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“I Was Sort of a Jack-A** Before Meditation”: One Way We Can Help Shift Police Brutality

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 There are layers to every good story; nuances to be explored, discussed, and shared. I first met York Region Police officer Jon Carson through Rev Bhante Saranapala, head monk at the West End Buddhist Temple in Mississuga, Canada. Bhante and I worked together on a story after a picture that had been taken in the temple showing Peel Region Police officers sitting in lotus position, eyes closed, and meditating with him went viral.

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Bhante and Jon became friends through the meditation connection. After the success and interest of that story, Bhante mentioned to me that he was friends with an officer known as ‘the mindful cop,’ who was working to change the culture within his police region, helping officers become more self-aware through mindfulness training. Bhante thought I might like to meet him. And he was right.

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It was a pleasure sitting and chatting with this officer of 15 years and learning about his journey with mindfulness. Quite frankly, it’s not every day you come across a cop that meditates! His soft spoken yet confident tone made it clear he takes this seriously and has made a real lifestyle change for the better. He spoke about the great benefits that had come from his mindfulness training for not only his family and work life, but also, and most importantly, to the community he served.

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But Jon wasn’t always into meditation. In fact, he says he laughed out loud when his wife (also an officer) gave him a magazine with Lieutenant Richard Goerling sitting cross-legged and meditating on the cover. At the time, he had been recovering from an accident that left him with his eighth concussion. His doctor prescribed three things to him for recovery, and, fortunately for Jon, meditation was one of them.

He talked about the synchronicity of the doctor’s prescription and the meditating cop on the cover of the magazine, and how he recognized he was “being given meditation by the universe.” Prior to this, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) had been a very real part of his life. He told me about a call he responded to in 2009 involving  a very young child. “I’ve been dealing with the trauma of that incident and many others since,” said Jon. And he’s been dealing from the inside out.

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PTSD affected 15-18% of officers in the U.S. in 2015, but many officers suffer in silence. The media portrays police officers as tough, stoic, manly — the alpha male rather than the vulnerable human being. But they are real people, just as susceptible to trauma and affected by violence as the rest of us. We just don’t see it, according to Jon. He knew he could either deal with his PTSD with a six-pack of beer or a six-pack of cookies, but neither was conducive to real healing.

Policing is one of the most stressful occupations out there. Typically fitness is used to help officers deal with the horrific things they see, but that doesn’t really address or treat the mental health issues. Unresolved thoughts can lead to pent up emotions, and according to one study published earlier this year, excessive anger is the prevailing emotion amongst officers. This can negatively impact the well-being of the officer, which in turn can negatively impacts the well-being of the public. Recognizing the anger he felt inside, Jon read Lieutenant Richard Goerling‘s story a number of times while recovering and began slowly incorporating meditation into his life.

Credit: Huffpost

Credit: Huffpost

He became a ‘closet meditator,’ putting his headphones in and closing his eyes at work or sneaking off with a pillow to go sit in the prayer room at the station. While some questioned what he was doing, others noticed big changes in his demeanor and language.

When I asked him why it was important for officers to have mindfulness based training, he responded, ” …Coming back to the breath. If we can have that pause between the reaction versus the response, we can be that much more effective when dealing with the public.”  With all the violence we’ve seen recently involving police and civilians, it felt refreshing to meet someone actually presenting a solution to the violence that is accessible to all. The more we are aware of what is happening internally, the more we can respond calmly to the situation rather than reacting in the moment, without thought.

I also asked who Jon Carson was before mindfulness training, and he said, “a bit of a jack-ass.” He always expected people to follow his orders without question — he would show up and they would do as he said, and that’s it. Now, all of that has changed. He creates space for dialogue, and lots of it. We’ve lost sight of what effective communication looks like and how to actually ‘hear’ other people — listening deeply to the needs behind the emotionally charged statements some people make in heated situations.

Jon believes strongly in implementing mindful based training to officers and knows it can be an invaluable tool on their belt. He felt compelled to approach his bosses and present this mindful training course to all new recruits, which has since been approved. Now, York Region Police is looking to quantify their results, to encourage other forces to follow suit.2015-08-11-1439332708-4185339-VME_3592-thumb

Changing police culture is not easy, and Jon has received some funny looks from some of his colleagues, but he knows change sometimes comes slowly, particularly systemic change. But he also knows this has the potential to make our society a better place, to transform it, literally from the inside out.  See, the thing about mindfulness is that it’s for everyone; it breaks down barriers and helps us see others as humans first, and occupation, race, or whatever else, last. Jon mentioned toward the end of our chat that if both sides remembered that we were just people, who have families, and good days and bad days — that we’re just people who make mistakes, and who learn from them  — a lot of misconceptions both sides have about each other would slowly slip away.

Look out for a follow-up with @mindfulcop Jon and other officers who are boldly coming forward in the same way.

Sources:

http://www.officer.com/article/12156622/2015-police-suicide-statistics

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Fact Checkers & Big Tech Censorship Are Tearing Apart Society

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Journalist Laurie Clarke published an article in the British Medical Journal examining hundreds of millions of pieces of content that Facebook has removed in an attempt to stop ‘covid misinformation.’ As a result of censorship, we are seeing a breakdown of important dialogue. Here is our deeper written analysis of her piece.

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The Quantum Eraser Experiment: What Happens In The Present Can Change The Past

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Image: Shutterstock

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    At the quantum scale, what we do in the present can impact what happens in the past. This is shown through what's known as the quantum delayed choice choice, or quantum eraser experiment.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are factors associated with consciousness directly intertwined with physical material matter at the quantum scale? What does this mean when it comes to our physical material world in relation to our thoughts, perceptions, feelings and emotions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

One of the founding fathers of quantum theory, Max Planck, who is often credited with originating quantum theory – a feat that won him the Physics Nobel Prize in 1918 – once stated: “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as exiting, postulates consciousness.”

Fast forward to today and there are a number of experiments in multiple fields showing that Planck was right. Consciousness is fundamental and it is directly intertwined with what we call physical material matter. You cannot explain consciousness in terms of the existing fundamentals like space, time, mass, and charge. As a result, the logical thing to do is postulate whether consciousness itself is something fundamental to the existence of reality.

A classic experiment used to examine the role of consciousness and its relationship to matter is the quantum double slit experiment. In this experiment, tiny bits of matter (photons, electrons, or any atomic-sized object) are shot toward a screen that has two slits in it. When there is no measuring device placed at the screen, the tiny bits of matter act as a “wave” and creates an “interference” pattern on the other side where a wall is placed to catch the pattern. Because there was no measuring or observation device used to see what slit the matter went through, we cannot know what path it took. When the pattern on the wall is examined to see what path it took, it represents a wave of possibilities, meaning the matter (particle) went through both slits, and one slit, and interfered with itself, which should be physically impossible. Welcome to the wacky world of quantum physics – anything and everything is possible.

The kicker is, when an observation device is set up to observe what slit the particles go through, the particle then only goes through one, thus collapsing the wave pattern and forming a pattern that is representative of the particle only going through one slit. In other words, the behaviour of the matter changes when we decide to measure  or observe it, the particles act as they are aware they are being watched. 50 percent of the time the particle will go through one slit, and the other 50 percent of the time it will go through the other and form a two slit pattern, just as if they were balls lobbed through one slit or the other.

Observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it…We compel (the electron) to assume a definite position…We ourselves produce the results of the measurement. (M. Mermin, Boojums All the Way Through: Communicating Science ina Prosaic Age (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1990, referenced by Dr. Dean Radin, From A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays explaining how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality

If this isn’t already mind-altering enough for you, one physicist, John Archibald Wheeler, pondered what would happen if we don’t interfere with the photons on their way through the slits? What would happen if we didn’t set up a measuring device to observe what slit the matter went through, and instead, what if behind the back wall there were detectors? One detector is focused on each slit, and just before the particle lands on the screen after it has passed through the slit device, the detectors are pulled away. When no one could detect which slit the photon had gone through, there was a wave pattern, but when the detectors were in place, there was no wave pattern. Similar to observing the particles before they went through the slit. No observation produced an interference pattern, and observation formed a one line, one slit pattern.

If they collapse to a state of particles from a wave at the moment of detection, after they have gone past the slit device, this means that even though they went through the slit unobserved and should produce a wave (interference) pattern, the very act of observing, still, instantly transforms them into particles and collapses the wave function.

This begs the question, how could these detectors interfere with something that had already happened? It would mean that what happened in the present changed the past. The very act of detecting the particles after they go through the slit determines how they went through the slit, either as a wave or as particles. How is this possible?

Like the quantum double slit experiment, the delayed choice/quantum eraser has been demonstrated and repeated multiple times. For example, physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, and the findings were recently published in the journal Nature Physics.

In 2007 (Science 315, 966, 2007), scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus and showed that their actions could retroactively change something that had already happened.

“If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance, but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.” (source)

To make the experiment easier to understand, Wheeler used a cosmic scale explanation. Imagine a star emitting a photon billions of years ago, heading in the direction of planet Earth. In between, there is a galaxy. As a result of what’s known as “gravitational lensing,” the light will have to bend around the galaxy in order to reach Earth, so it has to take one of two paths, going left or going right. Billions of years later, if one decides to set up an apparatus to “catch” the photon, the resulting pattern would be an interference pattern, as explained above in the double slit experiment. This demonstrates that the photon took one way, and it took the other way. A “wave” of possibilities, but the way it took has not been defined.

One could also choose to “peek” at the incoming photon, setting up a telescope on each side of the galaxy to determine which side the photon passed to reach Earth. The very act of measuring or “watching” which way the photon comes in means it can only come in from one side. The pattern will no longer be an interference pattern representing multiple possibilities, but a single clump pattern showing “one” way.

What does this mean? It means how we choose to measure “now” affects what direction the photon took billions of years ago. Our choice in the present moment affected what had already happened in the past.

Below is a great video of Wheeler explaining.

My mind is blown just writing this article, I can’t stop thinking about it and what it could possibly mean, and how factors associated with consciousness are, in more ways than one, intertwined with what we perceive to be our physical reality. I recently published an article regarding consciousness and how it might be fundamental to the creation of our physical material world. You can read that here if interested.

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” ― Nikola Tesla

Why does all of this matter? Because it’s one of multiple experiments showing a strong connection between consciousness and physical matter. What does this mean at the classic physics scale? What does it mean with regards to the way we think, feel, perceive? What does it mean when we are talking about solutions to problems we are facing on our planet? If human consciousness could be so fundamental with regards to the ‘creation of our reality’, why aren’t we talking about it more? What impact would changing the way we look at our world have on the human experience? What would happen if we started to see things in a different light?

We tend to believe in our culture that we are beings where everything in our world is happening to us, as opposed to us being intimately connected to everything in our world. How might that knowing change the nature of our choices?

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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Dr Byram Bridle Speaks For 100 Colleagues Afraid To Share Science About COVID Vaccine Concerns

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr Byram Bridle and two other physicians spoke at a news conference on Parliament Hill about their experience being censored or harassed as a result of sharing their medical opinions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we as citizens truly want our scientists and physicians to be silenced and censored?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Why are scientists and experts in this field scared to share concerning science regarding COVID vaccines? Just ask Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed, in-depth report regarding safety concerns about the COVID vaccines. The report was released to act as a guide for parents when it comes to deciding whether or not their child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridle published the paper on behalf of one hundred other scientists and doctors who part of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, but who are afraid to ‘come out’ publicly and share their concerns.

Bridle has stated about the Alliance,

In fact the reason that we (Canadian COVID Care Alliance) exist is sad. We exist because we’re like minded in the sense that we all want to be able to speak openly and freely about the scientist and medicine underpinning COVID-19, and we don’t feel safe to do it  anywhere else other than within our own private group, where we feel safe.

Below is our detailed report on the news conference held on Parliament Hill on June 17th, 2021. It was organized by Canadian MP Derek Sloan who has received hundreds of concerned communications from Canadian citizens about the censorship of scientists. Bridle and two other physicians spoke at the conference.

A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

The more important questions to ask are: who is deciding what’s misleading? Who decides what’s false?

Some of the most renowned scientists and expert in this field have been subjected to this “fact-checking,” and they’ve been outspoken about how much of this fact-checking is flat out censorship. You decide.

To note: HealthFeedback.org, a fact checker, has attempted to refute some of Bridle’s claims. You can read more about them here.

 

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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