Like listeners adjusting a high-tech radio, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have tuned in to precise frequencies of brain activity to unleash new insights into how the brain works.
“Analysis of brain function normally focuses on where brain activity happens and when,” says Eric C. Leuthardt, MD. “What we’ve found is that the wavelength of the activity provides a third major branch of understanding brain physiology.”
Researchers used electrocorticography, a technique for monitoring the brain with a grid of electrodes temporarily implanted directly on the brain’s surface. Clinically, Leuthardt and other neurosurgeons use this approach to identify the source of persistent, medication-resistant seizures in patients and to map those regions for surgical removal. With the patient’s permission, scientists can also use the electrode grid to experimentally monitor a much larger spectrum of brain activity than they can via conventional brainwave monitoring.
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It is finally here…
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What is your No.1 frustration in life right now?
Money? Health? or Relationship?
Pick one, and let me ask you the next important question.
Why have you not made that BREKTHROUGH?
You may have been taking ALL the self-improvement courses, seminars, programs that promise to make you the next millionaire, to help you lose that extra pound, to bring you the most loving relationship on earth, BUT still make little or no progress at all.
Is it because these techniques and strategies you learned in these courses are no good, is it because these teachers and
mentors are trying to fool you?
There might be some bad programs out there.
But I do believe MANY of courses out there are GOLD that can really change a person’s life… with ONLY one condition– the person must be READY for the change.
You might consciously want abundance, but subconsciously believe you don’t deserve it.
You might consciously want a perfect sexy body, but subconsciously feel that’s not right for you.
You might consciously want a loving relationship, but subconsciously feel you can never get that.
Think about it.
All these problems or frustrations are having to do with your self-esteem and self-worth.
The only way to get out of this trap is to go deeply into your subconscious mind to change your self-esteem and self confidence
so that you truly feel that you deserve the life you really want.
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I had the wonderful experience of spending my last weekend in a workshop facilitated by Alison Murdoch, one of the authors of “The 16 Guidelines for Life”. If you ever come across an opportunity to attend this workshop, I would highly recommend that you take it.
The 16 Guidelines for Life are values that, when put into practice and internalized in our life, lead to a happier and more meaningful life. They are simple to understand, practical and straightforward, yet it is precisely because of their simplicity that we run the danger of ignoring them. While it is beneficial to learn and understand them, their real value lies in applying them in our daily lives.
The 16 Guidelines are grouped into 4 themes – how we think, how we act, how we relate and how we find meanings in life. Understanding how we think provides us with a choice to discard our negative and unskilful thoughts, and to embrace positive and skilful thoughts that lead to positive outcomes for all concern.
Through some very simple yet powerful exercises, the facilitator led the participants into realizing for themselves the judgmental habits of their mind. Thus, by paying attention and being aware of our thoughts, we are empowered with a choice we did not know we had before – the choice of changing our thoughts or mental habits.
At this point, I was reminded of the definition of insanity that a friend had given me. He said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting the outcome to be different. So we have been living insanely with the same pattern of thoughts for years, and then we wonder why our lives stay the same.
The moment we change the way we think, we start to act and relate to others differently. We begin to see things from a different perspective, and in doing so we change our experience of life. Nothing outside of us has changed but the way we perceive them has. The end result is that we change our lives.
Using the 16 Guidelines, the change we experience is positive, affirming, empowering and meaningful.
For more information about the 16 Guidelines, go to http://16guidelines.org.
Self fulfilling prophecy is a concept developed by the American sociologist, Robert K. Merton, to explain how a belief or expectation, whether true or not, affects the outcome of a situation or the behavior of a person or group. In other words, what we expect is often what we get.
According to this concept, we form certain expectations of people or events and either consciously or unconsciously convey those expectations with various cues and signs, either in the way we talk or behave, that led to people adjusting their behavior to match those expectations. The result is that the original expectation becomes true.
This self fulfilling prophecy concept has been verified by many experiments and observations, and if we look at our own lives we can often see it happening in our lives in various situations. For example, parents who believe that their children will not do well in school tend to make it come true by reducing emphasis on the importance of school work to their children and accepting poor grades from them. On the other hand, parents who believe their children can excel in school will create a home environment suitable in promoting reading and knowledge, emphasize the importance of school work and generally will not tolerate poor grade from their kids. All these will eventually propel their children to excel in school.
In short, higher expectations lead to higher performance. Likewise, lower expectations lead to lower performance. In addition, better performance from higher expectations lead us to like someone more, and poorer performance from lower expectations results in us liking someone less. Thus, not only does the self fulfilling prophecy come true, it leads to a virtuous or vicious cycle.
It is especially important for parents and teachers to be aware of this phenomenon as their attitudes are often the very factor that will determine the outcome of the children they care for. For example, teachers often communicate their expectations unconsciously by:
* Seating low expectation students far from the teacher and/or seating them in a group
* Paying less attention to lows in academic situations (smiling less often, maintaining less eye contact, etc.)
* Calling on lows less often to answer questions or to make public demonstrations
* Waiting less time for lows to answer questions Not staying with lows in failure situations (e g. providing fewer clues, asking fewer follow-up questions)
* Criticizing lows more frequently than highs for incorrect responses
* Praising lows less frequently than highs after successful responses
* Praising lows more frequently than highs for marginal or inadequate responses
* Providing lows with less accurate and less detailed feedback than highs
* Failing to provide lows with feedback about their responses as often as highs
* Demanding less work and effort from lows than from highs
* Interrupting lows more frequently than highs
Here is another example of how self fulfilling prophecy may play out in the office:
Once expectations are formed, they tend to be self sustaining.
Self fulfilling prophecy applies equally to our own expectations of ourselves. If we believe that we cannot succeed in a certain project or situation, the likely outcome is that we will not try hard and therefore dooms the project to certain failure. On the other hand, if we expect ourselves to do well in certain tasks, we will often rise to the occasion.
This concept once again shows us the importance of self awareness. Being aware of our thoughts and attitudes towards certain people or situations allows us to examine the validity of those thoughts, and to adjust them appropriately to get the desired results. Mindfulness brings this unconscious mental habit into conscious awareness, thus providing an opportunity to change it.
The modern lifestyle is all about doing. From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we fall asleep at night, we are constantly looking for things to do. Some of these things we do are necessary but most are there only to fill up the time. Somehow, we find it unbearable or unacceptable to not have things to do. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those of us who would try to squeeze as many activities into a single day as we can, assuming that the more we do the more we get out of our lives.
The modern lifestyle does not allow time for reflections and introspection. To do that, we must first be willing to slow down, uncluttered our lives and set our priorities. We need to examine our values and know what we hold to be precious in our lives. We need to look within, know ourselves and become our own best friend.
One of the best place to start our introspection is to ask ourselves “Who am I?”.
The Universe and I
The ancients have told us that the universe we live in is made up of Spirit and Matter. They told us that there is something out there that is beyond our five physical perceptions but is nevertheless very real. For example, in the Eastern teaching of Taoism, there is a paragraph that says:
“Something there is without form yet exist, born before Heaven and Earth”
For thousands of years, human beings have lived with this belief in spirituality. It was only in the last 300 years or so that the emergence of science began to question this belief. The classical physics of Newton and Darwin’s theory of evolution show that life can exist without a creator, that life can come about through nature’s own ways. In addition, the personal God that was taught in religious institutions – one that was vengeful and demanding, and biased towards one group of chosen people over the rest – became more and more unpalatable to the masses.
Spirituality receded into the background of our lives, replaced by materiality. The achievements of science over matter and the glorification of material wealth by the media hasten the demise of spirituality in modern life.
But spirituality is not dead.
It cannot die because it is an inseparable part of our being.
Man is not just the body. It is mind (spirit) and body. In fact, between mind and body, it is the mind that has greater influence over the quality of our lives than the body. Psychologists have learned that the meanings we give to the “realities” in our lives has far greater influence over our happiness than the realities themselves. In other words, it is our perceptions that determine our state of happiness or otherwise.
Furthermore, quantum physics have shown us that at the quantum level of subatomic particles, reality is really not as predictable as what classical physics have led us to believe about the universe and our lives. Physicists are beginning to realize that the universe we live in is more participatory than we thought, and we – each and every one of us – are the participants that determine the outcome of how the universe evolves.
Thus, it now seems that our mind not only determines the quality of our lives. It also determines the reality of the universe. We are co-creators of this universe we live in.
Not just this physical Body
So now we know that we are not simply this physical body. We are spiritual beings (spirituality being spirit and/or mind that we have not fully comprehend yet we know is there and is real). Through our mind we experience both the material and spiritual worlds. Therefore to know ourselves we need to know our mind. We need to look inward, to contemplate, to introspect. And when we do so, we will discover our real self and begin to see our lives from a different perspective – one that is healthier, more blissful and more inclusive.
Living a more spiritual life has its benefits.
Spirituality provides the meanings to life that determines the quality of our human experience. It also provides a mean to explore the mysterious and the best of human experience. In addition, studies have shown that spirituality increases our sense of well being, boosts self confidence, lowers heart attack risks and add more happiness into our lives. Spirituality also offers a graceful surrendering and acceptance that brings peace in time of grief, loss and sufferings, e.g. terminal illness, death of a loved one, separation, divorce and natural disasters.
It is for all these reasons that I urge you to see yourself differently – as a spiritual being, rather than just this physical body.
The external world we experienced is a mirror reflection of our inner state of mind. This is what is meant by the phrase “As within, so without” – a spiritual law taught by an ancient god known as Thoth to the Egyptians and as Hermes to the Greeks.
Thus, in our effort to find peace in this world, we must first find peace within ourselves. In fact, peace is, has always been and will always be our true essence. Peace is the unchanging essence of who we really are. It has always been there and will never be lost. Our job is to find it, recognize it and re-claim it. No one else can do it for us. We must do it ourselves.
So, how do we find peace in the midst of this chaotic world we live in?
First we must recognize that we cannot find peace through wars. We cannot find peace through acts of terrors or belligerence. We cannot find peace through harsh or angry words. We cannot find peace as long as we harbor negative thoughts.
To find peace, we must be willing to let go of our tendency towards aggression in all its forms – in actions, in words and in thoughts. It is especially the negative and aggressive thoughts that we need to let go since it is our thoughts that lead to speech and actions.
In spiritual teachings, we are taught that our true essence is peace or stillness, which is manifested as unconditional love towards all living beings, as compassion towards the sufferings and as altruistic joy towards ours as well as other people’s success and abundance.
In other words, we cannot find peace outside of ourselves. We can only find peace by finding the peace within us. The peace within us is veiled by all our thoughts – both positive and negative thoughts. As long as our mind moves, our peace is disturbed, like the still surface of a pond disturbed by the ripples caused by the wind or a stone thrown into it.
This is why meditation is so important. Through meditation, we learn to quiet the mind. For beginners, a quiet place and sitting still with eyes closed reduce the external stimuli bombarding the five physical senses. This allows the mind to focus purely on itself and its thought contents.
Gradually, we begin to realize that our thought contents are merely thoughts. They are not real. Rather, they are real only because we regard them as real. It is possible to let go of our clinging to our thoughts – our beliefs, concepts, desires and expectations. And when we let them go, we actually find a sense of relief, as if a heavy burden has been lifted from our shoulders. We find peace. Within that peace is contentment.
When we become good at going inward and centering ourselves in this true essence of ours, we begin to respond spontaneously to life with unconditional love towards all living beings, with compassion towards the sufferings and with altruistic joy towards everyone’s success and achievements.
Every relationship comes with potential conflicts. It is hard to find a relationship that has no conflict. So having a conflict in a relationship is not really abnormal. It certainly does not mean the end of the relationship. It only means that we now have the opportunity to improve on the relationship and even take it to the next level.
From a spiritual perspective, relationship is an opportunity for growth. Each relationship is unique for the 2 persons involved. We are first attracted into a relationship because of some common similarities or interests. However, it is the differences that offer us growth potentials. How we grow depends on how we manage these differences.
It is sad to see a relationship going down the drain, especially so in a husband-wife, mother-daughter or father-son relationships. A good family relationship goes a long way to bringing happiness into our lives and a failed family relationship is especially painful and the negative effects long lasting.
Here are some advice on how to resolve conflicts in a relationship whenever they arise.
1. Avoid the confrontational posturing
In resolving any conflicts, we must approach it from a position of wanting reconciliation and not confrontation. If we begin with a confrontational approach, we are likely to meet with failure in resolving the conflict.
Many people sincerely want to resolve their conflicts with their loved ones but are not able to do so because they are unaware that each time they try to talk things out, they face off each other as if going to a battle. They unconsciously armed themselves with a brick wall, folded arms and a confrontational attitude.
Even before they start, they have set themselves up for failure.
2. Remove the ego out of the equation
Every conflict that arises involved the ego. Our ego has the mental habit of wanting to win, to be right, to blame and to judge another. It is the ego that refuses to see that holding on to this habit hurts not only this relationship but also all relationships. That is why we keep getting to situations of conflict despite changes partners, friends, jobs and home. It is not the external events, circumstances or people that are the cause of the conflicts. It is our internal perceptions that is the real culprit.
To resolve any conflict, we should therefore be consciously aware of this and therefore remove our ego out of the equation.
3.Be careful of the mental habit of wanting to blame or judge
Nobody likes to be blamed or judged – not you nor the person you are having a conflict with. In resolving a conflict in a relationship, we should be mindful not to allow our old mental habit of blaming or judging to show its ugly face. Blaming and judging automatically activates the ego’s tendency to defend itself. For many people, unconsciously, their best defense is an offense. So, without being fully aware, they launched into an attack that escalates the confrontation rather than heals the wounds.
4. Focus on the solution, not on wanting to be right
When we remove the ego from the equation, we stopped wanting to be right, to blame or to judge. Instead, we become more focused on finding a solution that is acceptable to both. In most cases, a solution can be found for each conflict as long as the ego is willing to give way to rational approach.
Many a time, it is our pride that stops us from achieving a beautiful and loving relationship. We want things to be OUR way and would rather sacrifice the relationship, albeit unconsciously, rather than not have it our way.
In history, many relationships have been broken beyond repair purely because of pride. Would you rather include yours into the statistics or salvage your relationship? That really depends on what you truly value in your life, doesn’t it?
5. Be willing to let go and forgive
Probably the most important factor in resolving any conflicts is the willingness to forgive. To forgive essentially means to let go. What do we let go? We let go of our mental habit of clinging on to the resentments, the pains and the hurts. We let go of our habit of blaming, judging and holding grudges. We let go of our need to be right or to have things go our way. We simply let them all go.
To be able to let go of our mental habit of clinging on to our resentments, pains and hurts is not only useful for a resolution but also essential for our own mental, emotional and physical well being. Healing begins the moment we forgive and let go.
Lastly, it is important to know that not all relationships should be preserved as it is. Sometimes, it may be better to end the relationship or transform it into a different relationship. Even when two persons are better off ending an existing relationship, we can still choose to end it amicably and remain friends rather than foes.
If you are in the New Age circle, you have no doubt come across the concept of “letting go”. What is meant by letting go? What do we let go of?
We go through life with a mental habit of acquiring and clinging on to things, people, emotions and thoughts. We do it almost always unconsciously. This is our default mode. However, it is not the acquiring that causes us problems. The problem is that we cling to our acquisitions – automatically, religiously and often times fanatically.
Clinging on to things or people can be quite obvious to most people. For example, we are used to seeing children clinging on to their parents, or a boyfriend clinging on to a girlfriend. We have also seen people clinging on to their money and properties, like the famous story of Scrooge in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.
What is not so obvious is our clinging to our emotions and thoughts. Most of us can probably remember a time when we were so angry that we actually clung on to that anger for some time before letting it go. And nowadays, we often hear of fanatics who cling on to their concept of God as the only truth and dismissed all else as falsehood. Whenever we cling on to a belief or concept so tightly that we refuse to open our mind to other possibilities, we are subjecting ourselves to the pain of clinging on to our thoughts.
So when we say “let go”, we are not merely saying to let go of our clinging to things and people. We are also saying let go of our clinging to emotions and thoughts too. In fact, it is even more important to work on letting go of our clinging to our thoughts since thoughts precede feelings and actions. When we are able to let go of our thoughts, we free ourselves from emotional and mental slavery.
Holding on to our thoughts, feelings, things and people is actually a very unskillful and painful habit of the mind. When you examined this mental habit, you will find that it is the cause of all our sufferings.
Letting go also allows us to let go of the past and live in the present moment. We stop living in our past memories and stop clinging on to old hurts and injuries. Letting go is forgiving. It does not hold grudges. It starts anew. It is refreshing. It is healing. It heals not only mentally and emotionally but also physically.
In terms of spirituality, it is only our foolishness that leads us to cling so strongly to our thoughts as if they are ultimate truths. How can there be any ultimate truth in this relative universe we live in? Every single truth in this relative world is dependent on another thing. It is only true in relative to something else.
For example, this tower is tall only in relation to the surrounding short buildings. I am short only when compared to someone taller than me. If I were to compare myself with another person who is shorter than me, then I am tall. Likewise, I am rich only when compared to someone who is poorer than me but I am poor compared to the billionaires in this world.
Thus, ultimate truth is not to be found in this relative universe. Ultimate truth is only found when we transcend this relative universe.
Since every truth in this relative universe is only a relative truth, are we not foolish to cling so tightly to our thoughts as if they are ultimate unchanging truths?
Have you heard about Kevin Schoeninger’s acclaimed “Core Energy Meditation” program?
Today I want to tell you a bit more about Core Energy Meditation — HOW it works and WHY it works.
You see, a lot of the time we try to improve our lives by using the mind ALONE. We try to “think positive” and focus on what we want …. even when we FEEL just the opposite.
We’ve all been there
And this explains why we often get pulled back into our old negative patterns. Over time, the old energies that keep us stuck get locked into our bodies. And the process is so subtle we often don’t even realize it.
Despite our best efforts to “think positive”, the weight of the old patterns keeps holding us back from the life of abundance we truly deserve.
We need a practice that addresses and clears ALL aspects of our being, not just the mind. Kevin’s Core Energy Meditation program can help you do this in as little as 20 minutes per day.
Kevin’s approach draws on new scientific research and nearly 30 years of personal practice and teaching.
In short, Kevin’s system works by balancing all three major energy centers in the body — the Mind Center, The Heart and The Body Center.
Why is that important?
Well, before he developed Core Energy Meditation, Kevin studied many different systems of meditation and personal growth. He found that each system provided an important piece of the puzzle, but not the whole
picture he was looking for.
Over the years, Kevin began putting all the pieces together into a short 20 minute practice. When you practice Core Energy Meditation, you learn how to shift into what Kevin calls the “Core Energy State”.
This is a state where you feel totally happy and peaceful and completely free of all attachment. Kevin describes this experience in detail on this web site:
Although Kevin has been teaching and refining Core Energy Meditation for years, it’s only been released to the public in the last few months.
So far the response has been amazing.
I HIGHLY recommend you get this program. It really can change your life when you do a little every day. This is something you can continue practicing and benefiting from for the rest of your life.
Core Energy Meditation
Is it possible to live a life without fear?
In all probability, you have not come across anyone in your life who is without fear. We therefore, from our own experiences, generally believe that fear is part and parcel of a normal life.
However, in recent times, we have heard of people who are able to live their lives without fear. People like Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie and Jan Frazier are a handful of people who have written about and share their discovery of a fearless life. In olden times, many mystics and gurus have also been able to achieve living their lives without fear and sufferings.
So living a fearless life is possible. It is also desirable. According to those who have achieved a fearless life, it is our natural state. In other words, a fearless life is how we should be. So the lives we are living now, with fear, is abnormal. It is a symptom of a deep rooted dis-ease. Just because we are used to being fearful does not make fear normal. It is not.
Fear presents itself in various ways. The most obvious form of fear is being overtly fearful of things like impending injury or death, illnesses and pain. However, fear can also manifest itself in more subtle ways, such as mild anxiety, depression, irritable, anger, need to be loved and accepted, seeking approval from self and/or others, need for security and safety, and even the need to control. In short, whatever negative emotions we have are manifestations of fear.
How can we live without fear?
When we look at the common factor in all those who are living fearless lives now, and even those in the past, one thing stands out. They had the realization that we are spiritual beings, and they live according to that fact. Being spiritual, we are indestructible and it is also within our own power to manifest the lives we want through mastery of our mind. We become responsible for our lives.
Thus, as long as we do not see ourselves as spiritual beings, we are unlikely to be able to live a fearless life. Why? Because believing that we are totally and only this physical being makes us completely vulnerable to diseases, destruction and death. Little wonder we constantly seek to reassure ourselves by seeking control and security but no matter how much control and security we have, we will still feel inadequate.
How can we therefore be free from fear? The answer is that we cannot be free from fear as long as we believe that we are only this physical body.
We cannot find peace without spirituality.