Category: Spirtuality


Is telepathy real? Can mind affect matter? Can we sense future events? Below are 4 short films introducing research into mysterious capacities of the mind, researchers call “psi.” 

In these films, I’ve tried to capture some of what I find fascinating and profound about these controversial effects. They were created as part of the NextGen Initiative at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).

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Subscribe to IONS Youtube channel for more videos about consciousness and reality.

All credit to Collective Evolution

Date:
October 3, 2016
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Meditation can help tame your emotions even if you’re not a mindful person, suggests a new study. Psychology researchers recorded the brain activity of people looking at disturbing pictures immediately after meditating for the first time. These participants were able to tame their negative emotions just as well as participants who were naturally
FULL STORY

Mindfulness, a moment-by-moment awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and sensations, has gained worldwide popularity as a way to promote health and well-being.
Credit: © ave_mario / Fotolia

Meditation can help tame your emotions even if you’re not a mindful person, suggests a new study from Michigan State University.

Reporting in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, psychology researchers recorded the brain activity of people looking at disturbing pictures immediately after meditating for the first time. These participants were able to tame their negative emotions just as well as participants who were naturally mindful.

“Our findings not only demonstrate that meditation improves emotional health, but that people can acquire these benefits regardless of their ‘natural’ ability to be mindful,” said Yanli Lin, an MSU graduate student and lead investigator of the study. “It just takes some practice.”

Mindfulness, a moment-by-moment awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and sensations, has gained worldwide popularity as a way to promote health and well-being. But what if someone isn’t naturally mindful? Can they become so simply by trying to make mindfulness a “state of mind”? Or perhaps through a more focused, deliberate effort like meditation?

The study, conducted in Jason Moser’s Clinical Psychophysiology Lab, attempted to find out.

Researchers assessed 68 participants for mindfulness using a scientifically validated survey. The participants were then randomly assigned to engage in an 18-minute audio guided meditation or listen to a control presentation of how to learn a new language, before viewing negative pictures (such as a bloody corpse) while their brain activity was recorded.

The participants who meditated — they had varying levels of natural mindfulness — showed similar levels of “emotion regulatory” brain activity as people with high levels of natural mindfulness. In other words their emotional brains recovered quickly after viewing the troubling photos, essentially keeping their negative emotions in check.

In addition, some of the participants were instructed to look at the gruesome photos “mindfully” (be in a mindful state of mind) while others received no such instruction. Interestingly, the people who viewed the photos “mindfully” showed no better ability to keep their negative emotions in check.

This suggests that for non-meditators, the emotional benefits of mindfulness might be better achieved through meditation, rather than “forcing it” as a state of mind, said Moser, MSU associate professor of clinical psychology and co-author of the study.

“If you’re a naturally mindful person, and you’re walking around very aware of things, you’re good to go. You shed your emotions quickly,” Moser said. “If you’re not naturally mindful, then meditating can make you look like a person who walks around with a lot of mindfulness. But for people who are not naturally mindful and have never meditated, forcing oneself to be mindful ‘in the moment’ doesn’t work. You’d be better off meditating for 20 minutes.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yanli Lin, Megan E. Fisher, Sean M. M. Roberts, Jason S. Moser. Deconstructing the Emotion Regulatory Properties of Mindfulness: An Electrophysiological Investigation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2016; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00451

Date:September 21, 2016Source:Duke UniversitySummary:Oxytocin has been dubbed the “love hormone” for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.

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Is there a higher plane of consciousness or spirituality that binds all people? Oxytocin makes men more likely to say so.
Credit: © Oleksandr Kotenko / Fotolia

Oxytocin has been dubbed the “love hormone” for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research from Duke University suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.

In the study, men reported a greater sense of spirituality shortly after taking oxytocin and a week later. Participants who took oxytocin also experienced more positive emotions during meditation, said lead author Patty Van Cappellen, a social psychologist at Duke.

“Spirituality and meditation have each been linked to health and well-being in previous research,” Van Cappellen said. “We were interested in understanding biological factors that may enhance those spiritual experiences.

“Oxytocin appears to be part of the way our bodies support spiritual beliefs.”

The Biology of Awe

“Spirituality is complex and affected by many factors. However, oxytocin does seem to affect how we perceive the world and what we believe.”

Study participants were all male, and the findings apply only to men, said Van Cappellen, associate director of the Interdisciplinary and Behavioral Research Center at Duke’s Social Science Research Institute. In general, oxytocin operates somewhat differently in men and women, Van Cappellen added. Oxytocin’s effects on women’s spirituality still needs to be investigated.

The results appears online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Oxytocin occurs naturally in the body. Produced by the hypothalamus, it acts as a hormone and as a neurotransmitter, affecting many regions of the brain. It is stimulated during sex, childbirth and breastfeeding. Recent research has highlighted oxytocin’s role in promoting empathy, trust, social bonding and altruism.

To test how oxytocin might influence spirituality, researchers administered the hormone to one group and a placebo to another. Those who received oxytocin were more likely to say afterwards that spirituality was important in their lives and that life has meaning and purpose. This was true after taking into account whether the participant reported belonging to an organized religion or not.

Participants who received oxytocin were also more inclined to view themselves as interconnected with other people and living things, giving higher ratings to statements such as “All life is interconnected” and “There is a higher plane of consciousness or spirituality that binds all people.”

Study subjects also participated in a guided meditation. Those who received oxytocin reported experiencing more positive emotions during meditation, including awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, interest, love and serenity.

Oxytocin did not affect all participants equally, though. Its effect on spirituality was stronger among people with a particular variant of the CD38 gene, a gene that regulates the release of oxytocin from hypothalamic neurons in the brain.

Van Cappellen cautioned that the findings should not be over-generalized. First of all, there are many definitions of spirituality, she noted.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Duke University. Original written by Alison Jones. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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