Laugh Yourself to Better Health 😂

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 “the mind does not know we’re 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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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vital to acknowledge however, when considering the issue of caste – what most Westerners see as cruel, discriminatory & outdated is actually rooted in early religious text.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 – 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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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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TOO MANY BOXES

Have you noticed how we humans tend to dissect ourselves and put the different parts in clearly labeled boxes? Let me try to explain further…..We often define ourselves by our jobs, religion, position in life etc.

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This struck me a couple of days ago whilst running a self awareness & self development workshop. Each person was asked to tell me a little bit about ‘him/herself.’  As each one spoke it struck me, most of us define ourself by things, people & situations around us. For example; I’m a teacher, a mother, husband or wife. I’m a Christian or I work in a high ranking job. But nobody spoke about his or herself as a person. So I set the following exercise:

You’re given weeks to live. Already you’re becoming dependent on those around you for feeding, bathing etc.  Your job has gone now & although you’re missed, you’ve been replaced already.  All the clothes you own, suits, dresses, shoes etc will soon all belong to someone else maybe resold through the charity shop. It’s the same with your husband or wife, they’ll one day share their life with another but right now they’re responsible for your comfort and care.  Deep down in your heart, you know your beautiful children & grandchildren will always remember you through photos, but may very well call someone else mum & grandma in the future. Everything you own, your life savings, the world you thought you knew & the dreams you had, are all relative now as you lay confined to your bed.
All the external things that once defined you have pretty much gone. Who are you?

What are your thoughts?

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