December Twenty-First

Today is the birthdate of my teacher’s teacher.

Swami Brahmananda Saraswati

Guru Dev 4 by 6

One of his students was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
And amongst his students we can remember The Beatles,
who sang Jai Guru Dev in their song, Across the Universe.
Jai Guru Dev means Thank You Beloved Teacher.
On this day I think of Swami Brahmananda, who set so many
things in motion, Across the Universe.
Jai Guru Dev.

Peace On Earth: There’s an APP for that!


taste of utopia


Remembering meditating with 7,000 people for 3 weeks, almost 30 years ago. the Happiness Index rose and the Suffering Index fell. It could happen again. Any time. I’m in the red beret, on the left, about 900 rows back.

Group Meditation: Uniting the Forces of Nature for World Peace

Quiet Path Meditation for TeensIt will come as no surprise that your meditation results can be amplified exponentially when you practice with a group of like-minded people. But did you know that there’s information supporting an understanding of how large assemblies of meditation groups radiate a statistically measurable influence of harmony and progress into the surrounding environment?

In the past, the world view of classical physics was that the universe consisted of tiny sub-atomic particles: tiny, localized “balls” that structure the atoms which make up our world.

But in modern quantum field theory, it became necessary to replace this concept of the localized, classical particle with a completely unlocalized, universal, and nonmaterial field.

In the most recent supersymmetric superstring theories, in fact, all the elementary particles and forces are revealed as the various vibrational modes of one universal and nonmaterial field: the unified field – known technically as the heterotic superstring field.

This points us to a better view of a profound parallel between the intelligence in the human mind and the intelligence in nature. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner has often remarked on the “unreasonable efectiveness” of mathematics for describing the physical world. Mathematical formulas cognized within human awareness precisely describe the physical laws displayed in nature. This uncanny parallel between mind and nature moved Einstein to comment, “One may say that the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

A further parallel is striking. Human intelligence, like nature’s intelligence, has at its basis a single unified field. The most basic level of human intelligence is unified in this sense: during the general waking state of consciousness, awareness is diversified – divided into an observer, an observed, and a process of observation – while in its most fundamental state consciousness is aware of itself alone. In this state, consciousness itself is the observer, the observed, and the process of observation. It is a completely unified structure of intelligence.

It’s not necessary to be an advanced mathematician or physicist to experience this unified field of intelligence. As meditation helps the mind move naturally from the outer world to the increasingly refined inner levels of the thinking process, you begin to transcend thought, and the mind is left alone to experience its own inner nature, its pure intelligence or consciousness. This deep inner attunement brings so many documented benefits, including increased intelligence and creativity, reduced stress, improved health, and more satisfying relationships. They access the support of nature’s intelligence for their daily thought and activity.

So what if a meditation group decided to point their daily thought and activity, and especially their daily transcendence, toward a common goal? One would assume that, if consciousness is a field, then it should support field effects, i.e., producing an effect on the environment.

In fact, more than a dozen studies have now been published or presented which show that the radiating benefit from large assemblies manifests itself directly in a wide range of sociological data: reduced crime, reduced accidents, reduced hospital admissions, and reduced incidences of violence, including terrorism and warfare. Says Ved Nanda, Ph.D., director of the International Legal Studies Program at the University of Denver: “This is promising research. It is a non-traditional approach, but the methodology of these studies is sound and the statistical significance high. In a world as unstable as ours, I believe any approach with such consistent objective support deserves careful attention.” And Mark Novak, Ph.D., a sociologist at the University of Winnipeg, says, “If it only happened once or twice, you could argue coincidence. In these studies, it’s the continual correspondence over a long period that gets your attention.”

One study in particular documented the effects of meditation on preventing violent crime in Washington DC. This two-month experiment brought approximately 4,000 participants together to pool their meditation practices. Using time series analysis, data shows a “highly significant decrease” in violent crimes during the study period.

The statistics used in these studies are open, public data – crime rate, traffic fatalities, war deaths, and other such statistics. Any researcher can verify the results in a straightforward manner. Says Raymond Russ, Ph.D., editor of The Journal of Mind and Behavior, “When you can statistically control for as many variables as these studies do, it makes the results much more convincing.”

These findings are challenging, of course: the idea that consciousness can produce peace and harmony doesn’t conform with our usual understanding of the mind. But if consciousness now appears to work like every other fundamental field in nature, then it’s only a matter of time before our theoretical picture of consciousness gets updated.

Meditation Can Ease ADD/ADHD Symptoms

ADD/ADHD have become quite prevalent, with the number of children prescribed powerful pharmaceutical medicines to treat its symptoms growing in leaps and bounds during the past few decades. The range of symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD is broad, with many coming down basically to a matter of degree. In other words, in lesser or more controlled doses, the some – perhaps even many – of the ADD/ADHD spectrum behaviors in and of themselves wouldn’t be problematic. Many parents and health care professionals have concerns about the medications typically used to manage ADD/ADHD, leading researchers to study alternatives, including such cognitively oriented solutions as meditation.

In November of 2007, ABC News reported on an Australian study that took place at Prince of Wales Hospital, the results of which were announced at that year’s World Psychiatric Association conference. Children under 12 that were being treated pharmaceutically for ADHD were taught simple meditation techniques, as were their parents. Symptoms in the children were reduced by just over a third during the 6 week study, and some were even able to decrease the use of prescribed medicines. The parents also benefited from the meditation, reporting that they felt more relaxed and better able to manage the symptoms that their children displayed.

Utilizing meditation techniques to manage ADD/ADHD symptoms makes a lot of sense, when viewed strictly in terms of logic. Cognitive therapies, or strategies, place real, practical tools in the hands of people that have need of them. Knowledge is different from medications in that medicines can run out, be misplaced, or eventually lose their effectiveness. Knowledge is something that a person carries with them wherever they go, it is something that cannot be taken away, and – once attained – doesn’t require depending on somebody else. Indeed, cognitive therapies, like meditation, can be very empowering, setting in motion a positive cycle that spirals toward further positive experiences.

Even the simplest of meditation techniques, such as regulating the breathing, can produce positive results, such as stress reduction. These initial successes encourage the user to continue using the techniques that have been mastered and to learn more, as well as instill a spark of confidence in being able to have some degree of control over thoughts, emotions, and behavior. That experience of control, with the confidence that it inspires, can improve symptoms in and of itself, simply by offering that empowering realization that it can be done. Even young children can learn simple meditation techniques, and those techniques will serve them well for their entire lives.

Some of the symptoms that serve as markers for ADD/ADHD spectrum disorders, such as difficulty in concentrating and struggles to control impulses, can be directly addressed by practicing meditation techniques on a regular basis. Like any skill a child tries to learn, whether it be learning to play an instrument or mastering calculus, truly mastering meditation skills and learning how to apply them to meet specific cognitive challenges and situations will take time. Researchers continue to study the potentials of meditation in helping families to cope when there has bee a diagnoses of ADD/ADHD.

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