Connecting with Oneself & Others | Healing with the Heart | IAM heart |

It appeared to be by chance that I became aware of this, yet I believe that ‘there are no accidents’.

Frankly, I’m typically such a high energy person that it’s difficult to sit down to meditate. ahh, yet this group meditation which I attended last evening with a guide who introduces the technique and facilitates learning about it, certainly reveals the benefit of getting out of one’s head and stepping into one’s conscious awareness of heart and body wholeness.

IAM stands for Institute of Applied Meditation IAM heart logo

They wish to assist in a global shift from mind to heart, by the most direct method there is: meditation on the physical heart so as to control its rhythm.

Whereas http://www.heartmath.org is a separate nonprofit educational organization which has conducted studies for two decades on heart intelligence and the health benefits of stress management, http://www.iamheart.org takes this beyond the physical, to the emotional, social and spiritual benefits of tuning one’s meditative breathing towards one’s heart.

IAM is training a cadre of meditators to develop the ability to send Waves of Peace as measurable, magnetic heart waves in entrainment: Global Interventions using Heart Rhythm Meditation

Our Mission
“IAM heart” develops and applies Heart Rhythm Meditation
to integrate physical, emotional and spiritual life
to create love, harmony and beauty
to awaken the consciousness of humanity 
to the divinity of each human being.

Healing_through_the_Heart

One of the related links corresponding to this philosophy is this one. http://www.energycentered.orgPeople_are_Energetic_Beings_four_types_energies/

| HaPPYness | Making the Best of What you Have |

Without doubt, a person may feel comfort, satisfaction and security through the material things they nestle around themselves; or delight in beholding beauty. But, these feelings aren’t happiness. And unequivocally, nothing is more precious than health. You may be able to drape yourself with jewels or own an array of the finest gadgets to play with, but if you are not at your best, mentally and physically, there’s no comparison. When you are healthy and fit, with an abundance of energy, strength and endurance, you more likely have the emotional strength to conquer just about anything. Once this is marred, a person may have to struggle to balance all other aspects of their existence. Yet, a person’s physical state of being doesn’t deliver happiness. There are those with excellent health who don’t realize the value of this treasure, until something goes wrong. A little discomfort or injury can quickly draw one’s attention to it, zapping energy and concentration. And there are others who have been afflicted with tremendous physical impairments, who yet move through their hurdles, to enjoy their lives. I think of my friend’s brother, who was paralyzed from the waste down in a ski accident. Less than 10 years later, he drives a van, chauffeuring people to the local ski area, goes skiing himself all day on specially made skis built to accommodate people who otherwise ride in wheel chairs, and then drives home, transporting other people, in a vehicle custom made in which the hands operate all of the controls. There are many other examples of people who survive and thrive. Certainly, none of these people are letting their disabilities devour their spirits. This is where the concept of ‘happiness’ comes in. Happiness has much more to do with our perception of a situation, than the situation itself.

In the Western world, we share in this culture of illusion. There’s a rift in the messages; coming from opposing worlds. One-upping your neighbor is a message delivered clearly from the perspective of advertisers in the commercial world. It’s all about what “I” can do, groomed through competition. And the old-world, pre-capitalistic point of view is coated with a spiritual identification with the “we” and ‘the brotherhood of man’. These religiously-dressed, pious messages are about ‘doing what is best for all’ and ‘giving back to society’. Yet, there’s a soaring gap between the ideal of ‘love thy neighbor’ and the road-rage resentment of what your neighbor ‘has’. These are confusing messages for anyone to decipher; ego driven vs. losing one’s ego. Is the ideal of joy to be derived through sharing and cooperation, or through the pride and gain in competition? It’s a bit schizophrenic.

Maybe happiness isn’t so complicated, as mentioned in one of my earlier blogs on the subject. According to the giggling guru and his ‘laughter yoga’, the process of smiling and laughing can in itself, actually affect the body; and fool a person into feeling better! https://digesthis.wordpress.com/category/happiness-2/ Through my process, I’ve learned that happiness, like many things, is not something a person is born with, but an attitude. It’s a point of view, which can be practiced and rehearsed. Like the option of, “looking at the glass as half full or half empty”. It’s a choice, you decide! We can all make the conscious commitment to think and act in ways that will boost our own feeling of well being. And since human beings as Homosapiens in the animal kingdom tend to be creatures of habit, we can learn new ways of perceiving things and reshape the ways that our brains process information, by rehearsing new ways of interpreting things.

The point is, we can all flow forward to a healthier and more balanced place through making the right choices and listening to messages that can pop up everywhere to guide us, if you’re open and willing to move in the direction of understanding and growth. I’ll be mentioning this process, synchrodestiny in my other blog on http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/synchronicity-experiences-within-delight-of-deepak-chopras-seven-principles-of-synchrodestiny/ coming shortly.

I therefore can say from experience, happiness will NOT arrive if you remain in a job or relationship – with a boss, among colleagues, a partner, spouse, friends – if the repeated message from the other is negative and clearly in no way resonates with your own sense of what you know is right, supportive, in line with your understanding of events, awareness and sensibility. Listen to your own voice; trust your intuition, understanding and perceptions of what you know is true. Leave any situation, in which another person is not able or willing to recognize how they participate in the situation or acknowledge what they do. Don’t hang out with people who are not willing to take responsibility for their own behavior and who are not accountable for their actions. Don’t play with them, don’t have them as friends, don’t work for them and don’t vote for them!! 😉 Easier said than done!

Ultimately, happiness may be pretty simple. One aspect of it is to really make a point of appreciating the many things around you that are quite simple joys. Really, many of the things that we all worry about or get annoyed with, are quite relative. Having a broader grasp of the world, and of the hardships that many people suffer, is another thing. But to realize that life is so precious, and the fact that we are living creatures hurling around in space on a spinning ball with all sorts of fantastic life forms and creatures and beauty surrounding us, is really quite miraculous. There are so many very simple things to be dazzled with; whether involving the joy of motion, learning about something, listening to sound or observing light or life forms. Many of our perceived notions of not having some material thing, are way out of proportion. I personally find that a great deal of satisfaction and joy comes from the delight of observing little things, and from accomplishing little things. Learning a new task, practicing it and developing it, can be very satisfying. You will be surprised at the amount of delight and pride you will feel as you begin to see your own headway.

In fact, that’s the other half of my prescription 😉 the fact that happiness is not passive; not derived through being passively entertained or distracting yourself with something, but actually through engaging your mind and body in something that you are doing. It is in the process of this motion, as opposed to static, that causes the neurons of engaged interaction to start firing. Delight through immersion in the process, instead of the outcome. It is also through interacting with another person; in which their smile in response to yours, makes the experience that much more special. It’s in the process of actively participating in something intellectually, physically, emotionally or spiritually challenging, which renders the result that much more sweet.

What spawned me to write about this topic in the first place, was an article about how much dogs can influence people with joy and incite happy feelings. Dogs effectively cause people to calm down, feel more content and in fact feel happier. http://www.usaweekend.com/article/20120120/HOME05/301200007/How-dogs-spread-happiness Hanging out with dogs can trigger oxytocins, a mammalian hormone which is a neuromodulator in the brain. Oxytocin in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin is referred to as the ‘love hormone’… “the inability to secrete oxytocin and feel empathy is linked to sociopathy, psychopathy, narcissism and general manipulativeness”. This chemical substance is released in our brains as we relate to dogs. Dogs raise peoples’ spirits. In the last years, there’s been a lot of talk and publicity about how the presence of dogs lower stress levels and induce faster rates of recovery for chronically ill patients of all ages. Basically, dogs lower blood pressure, are great companions, and because of the joy of their company, actually can induce healing and assuage discomfort. The wag of the tail is connected to a dog’s heart, and indirectly to peoples’ hearts – since it’s joy that is felt when people are engaging with dogs. Not to mention, people walking their dogs tend to interact more and engage with other people, thus eliciting more contact – a win-win!

Ironically, I found this little piece of paper on the desk in my mother’s hand writing, with a quote she’d copied long before I decided to write about this subject, “The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.” A friend recently posted an article from the Guardian which inspired him, “the Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038
# 5 is: I wish that I had let myself be happier; in which they write: “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaňeda

With love and joy to you all and hope that I’ve inspired some happiness!

Speaking of Happiness | Laughter Yoga | the Giggling Guru Madan Kataria

I’ve written two former blogs regarding the subject of happiness. One published on March 10, 2010, in this same blog, regarding guides to living a longer and happier life.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/guides-to-living-longer-happier-lives-right-here-right-now

and a previous article about happiness published in my other blog http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/happiness

I recently read an article in the New Yorker about laughter yoga, made popular as an exercise routine developed by the Indian physician Madan Kataria.

The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on the scientific observation that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter_Yoga
a form of yoga employing self triggered laughter

Having come across this article which was printed in the August 30th, 2010 New Yorker magazine, I have to share it. Woops, I don’t have access to the digital version.

Here’s the link

http://madankataria.posterous.com/giggling-guru-madan-kataria-and-laughter8217s

and here’s an abstract, shamelessly copied and pasted:

ABSTRACT: LETTER FROM INDIA about Dr. Madan Kataria and laughter yoga. In the pantheon of celebrity doctors, Madan Lal Kataria has claimed for himself what is surely the strangest mantle. He is a physician who has transformed himself into the leader of an international movement that promotes laughter as a cure for just about any ailment – physical, psychological, or spiritual. He is known as the Guru of Giggling. Estimates of the number of people who engage regularly in Kataria’s exercises are as high as two hundred and fifty thousand, but there is really no way to gather precise figures. Kataria has said that in India alone there are six thousand laughter-yoga clubs. His clubs, like Tupperware parties, are not really his: the people who form them do so without centralized direction. Kataria sells his services as a public speaker and trainer for his own profit. That is how he earns his living. Writer travels to Bengaluru, India to witness a five-day laughter-yoga session given by Kataria to twenty-one trainees. “Laughter is a choice,” he said. “A connector of people. No barriers. No language.” Kataria told his trainees that laughter yoga “is based upon the scientific fact that, even if you laugh for the sake of laughing, even if you are pretend laughing, your body cannot tell the difference.” There is no such scientific fact, but the idea may contain elements of the truth. Discusses scientific studies of the health benefits of laughter and describes the difference between Duchenne (or involuntary) laughter and non-Duchenne (or voluntary) laughter. Kataria believes that true mirthful laughter can have a liberating, transformative effect—one that momentarily erases all practical concerns, fears, needs, and even notions of time, and provides a glimpse into spiritual enlightenment. Tells about Kataria’s youth in Punjab, his early career as a doctor in Mumbai, and his hopes to become an actor. In 1991, he started a magazine that offered medical advice to lay readers. In 1995, he decided to publish an article called “Laughter—The Best Medicine.” He tested the idea out by asking passersby in a public park if they wanted to laugh with him. Describes the evolution of the club and his decision not to make money from his idea. Considers whether laughter has curative powers and discusses research by Norman Cousins, Lee Berk, and others. At the moment, perhaps the most solid scientific argument one can make about laughter and healing is that it can briefly limit physical pain, though exactly how this works is not fully understood. Writer visits Kataria’s home in Mumbai. Discusses his plans to build an ashram to be called Laughter University.

To Day: July 25th is the Day Out of Time | Mayan Calendar |

http://ascensionjourneys.blogspot.com/2011/06/day-out-of-time.html

Excerpt from this blog spot describing the 13 moon calendar devised by Jose Arguelles:

July 25 is the Day out of Time, according to Jose Arguelles, who is no longer with us. I have been wanting to blog about Arguelles ever since he made his transition on March 23, 2011. According to the Foundation for the Law of Time, Jose Arguelles “departed this Planet on Solar Moon 17, Red Spectral Moon, at 6.10am (the exact same time that he was born in 1939 in the Red Spectral Moon year).” Arguelles was known for his role in organizing the Harmonic Convergence event in Aug 1987, and his book The Mayan Factor:Path Beyond Technology, was published that same year.

He also produced ‘Dreamspell: The Journey of Timeship Earth 2013’ which is the source of his 13 Moon/28 Day Calendar. This calendar begins on July 26 and runs for 364 days. The remaining date, July 25, is celebrated as ‘Day Out of Time/Peace through Culture Festival’ in many countries around the world.

The visualisation of the rainbow around the Earth is something he suggests we all take part in on that day each year, a synchronous event that is powerful because of the very fact that we are all visualising it the same time.

http://www.planetartnetwork.info/doot-5skywalker.html

the missing dimension: quantum consciousness

http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/the-missing-link-quantum-consciousness/

Arundhati Roy

For those of you not familiar with Arundhati Roy, here’s a brief essay of hers, captured on video at the Lannon Foundation. In Come September, she speaks poetically to power on the US’ War on Terror, globalization, the misuses of nationalism, and the growing chasm between the rich and poor

Arundhati Roy, Come September, speaks poetically to power on the US' War on Terror, globalization, the misuses of nationalism, and the growing chasm between the rich and poor.

Roy speaks poetically to power on the US’ War on Terror, globalization, the misuses of nationalism, and the growing chasm between the rich and poor.

It’s well worth listening to and reading the text.

She’s written a very celebrated novel, “The God of Small Things“.

Arundhati Roy's book ""The God of Small Things"

Arundhati Roy’s book “The God of Small Things”

Could be that we Really do have ! Too much Stuff !

Could be that we Really do have too much Stuff!

Sure, living in the ‘free world’ is great, we have so many opportunities and endless choices.  Just participating in America’s favorite pastime, shopping, can reveal how wonderful our life of excess really is.  Or is it?  Sometimes the simplest purchases can be a little overwhelming.  For example, when you just pop over to your local grocery store to say, pick up some tooth paste.  You find yourself becoming engrossed as you’re walking along an entire isle of merely different brands of toothpaste, trying to figure out which one to buy.  You scan the various colored packaging, slogans, highlights of which good-for-you natural ingredients are within, or additives which will whiten and brighten your smile to add more sex appeal to your life – ultimately most ads for every product from dish washing liquid to purchasing a new car will point to this latter detail.

You glance down at your watch, remembering that you need to get back home … and find yourself becoming a bit agitated that simply choosing a toothpaste has become a rather formidable time-consuming undertaking.

Well consider this.  With the number of things we buy to satisfy our desire to consume, beautify, display our fancy stuff; combined with the number of houses going into foreclosure, what happens if suddenly we’ve lost our home and no longer have a place to keep all of our stuff?  Suddenly all that we’ve accumulated has become a nuisance instead of a delight, a curse rather than a blessing.

George Carlin Talks About Stuff

Multiply all the stuff that we buy with the fact that in most cases, most items – particularly technical gadgets, have a built in obsolescence.  That means that they are meant to fall apart, in order for us to have to buy a new one.

What happens to all of the old carcasses of the electronic stuff that we’ve bought, well it has to be dumped somewhere.  And more and more it’s being dumped in our less wealthy neighbors’ countries.

this article talks about extoxics.

Not to mention, that at the beginning of this whole cycle of consumption, is the production of the materials, which in itself, puts a lot of strain on our environment.  In the case of computers, toxic sites are expanding right in the vicinity of where they’ve been produced in Silicon Valley, California.

It’s a whole cycle that has been brilliantly simplified for the purpose of educational clarity by Annie Leonard who researched the topic for 10 years and took it upon herself to bring to the publics’ awareness the topic of our environment, in order to update all the outdated textbooks that haven’t acknowledged our current crisis of ‘too much stuff’.

http://storyofstuff.com/

Maybe we better start adopting new ways of living, that recognize the simple fact, that the best things in life are free.  Health, beauty and happiness truly come from just living more simply, having a healthy diet and exercise routine and recognizing that education and awareness are what lead to dignity, self esteem and enjoyment of life.  A smile is much more potent than some material accessory propped by your side.

Creation, disregarding the complex interconnectedness of all life on this planetary organism on which we live, becomes destruction, which takes just seconds.

Though I originally wrote this blog in 2009, here’s an interesting article which reiterates the same theme. Written by Graham Hill and submitted to the New York Times in March 2013, “Living With Less, A Lot Less“.

Written by Carol Keiter, an American living in Berlin, Germany.