Quote by THICH NHAT HANH
- Published: Sunday, 01 April 2018 18:57
Leo Babauta – USA
How to live a single-tasking life
It sounds nice, but how do you live a life like this? Is it as simple as saying you’re going to do it, or is it impossible? Somewhere in between, of course, and like anything worth doing, it takes practice.
Here’s what I’d recommend:
[The study challenges a growing trend that has attempted to show that believing in the supernatural is something that comes to us ‘naturally’ or intuitively]
New research suggests that people are not ‘born believers’
Previous studies have suggested people who hold strong religious beliefs are more intuitive and less analytical, and when they think more analytically their religious beliefs decrease.
But new research, by academics from Coventry University's Centre for Advances in Behavioral Science and neuroscientists and philosophers at Oxford University, suggests that is not the case, and that people are not ‘born believers.’
The study – which included tests on pilgrims taking part in the famous Camino de Santiago and a brain stimulation experiment – found no link between intuitive/analytical thinking, or cognitive inhibition (an ability to suppress unwanted thoughts and actions), and supernatural beliefs.
Instead, the academics conclude that other factors, such as upbringing and socio-cultural processes, are more likely to play a greater role in religious beliefs.
The study – published in Scientific Reports – was the first to challenge a growing trend among cognitive psychologists over the past 20 years that has attempted to show that believing in the supernatural is something that comes to us ‘naturally’ or intuitively.
The team started by carrying out an investigation on one of the largest pilgrimage routes in the world – the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, in northern Spain.
They asked pilgrims about the strength of their beliefs and the length of time spent on the pilgrimage and assessed their levels of intuitive thinking with a probability task, where participants had to decide between a logical and a ‘gut feeling’ choice.
The results suggested no link between strength of supernatural belief and intuition.
[Practicing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo]
The study found that practicing just 25 minutes of Hatha yoga or mindfulness meditation per day can boost the brain's executive functions, cognitive abilities linked to goal-directed behavior and the ability to control knee-jerk emotional responses, habitual thinking patterns and actions.
“Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation both focus the brain's conscious processing power on a limited number of targets like breathing and posing, and also reduce processing of nonessential information,” said Peter Hall, associate professor in the School of Public Health & Health Systems. “These two functions might have some positive carryover effect in the near- term following the session, such that people are able to focus more easily on what they choose to attend to in everyday life.”
Leo Babauta – USA
Single-tasking and productivity
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.
The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
Alexander Graham Bell
Many of us grew up in the age of multi-tasking, where you couldn’t call yourself productive if you weren’t a good multi-tasker. We learned to always have several balls in the air at once – while writing something on the computer, we had a phone call going, we were writing something on a notepad or paper form, we were reviewing documents, sometimes even holding a meeting at the same time. That’s the productive worker, the effective executive.
Tim Wyatt – England
Mistakenly, a lot of people who embark on some kind of accelerated spiritual development think it’s going to make life easier. The complete opposite is the case. When you step on to the path you find that the road gets narrower, steeper, more difficult and much more dangerous.
Rather than problems suddenly disappearing, they actually proliferate and intensify. And that’s why any self-conscious expansion of consciousness requires great courage. Embarking on the spiritual path effectively means being prepared to deal with higher quality – i.e. more challenging – problems. Because solving problems is what life’s all about. It’s why we’re here. It’s how we learn.
When you talk to people about their spiritual development one thing nearly always arises and this is that a lot of deeply negative from your unconscious mind gets dredged to the conscious surface. It’s sometimes referred to as The Dweller on the Threshold, a term coined by the English Victorian novelist Bulwer Lytton in his novel Zanone. It refers to all the accumulated negativities from many previous lives. A lot of this is profoundly unpleasant and disturbing – repressed memories, trauma, pain, conflict and other less than positive stuff. But you have to deal with it because that’s what you’ve chosen to do. The spiritual path means taking control of your own life as much as is possible.
[Changes may prime the brain for spiritual experiences]
More Americans than ever are turning to spiritual, meditative and religious retreats as a way to reset their daily life and enhance wellbeing. Now, researchers at The Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University show there are changes in the dopamine and serotonin systems in the brains of retreat participants. The team published their results in Religion, Brain & Behavior.
“Since serotonin and dopamine are part of the reward and emotional systems of the brain, it helps us understand why these practices result in powerful, positive emotional experiences,” said Andrew Newberg, M.D., Director of Research in the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health. “Our study showed significant changes in dopamine and serotonin transporters after the seven-day retreat, which could help prime participants for the spiritual experiences that they reported.”
People often use the word ‘you’ rather than ‘I’ to cope with negative experiences
Researchers say it may seem contradictory that a means of generalizing to people at large is used when reflecting on one’s most personal and idiosyncratic experiences. To cope with negative experiences or to share an insight, people often use the word “you” rather than “I.”
“You” is an overlooked word that people use to express norms and rules, new University of Michigan research found.
Researchers conducted nine experiments with 2,489 people to understand why people curiously use “you” not only to refer to specific others, but also to reflect on their own experiences.
“It’s something we all do as a way to explain how things work and to find meaning in our lives,” said Ariana Orvell, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology and the study's lead author.
“When people use “you" to make meaning from negative experiences, it allows them to ‘normalize’ the experience and reflect on it from a distance,” said Orvell.