these desires don’t serve you, get to the source of the need, realise yourself through it, and then break the programming in the brain.

All this noise means that we can no longer hear the inner whispers that make life magical. Consequently the quiet space within is felt to be like a void of emptiness, often so unbearable that it needs to be filled with outer noise (entertainment etc.) Then, the subtlety of life is missed, the senses become dulled and creativity is never fully realised as a spontaneous arising from within, but as a forced process of logical thinking or problem solving, at best.

So, if we want to experience a depth to life far more magical than that filled by entertainment and sensory satisfaction, we must do something that may seem a little paradoxical …

Invite the inner whispers to speak up.

By reducing the noise in our outer life, simplifying our daily lives, reducing ‘clutter’ and allowing time to just do nothing and ‘be’, we invite the inner whispers to speak up. Of course there will be busy days, and times where you will have much noise around and inside of you, but a few simple things can help reset the balance.

Meditation helps, time in nature, exercise and time alone. Or maybe something else works for you. Experiment with whatever makes your soul sing.

Be bored sometimes – it’s a good sign. Entertainment doesn’t do it for you right now? Great! Use that opportunity to go within and listen. You don’t need to quieten the mind, that’s not its nature. It’s simply about being with whatever arises, without judgement. — letting it be until it moves on.

The Benefits:

Once you’ve struck a balance you may find a curious thing arises. Instead of a polarity between busy, stressful times and times of inner peace and magic, they will begin to merge inside. Sure, on the outside there will still be busy ‘noisy’ times, and quieter times, but inside you begin to be able to access that place of inner peace where you can hear those quiet whispers, even when the world outside you is chaotic.

Other benefits – a feeling of connection with nature and life, a better understanding of yourself, observing deeper meaning behind events, increased creativity, and a sense of fulfillment in life which comes from knowing you are being true to yourself. The list could go one, but you get the idea…

Higher Guidance Meditation:

Here is a great meditation by my friends at Openhand to help you access those inner whispers. It’s relatively short (20 mins) so it’s ideal to use to reconnect with yourself during a busy day.

 

Author: Richard WestWakeUp World 

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10 Ways to Move Through Your Subconscious Fears

What are you so afraid of?

Pain, change, growth…

Fear can be problematic when you let it overwhelm you. When you allow fear to sit in the driver’s seat you are living in the false belief that you are avoiding the inevitable discomfort that comes with journeying into the unknown realms of your heart and soul. But, there can only be one outcome: your life comes to a screeching halt.

If you want to thrive, then stagnancy must go. Prana (life force energy) is the nature of who we are. It embodies movement, creativity, expansion, and evolution.

It’s easy to let fear paralyze you, but you can be empowered to consciously recognize the fear and then lean into experiencing what’s underneath it.

Fearlessness is a combination of vulnerability and courage. You need to have the vulnerability to ask for help and the courage to create a strategy and take action.

Here are ten ways to eliminate the subconscious veil of fear that stops you from taking action in your life…

1. Identify your comfort zone

What is it that makes you uncomfortable? Write the details down. Maybe it’s an empty bank account, your partner leaving you, making new friends, or never finding your purpose. The first step to overcoming these fears is to label them. Turn on the light and discover where your comfort zones are in life and where pushing against those barriers sends you into fits of fear, anxiety, or panic.

2. Take action

Worry. Anxiety. Sleepless nights. For every one of your comfort zones, figure out simple ways for you to push beyond your limits. It may feel strange at first, but you’re exercising your ability to create the life of your dreams.

If you’re uncomfortable making friends, yet you want to have friends, something’s gotta give. Take action even in a small way by committing to saying hi to three people every day or joining a group of like-minded people. No action is too small or large, as long as you can commit.

3. Implement consistency, commitment, and repetition

Those action items aren’t going to get done themselves. You’ve got to get up each day and recommit — keep going, keep growing, and keep moving forward — or you won’t move out of the fear. Once you’ve taken action and seen the fruits of your labour, you’ll see how easily subconscious fears can be taken out with a bit of consistent effort.

4. Cultivate curiosity

Can you sit down, close your eyes, and imagine what it would feel like to be fearless? To overcome the setbacks you’ve created for yourself? What would life look like for you? If you can imagine even 1/10th of what’s possible you can start to challenge your self-created boundaries and limitations.

5. Get an accountability partner

Here’s the thing: we all have fears that we’ve overcome. Find someone you trust who’s willing to help you remain accountable in facing your subconscious fears. Try to make it someone who’s already conquered the fear you’re trying to transform. Set up daily or weekly calls. Be fully transparent about your successes and your shortfalls. Find strength in numbers and surround yourself with those who can hold the higher vision and greater vibration for you on your journey from fear to courage.

6. Develop a spiritual connection

What nourishes your soul? What gives you strength? Connect with the spiritual elements of yourself that motivate you to overcome the fear that’s holding you back from living your purpose. Whether it’s sitting in stillness and focusing on the breath for a few minutes each day or practicing yoga, find the practice that allows you to connect with the highest version of your authentic self. Then activate the energy of possibility to support these next phases of your growth and evolution.

7. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is called a practice because, for most of us, it’s not second nature, especially when you’re in a fear-based mindset. When you’re consumed by fear, the first inclination is to slink back and think of everything that’s going wrong. The expansive energy of gratitude will help you break out of the mental patterning of feeling stuck, victimized, and too disempowered to act.

8. Surround yourself with bravery

When you’re ready to transmute fear and change it into strength you need to have courage. To cultivate courage, surround yourself with people who have looked fear in the face and moved forward anyway.

Get a mentor who’s already faced the challenges you’re facing. Surround yourself with brilliant people who have a knowledge base greater than yours. This is what I call tapping into vibrational blueprints. Watch documentaries, read books, take courses. Infuse yourself with inspiration. Take action and remain steadfast in overcoming your subconscious fears.

To play a bigger game you have to surround yourself with energy that exceeds yours.

9. Be honest with yourself about what scares you

Most people don’t want to admit what they’re truly afraid of. Most of us are more afraid of fulfillment, true love, and happiness than anything else. Get quiet and tap into the truth of your greatest fears… and take the first small step. Remind yourself that you’re worthy of all the best that life has to offer.

10. Stop making excuses

You deserve to overcome your fears and feel at peace. You can train yourself to move forward, to move into alignment with your evolutionary potential on every level, but no more excuses. No more “tomorrow,” no more “when I have time or money.” Start where you’re at in any way you can.

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Author: Panache Desai – Collective Evolution

The Mandala: The Sacred Geometry of Meditation

A mandala is a visual symbol often utilized in meditation practices and teachings. The mandala symbol itself is a geometric construction of geometric points, lines, planes and solids which symbolizes our universe. These geometric symbols can be used as a visual meditation tool, called a yantra. Other designs can similarly be used as meditation tools, but may not be mandalas by definition.

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Mandalas and all other yantras work as visual meditation points of concentration. Pictured (top) is the sri yantra: sri meaning‘king’ or ‘most important’. Ancient yogis of India and Tibet considered it to be the most powerful of all geometric symbols, representing the geometric structure of the sound of creation — the Om.

Conversely, a mantra is the audio version of the mandala; an aural meditation tool. Whether the sound of the mantra is a single syllable tone, such as the Om, or a series of metaphysical musings, such as the ancient Gayatri Mantra, mantras are wavy linear expressions of universal connection, voiced as concentrated sound vibrations.

Meditation tools also extend far beyond the visual and aural; the terms asana and mudra both refer to physical positionings used as meditation tools. An asana is a body posture (such as those used in the practice of yoga) and a mudra is a hand gesture or posture. Asanas and mudras enable our own bodies to become a geometric representation of meditation. The postures transform the physical self into one’s own geometric figure or plane, both among the space and sensitive to the space of self and its surroundings.

Bringing these concepts and tools together is tantra. Tantra is integration; the integration of yantra (visual), mantra (sound) and mudra (positioning), each of which is an important, intertwined aspect of yoga, and life itself. Essentially tantra is the spiritual understanding of the relationship and connections between individual and universal energies. An ancient spiritual philosophy preceding both Buddhism and Hinduism, tantra signifies confluence and integration — a fusion— and refers to the unification or weaving together of principles and practices, instructions and individual actions. It unifies the macrocosm with the microcosm, the universal and the individual, the feminine and the masculine, the yin and the yang. It also refers to integrative knowledge and its continuation and refinement, through the interaction of teacher and student, and the acceptance, integration and transmutation of knowledge between individuals — like the string of life.

Etymologically, the word tantra is Sanskrit for loom, the device that weaves together string into cloth. It is an ancient word with many properties and has been variously used to describe the knots of strings weaved together in a rug, the cord on which sacred mala beads are strung, (mala beads are Tibetan prayer necklaces of 108 beads, which are used to assist with the mental or vocal repetition of a mantra 108 times — a number of great spiritual significance) and more broadly, to describe practices that unify the individual with the universal. Although the word tantra is often used in reference to the union of sacred lovemaking, the concept is not necessarily limited to the act of lovemaking. In fact, humanity itself is a tantra; a fused weaving knot or many strings, of many instructions and many individuals.

Related reading:

Unifying Meditative Principles and Practices

Unifying meditative principles and practices potentiates the power of tantra, yantra, mantra and asana. This is further enhanced by the incorporation of Yin Yang tantra. The combination of the Yin and Yang potentials and energies within leads to all sorts of aspects of personal development. This can be energetically understood in the idea that there are only two types of energies, straight and circular — straight for Yang potentials and circular for Yin potentials. It can be understood on a tangible level that rest and work are both required. When straight and circular energies combine, a spiral results. A spiral is one of, if not the, highest expressions of life energy.

There is not necessarily the need for a specific yantra, or specific mantra, or specific asana in the practice of meditation, however each are tools that can be used and considered, and are most powerful when practiced in a unified tantric manner, or tantric mind state. A tantric mind state recognizes unity expansion and aims toward it, rather than cultivating a mind state of separation. Essentially, using yantras, mantras and asanas as meditation tools helps to establish your sacred space and to unite with entirety in tantric balance.

No matter how one approaches meditation, the unifying tantra of meditation principles and practices bring about the unified expansion from the central source, as symbolized by the mandala yantra (the visual). No matter our level of refinement of posture, we are always in an asana, whether or not we also utilize mantra or yantra. For most of us, we still see and hear, and those who cannot can still concentrate and connect. And no matter the mantra, yantra or asana we utilize, it is the principles and energy behind (and pertaining to) their symbolism that contains the real spiritual power — the highest potential for tantric connection, which is inherently within us all.

The Geometry of Energy: How to Meditate

Want to learn more..?

In his book The Geometry of Energy: How to Meditate, author Ethan Indigo Smith explores meditation and meditative energies through the sacred dimensions of geometry. Simple and profound, it is an empowering four-step meditation designed to lead to individuation, self-development, and an enhanced understanding of energy and vibration. Useful to meditation newcomers and longtime practitioners alike, ‘The Geometry of Energy’ provides insights into a variety of meditative processes for psychological and spiritual cleansing and enhancement.

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Author: Ethan Indigo Smith – Wake Up World

3 Steps to Changing the Future

Seers, oracles, mystics… these are just some of the names given to those who were able to look through a window from the present into the future present. Operating using the vehicle of consciousness computing complex patterns, processes, and possibilities based on the unfolding of present circumstances, these able-ones have a perspective that potentially holds a greater power for changing the reality we experience on this planet than anything else.

If you knew with absolute certainly what will happen in the future, be it on a personal level or on a global scale, what would you do with that knowledge? Would you stand idly on the sidelines allowing “destiny” to play out? Or would you take an active role in shifting the present timeline in a way that alters events so that a different future plays out? Nothing is set in stone, for the one constant in existence is that of change.

3 Steps to Changing the Future

The future becomes the future if what happens in the present continues on its trajectory without being modified. The first step towards changing a future that didn’t happen yet is to have conviction that you can change the course of what one day will be called History. The next step is to have the courage and determination needed to become a change maker. The third step is to use the power of the heart-mind symbiosis to expand your awareness to see into the future present based on the present’s actions and reactions.

The first step is accomplished by raising your self-esteem and belief in yourself. Get motivated. Seek out the various practices and techniques that help you accomplish this. If you don’t feel that you can alter reality, you will never do so. Those who do believe they have the power to do so, will, and are doing so right now. Some of those that are doing this are not altering the dynamics of the present in a way that will lead us into a bright future. They actually have much to lose if such a prospective future were to materialize. Do you want others to direct the course of the future that may lead to oblivion of all that we hold dear and all that we aspire to see become a reality? Take a stand. Take a look at the people in positions of power and influence in society… those who are actively shaping what the future holds for us. If they seem impotent in guiding us all towards a peaceful world that is thriving with abundance, while reducing suffering, then why don’t you take the reins instead? If there was anything you should ever doubt, it’s the limits of what you are capable of.

The next step is accomplished by elevating your energy level. Provide your body with the sustenance and nourishment it needs for your vitality to rise in both body and mind. This means eating foods with as much life-force as possible (i.e. the fresher/more recently harvested the better), practicing body-mind modalities like yoga (vinyasa, kundalini, integral), qi gong, tai chi, breath work (pranayama, vase breath, Tsa Lung) and others. There is much to be explored in this domain, so look at what lies in the repository of human knowledge and practice what feels most in alignment with you.

The final step relies on expanding your perceptive abilities. There are advanced yogas, such as the Six Yogas of Naropa, as well as awareness-expanding and insight meditations such as the jhanas and kundalini, that are some of the ways in which you can activate the dormant abilities contained within you. When you pick up a crystal, do you feel the sensation of streams of movement through your hands or does it feel like you’re just holding some rock? When you sit with your eyes closed and breathe, do you gain insights and realizations into the nature of your Self and of Reality or does it feel like you’re just sitting there? Jumping ahead to this step without first laying the groundwork of the previous steps will not give you the results that you will anticipate. A pyramid needs a solid base before the capstone is put atop it. So to, must you prepare your body and mind so that all the ingredients act together to activate your ability to see and alter the future becoming of the present.

Gazing Into the Window of Opportunity

We are in a particularly unique and opportunistic time in human history. Never before has humanity been so connected, thanks to tech like the internet and wireless communication. Never before have we had access to nearly the entire repository of human knowledge in an instant. We are inside a window of opportunity right now. This window may quite possibly close very soon. We can already see attempts to shut it down, with the movements by certain powerful and influential forces. If this happens, we may never get another opportunity like this again. Humans are a very smart species, but their ability at foresight, or seeing into the future, is usually lacking. This inability to see what is becoming imprinted onto the fabric of reality has the potential to be humanity’s demise. If we’re fortunate there will at least be legends of our existence and what we accomplished.

If in the distant past humans had achieved as advanced, or even greater advancement than present day humans have, those achievements have been lost in the sands of time, leaving only subtle clues and hints of what was possible. Will our rubble one day be looked at with the great mystery as megalithic stone blocks are today? Will this civilization that we have created become so unbelievable that it will join the likes of Atlantis as just a legend?

We have the ability to alter our collective path. This massive organic star craft we call Earth, Terra, Home…this is the only vessel that is sustaining and supporting our continued existence. If this ship breaks down, so do we. The lack of looking at the cosmic perspective and outside the box hinders our ability to make the critical changes that must be made if we are to thrive in a bright future. Seeing the big picture is an ability of an evolved human being… an evolution that is intentionally and consciously guided. No need to wait millions of years for this, as this is organic tech already within us, yet dormant and latent in most. It doesn’t have to be. All it needs is a trigger to activate it…the trigger of your conviction, courage, and determination.

Dwell in Possibility

The adults of the world today still, by and large, suppress rather empower their children’s latent abilities that are contained within. This suppression model makes children grow into adults that become numb and oblivious of the incredible abilities they are capable of. The grooves of conditioning get dug deep, and while these abilities in adulthood (if cultivated and developed) may not be as strong as if their development was started encouraged from birth, they can still emerge and be powerful tools.

Will you see a cinematic playing out of the future in your mind? What is more likely is that you will have the activated ability to see the elaborate and complex nature of the interconnected Whole of all that is happening on this planet, in the collective consciousness. Seeing the all the elements of the Whole, and understanding how each element is playing its role in shaping the present into what becomes the future, you see what the most likely outcomes will be. With that knowledge, you will then possess the power of alter the direction we are headed.

The single biggest barrier to a bright future is the feeling and the feeding of fear. The more fear that humans generate personally and collectively, the more we fuel a dark future. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to unconsciously being food for the manifestation of dystopia. Have belief in yourself and have compassion for others. We’re all on this ride together after all, whether we like it or not. We can make it as enjoyable or as miserable as possible. The choice is always up to us. As Edward Everette Hale once said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Now that you know how to change the future, redefine what our timeline is leading to. Let’s steer this ship towards a thriving and peaceful future where we can step into the next phase of our evolution towards supramental transformation.

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Author: Paul Lenda

Understanding Ascension: The Geometry of Energy

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” ~ Lao Tzu

After climbing through the jungle, making my way through the grueling forest, dense and bewildering with trails, I came to a clearing on a ridge, on what I sensed must be the very top of the great mountain in the clouds. And as I made my way to the ridgetop and clearing, I saw that this was not the top. I saw it was beautiful and magnificent, but it was after all only a plateau. And from the plateau above the bewildering and winding complex of trails I now stood, I could see in the distance what could only be assumed at this point to be the peak. Perhaps there was a mountain more massive behind it too.

And on the story goes…

There are so many narrative accounts as well as fictional and metaphorical stories that ring out the same truth in the same way as the above narrative. Many of us often have this experience on one level or another at one point or another, where we come to this point in our lives, in ourselves. The reason this story is so often true, metaphorically and specifically, is because that’s how it is, both aesthetically and energetically. No matter how things go, no matter the plateau or peak you reach, there are always more heights to scale, another plateau or peak above you. As soon as you think you’re on top, you’ve stopped evolving, you’ve stopped ascending. And while you may end up at quite an enjoyable and beautiful place there could be a whole series of heights just beyond you that you won’t realize — until you realize ascension is a process, not a destination.

Once you begin on this infinite and exponential journey of discovery, you might stop, but there is no turning back.

The Nature of Ascension

The Geometry of Energy is a meditation teaching of focus, clarity, connection, circulation, unity and expansion. It is also a formula for energy comprehension — through meditative understanding of points, lines, shapes and solids — and a way toward simplification of the ascension process. Through examining the four dimensions of geometry, we are able to engage individuation, understand energy, visualize the big picture, and understand its importance.

In ascension, first you find out what is your current point of view; your plateau. Understand the process of growth, and celebrate the view.

Then you ask: What am I afraid of? Why do I always do X? What do I want to change, or experience? When you know where it is you want to go, and you can visualize the next point ahead of you, then you can visualize your line to it. If the point is something simple like quitting smoking, you can then enhance your line – your approach – to your goal accordingly. If the point is something more esoteric or intangible, like becoming more intuitive, you retain and maintain that point of focus, and the lines rise up to meet you as you ascend. Then you find your higher point, your more true self.

The key is to consciously make connections with lines and directions that most resemble your true nature and the nature you wish to become. Choose the next plateau you want to rise to. Become, embody, meditate and even chant if you will, boldly and simply: “I am X…” and watch your ascension unfold before you. We have a point in focus, lines arise before us. Of course, try to make sure the direction of your lines of ascension are as unselfish as possible; you do not have to destroy the mountain on your way up to its peaks. Consider your approaches in modest and achievable terms, and great heights can be attained as you travel, step by step.

Next, emancipate your energy to be unrestricted and flow with it in a way that opens the linear (direction) and circular (pattern) formations of energy in your life. These openings allow the ‘cocooned you’ to expand and break out, and fly! Be present… get grounded… meditate on the breath… acknowledge and embrace your unique place in the cosmic order. It doesn’t matter what self-realization or self-actualization practice you engage in, but in ascension, energetic circulation and expansion must occur.

Edgar Cayce observed there are four aspects to wellness; relaxation, circulation, assimilation and elimination. These four aspects to physical wellness are also applicable to our energetic bodies. Consider the blood being of our physical bodies being illustrative of our energetic bodies. If we are physically unfit our bodies go to shit. If we don’t move, we eat a lot of crap, or we consume alcohol frequently, our blood literally coagulates and slows down. The same is true for our energetic bodies. If we don’t practice some form of meditation or meditative movement, or get involved with nature and our natural state of being, the flow of our energetic bodies coagulates too, impeding our wellbeing and journey to the next spiritual peak.

Arriving at the Next Peak

Lastly is the process of expansion; the arrival at the peak where the next new peak can be seen. The expansion process is the “breakthrough” that people speak of. It often involves the crumbling of so many outer-shells that it may seem like a breakdown, but it’s actually a breakthrough. Expand your thoughts and focus on the linear and circular openings, psychologically and spiritually, so that the openings can lead to a flooding – but cleansing – unity expansion.

Initially, being mentally and emotionally present can be confronting. The human mind is nearly always clouded by life’s desires and traumas, so when we remove ourselves from distraction and engage in the realization of our deepest consciousness, we may experience an influx of unresolved (circular) thoughts and feelings; the traumas (past) and fears (future) of life may come into our consciousness, seeking to be cleared. Don’t just sit there in a half broke cocoon, half way to being a butterfly, hampered instead of freed, like so many figuratively do. Face the darkness. We may feel that this takes us farther away from an immediate sense of peace and progress, yet we can only achieve peace in the long-term if we acknowledge and resolve the thoughts and feelings that continue to arise in our consciousness. Know that these feelings, now acknowledged, will clear over time. Allow them to pass through your consciousness as you return to the serenity of the present moment.

Each energy dimension opens you up more and more to increased ascension because of their enhanced vibrations and complexities. Each time you engage this process the more the superfluous aspects of your character fall away. The more we move energy the more our unnecessary mental and emotional ‘add-ons’ all crumble from the cocoon; all of our induced masquerades, the less-real pieces of our psychological makeup, the constructs and shells that otherwise restrict our true butterfly nature.

Breakthroughs are often painful at one stage or another, and certainly during the unity expansion process things tend to break. The more you take an active part in your own ascension process, the more likely things will break on your way to becoming. The shell of your ego must be broken too, and then slightly modified, returned to working order with a new greater perspective on life and your unique place in it.

And remember, no matter how far you go, there is certainly always further to go. No matter how your level of being changes as you ascend, there is always another higher summit to climb.

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Author: Ethan Indigo Smith l  Wake Up World

Meditation as a Self-Healing Tool

The body is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that can be flipped on or off with thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. This is great news, because it means, in essence, that you can heal yourself. But how?

One of the many simple ways you can flip on your body’s self-repair mechanisms is via meditation.

What Does It Mean To Meditate?

Dictionary.com defines meditation as “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation,” but I prefer Harvard professor Dr. Herbert Benson’s definition. He defines it as “Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity while passively disregarding everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and returning to your repetition.” With this definition of meditation, anything can be a meditation – not just sitting with your eyes closed in the lotus position, but walking, making art, cooking, shopping, dancing, driving… whatever.

How The Body Heals Itself

In my medical training, we were not taught that the body knows how to heal itself. Yet it is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that repair broken proteins, kill cancer cells, fight infections, prevent aging, and maintain the homeostasis of the body. When the body gets sick, whether from the common cold or something more serious, like heart disease or cancer, it’s almost always because the body’s self-repair mechanisms have broken down, usually because of stress.

When the nervous system is stressed, as it is during the “fight-or-flight” stress response that is so commonly triggered in modern day life, these self-repair mechanisms are disabled and the body is at risk for disease. Only when the counterbalancing relaxation response is activated, when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system is turned on, can the body heal itself.

Why Meditate?

So how can you turn on that relaxation response so the body can heal itself? One of the simplest and most effective is meditation!  Meditation has been scientifically proven to activate the relaxation response, and as a result, almost every health condition improves. In his research at Harvard, Herbert Benson demonstrated that meditation is effective in treating angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmias, allergic skin reactions, anxiety, mild to moderate depression, bronchial asthma, herpes simplex, cough, constipation, diabetes mellitus, duodenal ulcers, dizziness, fatigue, hypertension, infertility, insomnia, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, nervousness, postoperative swelling, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, side effects of cancer, side effects of AIDS, and all forms of pain – backaches, headaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, joint aches, postoperative pain, neck, arm, and leg pain. (Most likely it helps many conditions not listed here, but Dr. Benson just hasn’t gotten around to studying them yet!)

Meditation has been shown to decrease stress-related cortisol, reduce respiration and heart rate, reduce the metabolic rate, increase blood flow in the brain, increase activity in the left prefrontal cortex (which is observed in happier people), strengthen the immune system, and lead to a state of relaxation.

Meditation also reduces work stress, anxiety, and depression, promotes cardiovascular health, improves cognitive function, reduces alcohol abuse, improves longevity, promotes healthy weight, improves immune function, and heightens quality of life.

How To Start Meditating 

Deepak Chopra recommends the “RPM” (Rise, Pee, Meditate) approach to meditation, suggesting that those who can will be well served to meditate first thing upon arising.  However, if you, like me, have young children, you may find it easier to meditate when the kids are napping or away at school. If you work outside the home, you may find it easier to meditate over your lunch break or just before bed.

Regardless of when you do it, it’s crucial to make the time in your schedule to help your nervous system relax.

Here are Some Tips to Help You Get Started with a Sitting Meditation Practice:

1. Create a peaceful environment

If you’ve never tried a sitting meditation before, start by creating a peaceful environment in which to meditate. I have two altars I’ve created at home, one in my bedroom and one in my home office, which I sit in front of to meditate. When I sit down to meditate, I light the candles, burn some incense, and take a moment to let my altar soothe me.

Some people have rooms exclusively dedicated to meditation.  Even a small closet can be tricked out to become a special space designed to help your body relax and your soul connect. Meditating outside can also be lovely. Because I live on the California coast, I often meditate at the ocean on a rocky beach that is usually deserted or in Muir Woods, among the peaceful redwoods. If you have access to quiet spots in nature, try a beach, a riverfront, a meadow, or a forest free of distractions. 

2. Minimize disruptions

Turn off the TV, silence your phone, and play soothing music if you like. The point is to create an environment conducive to freeing your mind from its daily clutter and relaxing your body.

3. Choose your meditation position

If you can, sit on the floor and close your eyes. You don’t have to sit in the lotus position unless you want to, but sitting on the floor helps you feel grounded, connects you to Mother Earth, and roots you into your body when you meditate. Feel free to use pillows, cushions, and other props that help you feel comfortable. Keep your back straight so you can breathe deeply with ease. If sitting on the floor is too uncomfortable, sit in a chair and place your feet firmly on the floor to develop a sense of grounding.

4. Set a timer

If you’re new to meditation, start with just five minutes per day and aim to work up to twenty. Set a timer so you don’t have to interrupt your meditation to check your watch.

5. Close your eyes

Closing your eyes minimizes visual distractions, helps you come back into your body, and starts to settle you.

6. Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale

Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield suggests that if you notice yourself remembering, planning, or fantasizing, refrain from judging yourself, but do call it out. “Hello remembering.”  “Hello planning.” “Hello fantasizing.” Then return to the present moment, focusing on your breath. The minute you notice your thoughts starting to wander, come back to your breath and try to empty your mind. If your mind continues to wander and your breath isn’t enough to empty your mind, try counting your breaths or repeating a one word mantra like “peace” or “one” to clear your mind.

7. Release judgment

Most importantly, don’t judge yourself as you learn to meditate. Criticizing yourself for meditating “badly” or beating yourself up because your monkey mind won’t calm down will only stress you out, defeating the purpose of making attempts to help your body relax so it can repair itself. Remain compassionate with yourself, and pat yourself on the back for any progress you make.

Can’t make it more than 10 breaths into your meditation? Give yourself a hug and try again the next day. Like anything, it just takes practice. As someone who resisted meditation for most of my life, I can attest to the fact that it really does get easier with regular practice, and the benefits are so worth the effort. 

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Author: Lissa Rankin – Wake Up World

Why We Should Bring Meditation Into Schools

“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” ~ Dalai Lama

Imagine if meditation was a regular part of school life for children. Just think how different the world would be. If every child was able to connect to the ocean of consciousness that permeates all that is, the desire to do wrong by others would dissolve.

Meditation allows us to discover through experience the truth of who we really are. The problem in today’s society is that we are constantly running from ourselves, and consequently from the truth. We’re so occupied with work and social events that we never take the time to discover who we truly are at the core of our being.

Most of us learn to be something we are not. We learn to fit in, to conform and to abide by social norms. We learn how to put on a mask in front of other people. We learn how to be slaves to our own ego. We become so good at running from ourselves that we can’t stand the thought of ever taking off the mask we’ve become comfortable wearing. So we betray ourselves and we let our ego roam free. We become numb to the world and every living creature in it. We sell our soul for an illusion of who we are, and deep down, a part of us knows that we are on the run. Many of us have no hope of ever reconnecting with the self as we have run too far…

What if we never started running from ourselves in the first place? What if we learned to be at peace with ourselves from an early age? If schools taught meditation, children would unearth their own passions, their own interests and their own creative potential. They would not be so bothered by their own insecurities and would learn to live for the moment instead of always reaching for somewhere where they are not.

Meditation helped me find meaning in my own life. I would not be following my heart and trying to change the education system if it weren’t for meditation. It connected me to the deepest yearning of my own soul, and aligned me with my life’s purpose. Likewise, children who practise meditation on a regular basis are not so prone to stress, worry and illness. They also develop stronger bonds with all living things and have less of a need to compete with their peers.

I believe it is crucial for us to give children this gift of mindfulness. It is my hope that one day the practice of meditation will become as commonplace as cleaning one’s teeth.

The Benefits of Meditation

Many clinical studies have proven that meditation increases the brain’s cortical thickness, protects the body from disease, and significantly improves focus and concentration.

Schneider, Grim & Rainforth et al. looked at 201 men and women with coronary heart disease who took part in one of two groups: a transcendental meditation (TM) program or a health education program. After five and a half years, the TM group showed a 48% risk reduction for heart attack and stroke.

Another study by Pagnoni & Cekiccompared gray matter in the brains of Zen meditators and non-meditators over a long period of time. Though gray matter ordinarily reduces with age, the gray matter of the Zen meditators did not reduce at all.

In the report, Pagnoni & Cekic stated:

“The finding of a reduced rate of decline with age of both global and regional gray matter volume in meditators may in fact indicate the involvement of multiple mechanisms of neuroprotection.”

Lazar & Kerr et al. reached a similar conclusion in a study on the impact of meditation on cortical thickness of the brain.

They found:

“Regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing. Further, regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.”

Goyal & Singh et al. studied 3515 participants in mindfulness meditation programs and found evidence of decreased anxiety, decreased depression and decreased pain.

Just imagine how much future generations of children would gain from this regular practice. The benefits are truly extraordinary. We need to do everything we can to bring meditation into schools. If we’re going to learn to live peacefully with one another, we must first discover that peace within ourselves.

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Author: Will Stanton / Wake Up World 

 

Can Technology Aid Your Meditation Practice?

As the science of contemplation develops, there are many ways to leverage technology in practice. Here are some tools and ideas you may want to consider.

The intersection of technology and meditation can be a difficult crossroad to navigate. Constant connectedness is a facet of modern life that often comes at the expense of our ability to reflect and create mental space, and therefore the use of technology to aid contemplative practice may be counterintuitive and is sometimes controversial.

Soren Gordhamer, founder of Wisdom 2.0, a conference that explores the relationship between contemplative practice, technology, and business, recently told Anderson Cooper in an interview on 60 Minutes, “What people are realizing is that constant connectivity is great for part of the day, but if you do it your entire day you’re more stressed, you can’t sleep, you’re less present with your kids, and they’re hungry for … some kind of contemplative space in [the] day.”

When Vincent Horn, host of the Buddhist Geeks podcast, started meditating, he says his teachers viewed technology and the world of technology as, in some ways, antithetical to the contemplative life. “[In their view] these technologies just distract and fragment you; that’s all their good for.” It was an “act of rebellion” on Horn’s part to begin to explore the ways that Buddhism, science, and technology converge.

Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama is an advocate for bringing science, technology, and one’s spiritual path together, going so far as to say that Buddhism should change its claims when science can conclusively demonstrate them to be false. Neuroscientists have researched meditation for many decades, starting primarily with Transcendental Meditation in the 1960s and 70s. Since 1987, momentum in the field has increased thanks in part to the Mind and Life conferences, which facilitate collaboration between academic scientists, the Dalai Lama, and other Tibetan monks and scholars to help build bridges between meditation and biology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. Out of the basic scientific research into meditation’s effects has naturally emerged a wave of technological applications to help people learn to meditate or enhance their practice.

Some of these products are fairly straightforward adaptations of the time-tested structures for meditation instruction and practice. For example, using videos to teach to people online and message boards for communities to gather and discuss their practices. These are old foundations of practice, now given an extended reach. Other applications however, are more novel and technologically involved. At the institutional level, for example, Judson Brewer and his lab at the University of Massachusetts have developed fMRI and EEG tools to measure brain activity in real-time and provide feedback to help optimize contemplation. Consumer enterprises like Interaxon and HeartMath, offer affordable EEG and heart rate-sensing hardware and software with instructions for using them to improve meditation.

Related: A Simple Guide to the Complex World of Meditation

Outside of commercial and institutional enterprises, amateur technologists and hackers are also active in this space. Mikey Siegel, an engineer and graduate of the MIT Media Lab, and the cofounder of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University, hosts “Consciousness Hacking” Meetups in the San Francisco Bay area and has recently expanded to New York City to organize, develop, and promote the community of techno-yogis.

For consumers, mobile apps are some of the most prevalent and easily accessible meditation products on the market. If you search the Apple App Store, you will find 360 “meditation” apps and 447 for “mindfulness.” Many of them are timers that use sounds and visual elements to represent the how long you have been meditating. Some remind you to weave in mindful moments throughout your day. Others help you start and maintain a committed meditation practice. Here are a few standout programs that you may find useful:

Insight Timer (Free): This app features a variety of high-quality recordings of meditation bells to help you begin and end your practice. It also features guided sessions by many well-known meditation teachers such as Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, and Eckhart Tolle, and it “gamifies” your progress to encourage continued practice. You can also use the app to connect to other users all around the world.

Mind (Free): This is “just” a meditation timer but its simple design and elegant aesthetic make it a standout in the app marketplace.

Headspace (Free to download, $7.99 per month): Ideal for beginners and casual meditators, this app features meditations of different lengths for health, relationships, and performance, written and recorded by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe. The program is free to start, but a subscription allows you to access longer courses and additional techniques.

Omvana (Free to download, $1.99+ per meditation): This app offers thousands of guided meditations for various situations produced by an array of independent experts from diverse backgrounds. Omvana also lets you record your own meditation or relaxation tracks set to background music.

While many applications may offer an entry point for new practitioners, some of the experts we spoke with had doubts about whether technology-aided meditation could ever be as powerful as classical meditation “technologies”. According to Jon Mitchell, managing editor at Burning Man and author of In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times, a new book on mindfulness and technology, the tools available to consumers are still too simplistic to accurately represent and feedback information more useful than that of your own rich sensory experience. He is also concerned with what he calls the “dependency drawback.” Traditional teachings are internalized through texts and personal instruction. When your meditation practice requires an Internet connection, electricity, a digital community, and an iPhone, it’s harder to practice independently. “If your analytics become your mantra, then how can you practice without them?” he asks.

We will find out in time whether technology-aided meditation can overcome these hurdles. It’s clear that there is a great deal of creative energy in the space, and pioneers in the field say that neuroscientific applications for meditation may soon make dramatic leaps in their effectiveness and widespread use.

This is the first of a two-part examination of technology-aided meditation. Check back next month to learn more about its potential risks and benefits.

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9 Healing Benefits of Music

Music… loved, cherished, and admired by humans for countless ages. It’s shaped culture and society in very profound ways. It has started social revolutions and shifts in collective consciousness. There is a magical feeling that can come from music and its enchanting spell has affected billions of people in sometimes life-changing ways, as it continues to do to this day.

In recent decades, many studies have been done on music to see exactly how much of an impact and just how influential it is on human beings and other sentient life. The discoveries are absolutely fascinating.

Music as a Healer

Mystics, sages, and others have mused about the healing properties of music. They realized such qualities existed because they experienced them first-hand. As convincing such evidence may have been for such individuals, such proof does not hold precedence in modern western society, where scientific empiricism reigns supreme. Thankfully, many studies have been done to show that music does indeed have healing powers.

If a person has a stroke on the left side of the brain, where the speech centers are located in most people, that “wipes out a major part of communication,” said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, chief of the Cerebrovascular Disorder Division and Stroke-Recovery Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. But if the right side, where a lot of music is processed, is intact, some stroke patients can use “melodic intonation therapy,” which involves singing using two tones (relatively close in pitch) to communicate.

Schlaug’s research suggests that with intense therapy some patients can even move from this two-tone singing back to actual speech. Stroke patients with gait problems also profit from neurologically based music therapy. At the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, director Michael Thaut and his team have shown that people partially paralyzed on one side can retrain to walk faster and in a more coordinated way if they practice walking rhythmically, cued by music or a metronome. Combining rhythmic training with physical therapy also helps stroke patients recover gait faster.

A number of studies show that music therapy – the use of music for medical goals – can reduce pain. In a 2001 study on burn patients, whose burns must be frequently scraped to reduce dead tissue, researchers found that music therapy significantly reduced the excruciating pain. Patients undergoing colonoscopy also seem to feel less pain and need fewer sedative drugs if they listen to music during the procedure, according to several studies. Another study done at Glasgow Caledonian University found that people who were listening to their favorite music felt less pain and could stand pain for a longer period.

Music therapy may also improve mental state and functioning in people with schizophrenia, according to a 2007 Cochrane review. Premature infants who listen to lullabies learn to suck better and gain more weight than those who don’t get music therapy. And Deforia Lane, director of music therapy at the University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland, has found an improvement in immune response among hospitalized children who played, sang, and created music compared to children who did not get music therapy.

Finally, research conclusions have identified how the affect of music could replicate the effects of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Sound is a Harmonic Healer

Wave forms and frequencies permeate everything from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest structures – through solid objects and energy fields – even our thoughts and emotions. When we are feeling good, all aspects of our being can be said to be in harmony. When we are experiencing discomfort on any level, or sickness occurs, the vibrations of certain sounds can help bring us back to a harmonic, healthy state.

Along with healing and transformation, making sounds through sacred instruments or our voices has been a joyful part of human life throughout human history. It is only recently that watching TV or listening to recordings has virtually replaced the pleasure of making sounds together. Modern science is proving how sound vibrations can improve health and enhance our lives. A research team in Sweden discovered the most effective way of clearing blocked sinus passages was humming! Some participants in these sound healing sessions have noted how relaxing and uplifting the experience is, while others find it has helped relieve pain, bring them to a more joyful state, and many other benefits.

The Awe of Music

Music has also been shown to have the wonderful power to awe humans. Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute, for instance, have found dramatic evidence on brain scans that the “chills,” or a visceral feeling of awe, that people report listening to their favorite music are real.

Music that a person likes – but not music that is disliked – activates both the higher, thinking centers in the brain’s cortex, and, perhaps more important, also the “ancient circuitry, the motivation and reward system,” said experimental psychologist Robert Zatorre, a member of the team.It’s this ancient part of the brain that, often through the neurotransmitter dopamine, also governs basic drives such as for food, water, and sex, suggesting the tantalizing idea that the brain may consider music on a par with these crucial drives.

Listen to Music, Develop More Neurons

Music, the universal language of mood, emotion and desire, connects with us through a wide variety of neural systems. Researchers have discovered evidence that music stimulates specific regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. They have located specific areas of mental activity linked to the emotional responses elicited by music. An outstanding discovery recently has shown that children listening to music have increased neural development. Neurons are the oldest and longest cells in the body. You have many of the same neurons for your whole life.

Although other cells die and are replaced, many neurons are never replaced when they die. In fact, you have fewer neurons when you are old compared to when you are young. However , data published in November 1998 show that in one area of the brain (the hippocampus), neurons can in fact grow in adult humans as well. The discovery that new neurons develop in children can also mean that they can develop in an adult. It would seem a reasonable assumption, although it is not yet clear empirically if this is the case, but those that cherish and love music will tell you anecdotal evidence that they feel they do have more brain power than before.

The Brain Loves Harmony

“Undeniably, there is a biology of music,” according to Harvard University Medical School neurobiologist Mark Jude Tramo. He sees it as beyond question that there is specialization within the brain for the processing of music. Music is a biological part of life as surely as it is an aesthetic part. Studies as far back as 1990 found that the brain responds to harmony. Using a PET scanner to monitor changes in neural activity, neuroscientists at McGill University discovered that the part of the brain activated by music is dependent on whether or not the music is pleasant or dissonant.

The brain grows in response to musical training in the way a muscle responds to exercise. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston discovered that male musicians have larger brains than men who have not had extensive musical training. The cerebellums, that part of the brain containing 70% of the total brain’s neurons, were 5% larger in expert male musicians. Researchers have found evidence of the power of music to affect neural activity no matter where they looked in the brain, from primitive regions found in animals to more recently evolved areas thought to be strictly human such as the frontal lobes. Harmony, melody and rhythm invoke distinct patterns of brain activity.

Attaining Full Consciousness Through Music

Attaining full consciousness, meaning that one utilizes both sides of the brain equally has been shown to manifest in musicians and those who are exposed to music for a good portion of their life. Vanderbilt University psychologists have found that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.

Instrumental musicians often integrate different melodic lines with both hands into a single musical piece, and they have to be very good at simultaneously reading the musical symbols, which are like left-hemisphere-based language, and integrating the written music with their own interpretation, which has been linked to the right hemisphere. The researchers also found that, overall, the musicians had higher IQ scores than the non-musicians, supporting recent studies that intensive musical training is associated with an elevated IQ score.

A Music-Memory Connection

Music surprises us yet again; this time revealing that it helps us remember. In a recent study, Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California, Davis said that “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.” Janata began suspecting the medial pre-frontal cortex as a music-processing and music-memories region when he saw that part of the brain actively tracking chord and key changes in music.

He had also seen studies which showed the same region lighting up in response to self-reflection and recall of autobiographical details. In his own study, Janata saw that tunes linked to the strongest self-reported memories triggered the most vivid and emotion-filled responses – findings corroborated by the brain scan showing spikes in mental activity within the medial prefrontal cortex.

The brain region responded quickly to music signature and timescale, but also reacted overall when a tune was autobiographically relevant. Furthermore, music tracking activity in the brain was stronger during more powerful autobiographical memories. This latest research could explain why even Alzheimer’s patients who endure increasing memory loss can still recall songs from their distant past.

Music as an Identifier of Emotions

In a study detailed in the European Journal of Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary Northwestern research team for the first time provides biological evidence that musical training enhances an individual’s ability to recognize emotion in sound, which is quite a useful skill in any facet of life. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, found that the more years of musical experience musicians possessed and the earlier the age they began their music studies also increased their nervous systems’ abilities to process emotion in sound.

Previous research has indicated that musicians demonstrate greater sensitivity to the nuances of emotion in speech. In fact, recent studies indicated that musicians might even be able to sense emotion in sounds after hearing them for only 50 milliseconds.

Immerse Yourself in Music

By now, the intimate role musical harmonics play in your life should be abundantly clear to you. There’s so many incredible benefits you can have to your overall wellness by incorporating music into your daily life, be it listening to music in whatever way you do, playing an instrument for fun or professionally, or using specifically designed healing music right before bed or in a meditation session.

However you use music in your life, you will definitely experience the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits that music provides us. Enhance your life experience with the added element of music whenever you are able to and you will find yourself living a more surreal and more transcendent life.

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Author: Paul Lenda / Wake up World

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