Thursday, October 24, 2013

Using Meditation to Overcome Ego

Debbie West, Contributor
Waking Times
In order to combat the harmful illusion of self that is created by our ideals of who we are based on past experiences and judgments of ourselves and others, we must overcome the ego. The ego-self is created by a complex and powerful overlay of our mind that is designed as a shield to protect us from harm and suffering. The ego unchecked over time expands, falsifying our idea of true self. The result is an unbalanced, disconnected, external self focused solely on safety and attachments with narcissistic concerns about appearance and position, yearning for admiration and superiority and bogging us down with negative and false fear-based thoughts of judgment, anger and resentment. In the quest to overcome the false self or ego self, many have turned to meditation practices which detoxify our minds, cleanse the soul, and reactivate our higher self connection to a universal and compassionate consciousness. It has been proven that positive thoughts and a joyful outlook, combined with a forgiving nature filled with love and gratitude, have the capacity to heal our minds and bodies. Using meditation ignites the spiritual connection within us so frequently manipulated by our ego’s desire to be in charge.

Connecting to Soul Self thru Meditation

One of the primary benefits of meditation is creating a sense of stillness and calm that is present throughout one’s entire life. This stillness and inner peace is one of the most attractive aspects of making meditation a daily practice. Meditation is clearing the mind, and in clearing the mind it silences the ego. During meditation, a sense of peace is created with the universe, allowing the experience of true identity, also known as “cosmic ego.” There are multiple layers to the mind, and meditation assists in breaking thru the outer ego-defense layer to reach the inner self. Often, we do not realize what is missing in our human experience, but a sense of emptiness or being overcome by psychological traumas such as depression, anxiety, bipolar may lead to seeking treatment. Finding a spiritual connection using meditation relieves mental anguish, develops a healthy mind and body, and promotes overall health and well-being.

Religions Agree on the Philosophy of No-Ego

Seemingly, all traditions agree that no great spiritual attainment is possible without conquest of egocentricity. And while a healthy dose of self-esteem and self-confidence are valuable traits, one must replace conceit with modesty and arrogance with humility. This is where meditation can help us tremendously. The truth lies within and is an internal connection to the eternal soul. Which practice we choose or what skills we use, whether we are religious or not, are not significant. Atman, a term commonly used in the Hindu and eastern traditions, describes the connection to higher self and someone who has reached a state of no-ego. Atman means the individual soul or essence. A person who is entirely in touch with their spiritual side is an example of someone deeply connected to atman.
Chung Hyun Kyung, Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Interfaith Engagement at Union Theological Seminary and a Buddhist Dharma teacher, states:
“In a way, the Christian notion of being in Christ and Buddhist notion of no-self and true self have something in common. That commonality is, you are free from this binding ego. You step outside of ego and are then open to receive love of God and open to act as a good Christian disciple or a good Buddhist. So whatever needs arise around you, you respond to it freely without clinging to your old unchanging self.”
In Tibetan practices, it is taught that our true self is eternal and is the God force within us. The way of our higher self is to reflect our inner reality rather than the outer illusion. The description given by Sogyal Rinpoche in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is a wonderful explanation of this discovery:
“Two people have been living in you all of your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to.”
He refers to this hidden spiritual being as our wise guide. When we learn to transcend the illusions sponsored by the ego, we can access this wise guide. We can invite in the higher aspects of ourselves to function in their natural, loving and integrated design.

Identifying EGO

Eckart Tolle was asked, “How do you know whether a feeling you have is coming from your Ego, or from a deeper source?” His response:
“Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell. One criterion you can use is to know, if there is any negativity involved, anger, resentment, irritation, then Ego is present there. If there is no negativity but there is an underlying field of peace, then it arises from a deeper place that is not the Ego.”
When we view the world in competition and judgment and others as less than, often our Ego is driving our behavior and our thoughts. This means the Ego is fulfilling its need to be right, self-important and drives us away from our true nature as loving beings.
“Negativity is the key,” explains Tolle. “Knowing whether or not that is present in you. You need to be present to know whether it’s there or not.  If you are identified with negativity, then you won’t even know that there is negativity. To the Ego, a negative feeling is something good. The Ego loves to be angry.  It strengthens itself with that.”
Sigmond Freud (1923), known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, coined the terms id, ego and superego, the three parts of his psychoanalytic personality theory stating that they work together in creating human behavior. According to the Freud terminology, the id is irrational and creates demands, the ego adds the needs of reality in meeting the demands of the id, and the superego adds morality to the action which is taken. The superego can punish the ego with feelings of guilt. These concepts do not contradict the current views on the human personality and ego based vs. cosmic consciousness.

Overcoming Ego using Meditation in the Mainstream

The rise in great spiritual leaders of this decade who have inspired millions in a non-religious pursuit of spiritual fulfillment has increased the wide spread use of meditation practices in the West. Respected authors such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Eckert Tolle, and Deepak Chopra have transcended religious doctrines with a new message of finding joy and purpose by identifying with the soul self. When asked about ego, Dr. Wayne Dyer says:
“No one has ever seen the face of ego. It is like a ghost that we accept as a controlling influence in our lives. I look upon the ego as nothing more than an idea that each of us has about ourselves. The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self and is a backwards way of assessing and living life.”
Losing the identity to ego-self transcends religious beliefs and acknowledges that the internal spirit of an individual’s higher self is the connection to God consciousness, uplifting the soul in peace and unity of both ourselves and others. Dr. Susan Dillbeck, president of the International Foundation of Consciousness-Based Education, says that meditation is very important and encourages everyone to practice it often.
“When we meditate, we begin to feel the touch of our spirit we sense our vibration increasing in an internal, eternal, melding of self with our soul. A quiet mind hears the voice of the angels more easily. The more you relax your mind, the easier it is for you to hear the answer. Open our heart and mind, this abundant love has no boundaries.” – Dr. Susan Dillbeck
Using daily meditation, results from brain scans now reveal an increase in gray-matter density in areas of the brain associated with memory, self-awareness, compassion and introspection, and a decrease in density of gray matter in areas associated with stress and anxiety.
As society reaches new levels of awareness, seeking solutions to overcoming the limiting beliefs placed on us by ego-based thinking, meditation is becoming more popular amongst mainstream thought leaders in science, psychology and religion. Knowing that we control our thoughts and that we are not our minds, but in reality we are our spiritual essence or soul, science and spirituality continue to help society grasp a more advanced knowledge of the science of the mind.
Read the first 2 articles of 3-part series: 
About the Author
Deborah West worked in corporate public relations and media for over 20 years and is currently a freelancer, reporting on a wide variety of topics including disclosure, ancient and multidimensional civilizations, the the shift in humanity’s consciousness and brings truthful reporting to topics ranging from healthcare to energy. She writes a column called Lost Knowledge at The New Era Times and has a weekly radio show called Lost Knowledge on Tuesdays 3-5pm CST. To see her articles go to:
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

5 Foods That Are As Addictive As Cocaine

Just looking at a photo of a stack of cookies or freshly baked bread can make your mouth water. Research says simply seeing tempting food releases the chemical dopamine in the brain. The neurotransmitter, often referred to as the “happy hormone,” helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. When you indulge, dopamine levels spike, causing you to crave more, and more. Next you thing you know, that box of Oreos is empty.
The problem is exacerbated because over-indulgence in foods high in fat, sugar and salt begins to shift your brain’s hedonic set point. Let’s take a look at our ancestors’ eating habits for reference. Sugar was a treat found in fruit and honey. Salt was eaten in foods that naturally contain sodium. Fat was consumed in hunted meat or foraged nuts. Food was earned; it was sustenance; and it brought happiness, too.
Today these simple foods can seem less desirable, overshadowed by processed desserts and snacks that actually cause symptoms of addiction equal to that produced by drugs like morphine and cocaine. When we overeat foods like ice cream on a regular basis, foods that used to trigger reward signals in the brain no longer activate.
Women, especially, are at high risk of addiction. “Women tend to restrict and then binge,” Ashley Gearhardt, PhD, assistant professor in the psychology department at the University of Michigan, told Prevention. “That seems to sensitize the brain’s developing an addictive process and for you to have a psychologically unhealthy relationship with the substance.” Gearhardt is a co-creator of Yale University’s Food Addiction Scale, which places many of today’s processed foods in the same category as drugs of abuse.
Beware the foods of a dangerous trifecta: fat, sugar and salt. Take a March 2010 study of rats, for example. Given unlimited access to unhealthy foods like candy and fast food, they began compulsively eating—even when they were given an electric shock to their feet after they exceeded their daily quota.
Indian Country Today Media Network rounds up the most addictive foods that should only be consumed in moderation—but is moderation even possible?

5. Bread and Pasta

Brain imaging reveals that after eating highly processed carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, rice, baked goods and other starches, the same pleasure centers of the brain light up as when a person takes drugs such as cocaine and heroin,The New York Times reports. In both cases, dopamine levels, which trigger happiness and feelings of reward, spike and then deplete, thus fueling addiction.
When a strong pasta craving kicks in, try a healthy substitute, like high-quality spelt pasta, cookedal denteto lower its glycemic content, suggests Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in his cookbook True Food.

4. Salty Snacks

A team of Duke University Medical Center and Australian scientists has found that addictive drugs affect the same nerve cells in the brain as salt. Both cocaine and salt create a strong reward sensation, which can be linked to behavioral conditioning. That feeling makes us want to repeat what led to the dopamine release, reported
Over-ingesting of salt causes the kidneys to dump the excess sodium through the urine. But when the kidneys fail to keep up, the excess salt is stored in the cells. For chronic salt abusers, kidneys may never catch up, resulting in potassium deficiency, water retention, high blood pressure and even congestive heart failure, Prevention reported.
“Having a diet high in salt makes you more prone to having high blood pressure,” which is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, Jean Charles-Azure, Lummi, a registered dietician and public health nutritionist at the Indian Health Service’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., told Indian Country Today Media Network.
Reducing sodium intake can prove challenging. Oftentimes people do not realize how much sodium certain foods contain. “People can choose how much salt to add to their food at the table. They can’t take it out once it’s there,” Frieden said.
Health officials say most Americans consume excess salt primarily from processed and restaurant foods—not from the salt shaker. “It’s possible to eat a whole bunch of sodium without it seeming salty,” John Hayes, an assistant professor of food science at Penn State, who was not involved in the report, told the AP.
While a person should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day—roughly a teaspoon of salt—the average sodium consumption in the U.S. is around 3,300 milligrams, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. Those with high blood pressure or other health conditions should eat even less. Nine out of 10 Americans surpass the teaspoon guideline, states the highlights from the report.
As a substitute to salty crackers, try baking homemade kale chips with a touch of sea salt, Prevention magazine suggests.

3. Fatty Foods

Not surprisingly, when lab rats are given access to fatty foods, they gorge themselves until they become obese. But the wiring in their brains also changes. These rats eventually develop a tolerance to the pleasure the fatty foods provide, and thus have to consume more to experience a high.
Our ancestors enjoyed fatty meat, but today we fry our wings, we braise our pork rinds in sugar and oil. And to top it off, some restaurants offer these foods all-you-can-eat.
“Humans used to have to search for food,” says Baylor College of Medicine researcher Dr. Ken Goodrick. “Now food searches us out.”

2. Chocolate

The cacao plant is thought to have originated in the Amazon about 300 B.C. Mayan culture called it “xocoatl,” or “god’s food,” for it symbolized life and fertility, and many of their carvings depicted cocoa pods. The Mayan enjoyed beverages of cacao beans crushed and mixed with liquid.
Similarly, the Aztecs believed their god, Quetzalcoatl, brought the cacao plant to them. They used spices, chili peppers and corn meal as sweeteners.
Researchers have also linked ancient chocolate consumption with traditional dishes eaten today such as mole, a chocolate-based sauce made with chili peppers and served with meat.
Our ancestors’ enjoyed cocoa in its natural state. Today, we are a nation of “chocoholics,” because we pack it with sugar and fat that provokes serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is related to emotions, social behavior and even sexual desire. A 1997 study published in theInternational Journal of Psychophysiologyfound that self-identified chocoholics experienced physical, behavioral, and emotional responses to chocolate that mirrored those of drug addicts.
Don’t be fooled into thinking dark chocolate is healthy—unless you’re consuming the no-sugar-added kind, or pure cocoa. Nearly all commercially sold chocolate is loaded with oil, fat, milk solids and sugar.

1. Sugar—and Particularly Oreos, according to a recent study

According to a recent study by students at Connecticut College, rats undergo higher trips on Oreo filling than on cocaine or morphine.
Researchers measured the reactions in the rats’ brains and found that “Oreos activated significantly more neurons” than cocaine.
“This correlated well with our behavioral results and lends support to the hypothesis that high-fat/high-sugar foods are addictive,” Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of psychology at Connecticut College, said.
Sugar addiction is already hard-wired into humans.  Humans are capable of producing small amounts of morphine in our bodies, released through breast milk, believed to help a baby bond with its mother. Breast milk is already sweet, so babies associate sugar with nurture and satisfaction.
“We are biologically wired to crave these foods and eat as much of them as possible,” says Dr. Mark Hyman.
The problem is, now sugar is available in higher quantities and nearly everywhere we turn.
When we over-indulge in sugar, it enters the bloodstream, which then causes the pancreas to release insulin, which then converts this sugar into energy, or a “sugar high.” Increases in insulin lead to fat storage, so we become obese.
A Princeton University study that measured the effects of sugar withdrawal in rats noted the rodents showed symptoms of anxiety as well as chattering teeth and the shakes.
**This article is a feature of Indian Country News**

Don't Think The Radiation From Fukushima Is Affecting The US? Here's 28 Reasons You're Wrong

Michael Snyder, Guest
The map below comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center. It shows that radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated. As you will notice, this is particularly true along the west coast of the United States. Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. That means that the total amount of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.
Ultimately, all of this nuclear radiation will outlive all of us by a very wide margin. They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation. We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse. The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…

1. Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores
Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in nine polar bears in recent weeks is widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.
The bears were among 33 spotted near Barrow, Alaska, during routine survey work along the Arctic coastline. Tests showed they had “alopecia, or loss of fur, and other skin lesions,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.
2. There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline…
At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.   It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.”
3. Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low.  Many are blaming Fukushima.
4. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.
5. A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that is approximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.
6. It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.
7. Experts have found very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.
8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

9. Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
• 73 percent of mackerel tested
• 91 percent of the halibut
• 92 percent of the sardines
• 93 percent of the tuna and eel
• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies
• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish
10. Canadian authorities are finding extremely high levels of nuclear radiation in certain fish samples…
Some fish samples tested to date have had very high levels of radiation: one sea bass sample collected in July, for example, had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium. 
11. Some experts believe that we could see very high levels of cancer along the west coast just from people eating contaminated fish
“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz, told Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”
12. BBC News recently reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are “18 times higher” than previously believed.
13. An EU-funded study concluded that Fukushima released up to 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere.
14. Atmospheric radiation from Fukushima reached the west coast of the United States within a few days back in 2011.
15. At this point, 300 tons of contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.
16. A senior researcher of marine chemistry at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute says that “30 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and 30 billion becquerels of radioactive strontium” are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

17. According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began.
18. According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day.
19. It has been estimated that up to 100 times as much nuclear radiation has been released into the ocean from Fukushima than was released during the entire Chernobyl disaster.
20. One recent study concluded that a very large plume of cesium-137 from the Fukushima disaster will start flowing into U.S. coastal waters early next year
Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.
21. It is being projected that significant levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.
22. It is being projected that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago.
23. The immense amounts of nuclear radiation getting into the water in the Pacific Ocean has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning
Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.
24. The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly coming from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living the the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time.  Just consider what Harvey Wasserman had to say about this…
Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.
Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.
25. According to a recent Planet Infowars report, the California coastline is being transformed into “a dead zone”…
The California coastline is becoming like a dead zone.
If you haven’t been to a California beach lately, you probably don’t know that the rocks are unnaturally CLEAN – there’s hardly any kelp, barnacles, sea urchins, etc. anymore and the tide pools are similarly eerily devoid of crabs, snails and other scurrying signs of life… and especially as compared to 10 – 15 years ago when one was wise to wear tennis shoes on a trip to the beach in order to avoid cutting one’s feet on all the STUFF of life – broken shells, bones, glass, driftwood, etc.
There are also days when I am hard-pressed to find even a half dozen seagulls and/or terns on the county beach.
You can still find a few gulls trolling the picnic areas and some of the restaurants (with outdoor seating areas) for food, of course, but, when I think back to 10 – 15 years ago, the skies and ALL the beaches were literally filled with seagulls and the haunting sound of their cries both day and night…
NOW it’s unnaturally quiet.
26. A study conducted last year came to the conclusion that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster could negatively affect human life along the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska “for decades”.
27. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete.
28. Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened “for thousands of years“…
Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.
Are you starting to understand why so many people are so deeply concerned about what is going on at Fukushima?
For much more on all of this, please check out the video posted below

About the Author
Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on
**This article was featured at Activist Post**

Trained for Violence: How Video Games Affect the Brain

Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times
The brain is a very adaptable organ. It has the cognitive ability to adapt to stress, whether real or imagined, but do violent video games and movies actually help us to adapt to a sadistic world, or help to create one?
Gamers and researchers have been on both sides of this argument, but with all the advances in brain imaging and the new studies in neuroplasticity, it seems hard to deny that old axiom that what goes in must come out. Part of the problem is that our brains are so adaptable, and a relatively new study coming out of the University of Missouri (U of M) shows that violent video games appear to make people more aggressive and desensitized to the violence that we see in our every day world. While this finding seems obvious, it is still relatively groundbreaking in science to understand that the relationship between our mind and our subjective experience actually has physical effects on our body and brain, effects that are dramatic and can even be enduring.
The Mind is Everything. What You Think You Become. – Buddha
If you’ve ever played ‘Halo,’ (which consequently raked in over $300 million in sales in the first two weeks of its release), ‘Call of Duty,’ or ‘Grand Theft Auto’ the last of which you can actually slap a grandmother and steal her purse, then you have likely desensitized your brain to real life acts of aggression and violence. The longer you sit before violent images and the more frequently you play, apparently the more desensitized you get. With findings like these, it is no wonder that young adults growing up in a world of progressive violence and disregard for their peers and community seems like just another average day.
According to the U of M study, even people who don’t normally play video games were still affected by playing violent games.
Part of the reason these findings may have merit is due to the way that empathy and compassion normally develop in a human being. We already know that those who have experienced violence or abuse in their childhoods are much more likely to perpetuate it on others as they become adults themselves. Sex offenders, for example, have a glaringly high incident rate of having lived thorough sexual misconduct themselves, even though not all offenders were molested themselves. In this example, a child does not learnt to develop empathy for another’s well-being, as is normally the case in someone’s developmental progress, which was not impeded by such an atrocity in their most important years. A loss of innocence is truly a sad thing, since empathy is a “potential psychological motivator for helping others in distress” as pointed out by a psychologists who conducted a study at the University of Miami. The authors go on to explain:
“Early theorists suggested that young children were too egocentric or otherwise not cognitively able to experience empathy (Freud 1958; Piaget 1965). However, a multitude of studies have proven that very young children are, in fact, capable of displaying a variety of rather sophisticated empathy related behaviors. (Zahn-Waxler et al.1979; Zahn-Waxler et al. 1992a; Zahn-Waxler et al.). . .One typical way of measuring empathy and its precursors in young children is to examine their response to another’s distress.”
While video games may teach our children to have better hand-eye coordination, or even improve their detail-oriented vision, they certainly don’t teach many valuable lessons, especially not the most popular games played by children and young adults today. 90% of children play video games today, and even though the average age of a gamer is 33, they still are affecting the collective brain of society. After one month’s release of ‘Black Ops’, it had been played for 600 million hours worldwide. In half as many hours the planet could be trilingual. Where are the video games about meeting moral challenges, learning a new language, planting fields of healthy food with age-old organic methods, or even teaching the brain how to transcend itself with meditative calm?
In 2013 ‘Grand Theft Auto’ was named a top seller. In it people run around a corrupt city stealing cars and conducting heists. Another popular game is called ‘The Last of Us’ and in this video game, infected human beings following a pandemic which takes place on the planet earth, run around killing each and harming one another for food.
It is clear that video games are here to stay. They are far too popular to eradicate completely, but since the video games being churned out by most companies these days tend to nullify our natural orientation towards compassion, lessen our sympathetic response to our fellow human beings, and reduce or ability to reduce conflict or respond positively to violence which already exists in the world, why don’t we harness the power of this medium and utilize it for good, instead of perpetuating vicious acts and cruel intentions?

We could teach a whole new generation how to do higher sciences and math, come up with alternative forms of sustainable energy, plan new societies that benefit everyone involved, much like Buckminster Fuller did, or even learn to speak a dying language that holds secrets to healing cancerdiabetes and heart disease. Most importantly, we could teach a generation to not see war, crime and violence as ‘normal.’ We know that our brains do respond to the networks we create with repeated use of a specific cognitive pathway, or as Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb put it, neurons that fire together wire together. It’s time to create some different neuronal pathways than those provided by modern violent video game entertainment.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao TzuParamahansa YoganandaRob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact. 

The Awakening Soul

More and more terrific folks are stepping out and making serious conscious-driven life changes and it’s absolutely thrilling. When we’re led by our hearts it can’t go wrong. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be trials, tests and obstacles.
We all have them.
But acting in response to the awakening is a different batch of challenges compared to the trials of those attempting to just exist or get ahead in our matricized world. Any conscious and aware lifestyle change to whatever degree is upstream in relation to the predominant down river current carrying those embroiled in the system. As a result we meet with criticism, cynicism, anger, a sense of betrayal from friends and loved ones, ridicule, financial challenges and other complications stirred up by those resentful of our freedom.
It’s not an easy road.
Most of us have experienced those challenges and setbacks to varying degrees our whole lives. I’ve had several major paradigm shifts and complete turnabouts in my life leading up to where I am now, as have so many. There were always wild, unexpected and difficult to deal with elements that were often either extremely traumatic, or just plain took me by surprise, several appearing as if I was hitting a wall…when I wasn’t.
The key is to keep moving. To keep moving you have to keep consciously responding, constantly dissolving elements you’re faced with one lie or easily solved situation at a time. If you do, the illusory world around you will crumble in significance as a new life of personal majesty is born.

Birthing the Apocalypse – We’re in Transition

Transitioning is a term used for going through the final stages of labor during the amazing act of giving birth. How appropriate. That idea is what triggered this post, and a response from one of the many wonderful folks who frequent my website. Many, like myself, are in serious transitions and learning profound life and consciousness lessons hand over fist.
The key is to be willing to let go of the shore. That’s where the seeming cost comes in, but in the grand scheme of things it’s infinitesimal, no matter what we let go of.
This is from Sand, inspired by a deep article penned by Ida:
My husband and I made a move to provide a refuge for family if needed. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but are now discovering that was an understatement. During this adventure, I’m finding the need to call back to what Grandma S. taught me waaaayyyyy back when. The many lessons from Grandma are helping to get through some of the hard days. Just this past Sunday, while harvesting black walnuts, I had the nagging thought that our steps to “simplify” our life were not working out so well. I’ve been questioning whether it was the right thing to do.
As I picked up the nuts, that little voice kept saying, “It’s too hard. I can’t keep up with all the work that needs to be done. I’ve made a huge mistake. I’ve made our lives harder – not easier. Harvesting food, preserving food, cutting firewood, building the woodshed – it’s too much to handle.”
And then a memory popped into my head. I was maybe 8 years old, and Grandma and I were collecting black walnuts in the backyard. As we gathered, she would tell me the steps to getting to the delicious nutmeat. It seemed like such a difficult process and I told her so. She said, “if you don’t think about and just do it, it’s not so hard.” Hmmmm! Ok. That was a good clue, Grandma. Thanks.
Never realized before, but Grandma S. is so zen. So, I guess I’ll keep going for now – get out of my head and just do it.

Those are brave folks who’ve taken the Truth to heart and acted upon it, despite all the unknowns in front of them. There are many like them. Look how it’s stirred them to new depths as well as heights, both of which are wonderful teachers in life. We each need to do the same however we’re called.
I have many other dear friends and acquaintances who are building gardens, preparing their families physically and spiritually, participating in local information campaigns and directly exposing the agenda, developing alternative methodologies such as reiki or other healing and other empowerment techniques, empowering others, uprooting and even selling their homes in order to move somewhere safer, or just tuning in mightily to the shift we’re undergoing and passing it on in any way they can via writing, speaking, music and many very creative multi-media formats.
Therein lies the revolution of spirit and humankind. Rejecting the matrix of deception and self-serving ego and stepping into a life led and empowered by the Creative Force, whatever the cost.
After all, it costs a lot more not to. It’s really a no-brainer.

We Are the Revelation Unfolding

Activism? Everything we do and share matters in more profound ways than we can imagine, especially in light of trying to change a decaying and obsolete system. Our every thought, deed and intention matter immensely. Our neighbors and friends realize we’ve activated when we step out. Your family will know you mean business and aren’t just blowing smoke about your “crazy” ideas and convictions. A lot of wonderful dynamics get initiated. It reverberates through many dimensional levels because of and beyond all those influences.
That’s the revelation.
It’s the revelation of you, it’s the revelation of me. It’s the personal conscious release of the wellspring of infinite love, awareness and conscious creative power. As we each wake up and manifest the very real infinite world of loving inter-connectivity and unlimited spiritual resources, the new world we long for is being born.
Trying to patch up or redesign the existing structure in the face of this gargantuan awakening is like trying to put out the sun with a garden hose. Yet they try.

The Point – Universal Birthing Is Everything

We’re up against very serious forces that seem to “out man” us. They don’t. We just need to awaken our own innate spiritual nature and raise our conscious awareness to deal with them at the most effective level. What appears impressive that they’ve showcased, and has apparently taken our covert scientific community by storm, is none other than matter manipulation by mind and technology.
Oh, how the greedy reptilian left brain mind craves for this type of shallow technology–just as it was programmed to do. How convenient.
Fact is we all have these innate superior consciousness capabilities, no matter how technologically advanced this ugly onslaught against humanity appears. However, we conscious humans wouldn’t think of using such magnificent power and energy in such ways as those manipulative controllers. Yes, we would rather heal the planet and everything on it. Instead of clamoring for power we’d feed the world, dissolve any wars, and cultivate a planet of love, plenty, empowerment and discovery here and far beyond.
Is that why they hate us so? Is our very loving existence the bane of theirs?
It would appear so. We’re certainly diametrically opposed.
Approach life consciously – but dive in wholeheartedly and do your part.
The Apocalypse is here – and it’s you and me.
That’s the true Revelation.
It’s that simple.
Love always,  Zen

After a Barrage of Pills Fail, Cannabis Relieves Man's Unbearable Pain

Marco Torres, Prevent Disease
Waking Times
A man with excruciating pains following multiple traumas was monitored, daily, over one year while managing chronic pain by self-administering quantifiable amounts of natural cannabis. Tetrahydro-cannabinol, Cannabidiol, and Cannabinol were all measured in tinctures, capsules, smoke-able product plus some baked goods, prior to their administration. By allowing standardization, the man was able to develop a daily regimen of pain management that was resistant to a battery of most patented analgesics.
More than 100 million people in the United States suffer from debilitating chronic pain. Pain resulting from a severe on-the-job injury is a frustrating experience both for the patient as well as the treating health practitioners and physicians. If pursuing conventional medical care, it leads to chronic dependence on opiate painkillers and anti-depressants which eventually cause toxicity of the brain and metabolic function. However the relief of pain may be less desired if quality of life of such individuals is poor. The physician and the patients are left with no option but to resort to alternative modes of therapy.
Cannabis has been documented to be one of such measures, especially in advanced cases of cancer. It holds an enormous potential as medicines derived from cannabis plant exhibit a phenomenon termed strain specific symptom relief. It has been documented to be of proven value in arthritis and multiple sclerosis; however few controlled clinical trials for its use in chronic intolerable pain have been reported.
Some studies have examined the effect of adding a cannabinoid to the regimen of patients with chronic pain who report significant pain despite taking stable doses of potent opioids.
An investigational cannabinoid therapy helped provide effective analgesia when used as an adjuvant medication for cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids, according to results of a multicenter trial reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.
When patients begin to consume cannabis, there is a notable decline in the amount of prescribed medications taken, such as antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and pain relievers. These drugs have severe side effects. There is not one clinical study which examined the use of cannabis for pain relief where subjects were not able to reduce their drug intake.
U.S. Patent 6630507 was initiated in 2003 when researchers found that cannabinoids, high ratios which are found in marijuana, had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.
Study Details
The person involved in this study was a member of the Green Cross Society of British Columbia, which has Federal tax number to distribute cannabis for medical purposes. The Society provides natural product (cannabis, herbal medicine) to its qualified members.
The volunteer, a 33 year old Caucasian male, volunteer was selected from the membership based on his record keeping ability, the severity of his injury, plus his daily presence at the Society, allowing continuous monitoring. The man kept detailed notes of his condition, including pain charts, medications and dietary habits, allowing comparison by study observers. The individuals note taking allowed an in depth review of his condition. The case described here is strikingly similar to four others of its type, run over the same year, with comparable observations and outcome.
The cannabis supplied by the Societys contracted growers was optimized for THC concentration through genetic selection of specific strains, growing conditions and fertilizers. Organic growing conditions were a priority.

For 15 months the man was monitored for all forms of cannabis use. They accumulated data on the amount of smoke-able, encapsulated, edible and tincture preparations consumed by the man on a daily basis. His prescription record, physicians notes, urine (drug) tests, plus daily interviews were maintained and examined. Daily cannabis use totaling 10 g of natural product cannabis, translating to an average of 420-500 mg of THC, 40-80 mg of CBD and 20-60 mg CBN, was required to achieve a sufficient degree of pain management.
Significant reductions in daily pain scores as well as improved sleep, muscle spasm and general quality of life were achieved. The patient was able to get back to the daily activities, do some part time volunteer work, go to the gym, and lead what resembles a normal life.
He consumed 10-15 g of cannabis per day. He also found benefit in a number of supplements: for chronic pain and depression, including,GABA (500 mg), L- Tyrosine (500 mg), L-Tryptophan (550 mg), DL- Phenylalanine (500 mg) and S-adenosyl methionine (liquid) 40 drops a day. For the breakthrough pain he used cannabis tincture at 10 mg THC/drop; 2 mg CBD/drop: 15-25 drops (as needed), which relieved intense pain, in a couple of seconds. He also used Volcano (vaporizer), 2-4 g a day. A medical examination showed all liver functions to be normal, including clearance of the hypercholesterolemia.

There Is No Longer Doubt That Cannabis Addressed Pain Relief
The analgesic properties of cannabis are becoming well established in the literature. The purpose of this case study was to observe the efficacy and usefulness of the standardized whole plant cannabis medicine. Indeed, the complexities of elucidating the efficacy of such preparations is a difficult task, yet the benefits of the natural product far outweigh the contrary in consideration of toxicity, efficacy and side-effects. With regard to the latter, more frequently unwanted side effects from cannabis result from overdose than any other parameter. And, most frequently, this overdose results from oral ingestion of un-standardized baked goods (i.e. brownies).
Overdose results in confusion, paranoia and fear that subsides after four to six hours, often into sleep. In no case, has it been observed to cause permanent physical or mental damage, but can often leave the individual with extreme caution to repeating the event. The second most frequently observed un-wanted side effects arise from incorrect strain selection for the symptom.
For example, a person seeking pain relief and also suffering from anxiety, chooses a strain containing high concentrations of CBN, with little comparative CBD and low THC, may experience increased anxiety, with little or no pain relief. Another important observation is that there is a genealogical factor in tolerance experienced by individuals of different ethnic backgrounds. Persons of Celtic descent (Scottish, Irish or Welsh) appear to be 3 to 5 times more tolerant to cannabis than persons of middle European or African descent. The person described in this study had a Scottish mother, which may explain the high THC levels required by him, but not by persons in similar studies but of different ethnic background.
Proven Results With Cannabis
With 70% of the members treating chronic pain the same phenomenon is observed over and over that people achieve a significant degree of pain management using standardized natural product cannabis. Often a better quality of life is attained with cannabis use only. The subject in this study was nearly one year using only natural product cannabis plus supplements for his severe pain. He then went through yet another two surgeries to back and hand using only cannabis for postoperative pain.
About the Author
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.