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Benefits (100) Meditation

There are so many advantages to meditation. When I first originally thought of this post, I indeed wanted to make it 100 benefits long (think big right!), however, I wasn’t sure I could find more than perhaps 20-25 benefits. Well, I made it happen! Meditation is as powerful as I thought it would be. Here is the definitive list of benefits that meditation can provide you with:

 Physiological benefits:

1- It lowers oxygen consumption.
2- It decreases respiratory rate.
3- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
4- Increases exercise tolerance.
5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
6- Good for people with high blood pressure.
7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
8- Decreases muscle tension
9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
11- Helps in post-operative healing.
12- Enhances the immune system.
13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
14- Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
15- Helps with weight loss
16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
17- Higher skin resistance
18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
20- Decreases the aging process.
21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
22- prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases
23- Makes you sweat less
24- Cure headaches & migraines
25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
26- Reduced Need for Medical Care
27- Less energy wasted
28- More inclined to sports, activities
29- Significant relief from asthma
30- improved performance in athletic events
31- Normalizes to your ideal weight
32- harmonizes our endocrine system
33- relaxes our nervous system
34- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).

 Psychological benefits:
36- Builds self-confidence.
37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
38- Resolve phobias & fears
39- Helps control own thoughts
40- Helps with focus & concentration
41- Increase creativity
42- Increased brain wave coherence.
43- Improved learning ability and memory.
44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
45- Increased emotional stability.
46- improved relationships
47- Mind ages at slower rate
48- Easier to remove bad habits
49- Develops intuition
50- Increased Productivity
51- Improved relations at home & at work
52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
53- Helps ignore petty issues
54- Increased ability to solve complex problems
55- Purifies your character
56- Develop will power
57- greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
58- react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
59- increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
60- higher intelligence growth rate
61- Increased job satisfaction
62- increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
63- decrease in potential mental illness
64- Better, more sociable behaviour
65- Less aggressiveness
66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
70- Increases sense of responsibility
71- Reduces road rage
72- Decrease in restless thinking
73- Decreased tendency to worry
74- Increases listening skills and empathy
75- Helps make more accurate judgements
76- Greater tolerance
77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality
79- Develops emotional maturity

80- Helps keep things in perspective

81- Provides peace of mind, happiness
82- Helps you discover your purpose
83- Increased self-actualization.
84- Increased compassion
85- Growing wisdom
86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others
87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
89- Increased acceptance of oneself
90- helps learn forgiveness
91- Changes attitude toward life
92- Creates a deeper relationship with your God
93- Attain enlightenment
94- greater inner-directedness
95- Helps living in the present moment
96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”
99- Experience a sense of “Oneness”
100- Increases the synchronicity in your life

Meditation is also completely FREE! It requires no special equipment, and is not complicated to learn. It can be practiced anywhere, at any given moment, and it is not time consuming (15-20 min. per day is good). Best of all, meditation has NO negative side effects. Bottom line, there is nothing but positive to be gained from it! With such a huge list of benefits, the question you should ask yourself is, “why am I not meditating yet?”

 If you need a point to start from, you should try guided meditation courses. They are inexpensive and can provide you with a good foundation from which to begin meditating.

 Make sure you meditate; there are quite simply too many positives to just ignore it.

Source: Internet

Best book on how to meditate


Singing Bowl Meditation: Crown Chakra Set

Videos of Singing Bowl Meditation: Crown Chakra Set

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Benefits of Humility

By Tejvan Pettinger

True humility means to live without a sense of ego. When we are humble we get joy through serving others and giving joy to others. True humility means we have a sense of oneness with others; when we are humble we can get joy from others achievements.

Humility does not mean self-criticism. Humility does not mean becoming like a slave to a master. Sometimes when we try to PROM​OTE a false modesty and say how bad we are. Often in this case there is actually a sense of ego. We feel by making ourselves to be pitiable we may attract sympathy from others. True humility does not believe in this false modesty. When we are truly humble we avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves. We neitherextol ourselves to the skies, nor do we make ourselves out to be a miserable failure.

Humility means we have a self-effacing attitude.We sublimate our personal desires and needs to the greater needs of others. An attitude of humility means that when we work towards something the outcome is not of important; we work with an attitude of detachment. If we take the outcome of efforts with an attitude of equanimity then this is real humility. It is the ego that seeks reward and praise.

“Humility does not mean that we will be always silent and shy, when inside we are criticizing others’ wrong actions and wrong judgments. Humility is the true inner wealth that unites us consciously with God.”(1)

If we are genuinely humble then people will naturally be drawn to us. When our ego comes to the fore it invariably creates conflict and tension. The nature of the ego is to compete with others; we have a constant sense of inferiority or superiority. However, an attitude of humility brings to the fore only our sense of oneness with others. When we are seeking to give equal or greater priority to others; people will instinctively respond in a positive and friendly way.

To develop humility we can think of Mother Nature and the qualities of a tree. No matter what we do to Mother Nature she continues to offer her beauty. A tree offers its shade and fruits without expecting any reward. We can also cultivate humility by seeking to think of others before ourselves. The most significant message of Jesus Christ was to “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” If we live this philosophy to the full, it will entail real humility. This is because when we think of others as an extension of our own reality we are not living to PROMOTE our own ego but to make others happy

​Source: InterNet  ​

Best seller book on Benefits of humility

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Benefits of Human Touch

Touch is the first sense to develop in the womb and the last sense to leave in old age. It is essential to the health and well being of human’s emotional, physical and mental development. It is so vital, in fact, that therapist and author Virginia Satir stated that human beings need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth.

A “Touch Phobic” Society

In today’s world, technology has reduced the amount of physical contact that people have with each other or daily basis. With automatic bank machines, ONLINE SHOPPING, internet, email and voice mail people can make appointments, dates or decisions without ever actually talking to or seeing another person. Those subtle contacts with others, once common on a daily basis are gone.

In addition, it is more common to hear about situations where touch has been used negatively or inappropriately. The news reports on child abuse cases, sexual harassment suits and rapes. Parents are teaching children to be wary of strangers, and to be selective in how and what to touch. Though this is beneficial to keep children safe, it has created a society that has become “touch phobic” where the simplest and most innocent touch can be easily misconstrued as sexual, or inappropriate.

Dr. Barnaby Barratt from Santa Barbara Consulting and Healing highlights in his article on Nurturing Touch that “affectional touch is highly beneficial so long as it is experienced as ‘appropriate’ to the situation, and does not impose greater intimacy than is desired, or is not part of some interpersonal ‘power play.’ Touching should neither be coercive nor manipulative. It should be purely giving, and never used as a means to an ends, for example, as a maneuver to get someone into unwanted sexual relations.”

Due to the overload of negative touch, society has become very guarded. When people are touched in any form it is often perceived as bad or inappropriate. Unfortunately, this change in perspective has denied people the simple opportunities to enhance their development and one of the key elements needed to thrive and grow.

Children and Touch

A child’s first and most important teacher is his sense of touch. It is the first sense he develops in the womb, and it begins to develop at only eight weeks. Babies need it to survive and grow, and this need remains with us throughout our lives.

 In the 1940s, Doctor Fritz Talbot discovered on a visit to a children’s clinic that there is a strong connection between touch and babies ability to thrive. Babies that were being held, touched and mothered were thriving when all other medical possibilities had been exhausted.

This need for touch is especially true with premature babies. In one study, premature babies who received gentle daily massage thrived better and had a 50% more daily weight gains than those that were untouched. In addition, these babies had a more efficient metabolism and were released from the hospital six days earlier.

For young infants and toddlers, touch is a main source of learning about the world around them. They use their mouth and hands to explore and learn what things are and how things work. It is a key factor in their development as a child.

Benefits of Touch

The benefits of touch to a person’s health are phenomenal. Touch can reassure, relax and comfort. It reduces depression, anxiety, stress and physical pain; and can be healing. It increases the number of immune cells in the body, and has powerful affects on behavior and moods. Touch can be used as a form of alternative healing in the form of touch therapy.

 In the video Touch: The Forgotten Sense produced by Max Films, a study was conducted where women who had been sexually abused were introduced to a good form of touch by receiving massage therapy. A masseuse of the same sex gave the massage, and this helped the women perceive touch as more positive. They also found that the massage reduced their stress level and depressed mood. This introduction of “safe touch” helped these women begin to become comfortable again with being touched.

In the same video, another study was conducted where researchers asked people who had spent no longer than 15 minutes in a library how they rated their experience in the library. People who had brushed hands “accidentally” with the planted librarian reported a more enjoyable time. In a similar study, people who were touched by their waitress, a brush of the hand, or a gentle touch on the shoulder, said they had a more enjoyable dining experience and left larger tips for the waitress as compared with those people who had no contact.

 These studies also demonstrate that we don’t need to consciously notice the touch in order to reap the benefits. Of those that were touched in the library study, not all of the people remembered being touched, but still reported a more pleasant experience than those that weren’t touched at all. People use their sense of touch automatically and may take it for granted on a daily basis. Yet people really notice when there is a lack of it.

Positive Touch Benefits Everyone

 Touch is vital to the positive health and development of all human beings, regardless of age. Humans need to touch and be touched, just like they need food and water. It is a way of communicating, lifting their spirits, and experiencing happiness in their lives. Without it, people experience sadness, loneliness and isolation. It is important to have this physical contact in people’s lives, yet in today’s society many people are removed from benefiting from it due to negative associations with touch or lack of someone to share touch with.

This is why people have started seeking other forms of human touch in their lives such as attending a Cuddle Party, going for a regular massage, or experiencing other forms of healthy touch.

Sources: InterNet 

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Benefits of Being Honest

Reasons Why Honesty is the Best Policy.

The saying, “Honesty is the best policy,” has been proven to be true; over and over again. It is more than an old cliché. It is just a good way to live your life. Being honest offers a number of benefits for us in our daily lives. Below I have listed five outstanding reasons to be honest in the way that you live.

1.) Honesty is the easiest choice

Being honest is completely by choice. Each day we make the decision to either, live in an honest manner or a dishonest manner. Honesty is the easiest choice that we can make. I am not saying being honest is always easy.” I would rather someone be upset with me for being honest than for keeping peace by being dishonest.

Dishonesty is like a spider’s web, sticky. When an insect gets caught in the web, it usually costs them their lives. When people get caught in lies, it always costs them something. How many people have been ruined over lying? How many relationships are destroyed by lies? How many hearts have been broken because of lies?

2.) Honesty reveals your character

When we live a lifestyle of honesty, we build up our character. Character is simply a snapshot of who we really are. Character is the window that people look through to the reality of our inner life. Dishonesty is simply a part of our human nature and creeps into the inner recesses of our hearts. It creates cracks in our character and in the way people are able to see us. Dishonesty does nothing but erode and destroy our foundation of character. When we lose our character, we actually lose part of who we are and who we might become. Dishonesty carries much too high a price.

 3.) Honesty gives us freedom

Honesty sets us free from not only, being false with people but also from living with a façade over our lives. When we are honest, we no longer have to be fake in the way we live. There is incredible freedom in knowing that you never have to cover your tracks with remembering what lies you told to whom. Honesty gives us tremendous freedom in life. Many believe that being honest limits them in life but that simply is not true. Dishonesty will eventually catch up with people and they will pay a price. When we are honest, we are truly free.

 4.) Honesty gives you credibility

Since we are being honest, who would you be more likely to believe, a person with a record of being honest or a person who is known to be dishonest? The majority of people would side with the honest person, each and every time. When we are honest, we build credibility. Being credible simply means that our words line up with the truth. Either we live in the truth or we live in lies. Truth sets us free and lies leave us in nothing but more bondage. When others are able to depend on our word and rely on our actions, we become credible in life. You can Transform you entier life by stop telling lies and embrace the truth. Read this Amazing Book on How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth by Sparrowhawk Publications

5.) Honesty keeps you out of trouble

Honesty allows us to stay out of trouble that we make for ourselves. I am not saying that if we are honest, we will not experience troubles. Sadly, I have known individuals who stood for the truth and paid a high price for it. I firmly believe that I would rather pay a high price for being honest and truthful than to be spared a momentary pain at the price of being dishonest.

Honesty gives us a greater chance of not experiencing troubles of our own making. Many times people either create troubles by lying or only compound their troubles by lying. When we stand for honesty, we truly stand. When we allow ourselves to lower to standards of dishonesty, we will always fall.

Read about Honesty, Morality, and Conscience by NavPress | In an age that is creating immense pressures on individuals to keep pace and survive in a global economy, a book such as Honesty, Morality & Conscience is much needed to reinforce ethics for living life in the marketplace with integrity.

Some of the most painful character attacks I have ever endured have surrounded my honesty. The moment I lose my honesty, I lose who I am and who I want to become. Honesty is at the heart of who we are and what we believe in. Honesty reveals the inner being and opens our lives to show something greater and deeper within. Never forget, honesty is a choice and we make it each day. We will either be honest or be dishonest. The choice is yours, what will you choose?


Source : Internet

Book on being honest

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Benefits – Helping Others

The Bank Account 

What a nice way to remind one you get out of life what you put into it
and remind us all of how lucky we really are.

This is AWESOME … something we should all remember.
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each 
morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. 

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. 

I love it,’ he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just
been presented with a new puppy. 

 Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait….’
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied. Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.  Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is  arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. 

‘It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice;
I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts
of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away.. Just for this time in my life..
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account
of memories!
Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank. I am still depositing.
‘Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less. 


Happiness in helping others


500 balloons story

Once a group of 500 people were attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each person a balloon. Each person was then asked to write their name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room. The people were then let into that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written on it within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.

At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon. Then, the speaker asked each person to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.

The speaker then began, “This is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is. Our happiness​ lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life…the pursuit of  happiness.”                                                                

-by Allan Luks 

Allan Luks, former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health and executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City, has studied kindness and the clear cause-and-effect relationship between helping and  good health.

Some of the most significant findings of his research include the following:

  1. Helping others​ contributes to the maintenance of good health and can diminish the effect of minor and serious psychological and physical diseases and disorders.
  1. The rush of euphoria often referred to as a “helper’s high” after performing a kind act involves physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins. The initial rush is followed by a longer period of calm and improved emotional well-being.

3 .The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act            is remembered.

4.Stress related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping others:

  • Supplies social contact.
  • Reverses feelings of depression
  • Reduces feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress,overeating, ulcers, etc.
  • Decreases the constriction in the lungs that leads to asthma attacks
  1. Helping can enhance feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigor, and can reduce theunhealthy senseof isolation.
  2. The awareness and intensity of physical pain can decrease.
  3. Attitudes such as chronic hostility that negatively arouse and damage the body are reduced.
  4. A sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism is increased, and feelings of helplessnessand depression decrease.
  5. When we establish an “affiliative connection” with someone (a relationship of friendship, love, or somesort of positive bonding), we feel emotions that can strengthen the immune system.
  6. Caring for strangers leads to immense immune and healing benefits.
  7. Regular club attendance, volunteering, entertaining, or faith group attendance is the happiness equivalent of getting a college degree, or more than doubling your income. Book on Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others

Source: InterNet.

Credit : ​To the person or organization who created this Article and published on the InterNet.

Above Article: For Education and Entertainment purpose only.          ​


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Benefits – Forgiveness

Why Forgiveness? It’s Good For You!

By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., Guide

Updated January 16, 2012 Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

Forgiveness brings new opportunities to grow and let go.

Photo from

Betrayal, aggression, and just plain insensitivity: People can hurt us in a million ways, and forgiveness isn’t always easy. Whether you’ve been cut off in traffic, slighted by your mother-in-law, betrayed by a spouse, or badmouthed by a co-worker, most of us are faced with a variety of situations that we can choose to ruminate over or forgive. But forgiveness, like so many things in life, is easier said than done.

Forgiveness can be a challenge for several reasons. Sometimes forgiveness can be confused with condoning what someone has done to us: “That’s OK. Why not do it again?” Forgiveness can be difficult when the person who wronged us doesn’t seem to deserve our forgiveness — it’s hard to remember that forgiveness benefits the forgiver more than the one who is forgiven. Ultimately, forgiveness is especially challenging because it’s hard to let go of what’s happened. However, it’s important to let go and forgive. Here are some reasons why:

Forgiveness is good for your heart — literally. One study from the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found forgiveness to be associated with lower heart rate and BLOOD PRESSURE as well as stress relief. This can bring long-term health benefits for your heart and overall health.

A later study found forgiveness to be positively associated with five measures of health: physical symptoms, medications used, sleep quality, fatigue, and somatic complaints. It seems that the reduction in negative affect (depressive symptoms), strengthened spirituality, conflict management and stress relief one finds through forgiveness all have a significant impact on overall health.

A third study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that forgiveness not only restores positive thoughts, feelings and behaviors toward the offending party (in other words, forgiveness restores the relationship to its previous positive state), but the benefits of forgiveness spill over to positive behaviors toward others outside of the relationship. Forgiveness is associated with more volunteerism, donating to charity, and other altruistic behaviors. (And the converse is true of non-forgiveness.)

So, to sum it up, forgiveness is good for your body, your relationships, and your place in the world. That’s reason enough to convince virtually anyone to do the work of letting go of anger and working on forgiveness.

See this article for some simple strategies on how to forgive.

Will Bring Happiness and Peace
So here are the 7 steps to peace of mind, happiness, freedom and forgiveness:

1. Find Your Clarity

Before you can forgive somebody, it’s essential that you clearly identify the offense against you. Exactly what was it that hurt you? And why, until now, have you been unable, or unwilling, to forgive them?

There are times in all our lives when we may feel tremendous anger and loathing towards someone (usually someone we are related to, married to, or work with) but cannot articulate exactly why we feel the way we do.

Emotions can be blinding. So the trick is to start by thinking about these three questions: 

Who hurt you?

What hurt you?

And why did this action offend you as it did?

This kind of self-reflection is the all-important first step in the act of forgiveness.

2. Find A Friend Who Listens Well

Once you have some clarity, it’s time to talk it over with someone you trust. An empathetic and non-judgmental pair of ears is what you need here. (Go to a supportive friend, NOT one that disagrees with you on everything, okay?)

This might be a friend, family member, spiritual leader, or a trained therapist. Unburdening yourself is going to feel really good, and help you find some answers.

3. Don’t Suppress The Pain

Pain – physical and emotional – shows up for the best of us. You may be in the habit of suppressing your emotional pain – your deepest wounds – because, frankly, that HURTS. Who wants to feel THAT?

But while you might feel better suppressing in the short-term, it’s incredibly detrimental in the long-term. Being numb doesn’t mean you got better, it just means you stopped feeling. On the other hand, if you opt to merely wallow in anger – in lieu of serious reflection – you’ll get stuck there like a dinosaur in a tar pit.

And, on top of everything else, this anger will entrench itself deeper and deeper in your psyche, and you’ll NEVER feel free. Yikes.

Feeling the pain to heal the pain is key.

4. The Truth Will Set you free

By accepting the depths of your genuine feelings, you can start to forgive yourself. If you deny your bona fide feelings, forgiveness will never be possible. It’s important to start with yourself, because sometimes we are harder on ourselves than anyone else!

So you get clear, and you talk it out, and you feel it all, and something cool happens. A doorway starts to open to INSIGHT. You will begin to see things differently.

Why? Because emotion is really slanted. It always distorts the truth. Only when you calm down and feel your feelings and begin to get still can the truth arise.

5. Honestly Assess Your Role in the Transgression

Life is a far cry from a seamless odyssey. Often it’s a mess. So it’s important to own up to your role in the mess. You might uncover that you were anything but an innocent bystander.

By allowing yourself to see the big picture, you can discover how you can do it better next time. In being totally honest with yourself about what happened and WHY it happened, the act of forgiveness automatically becomes more sincere and heartfelt.

6. The Decision

There will ultimately come a moment when you must decide whether or not to face the person who wronged you. Very often, this decision is clear-cut. That is, if it’s a relationship of legitimate value to you – one that you want to save or make better – meeting and forgiving the person in question is the obvious road to travel down.

If, however, the individual does not fit into this category, there is nothing wrong with forgiving him or her in your heart of hearts, and getting on with your life. Forgiveness is in essence a release – a letting go – for YOU, not the other side.

The fact that you’ve found it in yourself to unconditionally forgive a person is an incredibly uplifting and empowering experience in and of itself!

7. Forgiveness is a Process

We live in an age of instant gratification. We’re used to FAST fulfillment. But there’s no such thing as high-speed forgiveness. Genuine forgiveness takes time. It’s a healing process. And depending on the gravity of the transgression against you, it could take a while. Allow the 7 steps to forgiveness to unfold at a pace that’s right for you and what you want to accomplish.

Peace is possible, and you are on the road to it!

Wishing you the power to forgive and let go —

Aviva Engel

PS. The 7 steps to forgiveness take time to master, so be patient with yourself. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have!



Home » Dharma Teachings

Dharma Talks   |   Forgiveness Practice   |  

Reconciliation Meditation   |   Dana

The act of forgiveness is a spiritual practice in and of itself.

Forgiveness practice acknowledges what you have done or what someone has done to you. By taking responsibility or acknowledging the act, you can move towards “letting go” rather than have it enmeshed as part of your identity. This does not mean that you won’t have regrets but rather that you are not imprisoned by those regrets.

Practicing forgiveness is something you do for your own sake, in order not to be locked in anger and fear. It’s crucial to understand that we are not necessarily forgiving “the act” but opening to forgiving the person.

If you haven’t forgiven yourself or others, it is hard to open your heart to loving-kindness. To meet hatred and loss with love and a generous heart is a most difficult practice.

​Standard Version

To those whom I may have caused harm, knowingly or unknowingly, through my thoughts, words and* actions,
I ask your forgiveness.

To those who may have caused me harm, knowingly or unknowingly, through their thoughts, words and actions,
I offer my forgiveness.

For any harm I may have caused myself, knowingly or unknowingly, through my thoughts, words, and actions,
I offer my forgiveness.

Extended Version

To those whom I may have caused harm, knowingly or unknowingly, through my thoughts, words and* actions
arising through greed, ill-will or delusions,
I ask your forgiveness.

To those who may have caused me harm, knowingly or unknowingly, through their thoughts, words and actions,
I offer my forgiveness, as best I am able.

For any harm I may have caused myself, knowingly or unknowingly, through my thoughts, words, and actions,
I offer my forgiveness.

 some people say “and”, others “or”. Keep it simple and vibrant for you. Substitute your own words if

Book on Benefits of forgiveness`

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Benefits – Attending Church​

Credit : Andrea Kalfas

ONE of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in recent years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance — at least, religiosity — boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It may add as much as two to three years to your life. The reason for this is not entirely clear.

Social support is no doubt part of the story. At the evangelical churches I’ve studied as an anthropologist, people really did seem to look out for one another. They showed up with dinner when friends were sick and sat to talk with them when they were unhappy. The help was sometimes surprisingly concrete. Perhaps a third of the church members belonged to small groups that met weekly to talk about the Bible and their lives. One evening, a young woman in a group I joined began to cry. Her dentist had told her that she needed a $1,500 procedure, and she didn’t have the money. To my amazement, our small group — most of them students — simply covered the cost, by anonymous donation. A study conducted in North Carolina found that frequent churchgoers had larger social networks, with more contact with, more affection for, and more kinds of social support from those people than their unchurched counterparts. And we know that social support is directly tied to better health.

Healthy behavior is no doubt another part. Certainly many churchgoers struggle with behaviors they would like to change, but on average, regular church attendees drink less, smoke less, use fewer recreational drugs and are less sexually promiscuous than others.

That tallies with my own observations. At a church I studied in Southern California, the standard conversion story seemed to tell of finding God and never taking methamphetamine again. (One woman told me that while cooking her dose, she set off an explosion in her father’s apartment and blew out his sliding glass doors. She said to me, “I knew that God was trying to tell me I was going the wrong way.”) In my next church, I remember sitting in a house group listening to a woman talk about an addiction she could not break. I assumed that she was talking about her own struggle with methamphetamine. It turned out that she thought she read too many novels.


T. M. Luhrmann

Yet I think there may be another factor. Any faith demands that you experience the world as more than just what is material and observable. This does not mean that God is imaginary, but that because God is immaterial, those of faith must use their imaginations to represent God. To know God in an evangelical church, you must experience what can only be imagined as real, and you must also experience it as good.

I want to suggest that this is a skill and that it can be learned. We can call it absorption: the capacity to be caught up in your imagination, in a way you enjoy. What I saw in church as an anthropological observer was that people were encouraged to listen to God in their minds, but only to pay attention to mental experiences that were in accord with what they took to be God’s character, which they took to be good. I saw that people were able to learn to experience God in this way, and that those who were able to experience a loving God vividly were healthier — at least, as judged by a standardized psychiatric scale. Increasingly, other studies bear out this observation that the capacity to imagine a loving God vividly leads to better health.

For example, in one study, when God was experienced as remote or not loving, the more someone prayed, the more psychiatric distress she seemed to have; when God was experienced as close and intimate, the more someone prayed, the less ill he was. In another study, at a private Christian college in Southern California, the positive quality of an attachment to God significantly decreased stress and did so more effectively than the quality of the person’s relationships with other people.

Eventually, this may teach us how to harness the “placebo” effect — a terrible word, because it suggests an absence of intervention rather than the presence of a healing mechanism that depends neither on pharmaceuticals nor on surgery. We do not understand the placebo effect, but we know it is real. That is, we have increasingly better evidence that what anthropologists would call “symbolic healing” has real physical effects on the body. At the heart of some of these mysterious effects may be the capacity to trust that what can only be imagined may be real, and be good.

But not everyone benefits from symbolic healing. Earlier this month, the youngest son of the famed pastor Rick Warren took his own life. We know few details, but the loss reminds us that to feel despair when you want to feel God’s love can worsen the sense of alienation. We urgently need more research on the relationship between mental illness and religion, not only so that we understand that relationship more intimately — the ways in which they are linked and different — but to lower the shame for those who are religious and nonetheless need to reach out for other care.

T. M. Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford and the author of “When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God,” is a guest columnist.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on April 21, 2013, on Page SR9 of the New York edition with the headline: The Benefits Of Church. Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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T. M. Luhrmann

Religion and society.

BENEFITS - Connected to Natural Law Resources

Benefits – Just Crying

Whether it’s to mourn the end of a close relationship or because of the sheer frustration of a bad day at work, once you come to wipe the tears away, the world can seem like it’s been put back together again.

Now research has suggested that tears could actually be a way of flushing negative chemicals out of the body and doing you a world of good. We look at why it’s good to cry.


Three types of tears

Emotional/stress-related tears

A study by Dr William H. Frey II, a biochemist at the St Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre in Minnesota, found that there is an important chemical difference between emotional or stress-related tears and those simply caused by physical irritants – such as when cutting onions.

They found that emotional tears contained more of the protein-based hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephalin (a natural painkiller), all of which are produced by our body when under stress.

Basal tears

We all need the layer of protective fluid covering our eyeballs known as continuous or basal tears.

This fluid is secreted by the lachrymal glands, which sit above each eye, and without it our eyes would be in danger of drying out and become susceptible to bacterial attack.

Basal tears contain lysozyme, a powerful and fast acting antibacterial and anti-viral agent. Without this, the eye – because it’s a moist environment – would suffer enormous amounts of bacterial attack and you could potentially go blind.

Eye watering

One of the most important functions crying can have is to protect our eyes from irritants and foreign bodies, such as dust or getting rid of the acidic fumes when cutting onions.

These tears are known as reflex tears. When our eyes come under attack from irritants, the lachrymal glands in our eyes start stimulating more fluid to wash away the irritant and drain it from the eye.

So, how do tears help us emotionally?

Emotional or stress-related tears are thought to help us through difficult times in a number of ways.

Physically, they are thought to wash toxic chemicals out of our bodies, while psychologically giving your feelings a good airing is thought to be a healthy tonic.

Stress release

Crying is thought to help reduce stress, which can have a damaging effect on our health and has been linked to a number of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and obesity.

According to the Minnesota study, crying can help to wash chemicals linked to stress out of our body, one of the reasons we feel much better after a good cry. Higher levels of adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) have been found in emotional tears (compared to reflex tears).

Removing this chemical from the body is beneficial because it triggers cortisol, the stress hormone – too much of which can lead to health problems associated with stress.

‘Crying can help release tension and stress, as well as expressing emotions,’ says Dr Abigael San, chartered clinical psychologist.

‘When you’re upset and stressed, you have an imbalance and build up of chemicals in the body and crying helps to reduce that.’

Dealing with sorrow

Aside from removing toxic substances from our body, crying can also have the psychological benefit of lifting our mood and helping us to deal with painful situations.

Deep crying is generally felt to be good for you in that it exposes and expresses deep emotions, which means they can then be dealt with.

‘The Freudian theory is that it’s beneficial to get feelings out, that if you let them fester they can affect you physically and psychologically,’ says Professor Gail Kinman, an occupational health psychologist who has carried out research on crying in the workplace.

‘Whether crying is good for you depends a lot on the reasons for it, the context, and how it is handled.

‘Public displays tend to be looked down on, and any emotional catharsis in a situation, such as the work place, may be far outweighed by disapproval, embarrassment and guilt.

‘Many women from my research, however, do say they sometimes feel like they need a good cry – and that they feel emotionally cleansed afterwards.’

Crying can also signal a need for help from others and bring people together.

People are usually more likely to help someone when they see them dissolve into tears, and it can prompt helpful behaviour.

It may also be a signal for physical contact, such as a hug or reassuring hand placed on an arm – and touch has been linked with helping stress reduction.

A group approach can help individuals in overcoming upsetting or difficult situations.

Too many tears

However, frequent crying is not always good for you and can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and postnatal depression.

What’s more, the healing affect of crying won’t work for everyone.

Researchers have discovered that people who suffer a mood disorder are less likely to feel better after crying.

‘If you’re depressed and crying all the time, it’s not good and you might need help,’ says Dr Abigael San.

Counting the tears

88.8 per cent of people feel better after crying, with 8.4 per cent feeling worse.

On average women cry 47 times a year and men a mere seven.

Until puberty, crying levels are much the same for each gender – testosterone may reduce crying in boys while oestrogen and prolactin increases the tendency in girls.

Men may excrete more of the toxins related to emotional stress in their sweat because they have higher sweat levels than women.

The mantra to children ‘Be brave, don’t cry’ might not be the most helpful because some believe crying can actually help reduce pain.

– Written by Natasha Mann, health journalist

​Emotional or stress-related tears are thought to help us through difficult times in a number of wayS

Many people claim to feel better after a good cry.




BENEFITS - Connected to Natural Law Resources

Benefits – Giving and Sharing

I have a friend who has had a terrible case of lupus for nearly twenty years. She has been hospitalized many times and is constantly on medication that has horrible side effects, including cataracts. She had to quit her job as a graphic designer and now is completely supported by her husband. She can get really down about her life. Recently she decided to become a volunteer at a soup kitchen. She goes when she feels up to it, and she’s started to discover that the more she goes, the better she feels—emotionally and physically. Her arthritis (a consequence of lupus) isn’t as severe and she has more energy.

Helping others can not only make us feel good about ourselves; it can also increase our physical well-being. The mind and body aren’t separate. Anything we do to elevate our spirits will also have a beneficial effect on our health. A recent study by Cornell University found that volunteering increases a person’s energy, sense of mastery over life, and self-esteem. Other studies have demonstrated that such positive feelings can actually strengthen and enhance the immune system. Positive emotions increase the body’s number of T-cells, cells in the immune system that help the body resist disease and recover quickly from illness. Positive emotions also release endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins are the body’s natural tranquilizers and painkillers; they stimulate dilation of the blood vessels, which leads to a relaxed heart.

While we don’t quite understand all the reasons why giving creates good health, many studies have documented generosity’s positive effects. Michigan researchers who studied 2,700 people for almost ten years found that men who regularly did volunteer work had death rates two-and-one half times lower than men who didn’t. In a separate study, volunteers who worked directly with those who benefited from their services had a greater immune system boost than those whose volunteer work was restricted to pushing papers.

Harvard researchers also conducted a study that showed how giving is such a powerful immune booster that it can be experienced just by watching someone else in the act of giving! In this well-known experiment, students looking at a film of Mother Teresa as she tended the sick in Calcutta—even those who purported to dislike Mother Teresa—got an increase in immune function.

Psychologist Robert Ornstein and physician David Sobel are well known for their examinations of the health effects of altruism. In their book Healthy Pleasures, they describe what they call the “helper’s high,” a kind of euphoria volunteers get when helping others—a warm glow in the chest and a sense of vitality that comes from being simultaneously energized and calm. They compare it to a runner’s high and claim it is caused by the body’s release of endorphins. Because of all these health benefits, as Stella Reznick says in The Pleasure Zone, “the one who ends up getting the most from a good deed may, ultimately, be the good Samaritan.”

Generosity Alleviates Fear

I’ve never had the privilege of meeting writer Anne Lamott, but I have loved her books, particularly Operating Instructions. Her emotional honesty leaps off every page—here is a woman who is not afraid to show herself, warts and all. In admitting her vulnerabilities, she makes it okay for us to be just who we are too.

In an interview, she was asked about her relationship to money. As a single mother living off her writing, her financial security has been precarious at best. She spoke of having survived, at times, off the generosity of friends, and then said something that leaped out at me. “I know that if I feel any deprivation or fear [about money], the solution is to give. The solution is to go find some mothers on the streets of San Raphael and give them tens and twenties and mail off another $50 to Doctors Without Borders to use for the refugees in Kosovo. Because I know that giving is the way we can feel abundant. Giving is the way that we fill ourselves up…. For me the way to fill up is through service and sharing and getting myself to give more than I feel comfortable giving.”

To me, a person who has a great deal of fear when it comes to money, the thought of giving money away precisely when I felt like clinging to it seemed terrifying. Sick of constantly being fearful about money, I decided to give it a try. Amazingly, it really works. I feel less afraid the more I give.

It’s a paradox. If we are afraid of not having enough, we think we need to hold on tightly to what we have and work hard to get more. As Anne Lamott and I found out, that perspective only makes us more afraid, because we get caught in a cycle of clinging and hoarding. When is enough enough? Is $5,000 enough? $50,000? $100,000? $1 million? A recent study found that no matter how much money people made, they thought they would be happier if only they had more. Whether they made $20,000 a year or $200,000, everyone thought they needed a bit more.​

If we turn around and give instead of hoarding everything, we suddenly experience the abundance we do have. Most of us, particularly those of us living in Western societies​, have a great deal, and when we share what we have, we feel our abundance. It becomes real to us, and that diminishes our fears. I read about a woman who was suffering from depression and contemplating suicide because of back pain and poverty. She found a kid foraging in the Dumpster and thought to herself, “I don’t have a lot, but at least I can fix this kid a peanut butter sandwich.” Giving away that peanut butter sandwich reminded her of the abundance she still had, even in the projects. If she could still give, her life wasn’t so bleak after all. She now runs a volunteer program in Dallas that feeds hundreds of kids a day. It started from that one day when she gave away the sandwich

by M.J. Ryan.

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BENEFITS - Connected to Natural Law Resources

Benefits – Eating Apples

Many of us forget that sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Better health could be as easy as reaching for the fruit bowl for some apples next time you need a snack


What makes apples so great?

In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectivelyAntioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe these compounds help prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin—a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.

1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

2. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

3. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

4. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

5. Decrease your risk of diabetes

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

6. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

7. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

8. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

9. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

10. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

11. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

12. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

13. Detoxify your liver

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

14. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

15. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts