Medley

The Minds of Dogs

Psychological science explores the minds of dogs

 Medley Dogs 2

Dogs are one of the most common household pets in the world, so it’s curious that we know relatively little about their cognitive abilities when we know so much about the abilities of other animals, from primates to cetaceans. Over the last couple decades, researchers have been aiming to bridge this gap in scientific knowledge, investigating how our canine companions behave and what they know and why.

The October 2016 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science presents an entire special issue dedicated to exploring all that psychological scientists have learned about dog behavior and cognition in recent years. Current Directions in Psychological Science is a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The table of contents can be found at: http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/25/5.tochttp://cdp.sagepub.com/content/25/5.toc

Read more: The Minds of Dogs

The Mysticism and Persistence of the Druze

The Mysticism and Persistence of the Druze

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines 

 Medley Druze 2

The religion of the Druze is based on the unity of life and belongs to an esoteric tradition often misunderstood in a volatile region where the major religions have been invoked to wage wars. In their spiritual practice, the Druze do not have personal deity, but they believe that the divine incarnates itself in the human individual. The name by which the Druze like to be known is Muwahhidun (sing. Muwahhid) which reflects their central belief in a mystical union (tawhid) with the One.

Like several religious minorities in the Middle East (e.g. Yazedi and Mandaean), the Druze have been provoked to take political sides in historical conflicts that involve a complex cast of nations and factions with diverse motivations.

The Institute of Druze Studies once estimated that about 40-50% of Druze lived in Syria, 30-40% in Lebanon, 6-7% in Israel and Jordan. But due to the prolonged violence that has devastated Syria since 2011, a significant number of Druze have emigrated to North America, Europe and Australia.

There are about one million Druze in the world today.

Read more: The Mysticism and Persistence of the Druze

Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 17

Leo Babauta -USA

A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 17

Letting go of goals

 

 Medley Focus 2

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won

by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The

world is beyond the winning.”

– Lao Tzu

 

One of the unshakable tenets of success and productivity literature is that you need to have goals in order to be successful.

And from this tenet comes all sorts of other beliefs:

  • You need to set goals the right way (such as the SMART method).
  • You need to break goals down into actionable tasks.
  • You need to have deadlines and timeframes.
  • You need to make goals the focus of your day.

I know this, because I’ve believed it and lived it and written about it, for a long time.

Until recently.

Read more: Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 17

What Do Americans Fear?

What do Americans fear?

 Medley What do Americans fear 2

Chapman University recently completed its third annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears (2016). The survey asked respondents about 65 fears across a broad range of categories including fears about the government, crime, the environment, the future, technology, health, natural disasters, as well as fears of public speaking, spiders, heights, ghosts and many other personal anxieties.

In addition to the set of fears examined in previous waves, the survey team took a closer look at two fear related phenomena: Americans' beliefs in conspiracy theories and fear of Muslims, sometimes referred to as “Islamophobia.”

In its third year, the annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears included more than 1,500 adult participants from across the nation and all walks of life. The 2016 survey data is organized into five basic categories: personal fears, conspiracy theories, terrorism, natural disasters, paranormal fears, and fear of Muslims.

Read more: What Do Americans Fear?

A visit to John of God

Nelda Samarel – USA

 Medley 8 A visit 2  John of God

João Teixeira de Faria – John of God

In 2011 I was scheduled to teach the winter school at the center for the Theosophical Society in Brazil, one hour from Brasília. It seemed an opportune time to visit Abadiânia, the home of the world-renowned healer, John of God. After all, I was “in the neighborhood” and, since I have been practicing and teaching the energetic healing modality known as Therapeutic Touch for over thirty-five years, my interest as a healer was keen.

According to Google Maps, the trip from the Theosophical center to Abadiânia should be two hours and thirty-two minutes. However, we took a “short cut” and the resultant four-hour ride took us through the bucolic Brazilian countryside.

Arriving in Abadiânia, my home for the next week, I was struck by the poverty of the rural town. As I learned the following day, most of Abadiânia is structured around and economically dependent on the Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola or “the Casa” as the location of John of God’s clinics is known. Scattered throughout the small town are pousadas, inns where visitors to the Casa are housed; restaurants; Internet cafes; and shops selling essentials for travelers.

Read more: A visit to John of God

Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 16

Leo Babauta -USA

A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 16 
 
Three strategies for prioritizing tasks
 
 
  Medley 2 Focus 2

Author Unknown

 

One of the biggest problems people have when trying to find focus is having too many tasks competing for their time. It can be tough to prioritize.

Let’s break this problem into three smaller problems:

1. too many tasks

2. tough to prioritize

3. tasks compete for your time

And with that, let’s discuss three strategies for dealing with these smaller problems.

Read more: Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 16

Religious upbringing linked to less altruism, study of children suggests

  Medley 4

 

Many families believe religion plays an essential role in childhood moral development. But children of religious parents may not be as altruistic as those parents think, according to a new international study from the University of Chicago published Nov. 5 in Current Biology

Read more: Religious upbringing linked to less altruism, study of children suggests

Raising a child with autism: How optimism can help to cope

Medley 6 Autism

 

Research sheds light on relationship between optimism, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms of Hispanic parents of children with autism

Humans are resilient, even facing the toughest of life's challenges. How individuals and families deal with demanding and emotionally charged circumstances plays a large role in how they view and face the world and the possible outcomes of a difficult situation. There's no exception for the challenging Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how families adjust and cope with the reported stress of raising a child with autism.

In the first known study of its kind, University of Miami (UM) College of Arts and Sciences psychologists Dr. Michael Alessandri and Dr. Hoa Lam Schneider worked with Texas Christian University researchers to further the understanding of the relationship between optimism, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms among Hispanic mothers and fathers of children with autism.

Read more: Raising a child with autism: How optimism can help to cope

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