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Study Shows The Difference Between The Brains of People Who Meditate VS. People Who Don’t

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Human knowledge is constantly evolving and changing, yet most of us believe scientific theories to be fact rather than working understandings of a topic. But they are theories, and our understanding of ‘what is’ continues to change. These are always difficult times, because long-held beliefs enforced by scientific dogma are, for many people, difficult to adjust or relinquish. Anger and disbelief are common reactions, no matter how thoroughly an old theory is disproven. Just think back to when we discovered the Earth was round, not flat, or that Earth was not the center of the universe — the Catholic Church went so far as to persecute and even put to death scientists and ‘free-thinkers’ who opposed them.

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Fast forward to today and, fortunately, much has changed. Although several industries that we rely upon are plagued by corruption, fraud, and disinformation, some would argue that it’s not as bad as it used to be, as evinced by the scientific study of concepts once deemed to be spiritual ‘nonsense’ by the community, like meditation, or non-material science.

Over the past few years alone, a wealth of scientific data has outlined the many benefits meditation can have on our biology, furthering strengthening the scientific validity of the mind-body connection.

For example, an eight-week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation can literally rebuild the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. They also released a study showing that meditation can have a significant impact on clinical symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  The study showed that elicitation of the relaxation response (a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress) improves symptoms in all these disorders. It was also recently discovered that meditation creates a distinct network of anti-aging genes and improves cellular health.

This time, new research from the UCLA School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology has shown that long-term meditators have younger brains, with higher concentrations of tissue in the brain regions most depleted by aging. The study found that meditation can protect against the decline we normally see occurring through old age and keep our brains young.

According to the study, “On average, the brains of long-term meditators were 7.5 years younger at age 50 than the brains of non-meditators, and an additional 1 month and 22 days younger for every year after 50.”

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Pretty remarkable, isn’t it? Some showed a brain that is a full decade younger.

The study used brain imaging data from a previous study that had examined the impact of meditation on cortical thickness. To compare the brains of meditators aged 50 and over to the ones of non-meditating controls, they went through the data. Both groups included 22 women and 28 men with an average age of 51.4 years. Meditators had close to 20 years of meditation experience on average, though experienced ranged from 4 to 46 years.

A press release by the university explains further:

It is important to note that this study relied on estimates of brain change based on age and not actual values. Although these findings are consistent with prior research that detected significant differences in brain structure among meditators compared to non-meditating controls, results of the present study are inferential, and do not answer questions regarding how many years of meditation are necessary to attain this effect, or whether structural brain change directly corresponds to cognitive, behavioral, or psychosocial functioning.

The authors conclude by hypothesizing several different explanations for the results they observed. Firstly, meditation could be stimulating growth in neural structures and promote increased connectivity and efficiency within neural networks. Secondly, it “buffers the brain and nervous system against the deleterious effects of chronic stress, which may reduce pro-inflammatory response, stimulate telomerase activity, and inhibit age-related brain change”

This is precisely why these practices are being introduced into the workplace and at school.

These current findings can now be added to a long and growing list suggesting that meditation (along with other mindfulness-based practices) does wonders for our biology, and is another great example of how, sometimes, we don’t need scientists to validate something that is clearly already known. This isn’t the first time ancient wisdom has been validated by modern science, and it certainly won’t be the last.

How to Meditate

A common misconception about meditation is that you have to sit a certain way or do something in particular to achieve the various benefits that it can provide. All you have to do is place yourself in a position that is most comfortable to you. It could be sitting cross-legged on the floor, relaxing in a chair, or lying down in a bed — it’s your choice.

Another common misconception about meditation is that you have to “try” to empty your mind. One important factor I enjoyed reading from the study mentioned above is that participants were engaged in “non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind.” When meditating, you shouldn’t try to “empty” your mind. Instead, try to let your thoughts, feelings, and whatever emotions you are experiencing at the time flow. Don’t judge them and don’t attach to them; just let them come and go and recognize that they are transitory.

I also believe that meditation is a state of being/mind more than anything else. One does not have to sit down for half an hour and “meditate,” so to speak, in order to reap the benefits of it, or to be engaged in the practice itself. One can be engaged in meditation while walking, for example, or while preparing for sleep. Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one way to meditate.

“You will have to understand one of the most fundamental things about meditation: that no technique leads to meditation. The old so-called techniques and the new scientific bio-feedback techniques are the same as far as meditation is concerned.Meditation is not a byproduct of any technique. Meditation happens beyond mind. No technique can go beyond mind.”

– Osho

That being said, partaking in the style of meditation that involves actively sitting down, breathing, and concentrating on quieting your mind or on a specific intent can be particularly helpful. The following article can help you with that: “How To Meditate: 6 Methods That Can Get Anyone Meditating.

To read more articles from Collective Evolution on meditation, click HERE.

 

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Consciousness

Ex Defense Intelligence Agency Director Shares What He’s Learned About ‘Psychic’ Dreaming

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dale E. Graff, a physicist and former director of the US government/Stanford remote viewing program shares his knowledge about dreaming, and how we can all experience what he calls 'Psi' dreaming.

  • Reflect On:

    How much have our governments and black budget programs really discovered within these realms? How much is known and why are they keeping t classified?

The most astonishing fact about studies within the realm of parapsychology (Psi) is that they are often shunned by the mainstream media and this comes despite the fact that they have extremely high amounts of credibility within the realms of academia. Parapsychology deals with phenomena like pre-cognition, remote viewing, telepathy, mind matter interaction, and more that fall under the label of extra sensory perception (ESP), and the truth is, there is no reason why these topics should not be studied openly within the mainstream. Why is it that they are ridiculed in that realm, but have been studied at the highest levels of government for decades with high amounts of success and credibility? The US/Stanford University STARGATE project is one of many examples that confirm parapsychology’s legitimacy.

These programs usually run and are funded by the black budget. Find out where trillions of our tax dollars are going here.

Dr. Jessica Utts, the Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine makes a great point on the show Talking Points, further emphasizes my point.

“What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls… and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are much tighter than any other area of of science where I’ve worked.” (source)

Based on all of my research into the field of parapsychology, the information seems to be shunned away from in mainstream academia simply because it has an association with superstition, spirituality, metaphysics and ‘magic’. This alone, no matter how strong the evidence and how significant the results when studied in a scientific setting, instantly have closed-minded ‘non-believers’ yell out pseudoscience. There is instant condemnation without investigation and sometimes, “protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.” Said Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source).

One realm within the topic of parapsychology is the study of our dreams and there is no better person to learn about dreams from than than Dale E. Graff.  Graff is an MS in Physics and a life long investigator of Psi phenomena specializing in a variety of extrasensory perception (ESP) topics including remote viewing and precognitive dreaming. He has a scientific background in the aerospace industries and in technical intelligence assignments for the Department of Defense. He was also a director of the STARGATE program mentioned above from 199o to 1993.

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He was a member of several intelligence community working groups for advanced physics, electro-optics, stealth and other technologies. As Chief of an Advanced Technology group at the Foreign Technology Division (FTD), Wright Patterson Air Force (WPAFB), Dayton, OH, he became the contract manager for remote viewing research at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in 1976. He transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1980 and became Director of the Advanced Concepts Office. (source)

In the lecture below, he answers the following questions: What is Psi dreaming? How can individuals experience Psi dreams? How can Psi dreaming be researched and evaluated scientifically? What can we do with Psi dreaming? How can Psi dreaming be understood relative to other forms of Psi, such as remote viewing and some types of intuition?

He provides information about how Psi dreaming is accomplished, and goes into the evidence and investigations that have shown evidence for the reality of Psi dreaming. He talks about how Psi dreaming may occur and provides exercises to assist in dream recall, among other things.

The Takeaway

A great quote that’s often attributed to Nikola Tesla reads as follows, “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.”  This is true I believe, just take a look at quantum physics for example, it really opened up the collective mind about non-physical factors of reality and how it may influence material physical reality. It also demonstrated that matter itself, which makes up all of physical reality, is not really physical at all, that it’s mostly comprised of energy. Just look at the atom, the smallest observable piece of matter, it’s what everything else is made up of. An atom is almost all empty space, more than 99 percent of it to be exact. The kicker? That empty space is not useless, and from what we know now, “empty space” is really not “empty” at all. This is why I’ve always stressed the importance in many of my previous articles of this quote from theoretical physicist John Wheeler:

No point is more central than this, that space is not empty, it is the seat of the most violent physics.”

Another great quote from Tesla:

“All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha, or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.” – Nikola Tesla, Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907

I go into a deeper discussion regarding non-physical reality within this article if you’d like to learn more: Scientists Call Out “Dark Matter” – Have We Been Wrong About It All Along?

The point is, non-physical reality, and the metaphysical world is not limited to philosophy, but it’s been subjected to rigorous investigation and science. The collective mind seems to be opening up quite rapidly, but just as we look back in the past to some concepts now accepted as truth that were once considered blasphemy, it’s important to remember that this type of resistance still exists today.

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Taurus: Growth & Perseverance

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We are having a Full Moon in Taurus on November 12th at 1:34pm Universal Time. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 11th in the Americas and on the night of the 12th elsewhere.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Scorpio. The energies of a Full Moon build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Mercury is also currently retrograde in Scorpio which you can read more about here. In the day leading up to this Full Moon, Mercury was conjunct the Sun in what is known as the ‘inferior conjunction’ and is still playing out during the Full Moon.

Generally this is an important phase of every Mercury retrograde, however, this one has even more significance because Mercury was exactly aligned with, and visibly in front of, the Sun. This is not the case for every ‘inferior conjunction.’ This is called an ‘Occultation’ and also referred to as a ‘Transit of Mercury’ by astronomers. The last time it occurred was May 2016 and the next time will be in November 2032.

This can be a period of increased insights and the themes of this retrograde may get amplified. However, typical retrograde complications can also be stronger at this time depending on your circumstances or how you are applying your energy. In some cases, this may also be a period of ridding yourself of certain thoughts, ideas, perceptions, old interests, expectations, or other things that are not serving you to make way for new ones to be seeded either at this time or in the coming months.

Full Moon In Taurus Opposite Sun and Mercury in Scorpio

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Taurus and Sun in Scorpio. It can play out as either a conflict, integration, or some sort of dynamic playing out between the energies of both signs.

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We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Scorpio side and others expressing the Taurus side. In some cases, Full Moon’s can also reflect/trigger some sort of release or change which may apply more so in this case when considering Mercury’s conjunction with the Sun in Scorpio.

Taurus is an Earth sign ruled by Venus. It is associated with values, worth, the material world, sensuality, money, food/substances, security, beauty, art, and nature. It is physically oriented, practical, and realistic. Taurus is thorough and also likes stability and routine. It is like a rock; slow, grounded, and solid. Negatively, Taurus energy can be too rigid, lazy, habitual, greedy, possessive, stubborn, materialistic, overly self-indulgent, and very slow.

Scorpio is a Water sign traditionally ruled by Mars and associated with Pluto. It is about power, transformation, intensity, sexuality, passion, regeneration, hidden matters, depth, as well as shared or owed resources and money. It is emotionally oriented, intuitive, primal, complex, calculated, mysterious, and is associated with shadows and the unconscious. Negatively Scorpio energy can be vengeful, manipulative, compulsive, obsessive, and fearful. (Learn more here about how Scorpio energy can play out during this period)

Full Moon Trine Pluto, Mercury Retrograde Aspecting Saturn Sextile Neptune

This Full Moon is moving towards a trine with Pluto which can be beneficial in supporting the Mercury Retrograde process in Scorpio. This can be good for getting to the bottom of things, making positive changes, evolutionary growth, empowerment, and resourcefulness.

This Pluto energy combined with the post ‘inferior conjunction’ and waning Moon is supportive of releasing aspects of our lives that are not serving us. The previous Full Moon in Aries was also in a configuration with Pluto so for some people these themes may have began around then and could still be playing out now.

This month, Saturn in Capricorn is in its final sextile to Neptune in Pisces. This aspect began earlier in the year but may be more apparent now as it is concluding with both the Full Moon and Mercury Retrograde triggering it. This can reflect developments, thoughts, or ideas around efforts or ambitions pertaining to our ideals, creativity, inspirations, spirituality, or imagination. This can also be good for commitments associated with selflessness, compassion, healing, or spiritual practices.

Mars Sextile Jupiter, Venus Square Neptune

Mars is in Libra aligned with the benefic star Spica while in a sextile with Jupiter in Sagittarius. Considering that Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio where Mercury Retrograde is, this helps to bring a more pleasant, optimistic, and perhaps even fortunate energy to the retrograde experience at this time and in the following weeks.

This is in stark contrast to the previous few weeks in this same Lunar cycle that had more challenging configurations which could have reflected obstacles, limitations, delays, intense feelings, and perhaps even destructiveness.

In comparison, the energy now is more expansive, explorative, and growth oriented. We can feel more confident or perhaps even be presented with opportunities. We may want to take action in a big way or towards things connected to education, media, marketing, travel, beliefs, or ideals.

However, considering the retrograde and depending on what it is, it may not be the best time to make final decisions, or solidifying/initiating something major. However, use your judgement. Not every big decision made during a retrograde gets derailed by problems, sometimes it can just be annoying glitches or challenges can playing out in different ways that are still manageable.

Venus in Sagittarius, the ruler of this Full Moon, is moving towards a square with Neptune which is strongest on November 14th. This can play out as confusion, disappointments, and uncertainties which may be connected to relationships, values, finances, worth, or perhaps something to do with aesthetics, pleasures, or material things. We may not see things for what they really are.

Issues around boundaries, self-sacrifice, escapism, intoxication, or sensitivities may also be a theme. Alternatively, this can be good for creativity as well as social situations revolved around spirituality or art. In some cases it can also be magical and romantic.

Things To Consider During This Period

Pay attention to what comes up now or in the days before and after this Full Moon. Circumstances, developments, conversations, thoughts, feelings, or other things that catch your attention may help to provide important realizations or helpful insights. You may better understand something connected to the past and/or whatever occurs now may also be planting a seed for the future.

What aspects of your life need an adjustment, revisitation, or even transformation? Do you have ideas, thoughts, or behaviours that need to be purged? Have you had experiences, feelings, or exposure to anything connected to personal shadows or trauma? Regardless if you did or not, be open to anything that comes up now which can help you or others towards healing and achieving wholeness.

Is there anything coming up regarding financial matters or values, and if so, what changes do you need to make? What do you need to do to be constructive with your inspirations, ideals, compassion, spirituality, or creativity? Do you feel like you should be incorporating a new spiritual practice or ambition in your life? What actions can you take that are empowered or expansive?

These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon or as it is waning over the following two weeks. The exact moment of of it will be on November 12th at 1:34pm Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

 

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Consciousness

Dealing With “Waking Up.” How To Handle Discovering More Than Just The Tip of the Iceberg

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An evolution in the way we view our world and the systems within it is necessary to create meaningful change at this stage in humanity's journey. This starts with an evolution in media.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we truly change our world if we don't know where we are truly at? Can we expect to see change in our world if we don't change ourselves?

A look at our current world might bring about emotions or observations linked to feelings of chaos. With the incredible divide happening in the US due to the upcoming presidential elections, the manufactured gender, race and sexual orientation divides taking place all over, it’s easy to feel like there are ‘bad’ things happening all the time.

People often look at the media and say it’s there to ruin or shift your perception of the world negatively, and I would partly agree with this for sure. After all, that’s what inspired me to create a news source that took a different approach. But the reality is, we’re in a time where we have to look at some of the tough things going on in our world in order to understand why they are happening, where we are at and how we can shift. The difference in the way we like to do that here at CE is, we might talk about some of the ‘darker’ stuff, but we’ll always help in moving through it vs leaving a reader hanging.

This is done through an important process I built called The CE Protocol. This is partly how we have been creating an evolution in media for the past 10 years.

My feeling is that we must combine an observation of what we are actively creating in our world with personal transformation so that we can truly change the challenges we face at the core, versus simply throwing bandaids at the situation.

For example, we might want people to unite and be more peaceful with one another, yet we’ll actively attack, mischaracterize others and divide ourselves simply based on something like political orientation. Why do we do that? Because we don’t know who we are deep down, and we actively get caught up in the illusion of politics that has been manufactured to prey on our programmings.

Therefore, the more we wake up and see the illusion that politics is by consuming different media, the more we begin to see truth and are inspired to make new choices. This turns us inward where we make changes within ourselves and this then leads us to interact within our world differently because now we are operating from a different state of consciousness.

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Many people feel we can simply change our world by working only on ourselves, without having to see the truth of our world. Often times that changes a person slightly, but they will still support the systems in our world because they still believe in them, thus things don’t change.

CETV is our On-Demand streaming platform using the CE Protocol to shift consciousness. Sign up for a free 7 day trial here.

Here’s How It Can Be Done

In the four short videos below, I will guide you by explaining exactly what this protocol is and how it encompasses the totality of what’s needed to create a shift in inward consciousness and our physical world.

The basic steps are: 1. Breaking The Illusion 2. Awakening Neutrality 3. Deprogramming Limits 4. Living Aligned

1: Breaking The Illusion

2: Awakening Neutrality

3: Deprogramming Limits

4. Living Aligned

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