Category Archives: Science Supports Spirituality

Rebirth

Rebirth

“The deliciousness of each day made me feel as though I’d just been born. It was as if I’d entered the world as an adult, as if I’d been born for the first time on February 3, 2006.

At the same time, I found myself unable to reconnect with many of my old friends, whom I attempted to  meet over lunch or coffee. Everyone was anxious to catch up with me, but most  didn’t understand how deeply and profoundly this experience had changed me.”

– Anita Moorjani, Dying to Be Me


 

“So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn’t like my parents. I didn’t have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. Nowhere has the number zero been of more philisophical value than in the United States…. and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with it’s lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.”

– Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard


“In the last few years, losing my father, going through a divorce, and not getting some jobs I really wanted are making me a much more interesting person, I think. This really does feel like a rebirth, a new chapter.”

– John Stamos


 

We emerge from our mothers’ dark and warm wombs into a bright, strange world. We live here for a while, and many of us get so attached to our surroundings that we decide to keep them close to us our whole lives.

Others of us, by conscious choice or by subconscious choice, decide to leave one existence and re-emerge into a new one while still on the planet. While our bodies may appear to be the same, our lives are permanently and forever changed. The disjoint is usually striking, both to the reborn and to those who were previously a part of his life.

Just as a caterpillar does not attempt to bring her cocoon with her after she emerges as a butterfly, let us feel free to leave behind the remnants of a past existence. Butterflies have new work like pollinating plants and laying eggs. If you wouldn’t expect a butterfly to hang around with the caterpillars, why would you expect someone in a state of rebirth to maintain her previous lifestyle?

Let’s share and celebrate our stories regarding rebirth!  🙂

Namaste, Sheryl

No News is Good News

“There is a reason why we never feel good after watching the 6 o’clock news:  because it’s filled with fear-ladened propaganda to keep us living in that vibration, which eventually manifests itself somewhere throughout our day or evening.”

– Gregg Prescott, in5d.com

Thoughts are energy. Sad, scary, depressing, fearful and negative thoughts bring low energy. Happy, positive, exciting, hopeful and uplifting thoughts bring high energy.

So, the question is, which energy do you want in your life? If you would prefer low energy, to move around your life with a sense of hopelessness and despair, then a sure solution is to tune your televisions and radios to a news channel. It doesn’t matter which news channel, either. It could be a conservative, liberal, neutral, faith-based or government news station. The results will be the same.

If you prefer high energy, to feel joyful and hopeful, a sure solution is to send thoughts of lovingkindness first to yourself and then to everyone else. In one of my favorite songs, China Anne McClain sings, “I am, you are, we are… exceptional.” Whenever I send that unspoken thought to people I meet, I always, always get a smile and a connection.

You may be wondering if not keeping up with the news will make you miss out on something. In short, no. If it’s news that will truly affect you, you will hear it from a friend or neighbor. If you feel you will show up to the water cooler chat uneducated, then show up as the student of the news instead of as the teacher. (Uneducated you says, “George, what do you think is important about the decline in cranberry production?”) Or even better, spend your news channel time studying your industry and its trends and turn that frown into a promotion!

Namaste, Sheryl

 

Meditation and Science

Meditation and Science

The November 2014 issue of Scientific American magazine features a study of meditation. In 2000, the Dalai Lama launched the sub discipline of “contemplative neuroscience” by bringing scientists together with expert Buddhist meditators – those with at least 10,000 hours of practice. Since then, at least 20 universities, 100 meditation practitioners of all levels, and scientists have studied meditation’s effect on the body. Advances in technology have allowed neuroimaging and brain activity to help guide their research and understand the findings.

Here are a few highlights of the studies… Meditation can rewire the brain to produce health-giving effects to the mind, brain and entire body. In pain studies, it was found that while meditation did not reduce the amount of pain, it did bother the meditators less  than the control group. The more experienced the meditator, the more quickly he/she became accustomed to the pain, as well.

Mindfulness training — observing sights, sounds and other sensations without being carried away by them — resulted in a physical decrease in volume of the amygdala. This region of the brain is involved in fear processing.

Finally, there is evidence that the practice of meditation may diminish biological stresses on the molecular level and thus, slow the process of cellular aging.

There is much more in the magazine article than I could cover in a blog, so if you’re interested in learning more, feel free to continue your research at Scientific American or at the Dalai Lama’s Mind and Life Institute.

Namaste, Sheryl

Your Next Opportunity

I find it fun, interesting and educational to look at real life and link it to spirituality. After all, the separation of our physical and spiritual worlds is an illusion.  Like Elizabeth Barrett Browning once  wrote, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.”

This weekend, I had the chance to observe west Maui beaches busy with surfers. I saw one surfer in particular getting ready to go into the ocean. I would guess he was in his 50’s, with a deep tan and a well-used surfboard. He prepared his surfboard by waxing it. He observed the other surfers for a few minutes. Then, after rubbing wet sand on his board, he walked into the ocean and paddled out about 30 yards (27 meters). He watched and waited. After a few minutes, a big wave came along, and without much trouble, he mounted his surfboard and rode it in. After that, he paddled back out to watch and wait again.

I don’t know how long my guy stayed out in the surf, but I do know from watching other surfers that the cycle of paddle out, watch and wait, and surf in, can be repeated for a very long time.

Do you think that opportunities are like waves, that they are constantly appearing? Or maybe you believe that opportunities happen rarely, like the sighting of a comet?

My guess is that those of us who believe in numerous opportunities get them, just like those who believe in the rarity of opportunities get them, too. Which belief works better for you?

Namaste, Sheryl

All Events Are Blessings

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004)

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a highly regarded psychiatrist who spent much of her career in the study of the process of dying. Her book, On Death and Dying (1969), identified the five stages of grief, also known as the Kubler-Ross model: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I am impressed that someone of Kubler-Ross’ experience would make the above statement. Here is a person who knows the inside and out of life’s most desperate moments, and she tells us that “all events are blessings.” How many families and individuals did she study? How many times could it have seemed a waste that a young family was losing their mother? Or that a tight-knit family was to going to be mourning the loss of a young girl who was a beloved daughter and sister?

In my heart, I believe that what she says is true. I’ve seen it in my own life, losing custody of a foster son I thought would be my forever son. The agony in such a moment is intense. And it can last a long time, too. Our challenge is to look for the blessings as quickly as we can breathe again, for certainly, those times can rob us of the desire to take another breath.

All events are blessings. The blessings I realized from taking care of and then losing care of my foster son are numerous. While I do not go back to open the painful wounds of the time of the loss, I do appreciate the sweet times he and I had together and the many beneficial lessons I learned from the experience.

Namaste, Sheryl

The Miraculous in the Profane

“Nobody sees the obvious, nobody observes the ordinary. There are more miracles in a square yard of earth than in all the fables of the Church.”

– Robert Anton Wilson (1932 – 2007)

Please forgive me for the obvious controversy here. First of all, I do not believe that the stories which make up the fabric of the Christian faith are “fables,” in the sense that they would be unbelievable at face value. And while Robert Anton Wilson says “the Church,” it is true that all religious traditions have stories that are shared with their adherents.

Let’s get to the first sentence in the quotation. Miracles do surround us, and yes, if one takes the time to look for the miracles in a square yard of earth, one will be overwhelmed by them: the ability of plants to exist and grow, the lifecycle of animals of every shape and size, the origin and chemical make-up of different types of soil, and more! Expand our search of miracles into our lives, and the ordinary becomes a miracle, too.

This morning, I invite you to take 30 seconds to look at your favorite body part  — mine are my hands! — and consider what makes it miraculous.

Whenever you feel like you are not imparted with miracles, repeat this exercise with whatever is close to you at the time.

Namaste,  Sheryl

The World is Diverse

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, to bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain (1835 – 1910 CE)

The modes of transportation in Mark Twain’s time were limited: horse, stagecoach, railroad and boat. Still, Twain was able to travel the world, from his start in Missouri to work in Nevada, California and Hawaii. From there, he got funding from his writing to go to the Mediterranean, Europe and the Middle East.

Appreciating the different environments in which people live around the world is important to appreciating The Creator of All. After all, She/He did not create just one little corner of the world — YOUR corner! She/He created the entire Earth, endowed us with curiosity and a spirit for adventure, and gave us modes of transportation to move around.

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and moved to Dallas, Texas after college. I have always had a travel bug and have enjoyed visiting many of the 50 states,  including Alaska and Hawaii. Traveling to Mexico from Texas was just natural, and Canada was next. I’ve been to Britain, Spain, New Zealand, Israel and Australia. At each stop, I strived to get out of my comfort zone, to go for long walks and dine in the locals’ restaurants. In no way am I done; I must get to India, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and China while my soul still occupies this body.

What kind of travel would open new visions for you? Do you have a place you’ve always wanted to visit or live? Please share your story with us.

Namaste,  Sheryl

 

Bruce Lipton Article

Do We Need Surgery? Or Just a “Faith Lift?’

All who participate in walking across coals, drinking poison, lifting cars, or expressing spontaneous remissions share one trait-an unshakable belief they will succeed in their mission.

We do not use the word belief lightly. In this book, belief is not a trait that can be measured on a scale from 0 to 100 percent. For example, drinking strychnine is not a game for the “I think I believe“ crowd. Belief resembles pregnancy; you’re either pregnant or you’re not. The hardest part about the belief game is that you either believe something or you don’t-there is no middle ground.

Even though many physicists might say they believe lit coals are not really hot, they are not apt to shovel the briquettes out of their Weber grill and practice firewalking on them. While you may hold a belief in God, is it powerful enough to believe God will protect you if you drink poison? Put another way, how would you like your strychnine-stirred or shaken? We suggest before you answer that question you have zero percent doubt. Even if you have up to a whopping 99.9 percent belief in God, you might want to forego the strychnine and settle for iced tea.

If you consider the extraordinary examples cited above as exceptions, we agree. However, even if they are exceptions that cannot be explained by conventional science, people experience them all of the time. Even if we don’t have the science to explain what they did, theirs are experiences of conventional human beings. As a human being yourself, you could likely do the same things as well as, or even better, if only you had belief. Sound familiar?

And while these stories are exceptional, remember that the exception of today can easily become the accepted science of tomorrow.

One final compelling example of the mind’s power over biology can be gleaned from the mysterious dysfunction commonly referred to as multiple personality disorder, more officiously known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). A person with DID actually loses his or her own ego identity and takes on the unique personality and behavioral traits of a completely different person.

How could this be? Well, it’s like listening to a radio station in your car and, as you travel, the station becomes staticky and fades out as a different station on the same frequency grows stronger. This can be jarring if, for example, you are cruising with The Beach Boys and, a couple of choppy moments later, you find yourself in the midst of a fire-and-brimstone, Bible-thumpin’ revival. Or, for that matter, what if you’re enjoying Mozart and the Stones suddenly roll in?

Neurologically, multiple personalities resemble radio-controlled biological robots whose “station identification” uncontrollably fades from one ego identity to another. The unique behavior and personality expressed by each ego can be as vastly different as folk music is from acid rock.

While almost all attention has been placed on the psychiatric characteristics of persons affected with DID, there are also some surprising physiological consequences that accompany ego change. Each of the alternate personalities has a unique electroencephalogram (EEG) profile, which is a biomarker equivalent to a neurological fingerprint. Simply put, each individual persona comes with its own unique brain programming. Incredible as that may seem, many persons with multiple personalities change eye color in the short interval it takes to transition from one ego to the next. Some have scars in one personality that inexplicably disappear as another personality emerges. Many exhibit allergies and sensitivities in one personality but not in another. How is this possible?

DID individuals might help us answer that question because they are the poster children for a burgeoning new field of science called psychoneuroimmunology, which, in people-speak, means the science (ology) of how the mind (psycho) controls the brain (neuro), which in turn controls the immune system (immun).

The paradigm-shattering implications of this new science are simply this: while the immune system is the guardian of our internal environment, the mind controls the immune system, which means the mind shapes the character of our health. While DID represents a dysfunction, it undeniably reveals the fact that programs in our mind control our health and well-being as well as our diseases and our ability to overcome those diseases.

Now you might be saying, “What? Beliefs control our biology? Mind over matter? Think positive thoughts? Is this more of that New Age fluff?” Certainly not! As we launch into a discussion of new-edge science you will see that the fluff stops here.


For more of Bruce Lipton’s work, go to www.brucelipton.com or to his Amazon author page.