Members are invited to contribute spiritual wisdom, teachings, channeled messages, uplifting content, healing sessions, and attunements to this network to bridge Heaven and Earth and unite Humanity as One.

Find your blog posts by visiting your profile page and clicking My Blog. 

All Posts (89)

Sort by

Empowerment's channeled by Aditya

Dear Friends,

Here are some of the Empowerment's channelled by me and available to all.


Some other systems channelled by other masters but which I can offer are :

Gaia-now,Harmonization Universal,Magic Reiki, Karmic Reiki, Salvation Path and a large number of other such  systems.

Though the Manual is still not ready because of demand by several members in my group I may offer the subramaniyar Murugar aka Skanda or Kartikeya  Empowerment in the form of Skanda Shakti on Monday 31st Oct. Skanda Shashti here also.

Love & Blessings



Read more…
A musical celebration of the concept of Time, by scienceandnonduality., produced by Symphony of Science."Our Place in the Cosmos", the third video from the Symphony of Science, was crafted using samples from Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Richard Dawkins' Genius of Charles Darwin series, Dawkins' TED Talk, Stephen Hawking's Universe series, Michio Kaku's interview on Physics and aliens, plus added visuals from Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi, History Channel's Universe series, and IMAX Cosmic Voyage.The themes present in this song are intended to explore our understanding of our origins within the universe, and to challenge the commonplace notion that humans have a superior or privleged position, both on our home planet and in the universe itself.RIP Dr. Sagan and Dr. Jastrow!Symphony of Science - 'Our Place in the Cosmos' (ft. Sagan, Dawkins, Kaku, Jastrow) A musical investigation into the nature of atoms and subatomic particles, the jiggly things that make up everything we see. Featuring Morgan Freeman, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Richard Feynman, and Frank Close."The Quantum World" is the eleventh installment in the ongoing Symphony of Science music video series. Materials used in the creation of this video are from: for downloads & more videos!Symphony of Science - the Quantum World! have also produced other videos like Symphony of Science – “Children of Africa” (The Story of Us): “A musical celebration of humanity, its origins, and achievements, contrasted with a somber look at our environmentally destructive tendencies and deep similarities with other primates.” A musical celebration of humanity, its origins, and achievements, contrasted with a somber look at our environmentally destructive tendencies and deep similarities with other primates. Featuring Jacob Bronowski, Alice Roberts, Carolyn Porco, Jane Goodall, Robert Sapolsky, Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Attenborough."Children of Africa" is the tenth installment in the ongoing Symphony of Science music video series. Materials used in the creation of this video are from:BBC Incredible Human JourneyBBC Ascent of ManBBC Life of MammalsBBC Human PlanetBBC Walking With CavemenCarolyn Porco: HollywoodQuest for FireHubblecast 29AWhat Makes Us Human (Leakey Foundation)What Separates Us from Chimps (Sapolsky)ChimpanzeeNeil Tyson - Human IntelligenceGemini Observatory Time-lapsemp3: http://symphonyofscience.comSymphony of Science - "Children of Africa" (The Story of Us) musical celebration of the concept of Time. Symphony of Time available at"We Are All Connected" was made from sampling Carl Sagan's Cosmos, The History Channel's Universe series, Richard Feynman's 1983 interviews, Neil deGrasse Tyson's cosmic sermon, and Bill Nye's Eyes of Nye Series, plus added visuals from The Elegant Universe (NOVA), Stephen Hawking's Universe, Cosmos, the Powers of 10, and more. It is a tribute to great minds of science, intended to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through the medium of music.Check out "A Glorious Dawn" by Carl Sagan, another Symphony of Science project! of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft. Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye)
Read more…

Birth Poem, My Hero

Birth Poems, My HeroPosted: 17 Oct 2011Dedicated to Karleigh, My daughter.. Born 25 weeks and weighed 1 lb 11.5 ozMy Hero©JaimieHero,I go into the hospitalto make sure you're growing and strong,The Doctor says "This isn't right,You're 2 centimeters long"The Doctors tells me Calm down, Don't cryYou have to be strong,I don't understand why this is happeningDid I do something wrong?Only 5 months along and scared to deathWhat am I to do?They rush me to another hospitalWhy? I have no clue.They take me in a roomwhere I will have to stay,Please let everything be OKfor hours to God I'd pray.Days turn into weeks asI lay in the hospital bed,The time has come, You're ready to go,The Doctor soon had said.As I'm in the operating roomScared to death I lie,Chances slim, fear all around,It could be a good or bad day.I hear you cry a wonderful soundEyes opened wide,They say that your here, room full of joy,Thank Heaven that you tried.I felt like your HEROBut would you be OK?Questions, concerns, tears and fears,Would you be here to stay?They rush you off to the ICUYou're too small to breath on your own,Doctors amazed, Nurses in shock,If we would have only known.So much love we gave to you,So much love you gave us back.You'd be coming home when you get well,Your bags we soon would pack.So fragile and smallChances were closest to Zero,You made it through everythingAnd now you're MY HERO!
Read more…

The controversial art of Michelangelo

The controversial art of MichelangeloMichelangelo destroyed many of his drawings and sketches later in life, thinking that only the perfect ones should survive him. This is partly the reason why the attribution of his work is quite controversial.Art historians believe there are about 600 drawings by Michelangelo. Swiss expert Alexander Perrig says only about 100 are authentic. (SF Kulturplatz/
Read more…

A Secret Scrolls #74 to #79

A Secret Scrolls #74A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret and The PowerFrom The Secret Daily TeachingsYou are receiving thousands of messages from the Universe every single day. Learn to become aware of this communication from the Universe, who is speaking to you and guiding you in every moment. There are no accidents and no coincidences. Every sign you notice, every word you hear spoken, every color, every scent, every sound, every event and situation is the Universe speaking to you, and you are the only one who knows their relevance to you, and what the communication is saying.Use your eyes to see! Use your ears to listen! Use all of your senses, because you are receiving communication through them all!May the joy be with you,Rhonda ByrneThe Secret... bringing joy to billionsA Secret Scrolls #75A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret and The PowerFrom The Secret Daily TeachingsYou can limit yourself by the story you have created about you. Here are some simple examples of how the story we have created about ourselves can limit us:I am no good at math. I have never been able to dance. I am not a very good writer. I am very stubborn. I don't sleep well. I am very moody. I struggle with my weight. My English is not good. I am always late. I am not a very good driver. I can't see without my glasses. It is hard for me to make friends. Money seems to slip through my fingers.The moment you become aware of what you are saying, you can delete these things and rewrite your story!May the joy be with you,Rhonda ByrneThe Secret... bringing joy to billionsA Secret Scrolls #76A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret and The PowerFrom The Secret Daily TeachingsThere is no past or future for the law of attraction, only the present, so stop referring to your life in the past as very difficult, or full of hardship and pain, or in any other negative way.Remember that the law only operates in the present, so when you speak of your past life negatively the law is receiving your words and sending those things back to you NOW.May the joy be with you,Rhonda ByrneThe Secret... bringing joy to billionsA Secret Scrolls #77A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret and The PowerFrom The Secret Daily TeachingsThe process of creation is the same for all things, whether you want to bring something to you or remove something negative from your life.If you have a habit you wish to break, or anything negative you wish to remove from your life, you must focus on what you want. That means you visualize and imagine yourself in that negative-free state right now. Imagine yourself in as many scenes as you possibly can where the negative situation is completely absent. Imagine yourself happy and free. Eliminate any picture from your mind of you with the negative situation. Just imagine yourself in the state you want to be in, and feel that you are that, right now.May the joy be with you,Rhonda ByrneThe Secret... bringing joy to billionsA Secret Scrolls #78A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret and The PowerFrom The Secret Daily TeachingsMost people only think to ask for health when they don't have it, but you can intend great health at any time. Use the power of your intention every single day and see yourself healthy and well.Intend health for you and intend health for others.May the joy be with you,Rhonda ByrneThe Secret... bringing joy to billionsA Secret Scrolls #79A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret and The PowerFrom The Secret Daily TeachingsTo understand the power and the magic of gratitude, you have to experience it for yourself. So why not begin by deciding to find 100 things a day to be grateful for?If you practice gratitude every day it won't take long before gratitude is your natural state of being, and when that happens you will have unlocked one of the greatest secrets to life.May the joy be with you,Rhonda ByrneThe Secret... bringing joy to billions
Read more…

Avocado and Mango Salsa Recipe

Take a Trip to the Islands Without Leaving HomeBrighten up a dreary winter day with a splash of island sunshine. This delicious Caribbean-inspired salsa is the perfect accompaniment to fresh fish or poultry.Alternatively, pile atop baby spinach greens for an unexpected light lunch. The creamy avocado provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and the sweet mango offers vitamins A and C. Jicama, which has a similar consistency to crisp water chestnuts, adds crunch while providing additional vitamin C and fiber.Avocado and Mango SalsaIngredients:1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced1 cup chopped ripe mango1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped1/2 cup chopped jicamaJuice of 1 lime, about 2 Tbsp.2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oilSea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped(As always, for the very healthiest recipe choose organic products as much as possible)Instructions:In a mixing bowl, combine the avocado, mango, jalapeño, jicama, lime juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss the ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.Top with cilantro before serving.Makes 12 servings (1/4 cup each).Per serving: 60 calories, 5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat),5 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 50 mg sodium
Read more…
The dark side of energy drinks - trading tomorrow's health for today's temporary stimulationby Tony Isaacs(The Best Years in Life) Energy drinks were first introduced over 20 years ago. Though their use grew slowly for the first several years, today they have become a modern day phenomenon with tens of millions now being consumed daily. Energy drinks are the number one growth market for beverages and annual sales are forecast to top $9 billion for 2011. Around one-third of teenagers and young adults report drinking one or more energy drink daily, and in many instances consumers drink several energy drinks each day.What's not to like about having more energy and alertness - particularly if it comes from beverages which often tout herbal and other "natural" ingredients as the secret to their success? As it turns out, there is a very great deal not to like – and many of the millions of energy drink consumers may find one day find that the temporary boost they are getting today comes at the expense of health problems tomorrow.Some of the more common unwelcome side effects reported for energy drinks include elevated heart rates, hypertension, anxiety, headaches and interrupted sleep patterns. Due to a combination of ingredients commonly found in energy drinks which cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure, energy drinks may end up putting added stress on the heart. Such stress may lead to hypertension and ultimately heart and other cardiovascular problems.It is also believed that the combination of ingredients in energy drinks, including sodium benzoate, may lead to extra risk of various forms of cancer. Some energy drinks may also contain ingredients which stress the pancreas and could lead to diabetes. The effects and side effects of energy drinks are elevated when combined with coffee and other caffeinated drinks and the combination of alcohol and energy drinks, a growing practice among younger drinkers, may be particularly dangerous.Until recently, energy drinks and their side effects have been lightly studied, as a report earlier this year in the medical journal Pediatrics noted when it described energy drinks as overused and understudied. After examining data from the government and interest groups, scientific literature, case reports and articles in popular and trade media, the reports authors warned against energy drinks and cited potential harms which included heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death.Dr. Marcie Schneider, an adolescent medicine specialist in Greenwich, Connecticut, and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics nutrition committee, praised the recent report and stated that ""These drinks have no benefit, no place in the diet of kids."Late last year, poison control centers started tracking energy drink overdoses and side effects nationwide. 677 cases occurred from October through December. The chart's list of reported energy drink-related symptoms included seizures, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, chest pain, high blood pressure and irritability.Two of the most common ingredients found in energy drinks are sugar and caffeine, both of which provide temporary stimulation (as opposed to actual energy) and both of which may have serious side effects when regularly consumed in large amounts. Notably, both sugar and caffeine, as well as other ingredients in energy drinks, stress the adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue is considered to be the number one cause of lack of energy. Thus energy drinks create their own catch-22 of causing long term tiredness and lack of energy at the same time they give their temporary boosts.Just one of a huge number of health risks caused by processed sugar is the risk of diabetes – which has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. Very large amounts of sugar can ultimately overwhelm the pancreas, the organ which generates insulin to offset sugar intake. If your pancreas is "worn out" by being overworked from too much sugar, diabetes can begin.Some energy drinks containing up to 7 times the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. While small amounts of caffeine are not generally considered dangerous, too much caffeine can over stimulate the central nervous system and can dangerously elevate blood pressure and heart rate. Caffeine is also addictive and withdrawal symptoms include headaches and irritability. Caffeine also causes a loss in valuable B vitamins which are needed for "normal" energy creation.When sugar is not used, dangerous artificial sweeteners are employed. Perhaps the most dangerous is aspartame, though increasingly, the sugar substitute of choice has become sucralose. Sucralose is a chlorinated organic compound, a chemical group which includes several compounds known to be harmful to animals and plants and which has been linked to birth defects and other prenatal conditions. The body does not recognize artificial sweeteners like sucralose as food, but instead essentially processes them as toxins.Other potentially dangerous ingredients commonly found in energy drinks include:*Sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is widely used as a preservative in energy drinks as well as other beverages and foods. Last year a study conducted by an expert in molecular biology and biotechnology linked sodium benzoate to cell damage and an increase in the production of free radicals.Even more concerning is the fact that sodium benzoate in combination with vitamin C can result in the formation of the potent carcinogen benzene. Many energy drinks contain vitamin C, especially the fruity energy drinks.As noted health authority Chris Gupta reports, "This is not a small thing, although the so-called experts will try to tell you that there's no harm at these benzene levels. But there is no safe level of benzene. And no one is talking about how it reacts with other carcinogens in your body, which could be a serious problem. We already know it reacts with healthy substances like vitamin C.""There is a solution", Gupta added. "Eliminate all processed foods and unnatural drinks. All processed foods have chemicals in them for preservation. And many of these preservatives can damage your health."*Phenylalanine. Though an essential amino acid, phenylalanine is also a neurotoxin and is one of the three main ingredients which make up aspartame. Too much can excite the neurons in the brain to the point of cellular death.*Guarana. Guarana (or guaranine) comes from the seeds of the guarana plant, which contain up to 3 to 4 times the caffeine as coffee beans. Thus the amount of actual caffeine for many energy drinks which also contain guarana may be even more than is reported.*Ephedra. Ephedra has been described as a drug that increases heart rate and blood pressure at low doses and strokes, seizures, and possibly even death at high doses.Despite their potential dangers, energy drinks have become a very large part of today's beverage industry. As we have seen time and again, once any product or group of products and the ingredients they contain become hugely profitable and popular, it may take many years – if ever – before they are curtailed despite evidence of danger. Aspartame is a prime example and such may well end up being the case with the multi-billion dollar energy drink market.However, the good news is that there are far safer natural options for achieving greater energy than energy drinks - such as super foods powders, juiced vegetables and whole-foods derived multi-vitamin products for example. The very best long term option for achieving greater energy is an active lifestyle combined with adequate sleep, avoidance of energy robbing toxins and stress and a healthy nutrient-dense diet.Sources included:
Read more…

Ignore All Organic Labels, Except This One

Ignore All Organic Labels, Except This OnePosted By Dr. Mercola October 20 2011Are the words written on food packaging honest?Many corporations hire lawyers to carefully craft words that are just barely on the side of being legal. The Yahoo health site has collected eight common package proclamations that are red flags of "crafty" advertising.These include:Flavored: Both artificial and natural flavors are actually made in laboratories, and natural flavors are not necessarily healthier than artificial ones.Pure: "100 percent pure" products such as orange juice can be doctored with flavor packs for aroma and taste.Nectar: While 'nectar' may sound particularly wholesome, it's really just a fancy name for "not completely juice." These "diluted juice beverages" may contain more high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners than fruit puree.Fat free: Some cooking sprays are "fat free" only if they are sprayed for a fraction of a second to produce a microscopic "serving".The Importance of Deciphering Food LabelsIt's unfortunate, but reading food labels isn't as easy as you might think. In addition to determining what ingredients are in the food, you also need to have the foundational knowledge of how to decipher certain verbiage used to describe them. The words listed above are just a few of the words that can be used to mislead you.Below, I'll review a few more label items that are often used in deceptive ways, or that may lead you to buy a product you'd otherwise avoid:1. Vitamin and mineral claims2. The "All Natural" label3. The "Organic" label4. Misleading nutritional facts5. Dangerous ingredients not required to be listed on any food labelBeware of Vitamin and Mineral ClaimsIn an effort to optimize your diet, you may reach for so-called fortified foods; products that proclaim to be more healthful due to their vitamin or mineral content.Unfortunately, foods fortified with "extra" nutrients are nearly always processed, and the nutrients added are typically synthetic; neither of which will promote your health.Likewise, most commercial vitamin supplements are synthetic vitamins that have been robbed of all of the co-factors and accessory micronutrients that they naturally associated with. In turn, just like refined foods, they can create numerous problems and imbalances in your body if taken for long periods of time. They can also act more like drugs in your body. At the very least, they won't be as beneficial as high quality food and whole food-based supplements are.When it comes to foods fortified with minerals, matters can get even worse. Be particularly wary of foods fortified with iron, such as many breakfast cereals, as some of these have been shown to contain actual iron filings, which is not the ideal way to supplement your body with iron.What Does the "All Natural" Label Really Mean?When it comes to processed food bearing this label, it means virtually nothing... This is because there's no standard definition for the term "all natural" when used on processed foods, which leaves it wide open for creative interpretation. The term is only regulated on meat and poultry, for which an item labeled "natural" may not contain any:• Artificial flavors• Colors• Chemical preservativesBut in the processed food arena, a "natural" product can be virtually anything; it can be genetically modified, full of pesticides, made with corn syrup, additives, preservatives and artificial ingredients...If You Want Organic, There's Only One Label that Can Assure itSimilar problems pester the organic label. There's really only one organic label out there that means anything as far as organic food is concerned, and that's the USDA Certified Organic label.This seal, which is governed by the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP), is your BEST assurance of organic food quality. (As a side note, it's also the international gold standard for personal care products that contain organic agricultural ingredients, because the ingredients in USDA certified beauty products are certified organic for food, adhering to much stricter standards as they are intended specifically for human consumption.)There are three "tiers" within the USDA organic label:• Products labeled "100% Organic" must contain only organically produced materials• Products labeled simply "Organic" must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients• The label "Made with organic ingredients" can contain anywhere between 70 to 95 percent organic ingredientsFarmers and growers of organic produce bearing the USDA seal have to meet the strictest standards of any organic label. USDA certified organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones. And in order to qualify as an organic crop, it must be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity.For example, crops must be grown without:• Synthetic pesticides• Bioengineered genes• Petroleum-based fertilizers• Sewage sludge-based fertilizersOrganic products also cannot be irradiated, are not allowed to contain preservatives or flavor enhancing chemicals, nor can they contain traces of heavy metals or other contaminants in excess of tolerances set by the FDA. The pesticide residue level cannot be higher than 5 percent of the maximum EPA pesticide tolerance. (For the complete National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances under the USDA organic label, see this link.) So remember, if you see anything that says it's "organic," it must specify "USDA Certified Organic" to be meaningful.What You Need to Know about Nutrition LabelsOther factors that can make labels less than helpful include the nutrition facts and the stated serving size.It's important to understand that while the FDA does check food labels, they only check to see whether or not the Nutrition Facts panel is present. They rarely ever verify that the nutrition facts are true and accurate. Furthermore, the government allows foods to contain 20 percent more diet-damaging ingredients than the label lists before taking enforcement action. So while certainly a useful and important start, reading the Nutrition Facts panels on foods may not be as reliable an indicator of a food's nutrients as you may think.The FDA also allows processed food manufacturers to use absurdly tiny serving sizes on their labels, which can lull you into a false sense of security when it comes to determining how much of each stated nutrient or toxin, like trans-fat, you're actually consuming. If the serving size is small enough then trans-fats can fall under the minimum requirement for labeling them, meaning they are left off the label entirely despite the fact they are present in the product. Needless to say, this tactic is intentionally employed, to make the product appear more healthful than it actually isIt is deceptive labeling tricks like these that can leave you eating things you would rather avoid.Another example well worth mentioning here is the lack of any requirement to label genetically modified components in packaged foods, even though this is mandated law in the entire European Union. In the US, you simply will never know if GM foods are present in your processed food, but more than likely they are—especially if the product contains soy or corn, or any derivative thereof...Fortunately, we now have a practical plan to end this disaster. By educating the public about the risks of GM foods through a massive education campaign, and launching a ballot initiative in California for 2012 that will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, the plan is to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past. To learn how you can be part of this important movement, please see The California Ballot Initiative: Taking Down Monsanto.How to Choose High-Quality Foods for Yourself and Your FamilyWhile reading labels on everything you buy is important, when it comes to food, you're far better off limiting or eliminating foods that require a listing of its ingredients in the first place. What are you left with? Fresh (preferably organic) WHOLE foods!Remember, virtually ALL processed foods contain cheap, chemical-laden ingredients that will eventually take their toll on your health. By educating yourself on what 'healthy food' really is, and how not to be led astray by label claims that toe the line in terms of being truthful, you'll be well on your way toward a healthier you.
Read more…

Happy Thoughts = Good Health

Happy Thoughts = Good HealthWednesday, October 19, 2011By Chris WadsworthLooking back on her long life, 73-year-old Judy Rubens thinks she has always been a pretty sunny person.Losing at a game never fazed her, she consciously tried to be friendly to everyone, and she always had a bright smile on her face — both to keep her spirits up and to cheer up those around her.But that smile was tested mightily in 2008 when she underwent back surgery that left her paralyzed from her waist to her ankles. Months of grueling physical therapy left her exhausted and in pain — but where others might find good reason to give in to self-pity — Rubens reveled in the discomfort."When the pain was greatest, I knew that I was healing," the Fort Myers, Fla., resident tells Newsmax. "I would get the shooting pains down my legs and I didn’t mind it. I knew that meant that the nerves were coming back. Without that pain, I wasn’t healing."In study after study, this remarkable ability to take a negative and see it as a positive has been a hallmark of an optimistic personality. And now scientists are discovering that being optimistic can actually make you mentally and physically healthier.Check out these eye-opening benefits:• Dutch researchers studied almost 1,000 senior citizens and found that the most optimistic among them had a 55 percent lower chance of dying from all causes and a 23 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death.• A study at the University of Kentucky among 124 incoming law students found that when the students were more optimistic, their immune system got stronger.• Other research has shown high levels of optimism linked with better recovery from heart transplants and heart bypass surgery, protection from stroke risk, and even delayed onset of frailty among the elderly.• A University of Pennsylvania study found that incoming freshmen who participated in a series of workshops aimed at helping them cultivate a positive outlook lowered their risk of suffering moderate or severe depression."There is good evidence to suggest optimism is protective and that pessimism seems to be detrimental when it comes to the development of disease and future outcomes," said Laura Kubzansky, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, in a 2010 Washington Post article. "But what’s a little less clear is what the mechanisms are, or how that protective effect occurs."Bottom line: Pessimists and optimists see the world differently, according to Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on optimistic thinking.Seligman says pessimists tend to believe they’re to blame when bad things happen and that these bad things will persist and ruin other events in their lives — an "I pigged out at a party last night because I have no willpower, and I will never lose weight" syndrome.Optimists, on the other hand, see setbacks as temporary: "I overate last night, but I was celebrating with good friends, and I can still lose weight this week if I just buckle down."Regardless of which camp a person falls into, Seligman and others assert that people can actually learn optimism. When a person constantly strives to catch themselves being negative — then stops momentarily — and changes the negative thought into a positive one, eventually this learned behavior will take over and they will find themselves being optimistic more often and more naturally.Tina Haisman is certified life coach in Chicago and works with clients on recognizing negative thoughts and attitudes and helps them begin to change this behavior."The key to happiness for all of us is in our own minds," Haisman tells Newsmax. "You have the power to make your life what you want it to be. It’s all in how you choose to look at things."Optimism is, of course, not a cure-all. There are times when it’s inappropriate and even impossible to find the bright side of something. That’s OK.Optimists have dark moments fraught with concern and worry too. But these thoughts don’t apply to everything that happens, and they don’t last. Cliché as it is, the "sun will come out tomorrow" and optimists recognize this.One of the thoughts that motivated Rubens during her recovery was the desire to travel with her husband, Len. Eleven months after her devastating surgery and paralysis, Rubens was walking well enough to take a long-awaited trip."We took a cruise into the Caribbean and it was wonderful,” Rubens said, her voice filling with emotion. "I danced with my husband. I just looked up at him and the tears rolled. I said, 'Look, just look!' and he said, ‘We are so blessed.'"
Read more…

Psychological Materialism

Psychological Materialism
by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Even if you are against the materialism of society and you do not want to support it, refusing to work is still grasping at the wrong end of the stick. Not taking part in work and practical activity is not going to achieve anything. More than any anything else, it will simply magnify your own negativity. By not doing anything to help, you will merely feel the sense of being useless in society. If you really take this kind of nonparticipation to its logical conclusion, it means that you shouldn't eat, you shouldn't even breathe, because the air you breath also belongs to the world and society. This approach could become quite extreme. If you take it all the way, it means you shouldn't exist at all.

There's a great deal of confusion about materialism and society. Just taking care of one's business or even running a business doesn't amount to materialism. There's nothing wrong with that at all. What really produces the materialistic outlook towards society is psychological materialism. Materialism has a pervasive kind of philosophy connected with it that is passed from one person to another orally and taught to everyone through examples. One person catches it from another. However, trying to reject that contagion by purely not doing anything, not caring for anything at all, simply doesn't work.
Not doing anything takes the form of laziness, and in order to be lazy we have to develop a certain kind of intelligence. Laziness has tremendous intelligence in it, in fact. When you are lazy, as soon as you have the urge to do anything, immediately a kind of answer comes to you that you can present about why you don't have to do it. Later you can say: "I didn't do it because I didn't have time. Thus and such happened and I didn't have a chance to do it. It was because of that." This automatic answer that comes to you is very convenient. One has to be very intelligent to find these kinds of excuses. There is tremendous intelligence in laziness, but it is misused intelligence.

The best way to use our intelligence is to learn to feel what the skillful action in a situation is. To do that, we have to relate to the earth as directly as possible. Interestingly, we call this being "grounded." In this approach, we do not regard work as just a job but as a way of expressing our ourselves. It could be work in the garden or work around the house—cooking food, washing the dishes—whatever. These are not really jobs, but they are what has to be done because nature demands attention. It is very interesting that if you leave something undone or do not relate to even a small matter like, for instance, cooking with full and proper attention and clear thinking, then some kind of chaos is going to come up. This will happen because you are not relating properly; you are not expressing your love properly toward the earth. Either you are going to break a dish or you're going to spill something, or the food you're cooking is going to turn out badly, or something else will go wrong. Nature tends to react very sensitively this way. If you don't feel the relationship between the work and yourself, then chaos is going to arise.

A balanced state of mind depends on the way you do things, the way you pour a cup of tea and the way you put sugar and milk in it. It may seem like a really insignificant thing, but it means everything. You can always tell whether a person feels the activity she is engaged in as dealing with the earth or whether she feels it as just some casual thing or something she is doing because she has to. If the person is not relating to the earth, then you can always feel a certain clumsiness, even if the person's action appears to be smooth. This is very evident and easy to sense.

--Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Read more…

Is Facebook Changing Your Brain?

Is Facebook Changing Your Brain?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scientists have found a direct link between the number of "friends" a person has on Facebook and the size of certain brain regions, raising the possibility that using online social networks might change our brains.

The four brain areas involved are known to play a role in memory, emotional responses, and social interactions.

So far, however, it is not possible to say whether having more Facebook connections makes particular parts of the brain larger or whether some people are simply pre-disposed, or "hard-wired," to have more friends.

"The exciting question now is whether these structures change over time — this will help us answer the question of whether the Internet is changing our brains," said Ryota Kanai of University College London (UCL), one of the researchers involved in the study.

Kanai and colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of 125 university students, all of them active users of social media site Facebook, and cross-checked their findings in a further group of 40 students.

They discovered a strong connection between the number of Facebook friends and the amount of "grey matter" in the amygdala, the right superior temporal sulcus, the left middle temporal gyrus, and the right entorhinal cortex. Grey matter is the layer of brain tissue where mental processing occurs.

The thickness of grey matter in the amygdala was also linked to the number of real-world friends people had, but the size of the other three regions appeared to be correlated only to online connections.

The students, on average, had around 300 Facebook friends, with the most connected having up to 1,000.

With more than 800 million active users worldwide, Facebook has become a major component of social interaction, especially among the young.

"Online social networks are massively influential, yet we understand very little about the impact they have on our brains. This has led to a lot of unsupported speculation the Internet is somehow bad for us," said Geraint Rees of UCL.

"This shows we can use some of the powerful tools in modern neuroscience to address important questions — namely, what are the effects of social networks, and online social networks in particular, on my brain."

The study results were published on Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Heidi Johansen-Berg of the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the research, said the findings were intriguing but did not mean Facebook was a shortcut to making people brainier.

"If you got yourself 100 new Facebook friends today then your brain would not be bigger tomorrow," she said. "The study cannot tell us whether using the Internet is good or bad for our brains."
Read more…

Dogs help schools lick bullying problem

Dogs help schools lick bullying problem
Article By: Cynthia Ross Cravit

We hear about it all too often: The damaging -- and sometimes tragic -- consequences of bullying. Read how some experts are using canines to teach compassion.

Dogs can make us happier and healthier. Beyond the joy of companionship, studies have shown that dog ownership is associated with lower stress, blood pressure and cholesterol. Owning a pouch also helps to prevent illness — and when you do become ill, helps you to recover more quickly.

On top of all that, dogs can sniff out cancer and warn of heart attack, epileptic seizures and hypoglycemia.

So when it comes to the battling the bullying epidemic in our schools, who else to call in but our best friend? Dogs are already being used in the classroom to give assistance to children with autism, for instance, and to help with reading and writing programs. And now, in some North American schools, canines are being called in to teach compassion and social responsibility.

An example. In a program called “No More Bullies” volunteers accompanied by trained dogs teach kids about fairness and empathy. “The animals are the glue that helps the children stay focused and understand the message,” Jo Dean Hearn, an ex-teacher who developed the program, told USA TODAY. “Children can easily identify with an animal. And it’s easy for them to transition when we ask them to consider how an animal feels (if ill-treated) to how the kid sitting near them feels (if poorly treated).”

Pouches and peer pressure“No More Bullies” is just one of several dog-centered programs being used to help create a kinder and more supportive school climate — which, experts say, goes a long way in preventing, and stopping, bullying. Last year, for example, the Yale University School of the 21st Century and the Pet Savers Foundation launched a program called Mutt-i-grees to help kids learn how to be more kind to one another and animals.

Another program, Healing Species, uses rescue dogs to help children and teens recover from abuse and learn self-esteem, empathy, and other fundamental values. Currently, programs that use dogs to teach kindness and integrity are being used in about 900 elementary schools in the U.S.

Watch this clip on how canines can help to reduce stress in the classroom:

Why dogs reduce stress in classrooms
Read more…

Every hug carries a powerful “punch”.

Over 100 Cities around took part in the Hugs for Peace campaign our friend Vince coordinated that took place on September 21.

Such a little thing -- a hug -- everyone can do it -- it takes no special training -- no “skill” -- no age, race, religion, or sex can do it any better then another…

It is freely available to everyone -- pretty much anytime (technically we can hug our teddy bears, our dogs, even ourselves if another person isn’t immediately available)

and every hug carries a powerful “punch”. A study by University of North Carolina researchers found that hugs increase the “bonding” hormone oxytocin and decrease the risk of heart disease.

This should be every day in the world.

FREE HUGS for WORLD PEACE - Salt of the Earth - International Day of Peace - Sept. 21
Read more…

Money Doesn’t Equal Happiness

Today's Daily Health TipMoney Doesn’t Equal Happinessby Baseline of Health StaffIn today’s hazardous economic times, many people are probably thinking, “If I just had some more money, all my problems would disappear.”Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that a financial surplus does not lead to happiness. The recent World Mental Health Survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) looked at nearly 90,000 people in 18 countries to determine their mental health status, and the results may surprise you.Among the participants living in the 10 higher income nations, an average of close to 15 percent of the population had experienced a major depressive episode at some point. In those participants from low to middle income countries, however, an average of approximately 11 percent had suffered through depression.The country with the highest overall rate of depression was France, with a 21 percent frequency. The United States was second, experiencing a lifetime rate of 19.2 percent. The high-income nations with the lowest rates of depression were Japan, Germany, Italy, and Israel, where the levels fell between 7 and 10 percent.The age of onset of depression varied by country as well. China had the lowest age of all of the countries tested, with a median of 18.8. United States residents seem to be stricken with depression at a younger age too, with a median of 22.7. The countries with the latest average onset were Japan at 30.1 and Spain at 30. According to data from WHO, approximately 121 million people around the world suffer from depression. Women everywhere are twice as likely to experience episodes of depression as men. But the researchers found in general that those with depression in wealthier nations suffered from more debilitating disability resulting from the disease.And depression really can impair you, both mentally and physically. Your body is a product of your thoughts. The cells of your body have receptor sites for the various neurohormones you produce. Your immune cells, to use just one example, have receptor sites for each of those hormones. When you are happy, you produce a set of neurohormones that are picked up by the cells of your immune system. These particular neurohormones tell your immune system to jack up -- which it does. In other words, happy thoughts improve your health. However, when you are depressed, the opposite happens. The neurohormones your body produces literally shut down your immune system. In effect, negative thoughts can actually kill you. A group of medical researchers in Montreal tracked 222 post heart attack victims, both men and women. The researchers found that those who were depressed were more likely to die of another heart attack within 18 months of their first heart attack than those who were not -- 10 times more likely, in fact.Depression does not just affect our ability to enjoy each day. Among other things, scientists today are finding strong statistical evidence linking stress and depression with longevity. And, with "suicidal behavior" being a side effect of anti-depressants, it is no wonder people are scrambling to find a natural solution. The good news is that not only can nutrition impact mood, but exercise and certain herbs and nutraceuticals such as Ginkgo, Valerian root, SAMe, and Mulungu can also give a safe, healthy mental lift!
Read more…

Hello again

Hi  there.I think I joined Crystals & Gemstones, however, I'm not showing up as a member.I clicked the "join" link but nothing happened.I wanted to add info on this group.Are disucussions, topics and blogs the same thing? I cant see in that group how to post, just" reply" option.
Read more…
Views: 55
Comments: 1
October 23, 2011. 

- Dearest Ones, We Are from the Domain of Fire and Light, of Unity of all souls and Sacred Divine Core Essence in the Andromeda Galaxy.
--- Beloved Earth Humans,
We are here again to shower your world with our Blessings with powerful waves of Light from our Galaxy.
Many of us took birth on your planet to anchor Light and Information from the Andromeda Galaxy on Earth to assist with the awakening of her humanity and the cleansing and shifting of her into higher dimensions.
We are giving you this information, dear earth humans, to assure you that you and your planet have never been – in reality – cut off from the rest of the universe. It was only a gesture of you in the past history, which laid around and upon Earth, through your own lowering of your frequency, a dense and heavy veil which did not allow much communications of higher light and information to reach you and your planet from outer space.
This self-induced isolation is now coming to an end, also because many other souls from other enlightened star systems and galaxies are at this time incarnated among you, to draw down the light and love of the stars into your reality to help you to evolve.
These beings from other star systems have taken birth in difficult situations in order to purify your dark earth history with their own awakening process, which required them to confront all the pain -- that you earth people are suffering -- in their own bodies, emotions and mental experiences.

For many, if not for most of them, this ordeal of purification of your dark history in their own system, this process has now come to an end and they are here now between you, anchoring our light and information and that of many other star systems on your earth.
They are now illuminated antennas receiving and channeling light from space through their consciousness and bodies into the core of Gaia and radiating this light and this love all over the earth. They are the ones who have done all the work directly on your planet, to support your own awakening, like one candle ignites the next one, so that also you can become like them a radiant luminary to illuminate further the path to ascension in your world.
What is required of you, Beloved Earth Humans, in your awakening process in this short remaining moment, is to open up to unconditional love, a Divine Frequency now showered upon your earth! It is the Force which drives humanity forward to her unity and elevation. It is the Force which does not know separation, and it is the Force which has been always your rightful inheritance and True Sign since eternity.
"Humanity Is Love", - this will be your sign and “trade mark” in your coming Galactic Participation, where earth will be embraced again in the midst of other star nations and illuminated planets and galaxies.
You are on your way to fully participate again in the unimpeded communication and union of the galactic network of light, which flows like liquid water through all the veins of the Divine Universe.
Once ascended you will be participating again in the currents of universal joy and love where we all rejoice In mutual friendship, love and respect.
There is only One Divinity and we are all Its Divine Expression.
Welcome, dearest earth humans, to this glorious moment in the very near future, but which is in truth already always Now.
Our Light and Our Love is in the midst of you all.
With eternal Blessings!
Message received by Ute 
http://radiantlyhappy.blogspot .com/2011/10/message-from-andromeda-g...
Copyright: Ute Posegga-Rudel, Oct 2011
This message has been received in a sacred space and should be treated accordingly and with respect. When sharing this message please only together with this information. If you have questions, please contact me. Thank you.


Read more…
Views: 40
Comments: 0

4 Delicious Red Mullet recipes

Baked Red Mullet with Garlic and TomatoesThis is a fish that appears often in Mediterranean cookery.ingredients4 even-sized red mullet45 ml (3 tbsps) olive oil45 ml (3 tbsps) dry white wine1 lemon2 cloves garlic, crushedSalt and pepper340 g (12 oz) fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced or 400 g (14 oz) canned tomatoes, strainedSprigs of fresh dill for garnishmethod1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas Mark 5. First scale the fish by running the blunt edge of a large knife over the skin of the fish going from the tail to the head.2. Using a filleting knife, cut along the belly of the fish from just under the head to the vent, the small opening near the tail. Clean out the cavity of the fish, leaving in the liver if desired. Rinse the fish well inside and out and pat dry.3. Trim the fins and neaten the tail with kitchen scissors. Place the fish head to tail in an ovenproof dish. Mix the oil and the wine together and squeeze the juice from one of the lemons. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and pour over the fish. Place on the tomato slices or if using canned tomatoes, crush them slightly and spoon over. Bake for about 25 minutes, basting frequently until the fish is tender. Garnish with dill.serves 4Citrus Steamed Red Mullet with FennelSteaming really emphasises the beautiful vibrant colour of red mullet or snapper.ingredients4 small red mullet or red snapper, cleaned1 tbsp soy sauce1 inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and shredded4 spring onions, trimmed and shredded1 lime, thinly sliced1/2 lemon, thinly sliced2 sprigs fresh fennel or dill1/2 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional)method1. Make 3 slashes in each side of the fish and rub with the soy sauce.2. Put a little ginger and spring onion in each cavity and place on a plate.3. Cover the fish with the lime and lemon slices, fennel and chilli.4. Scatter over the remaining ginger and spring onion. Cover and steam for 7 minutes.serves 4Grilled Red Mullet with Fresh Lime and ChivesIngredients8 X 5 - 8 oz (150-250g) red mullet, scaled but not guttedfresh chives, chopped1 lime, quarteredfor the marinadeJuice of 2 fresh limes6 tablespoons olive oil4 tablespoons chives, choppedFreshly ground black peppermethod1. Wash the mullet and pat dry with kitchen paper.2. In a shallow glass or earthenware bowl combine the marinade ingredients and leave the fish in this for 15 minutes, turning them occasionally.3. Meanwhile, heat the grill to high and lightly oil the grill rack.4. When you place the fish on the grill rack, make sure they are well coated in the marinade and chives as the latter are appealing to the eye as well as the taste buds.5. Grill the mullet 2 or 3 minutes, turning and basting them and heaping on more chives as they cook, continue to grill for a further 2 or 3 minutes.6. The skin of the fish will be crisp and the tails slightly charred.7. serve them hot on warmed plates with quarters of fresh limeserves 4Red Mullet NicoiseIngredientsRed mullet is now widely available and its attractive appearance lends itself to this colourful dish.2 tbsps red wine vinegar8 tbsps olive oil1/4 tsp French mustardHandful of chopped fresh mixed herbs1 shallot, finely chopped1 clove garlic, crushedSalt and pepper120 g (4 oz) button mushrooms, quartered4 red mullet, descaled and cleanedSeasoned flourLemon juice450 g (1 lb) tomatoes, quartered and cores removed1 green pepper, seeded and sliced90 g (3 oz) pitted black olives, halved2 hard-boiled eggs, quarteredSmall tin anchovy filletsmethod1. In a screw top jar, shake together the vinegar, 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, the mustard, herbs, shallot, garlic and seasoning, to make a vinaigrette.2. Put the mushrooms into a bowl and pour over the vinaigrette. Stir to coat the mushrooms evenly and refrigerate for about 1 hour.3. Toss the mullet in the seasoned flour to coat lightly Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the fish on both sides for 2 - 3 minutes per side, taking care not to break the fish. Sprinkle lightly with lemon juice and salt and pepper, and allow to go cold.4. When ready to serve, add the tomatoes, pepper, olives and eggs to the mushrooms. Stir together gently, to coat the salad with the marinade.5. Pile the salad onto a serving dish and arrange the red mullet on top. Garnish with the drained anchovy fillets.serves 4Mullet in Tomato SauceIngredients4 red mullet, whole and cleaned2 level tbsp seasoned flouroil or butter for frying2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh white breadcrumbs1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped parsleyfor the sauce1/2 onion, skinned and finely chopped1 clove garlic, skinned and crushed, optional2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter1 lb (450 g) tomatoes, skinned and quarteredsalt and pepper2 level tsp sugar1 bay leafmethod1. First make the sauce. Fry the onion and the garlic (if you are using it) in the butter for about 5 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and bayleaf, cover with a lid and simmer gently until soft and pulped - about - 1/2 hour; remove the bayleaf,2. Rinse the fish and dry them well. Dip them in seasoned flour and fry them in shallow fat until tender, turning them once and allowing 6-8 minutes in all.3. Place half the tomato sauce in a shallow ovenproof dish, lay the fish on top, then cover with the rest of the sauce; sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and brown under a hot grill.4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.
Read more…

Time is Precious: Dr. BJ Miller's Journey

Time is Precious: Dr. BJ Miller's Journey--by Patricia Yollin , Original StoryDr. BJ Miller is only 40 but he thinks about death a lot. He is the new executive director of the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco and a palliative care specialist at UCSF Medical Center. He is also a triple amputee, co-founder of a tea company, owner of a farm in Utah and a newlywed who still looks like the Ivy Leaguer he once was."I have no fear of death," Miller said. "I have a fear of not living my life fully before I die."On Nov. 27, 1990, he came close to dying. Miller, then a sophomore at Princeton University, got together for drinks with two close friends he'd made on the crew team. Around 3 a.m., they were walking to a convenience store when they decided to climb an electrified shuttle train parked on campus."I jumped on top," he recalled. "I had a metal watch on and I was very close to the power source. The electricity just arced to the watch. Sadly, the train was called the Dinky - of all things to lose a limb to."As a result of Miller's encounter with 11,000 volts of electricity, his left arm was amputated below the elbow and his legs below the knees. He still has flashbacks to the explosion and remembers the difficulties of fitting his nearly 6-foot-5 frame into a helicopter bound for a burn unit.Princeton and beyondAfter several months, he returned to Princeton and graduated with his class in 1993. Two years later, the university and shuttle operator, New Jersey Transit, agreed to pay him a multimillion-dollar settlement, which included safety upgrades to the train station where previous incidents had occurred.Over time, Miller has undergone many operations and often experiences nagging discomfort, as well as significant pain on occasion."BJ's doctor said, 'When people have these life-altering injuries, it doesn't change their nature,' " said Miller's mother, Susan Miller. "BJ was a sweet, affectionate, loving child. It didn't change who he was at all."It might not have changed Miller's nature, but it refashioned him in ways that inform what he does today. "I learned so much," he said. "Particularly about perspective. It's not what you see but how you see it."His father, Bruce Miller, said, "BJ has always had incredible insight into people."It's an indispensable quality in the doctor's current line of work."BJ is an extraordinary physician," said Dr. Mike Rabow, director of the Symptom Management Service at UCSF. "Perhaps the best I've ever seen at understanding the pain and suffering of others, bearing witness to it and helping people face it and begin to heal. The most remarkable part is that BJ is filled with joy and humor."Miller said he largely avoided self-loathing and self-pity after the accident because of his mother's example. She was diagnosed with polio as a baby and relied on a brace and crutches when her son was growing up. Two decades ago, she developed post-polio syndrome and now uses a wheelchair most of the time.'It was wonderful'"BJ realized that disability doesn't determine who you are," said Susan Miller, who still recalls what he said after learning he'd lose three body parts. "He told me, 'Mom, now we'll have even more in common.' It was wonderful."Justin Burke of Seattle, who later co-founded Tribute Tea Co. with Miller, visited his old boarding-school roommate in the hospital a few weeks after the accident. "His left arm was the size of a watermelon," Burke said. "But he wanted a mountain bike for Christmas."This wasn't a fanciful notion. After he recovered, Miller hiked, bicycled and competed on the U.S. volleyball team in the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona."BJ's journey has taught me to appreciate things many people take for granted - and I never will because of him," said Pete Austin, a senior producer for "Nightline" at ABC News in New York, who was with Miller when the accident happened and helped bring his body - smoking and bleeding - down from the train.Bruce Miller Jr., who goes simply by BJ without punctuation, was born in Chicago and grew up mostly in its suburbs. He described himself as a melancholy and overly sensitive "mama's boy," who was insecure but made friends quickly. His father was a successful businessman, the family was affluent, and Miller was handsome, even working as a model for a while. But he said he felt like a misfit."Now I'm grateful for being a little bit of an outsider," he said. "It made me question the reality I was living in. Life was just a little too easy. I could feel myself devolving before I'd even evolved, so I elected to go away to boarding school and become more independent."At St. George's School in Rhode Island, Miller turned into a recluse and a bookworm. But by the time he graduated in June 1989, he'd joined choir, made a few friends and earned top grades."I had come to realize how much of my angst was self-propelling," he said. "And I learned how to drop some of those ruminations."Inspired by the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing a few months earlier, he planned to major in Chinese and Asian studies at Princeton. "It dovetailed nicely with being a suburban boy, boarding school, all this zone of privilege and homogeneity," Miller said. "I was very attracted to something foreign, and Tiananmen awakened in me a human rights consciousness."He switched to art history after his accident, focusing on how music served as inspiration in visual art of the early 20th century. "It's all about the human condition and what people do with their humanity," he said. "Artists are dealing with that subject all the time."Art played a major role in his recovery. For example, Miller used to put a sock over his left arm because he thought it was grotesque, and he wore foam covers over his prosthetic legs. He stopped his attempts at concealment after studying the style of building known as the Chicago School of architecture."They let the structure do its own thing," said Miller, showing off his carbon fiber prosthetics. "I found that to be an extraordinarily therapeutic concept."'The silver lining'He made another discovery as well: "I'd always been aware that the way people treated me had nothing to do with my internal life," he said. "The world saw me as over-privileged. This changed all that. I didn't have to explain, 'Oh, I suffer, too.' It was very handy. And I was inclined to look for the silver lining."After graduating from Princeton, Miller worked in the archives of the Art Institute of Chicago and spent several months in Paris as an intern with the State Department. His service dog, Vermont, accompanied him."We were together for 11 years, 24 hours a day," he said. "When I couldn't find the words for what I was feeling, I'd go play with him and everything was fine. It remains the single most profound relationship of my life."When it was time to find a calling, Miller chose medicine because he could use his experiences to connect with people and he felt an affinity for anyone going through an illness. He took pre-med courses in Denver and at Mills College in Oakland before starting medical school at UCSF in 1997, with the notion of entering rehabilitation medicine. He changed his mind after doing a rotation in that field."I felt like a poster child," he said. "When I'd walk out of the room, I'd hear some family member say, 'See, he can do it.' And I knew what those guys needed was to wallow and get angry. They didn't need some jackass with really white teeth saying, 'Hey, you can climb a mountain.' They just wanted to learn how to take a leak again."Sister commits suicideHe finished medical school in 2001. It was a difficult time. He was devastated by the suicide the previous year of his lone sibling in her New York apartment, just shy of her 33rd birthday. The news about his sister's death came in a call he got on the way to a follow-up appointment after yet another surgery. He started questioning his decision to be a doctor, but an internship at the Medical College of Wisconsin changed everything: He learned about palliative care, which uses a team-oriented, holistic approach to treat the symptoms of illness and relieve pain and suffering."It was very immediately clear that this was the place for me," Miller said. "Being a full human being has a lot to do with suffering."He worked two years at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara and was a hospice and palliative medicine fellow at Harvard Medical School for a year before joining UCSF in 2007. Dr. Stephen McPhee, who retired in January as a professor of medicine at UCSF, helped recruit Miller."He has great presence and a light touch," McPhee said. "It might seem inappropriate for end-of-life care but it is exactly right. He's a wonderful teacher, too. He has the ability to move an audience."McPhee said Miller and the 24-year-old Zen Hospice Project are a good match."Compassion and open-heartedness are BJ's defining characteristics," McPhee said. "Being disabled does not define him. But from a patient's point of view, seeing him walk into the room, they get it that he gets it. He has obviously been through a lot."Karen Schanche, a UCSF clinical social worker and psychotherapist, said Miller is especially effective with older men not prone to sharing their feelings."One veteran, a Marine with metastasized pancreatic cancer, was really not into talking or being vulnerable," Schanche said. "He looked at BJ and started tearing up. ... There is a small opening to reach into with people, and BJ is not afraid of that kind of intimacy."But Miller knows it can be dangerous. "These quick spelunking exercises are an occupational hazard," he said. "If you don't have time to process them and crawl fully out of the hole and shake off the dust before you go back down again, you are operating from a deficit."70-80 hours a weekThese days he is working 70 to 80 hours a week, given his full-time job at the Zen Hospice Project, his outpatient clinic work at UCSF, and late-night home visits to people who are dying. He's hoping things will settle down soon."He can't say no. And he sees himself as an usher who can take people through a transition in their lives," said the former Jori Adler, 33, who married Miller in Inverness on Sept. 11 - his parents' anniversary. At the end of October, the couple threw a bash for 180 in Palm Springs. In January, they honeymooned in Chile and Argentina.Jori Miller met her future husband in 2007 at a party in Los Angeles, where she worked as an associate producer in television. Now she's pursuing a master's degree at Sonoma State University and wants to be a marriage and family therapist. They live in Mill Valley with a dog named Maysie and three cats: Zelig, the Muffin Man and Darkness. The doctor never got another service dog after Vermont died.Miller loves to go to art museums and movies, ride his bicycle and drive for hours in his Audi station wagon. Pizza is his favorite food and his tastes in music range from Frank Zappa and The Who to jazz and chamber music. Eight years ago, he bought a 10-acre farm in Boulder, Utah.Like a different planet"It's almost like a plan B," he said. "It's somewhere I can go that doesn't operate by the same rules as in the city. It looks like a different planet and makes me feel nice and small, where I'm thinking on geological time."The Zen Hospice Project's renovated Guest House reopened in September after a six-year closure and formed a partnership with UCSF, which pays for two beds for its patients. UCSF medical students will begin rotations there this summer, joined eventually by UCSF fellows in hospice and palliative medicine."Our vision is to marry the medical and social models of care," said Miller, who has been an attending physician at hundreds of deaths over the years. "Bring in the best of medical science while beefing up the nonmedical components."Those components include a cadre of trained volunteers and programs for bereavement support, self-care for caregivers and legacy work, such as writing letters to grandchildren. The six beds in the Guest House are reserved for people with a prognosis of six months or less to live.Miller is spiritual but not a Buddhist. However, he finds Buddhism "beautifully inarguable," especially because it sees kindness as the antidote to suffering - a principle that guides his work.Time is precious"A big part of my job is to remind people about the preciousness of time," he said. "You don't want to preordain or prognosticate, but you don't want to abdicate your role either. It's this tender little dance between leading and following a patient and their family."Open houseThe Guest House of the Zen Hospice Project: Open house 4-5 p.m. first and third Friday of every month. 273 Page St., San Francisco, CA
Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

  • of (300)
  • - (207)
  • to (192)
  • in (121)
  • A (115)
  • a (104)
  • + (89)

Monthly Archives