We all seem to be climbing a great mountain, some slower, some quicker. Up here near the summit we discover that we are free from the bindings of our egos, conditionings and physical bodies — that we exist permanently above and beyond these limitations. In Rhonda Byrne’s new book, The Greatest Secret, I was happy to hear that deep experiences I’ve been having for almost forty years, through the teachings of Shri Mataji and the practice of Sahaja Yoga meditation, are becoming mainstream. This isn’t because of mass media, but because human beings are asking the right questions and feeling reality within themselves. But I find that this new book, although it beautifully describes thoughtless-awareness and natural detachment from internal and external complications, is missing much of the detail that so many of us have experienced through daily, actual meditation. Among the most prominent phenomena is the amazing ‘cool breeze’ that flows in our central nervous systems when human beings attain joyful equilibrium. Also missing are the details of the workings of our subtle-systems of energy centers and channels, and the benevolent Kundalini energy in our spines.
Of course, the highest priority is the deep, silent meditation itself, a natural, essential state that should be achieved by all. But The Greatest Secret is only a glimpse through the window of enlightenment. Just sayin’. https://wemeditate.co
• Meditators showed around 7% more grey matter, the largest published difference between healthy groups.
• As grey matter decreases with age and with most mental illnesses, this difference throughout the brain is associated with a younger and healthier brain.
• The grey matter difference was more marked in areas related to the control of attention and emotions.
An investigation on the influence of mental silence in the human brain has just been published in the magazine Plos One. The article is entitled: “Larger whole brain grey matter associated with long-term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: a detailed area by area comparison”. The original text is available at the following link:https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237552
It is said that, for more than forty thousand years, human beings have a language that allows us to communicate with precision, that language is reproduced within our brain as thoughts without interruption. When negative thoughts are repeated in vicious cycles, our mental health can be affected with issues such as stress, anxiety or depression.
Today there is plenty of scientific literature that shows that being with the attention in the present moment, in the here and now, is beneficial for our psyche and our general health. Unfortunately, thoughts take us out of the present moment and to stop the thoughts for a long time is not easy, especially when we are not doing tasks that demands much attention.
Yoga includes many different techniques, among which meditation (Dhayana in classical yoga) plays a leading role. The first yoga treatise, “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”, mentions that “yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind.” In ancient yoga a higher state of consciousness has been described, called “Nirvichara Samadhi”, which can be translated as “mental silence” or “thoughtless awareness”. In this state, the mind is calm, with a feeling of inner bliss, and with the attention focused on the present moment. Sahaja Yoga Meditation puts into practice the goals of classical Yoga to achieve the state of Nirvichara or mental silence.
Researchers led by Professor Sergio Elías Hernández from the University of La Laguna in Tenerife (ULL), in collaboration with scientists from King’s College London University, Jaume I University of Castellón and Sermas of Madrid, have been exploring for more than ten years the benefits of the state of mental silence on the human brain.
The study was carried out at the ULL MRI scanner, where the researchers recorded the brain anatomy of 23 meditator volunteers, experts in Sahaja Yoga meditation, and 23 non-meditating volunteers. Both groups were made up of healthy volunteers and both groups did not differ in age, educational level, ethnicity, proportion of men and women, etc.
To better understand this study, we must mention that the brain tissue is classified, according to its appearance, into three types: grey matter, made up of neuronal bodies and interconnections, (dark grey in resonance images); the white matter, formed by nerve fibers or long connections between distant areas, (light grey in the resonance images), and the cerebrospinal fluid or watery substance that fills the interior voids and serves as protection and transport of chemical substances.
The study of brain anatomy showed that meditators had, on average, 7% more grey matter in the whole brain. This type of comparison of the grey matter of the brain has been made in recent years among other groups in: athletes, musicians, taxi drivers, Buddhists, mindfulness meditators, etc. In these cases, the analyses showed that the group studied had local differences, greater grey matter, in brain areas associated with their specific practice, but the difference was never in the whole brain as it is the case with mental silence. The difference of 7% larger grey matter is especially significant if one takes into account that our brain loses between 0.15% and 0.3% of grey matter per year and small differences in grey matter can mark whether or not we keep intact our cognitive functions. It should be also noted that diseases, typical of the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s, senile dementia or Parkinson’s are also associated with loss of grey matter.
An advance of this study was published in the same journal Plos One in 2016, but the available methodology did not allow a detailed study to be made to see how the grey matter differences were distributed in the different areas of the brain. Given the uniqueness of the group differences observed throughout the whole brain, the researchers had to develop a specific statistical method (ad- hoc) to be able to evaluate these differences, area by area. Of all the brain areas, the grey matter difference was significantly larger in meditators in the right temporal lobe, an area associated with emotions, and in both frontal lobes, areas associated with cognitive and emotional self-control functions.
Study authors: Sergio Elías Hernándeza*, Roberto Dortab, José Sueroc, Alfonso Barros-Loscertalesd, José Luis González-Morae, Katya Rubiaf
a: Departamento de Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
b: Departamento de Matemáticas, Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
c: Centro de Salud Jazmín, Sermas, Madrid, Spain. d: Departamento de Psycología, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain. e: Departamento de Fisiología, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain f: Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, Londres, UK.
*Author for more information: Email: email@example.com
Two weeks before May 5, 1982, I learned how to meditate (really meditate, in thoughtless awareness, feeling the benevolent effects of my very own kundalini energy in me). Now Sahaja Yoga is celebrating 50 years of establishing global transformation, from a time when meditation was viewed as an esoteric hobby, to the present when it’s recommended worldwide by health experts for its universal balancing and integrative effects.
How time flies. Today it’s been half-a-century since that crucial sprouting that’s since risen into this majestic tree. Then, for me, it was still a 12-year-old sapling that has gradually lifted me into reality.
It’s so peaceful and fulfilling up here. Thank You, Shri Mataji, and everyone that has dedicated their lives to establishing this essential metamorphosis. 🦋🌳
Here in the twenty-first century, moving amongst us are personages of past renown marked now not by outstanding appearance or popular appreciation, but by the inner treasures they radiate: universal benevolence and the germinating power of enlightenment. A Sunrise approaches that will reveal all the sublime glory of life — not on any media display, but in the hearts of human beings. Look within. That precious hour is upon us.
“We are indeed larvae, eating our way through Earth’s resources in a mindless, caterpillar fashion, but I believe that the imago is already beginning to stir within. When the ‘climate’ is right, it will break out not as some sort of super computer but as an organic being [collective consciousness] that will embody all of the Supernature and look back on technology as a childhood toy.”
Everything we’ve generally accepted about human beings is quickly changing. As soon as we discover that we are much larger and more precious than our familiar shells, all the Game rules change. Our limited perception is expanding out into beautiful reality. This is what it’s all been leading up to.
More about the mysterious, enlightening ‘cool breeze’ appearing in our modern culture, and forgiveness that enables ‘thoughtless awareness’:
Long, long ago in Canada, when I, as a small child, was hiding in my bedroom listening to the drunken fights of my parents; or, at fifteen, hurrying terrified through a dark suburban neighbourhood seeking rescue as my first massive dose of LSD ripped through my brain; or, as a young adult, begging for coins on a city street or curled up on the concrete under newspapers, trying to catch glimpses of my unreachable dreams,
I could never have suspected that I would someday be enjoying a good book in the living room of my homestead on the other side of the world, loved and respected and at peace with my soul and the universe.
It all comes from within us, every bountiful drop of life manifesting.
Seek the silence of the present moment whence abundance springs.
Union is the key to the front door.
Life is a journey. Step out of the pain shadows into the comforting light And always carry your true home in that beautiful heart of yours.
‘We were reminiscing about Cabella. Our daughter Joy said “For us children, Uncle Eddie was King” and “When I grow up I’m going to follow his tradition of making all the children happy.” Then she told us about the coins you used to bury in the sandpit and how they found enough to buy an ice cream, and other lovely stories and memories.’
36 years ago today I crossed an essential threshold and embarked on an epic journey …
Almost every day since the 20th of April, 1982, I’ve been able to attain clarity, and briefly glimpse blissful Reality through the instrument of my central nervous system, and the state of thoughtless awareness.
The upward spiral unfolds, with wonderful surprises arising just around every curve.
More than anything else, I wish this for you.
(for full-size headphones or bass intense speaker system!)
In separation have I suffered long, But now am glorified in the eternal bliss of Union.
And from my core, That once was small, The sound of Light Expands to all.
Never will I shrink again Into a ball of doubt and pain. Forever forth, in inner sky, I spread my wings and upward fly.
All Life pulsates within my breast.
I have become The hollow drum.
~Ed Saugstad 20 April 2018
—special thanks to Linda Dzus (wife of one of my old best buddies, Doug) who took this amazing photo in their neighbourhood on Mayne Island, British Columbia, the oasis that I briefly took refuge in after attaining self-realisation, 36 years ago—
Despite the chaos of alcoholism, I survived childhood.
At the age of twelve I wrote an emotional essay on the insanity of war
that raised many eyebrows, but echoed away into silence,
With sixteen I enthusiastically came across the theories of meditation
and the age of enlightenment, only to be mislead by
But my desire was pure, and the light that I came to believe might just be imagined,
turned out to be real and all-pervading.
Despite the fruitless jungle of youth, with its years of aimless wanderings under the influence of narcotics, I stumbled out into adulthood, and, step by step,
made my way up the mountain
— thanks to our fourth, natural (and now thriving) state:
Here, on the brink of universal change, when darkness takes its last stand, I am firmly rooted in the belief that each of us carries the seed of the highest ideal in us, about to sprout, or already stretching out its magnificent boughs.
We need to nurture that.
We are not these shells.
I have felt, again and again, the immensity of who we are.
… In Sahaja meditation, there is no deliberate effort to “concentrate,” and certainly, you do not need to focus your attention on a specific object. In fact, the goal is to avoid concentration or mental activity altogether. There’s no need to be mindful of or engage with your thoughts and feelings while meditating.
In fact, you won’t want to. Engaging your mind in such mental noise will only drag your attention back down to the first floor — that mental plane — rather than remaining in the state of thoughtless awareness. Thoughtless awareness is not simply a thought vacuum or state of thoughtless emptiness on the mental plane. It is a whole new dimension of awareness, higher awareness that is difficult to describe to someone who has not yet experienced it. We cannot fully conceive of its depth or describe it with language we’re accustomed to using on the ordinary mental plane.
A few years ago a friend of ours was among the runners-up for a prestigious international short films award. After the viewing ceremony, a celebrity in the audience (Natalie Portman) sent Silvina a note telling that she had never felt such a deep experience from a spiritual film before.
For the period of about a year-and-a-half after I finally found out how to actually meditate in April 1982 (having put in much effort already for eight years, without benefit) and I moved away from the party neighbourhood of my youth, there seem to be no photos of my amazing progress. Now, by chance, I saw THAT Ed, exactly thirty-four birthdays ago, strolling along with a wedding procession in the heart of New Delhi!
I had arrived alone at 2:00 a.m. in humid Bombay two weeks before, after an exhausting series of flights, with an overweight suitcase and a phone number. It was the first international journey in my quarter century of life on Earth. (Little did I guess then that I would return to India more than twenty times!) Someone back home in Vancouver had just bought my ’65 Chevy panel van, enabling me to join my new yogi friends on the India tour. A kindly airport police officer helped me reach the others, already a huge, international group of pilgrims, and that very evening I met Shri Mataji, the founder and teacher of Sahaja Yoga meditation, on the first of many joyful occasions over the coming days, years and decades, in various countries.
Among the many memorable events in Delhi was our viewing of the new Gandhi movie in the cinema that it had world premiered in just nine weeks before. (As a girl, Shri Mataji had spent time with Gandhi at his ashram, where he would sometimes implement Her advice on spiritual issues.) I remember walking out of that air-conditioned building and looking up at the hot, wide blue sky, realizing that those historic happenings had taken place not long ago under this very canopy.
I was lucky to be among those few of us from Canada (at that time there were only a handful of people practicing Sahaja Yoga in North America) that were invited to stay for a few days with Shri Mataji in Her daughter’s house. Several massive public programs were held throughout the city, and I attended my first puja, which celebrated Shivaratri at that time. At the compound where we all met each day, someone organized a cake and candles 🎂, and some new friends sang Happy Birthday to me that third day of February … so long ago, now! I drank lots of yummy chai there, discovering too late that the caffein was brutal on my sensitive liver. We also travelled up to the Himalayan foothills, where I saw some Indian girls enjoy snow for the first time. I spent that wonderful month in India without getting sick, a bit of a miracle (although as soon as I got back to the West I cleared out quite thoroughly!)
I still feel all that as a solid building block in my evolution, and this unexpected window view now brings a fresh breeze to grownup Ed.💨
(And, adding an interesting twist to the perspective: I happen to be turning 59 now, the same age Shri Mataji was when we first met back then!)
Shri Mataji gave each of us a present that afternoon (6 Feb 1983)
They were original Indian artworks. Somehow I managed to hold on to mine (the only thing I have left from my early twenties). It now hangs in my little art-studio in our homestead in the Vienna Woods:
My dear blog has fallen into the shadows of neglect. Let’s see if we can remedy this.
My first beam of light here in … 2017 already!? … has to do with our current world sit-u-eh-shun.
Keeping it really simple: There are only two wrong turns in life: one is left, the other is right.
Psychologists used to believe that everything was piled up on top of each other inside of us — that we had to pass through the subconscious and all kinds of other gobbledygook in order to rise up to our higher, ideal selves. Well, as it turns out, we’ve got the past (conditionings) and emotions running in our left sympathetic nervous system, all our future projections (ego) in our right sympathetic nervous system, and a beautiful ascending waterfall of evolution smack-dab in the middle: the once mysterious parasympathetic/autonomous system.
If you look around (and in the mirror) you’ll find that most everyone — with the exception of most babies, maybe — is being led around by those carrots-on-strings that are our thoughts streaming from one extreme and/or the other. Very rarely do we encounter peaceful souls who know exactly who and why they are, and are satisfied with that. The whole jumble in most of us is now becoming increasingly transparent in world affairs. Unless and until we can naturally zoom into central focus mode, that mega-mess is not going to fade away. It will only continue to get worse until we click and fine-tune into the center of ourselves. That’ll reveal that reality is not noisy after all, unlike most of our previous identifications.
I put a helpful link at the end of this post (a technique I can sincerely vouch for after almost thirty-five years of daily use) but first I’d like to share this insight from the I Ching about our collective 2017.
In this new (very, very temporary!) Trumpish age, people, lost in their own self-mistrust and misleading ideas, tend to mistrust others more and more. The big picture changes then to Innocence, a quality, by the way, that never actually leaves a human being, but simply becomes buried and ignored deep inside. Every one of us is empowered with the instrument and all the natural means to reawaken this universal quality. It’s not a manmade procedure, but something builtin, ready and waiting for our desire and attention to trigger it.
Be alert and quiet, and you will discover that the present moment is bigger and more abundant with amazing possibilities than you have ever imagined.
FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open. Success. It furthers one to cross the great water. The perseverance of the superior man furthers.
True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed — a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram means clarity; the outer, strength.)
Heaven together with fire: The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN. Thus the superior man organizes the clans And makes distinctions between things.
Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things — that would be chaos, not fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.
Nine in the third place means: He hides weapons in the thicket; He climbs the high hill in front of it. For three years he does not rise up.
Here fellowship has changed about to mistrust. Each man distrusts the other, plans a secret ambush, and seeks to spy on his fellow from afar.We are dealing with an obstinate opponent whom we cannot come at by this method. Obstacles standing in the way of fellowship with others are shown here. One has mental reservations for one’s own part and seeks to take his opponent by surprise. This very fact makes one mistrustful, suspecting the same wiles in his opponent and trying to ferret them out. The result is that one departs further and further from true fellowship. The longer this goes on, the more alienated one becomes.
(then changing to …)
Ch’ien, heaven, is above; Chên, movement, is below. The lower trigram Chên is under the influence of the strong line it has received from above, from heaven. When, in accord with this, movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent and without guile. His mind is natural and true, unshadowed by reflection or ulterior designs. For wherever conscious purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have been lost. Nature that is not directed by the spirit is not true but degenerate nature. Starting out with the idea of the natural, the train of thought in part goes somewhat further and thus the hexagram includes also the idea of the unintentional or unexpected.
INNOCENCE. Supreme success. Perseverance furthers. If someone is not as he should be, He has misfortune, And it does not further him To undertake anything.
Man has received from heaven a nature innately good, to guide him in all his movements. By devotion to this divine spirit within himself, he attains an unsullied innocence that leads him to do right with instinctive sureness and without any ulterior thought of reward and personal advantage. This instinctive certainty brings about supreme success and “furthers through perseverance.” However, not everything instinctive is nature in this higher sense of the word, but only that which is right and in accord with the will of heaven. Without this quality of rightness, an unreflecting, instinctive way of acting brings only misfortune. Confucius says about this: “He who departs from innocence, what does he come to? Heaven’s will and blessing do not go with his deeds.”
Under heaven thunder rolls: All things attain the natural state of innocence. Thus the kings of old, Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time, Fostered and nourished all beings.
In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move again under the heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and all beings receive from the creative activity of nature the childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with the good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at their command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms of culture and do everything to further them, and at the proper time.
(I ‘performed’ in an old primary school here in Vienna for over a hundred children recently, reading from my books, meditating a bit and partying with my Roland Handsonic. We had lots of fun communicating, dancing and playing music together. My friend, who’s a teacher there, told me a few weeks later that the mood and vibrations of the school had been surprisingly improved by that event. Many children were more cheerful afterwards — the mother of an autistic child was amazed to find her child so balanced and happy — and my friend felt light and cool entering the school each day! Click on the following link to enjoy more experiences about Sahaja Yoga meditation …)
In a suburb of Vancouver thirty-four years ago, when people would look at you like you just flew in from Mars if you mentioned meditation or yoga, I was very lucky to find an authentic technique for attaining thoughtless awareness — that natural state that has now been proven to bring on essential equilibrium. My daily experiences with all that are still improving, with no end to all the delightful surprises in sight.
Here’s a little taste. Hope you can also enjoy that.
This is a survey that I recently filled out for a Czech university student:
Hello, this survey was created to collect some information for my final work at school. Thank You for Your time and help. Anna
1. Are You male or female?
2. How old are You?
3. How long have You been practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
Almost 34 years (every day)
4. Were You born into a family practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
5. How often do You meditate?
I reach thoughtless awareness (meditation) many times a day
6. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation lower Your stress?
7. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation reduce some of Your negative personality traits?
8. Are collective Sahaja Yoga meditation activities important for You?
Yes, a lot
9. How do You participate in Sahaja Yoga meditation? (more answers possible)
I meditate alone at home
I attend seminars in my country
I attend seminars abroad
I attend programs
10. If You used to be a smoker, did You stop smoking with Sahaja Yoga meditation?
11. Had You ever been addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet…)? Did it stop when You started practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
12. Is there a difference during Your day, when You were able to get into thoughtless awareness from the days You did not manage?
Yes. If I don’t attain thoughtless awareness often the stress and noisy thoughts build up in me. These dissolve very quickly in the thoughtless awareness state.
13. How did You get into Sahaja Yoga meditation?
A friend found it then told me. (I was one of the first regular 15 or 16 Sahaja Yoga meditation practitioners in North America in 1982)
14. How did meditation help You?
It has improved my life completely and improves it daily, in every way.
15. Try to describe how big importance Sahaja Yoga meditation has in Your life.
It is the most important happening in modern times, not just for me but for everyone, worldwide. Here is the last paragraph of my online testimonial, read already by hundreds of thousands of people: https://edwardsaugstad.com/reaching-the-top/
“In these few years I have met countless individuals from all walks of life — from London to Calcutta and from Moscow to Los Angeles — who have lived this miraculous metamorphosis and are using this natural power to transform themselves and others. It is my sincerest desire that anyone who reads these words will not judge the message mentally, but will make an honest, scientific investigation into the historic subject which now faces them. If their desire is pure and their determination for revealing the truth is undaunted, I have no doubt that they will also achieve this magnificent inner-awakening which is dawning to the human race.”
16. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation help You with some psychological disorder? What disorder did You have? How did meditation help You?
I was completely damaged by heavy recreational drugs (taken from age 14 to 24) and from a traumatic childhood. I was anti-social, unhealthy and miserably lost in life. Now I am a dynamic, popular global writer, artist and musician, loved and respected by those who come to know me.
17. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation or something related to it cause something negative to You?
It’s impossible for Sahaja Yoga meditation to harm a person. It is a completely natural, gentle and benevolent inner process. Only human beings can harm themselves and each other.
18. Did You feel any new sensation after You received self-realization?
My whole perception changed: clearer, more focused, more peaceful, lighter, more loving — and I am able, on my newly enlightened nervous-system, to feel the flowing divine Vibrations, like a cool breeze, that is only felt emitting from something or someone auspicious, constructive, beautiful, innocent and eternal. (The key to collective consciousness.)
19. Why do You meditate?
Meditation is not a hobby or pastime. It (thoughtless awareness) is a unique, essential state like waking, dream-sleep and deep-sleep. Anyone who does not attain meditation is living a fractured, unfulfilled life.
20. How is Sahaja Yoga meditation different, according to You, compared to any other meditations/religions/spiritual paths?
Sahaja Yoga meditation awakens the natural energy inside us whose only purpose is to connect us to reality, the pure, beautiful all-pervading Spirit. That is meant to be the very most basic and essential process of all spiritual paths.
21. Is there anything more You would like to say? Here is Your opportunity:
“Just over three decades ago, on Tuesday, April 20th, 1982 to be exact, I stumbled up out of a dark place and found myself filled with a permanent light and focus. I still can’t believe my luck. . . . I was born into a large family in a city in Canada. My parents were then chronic alcoholics and most of my memories, which reach back as far as my third year, are dark and fearful. I and two younger brothers were raised mostly by our older sisters. Our parents often fought. When my father left the family he was replaced by a man who I deeply feared as he treated us harshly and sometimes beat my mother. Twice, as a small child, I badly broke my right elbow. The second break was so severe that I almost lost my arm. My mother was not there that time to comfort me as she was being kept in a mental hospital, withdrawing from alcohol addiction. Throughout my early school years …”
A letter from a friend today: We were invited yesterday by a charity group specialized in offering services to families (one of the oldest and most respected in our region) to their monthly event. We were the highlight and we meditated with about 25-30 people, parents and children. The children LOVED it. Many came from mental problems, nothing really disturbing, but evidently very heavy atmosphere: adults looked really sad and hopeless, some of them; children had ADHD (“my kid cannot sit still not even for two minutes”). Children, stayed for the entire program, fifty minutes, and they didn’t want to go outside to play. They wanted to talk to us. They wrote us thank-you cards and amazing feedback. We even have it on tape and hope the parents will agree to have it posted on the website. And the “two-minute-only kid stayed in meditation all the time. He told his parents that he wants to meditate in the car, that he never felt so calm and in control, that he was sooo stressed out from school and now he is happy. He asked us to come to his school because his teacher is under a lot of stress, then he told his mom to do this meditation because she is under a lot of stress. His mom could not thank us enough, and also the other parents. But the children, they were ANGELS, and the parents were worried sick about “them not being OK” 🙂
When I started meditating over 33 years ago (really meditating: experiencing thoughtless awareness) it completely changed who and what I was. Everything gradually improved for me, at every level. Here are some young friends sharing that tirelessly throughout the world. Hope shines.
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, set out to discover exactly that when they tracked emotions such as compassion, joy, love, and so on versus the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6)—a secretion which causes inflammation in the body—in the saliva of 119 university students. The researchers found that those who regularly have positive emotions have less IL-6—and they noticed the strongest correlation with one particular emotion.
“There seems to be something about awe,” Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor and the senior author of the study, told the New York Times. “It seems to have a pronounced impact on markers related to inflammation.” Most of us think of awe as something felt rarely—but we may experience it more than we think. The students reported feeling awe three or more times a week. “How great is that?” Keltner said. “Some people feel awe listening to music, others watching a sunset or attending a political rally or seeing kids play.”
But what is awe, exactly? Unusually for an academic, Keltner’s definition was less than rigorous but perfect nonetheless. Suggesting that you seek the feeling out as much as you can, he said that anything that inspires awe will pass “the goosebumps test.”
“May the whole world soon enjoy the soothing state of alert thoughtless awareness, when everything flows with equilibrium, and there is no pressure of ego and conditionings on the shining heart. When this time comes, and it will, unnatural corruption and suffering will fade away in the natural light of wisdom and benevolence. Let it come!”