Laugh Yourself to Better Health ūüėā

Laughter Yoga started in 1995 in a Mumbai park in India, when a medical doctor – Dr Madan Kataria became interested in the power of laughter in curing illness. It started with just 5 willing participants but there are now over 1000 laughter clubs across the world. http://laughteryoga.org

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Evidence has shown, that making yourself laugh provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as real laughter because ‚Äúthe mind does not know we‚Äôre faking it.” Laughter yoga sessions generally start with gentle warm-up techniques which include stretching, chanting, clapping, eye contact and subtle body movement to¬†break down inhibitions and encourage childlike playfulness – something we adults ¬†don’t have enough of in my professional view. ¬†Breathing exercises are also used to prepare the lungs for laughter,
Laughing is brilliant way to strengthen our immune system, completely reverse the symptoms of depression & anxiety alongside many other health benefits. How does this happen? By bringing more oxygen to the body and brain, which in turn, enhances positive feelings and improves interpersonal skills. ¬†Just 15 minutes a day of real belly laughter is proven to be the equivalent of 100 sit ups in the gym – it’s perfectly natural, has exactly the

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Transhumanism & life on the cloud

Ever heard of Transhumanism?  Me neither until today when I switched on the radio to hear the most jawdropping conversation.

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Transhumanism:- The belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.

Oxford dictionary

According to American transhumanist, journalist, entrepreneur and futurist Zoltan Istvan, the likelihood of humans existing only as pure data-with no physical body on the cloud is very real & closer that we think.  According to Istvan Рas we approach death,

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Daring to Move Beyond Scripture

Dalit – ‘untouchable’ a term many of us will have heard in relation to caste. In certain communities, rules still exist about where Dalits can walk, the utensils they can use, who they can touch & of course who they can marry etc.

In fact, the opinion still remains, the Dalit birthright is to clean up the waste of others.

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But the issue of caste goes far deeper than what we see on the surface. ¬†It’s vital to acknowledge however, when considering the issue of caste – what most Westerners see as cruel, discriminatory & outdated is actually rooted in early religious text. This text being the Law of Manu found in the Upanishads & accompanied by the belief that a person’s caste is the result of their past karma.

The Laws of Manu ‚Äď date of publication uncertain but believed to be about 200 BC – was a hybrid moral-religious-law code and one of the first written law codes of Asia. In spite of its age, it has sustained paramountcy in the Hindu culture. It was also the code of conduct for inter-caste relationships in India.
Formed from the Laws of Manu, it has governed much of Hindu history. At the top of Hindu society were the Brahmin. As members of this caste, Brahmins made up the priestly caste of Hindu society. For them was reserved the right to both study and teach the Hindu sacred texts, known as the Vedas.

Both Hinduism & Buddhism share beliefs on the law of karma, its influence on rebirth & the impact our present behaviour may have on future lives.  Both differ strongly however on the issue of caste with Buddhism very much rejecting the idea, in the belief we all have the potential to connect with our Buddha nature in this life if we so wish.

What are your thoughts on Karma? & Because the idea of caste is rooted in religious texts, can it ever be abolished?

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Psychic or Skeptic?

Nothing seems to fascinate us more than going to see a psychic. We ¬†sit attentively, whilst someone predicts what’s going to happen in the future and in some cases, pass on messages from loved ones who have passed. But are psychics & clairvoyants etc genuine? Or incredibly skilled at reading our emotions and body language, in order to tell us what we want to hear?

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in 1964 a 1¬†Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge was offered by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) It agreed to pay out one million U.S. dollars to anyone who could demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria.¬†Over a thousand people applied to take it, but none were successful. The challenge was terminated in 2015. ¬†James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation¬†developed the challenge, during a radio panel discussion when a parapsychologist challenged him to “put his money where his mouth is”

 Despite nobody having passed the challenge, we still have people claiming to be psychic, clairvoyant or spiritual healers dotted around  every corner of our society so what are your views?

Are there actually people who can contact the dead? See into the future? Or predict events before they happen? Or is it all mind games?

 

 

 

Do Miracles Exist?

According to the Oxford Dictionary – A Miracle is….

An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.

Everyday we hear people referring to miracles. People being healed at Lourdes, historical stories from the bible about Jesus healing the blind and resurrecting the dead. But do miracles actually happen? Or are they simply coincidence?

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In Buddhism we believe everything has a root cause, in order for it to exist. For example; nothing whether material, phenomena or living, can happen independently of other factors. So looking at miracles from this viewpoint, just because the occurrence isn’t explicable at this moment through natural or scientific law, doesn’t mean it’s a miracle and there’s no logical explanation discoverable through further research. ¬†If miracles do exist on the other hand, why don’t they exist in the form of everyone having enough to eat, or being given clean disease free water? ¬†Just a thought.

so…. What’s your take on Miracles? Can the dead be raised or the power of prayer heal all sickness?

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Happiness! What is it?

Usually I write with a Buddhist slant. That’s because I tend to see the world from a Buddhist perspective but not everyone’s Buddhist & we can all learn from each other….

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Out in this great universe, millions of viewpoints & ideas exist about ‘true happiness’ what it is & how we achieve it. Some believe we need religion in our lives to be truly happy. Others believe happiness comes from the things around us for example external or material things. We’ve all got our own thoughts about what makes us happy, and whether that happiness is genuine or not.

Let’s get some of those viewpoints together and start a magical discussion about What Happiness Really Is – In other words……Let’s spread the joy!

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What & Where is the MIND?

What is MIND? Where is it located? And why does it cause so many problems? I don’t know about you, but I love blogging. ¬†Seeing what others write about & what interests them. Yesterday I came across a blog that really got me thinking more about the mind.

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Psychologists, Therapists & Psychiatrists all concerned with mental health, refer to the mind as often being disturbed or out of balance etc. Of course that’s their profession – to better understand the mind and treat mental health problems. Yet, if the most skilled surgeon on the planet disected our body (including the brain) I guarantee he/she wouldn’t locate anything resembling mind. ¬†Naturally they’d be able to locate the brain because its tangible, but they’d never locate what’s known as mind. ¬†On the other hand, we in the West take shed loads of prescribed medication to balance the mind ¬†So I guess today’s dilemma is this….

How do you personally define the mind & if it can’t be located anywhere in the body, how can it be responsible for so many mental health problems?

 

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Death – What’s Next?

Death – An inevitable part of life. As hard as we try, it’s impossible to avoid. ¬†Like everything else in life, we humans are impermanent, facing death from the moment we’re born yet we foolishly live under the illusion of immortality like we’re in some way exempt.

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So many times I’ve blogged about the dreaded D subject Death. Mainly because here in the west, it’s something we fear or consider taboo. For example, we don’t discuss death in case we tempt fate, and the thing we definitely don’t want, is a visit from the¬†black hooded guy with his wopping ¬†great scythe who only appears when your time’s up. ¬†There are however, many other differing opinions on death – for example, Buddhism says death is a continuation of life & merely a process of the consciousness leaving the physical body to enter a new one. ¬†Christianity sees death as returning home to the creator God & others feel when we die, we’ve gone and that’s pretty much the end.

What are your thoughts on death? Where do you believe we go once this life is over?

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The classic Trolley Dilemma – What would you do?

Most of us have heard about the ‘trolley dilemma’ relating to Buddhism, but placed in that very situation, what would you actually do?

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I’ve pondered on this for a while now and even had discussions & debates with Buddhist monks. Despite the many different viewpoints, I can’t help feeling there are still things for consideration – but first let’s look at the scenario……

You’re standing on a bridge over 2 railway tracks. ¬†A little while ago, the police arrested 6 people for a serious crime and they are now all handcuffed and waiting for arrest. Five of these people are face down on the first track. The other person is cuffed & face down on the other track. The next train isn’t due for another 15 mins but from the bridge you can see in the distance, a train trolley hurtling down towards the track with 5 people on. Right next to you is a signal box with a large iron lever. If you pull the lever, the trolley will switch tracks and hit one person instead of 5.

It’s in your hands now but before you decide, consider these factors…..

1- By allowing the train to hit one man you can save 5 lives but what gives you the right to decide that one man matters less than the other 5?
2- Karma already decided their fate which is why they’re in that situation so really you don’t need to do anything. But then what about your own karma if you knowingly let people die?
3- You could also walk away and pretend you never saw anything after all – if they weren’t criminals they wouldn’t be there in the first place. But could you honestly live with the consequences of walking away? Again what about your own karma?

What’s your viewpoint on this? Let’s have a discussion

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Don’t Fear the Reaper

For some, death is final. Others believe we have previously & will go on to live many lives – but what about you?

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Death, dark & not to be spoken of in case we tempt fate. In the West, death is portrayed by the skeletal black hooded figure armed with scythe otherwise known as ‘the reaper.’ ¬†Is it any wonder many of us are terrified of dying? But why do we view death this way? And why is death feared in the West but embraced in many other cultures? What’s your take on death?

Do you believe death is the end? Or The beginning of a whole new chapter?

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