June 19, 2016 – Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Garrett Riegg, J.D.
Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Happy Father’s Day! I found recently that I am a father figure at a fraternity I advise at Sonoma State. It was very important to a young man there. His father was absent from his life, and he had no brothers or sisters. He told me recently about his wonderful girl friend and the great job he had as a camera man with the Forty Niners. He was so excited. Over break, though, he was binge drinking and took some pills. I got a call that he was found face down on the floor outside his room, dead.

It is believed that over 50% of students engage in this dangerous behavior. We do know more people are now dying from illegal and legal use of anti-depressants and opioids than from handguns or auto accidents. Among white middle-class women, up to 40% are using 1 or more anti-depressants. Medicine didn’t believe how dangerous these drugs are.

The answer to depression is not drugs. After researching thousands of studies, it has been determined that there are 8 ways to calm the brain.

From the last to the first:

8) Smile. Mean it or not, it releases endorphins. And little things count. It has been found that if a patient about to get a bad diagnosis were to give their doctor a small bag of jelly beans before the diagnosis, the doctor is 20% more accurate!

7) Think. Chess can reverse some dementia. Games and puzzles improve mental ability in the short run, but for the long run the mind needs big intellectual ideas and challenges, like philosophy, metaphysics, or world peace.

6) Relax. Relaxing your muscles and breathing deeply is good for the brain, as is playing relaxing music or repetitive activity like knitting or using rosary beads.

5) Yawn! It also relaxes the muscles in the neck and causes you to breathe deeply. Students who yawned 5 times before a test consistently made higher scores. 5 yawns, too, are as good as a cup of coffee.

4) Meditating. It’s a treat for the brain. MRIs show significant differences between monks and regular people. And they show negative emotions kill brain cells, while positive emotions grow brain cells.

3) Aerobic exercise is definitely good because it brings more oxygen to the brain.

2) Dialogue. Talking, especially talking about big concepts like God or evolution.

1) Faith. The most important. Not necessarily faith in God, but focusing on affirming, positive beliefs, like faith in humanity or the individual’s faith that he or she can overcome. Optimists have better health overall; pessimists die earlier.

I was lucky as a college student to not only have a good father, but over summer vacations I also had a good father figure in my boss at Beacon Moving in Oakland. He was African American, and this was 1963, before the Civil Rights movement had accomplished anything. But Bill had faith. His work was of the highest quality. He was the first black driver for Beacon in Oakland. He had zero customer complaints filed when the average was 20 to 30 a year. He was elected to union shop steward at Beacon, even when the union still didn’t want to integrate! I found out Bill had pulled himself out of poverty and alcoholism, gotten married, and at 50 started a family by adopting a little girl. They adopted 2 more girls, and all were good students. I know at least the oldest went to college. Bill had never even graduated high school! I so appreciate the fathers I had!

June 19, 2016 – Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Garrett Riegg, J.D.
Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Happy Father’s Day! I found recently that I am a father figure at a fraternity I advise at Sonoma State. It was very important to a young man there. His father was absent from his life, and he had no brothers or sisters. He told me recently about his wonderful girl friend and the great job he had as a camera man with the Forty Niners. He was so excited. Over break, though, he was binge drinking and took some pills. I got a call that he was found face down on the floor outside his room, dead.

It is believed that over 50% of students engage in this dangerous behavior. We do know more people are now dying from illegal and legal use of anti-depressants and opioids than from handguns or auto accidents. Among white middle-class women, up to 40% are using 1 or more anti-depressants. Medicine didn’t believe how dangerous these drugs are.

The answer to depression is not drugs. After researching thousands of studies, it has been determined that there are 8 ways to calm the brain.

From the last to the first:

8) Smile. Mean it or not, it releases endorphins. And little things count. It has been found that if a patient about to get a bad diagnosis were to give their doctor a small bag of jelly beans before the diagnosis, the doctor is 20% more accurate!

7) Think. Chess can reverse some dementia. Games and puzzles improve mental ability in the short run, but for the long run the mind needs big intellectual ideas and challenges, like philosophy, metaphysics, or world peace.

6) Relax. Relaxing your muscles and breathing deeply is good for the brain, as is playing relaxing music or repetitive activity like knitting or using rosary beads.

5) Yawn! It also relaxes the muscles in the neck and causes you to breathe deeply. Students who yawned 5 times before a test consistently made higher scores. 5 yawns, too, are as good as a cup of coffee.

4) Meditating. It’s a treat for the brain. MRIs show significant differences between monks and regular people. And they show negative emotions kill brain cells, while positive emotions grow brain cells.

3) Aerobic exercise is definitely good because it brings more oxygen to the brain.

2) Dialogue. Talking, especially talking about big concepts like God or evolution.

1) Faith. The most important. Not necessarily faith in God, but focusing on affirming, positive beliefs, like faith in humanity or the individual’s faith that he or she can overcome. Optimists have better health overall; pessimists die earlier.

I was lucky as a college student to not only have a good father, but over summer vacations I also had a good father figure in my boss at Beacon Moving in Oakland. He was African American, and this was 1963, before the Civil Rights movement had accomplished anything. But Bill had faith. His work was of the highest quality. He was the first black driver for Beacon in Oakland. He had zero customer complaints filed when the average was 20 to 30 a year. He was elected to union shop steward at Beacon, even when the union still didn’t want to integrate! I found out Bill had pulled himself out of poverty and alcoholism, gotten married, and at 50 started a family by adopting a little girl. They adopted 2 more girls, and all were good students. I know at least the oldest went to college. Bill had never even graduated high school! I so appreciate the fathers I had!

Play

May 15, 2016 – Science of the Heart

Dr. Rollin McCraty
“Science of the Heart”

Our research at the HeartMath Institute has found there is intuition of the head and of the heart, but that of the heart is by far the strongest. It responds first and then messages the brain which then leads to the body’s response, like the hair rising on the back of the neck, for example. It appears the heart has access to a field of information outside of time and space. That’s the terminology I used in publishing this information for my scientific peers. At the Institute of HeartMath we call it our large. But between us, if it’s something else outside of time and space, it is what you call the higher self, spiritual self, Spirit, soul, God. In the scientific exploration of the heart we have found awareness we are spiritual beings as well as physical.

We now know that we are connected in a way that is not just metaphorical. In exploring this capacity, we find we all have an ability to transfer information among us. There is electromagnetic energy which transmits information very much like your cell phone. The heart opens us to this and the heart deepens our capacity for it. It is the major player in this bio-electric field.

I’m told several people facing major challenges right here in your congregation have said they feel the prayers said for their healing. This is more than an intuitive connection. When we send intentions of healing and health to another, depending on our vibrational pitch, and the more we are attuned, the more powerfully the intention travels from the higher self through the heart. It literally lifts our consciousness and we become more aligned and have more power to change things in our world globally.

In science we measure things, like the magnetic energy of the Earth. We have placed 8 magnetometers around the world. We have found resonant frequencies just like those in the heart. We have found that when these frequencies are higher, so too are those of people. We adults perform better. It’s just the opposite for the young. They tend to do more stupid things and get hurt more. So we are all truly connected! It is becoming clear; it is real; it is measurable.

We collected data on about 800 people showing we are sync’d up around the world. These people fell into 3 groups. Some were connected with certain resonant frequencies of the planet. A second group with other planet frequencies. The third group was not connected. They were disconnected. It’s not good. Their energy is incoherent.

We are close to proving we are affecting this energy globally. This will lift global consciousness! The carrier wave has been measured. Being together as a group, especially if you like or love each other, as you do here, amplifies the signal and helps feed the global field. You are feeding the field constantly. So the question then is, “What are you feeding the field?” How much today was love and compassion, and how much was frustration and anger? What is your ratio?

Play

May 15, 2016 – Science of the Heart

Dr. Rollin McCraty
“Science Of The Heart”

Our research at the HeartMath Institute has found there is intuition of the head and of the heart, but that of the heart is by far the strongest. It responds first and then messages the brain which then leads to the body’s response, like the hair rising on the back of the neck, for example. It appears the heart has access to a field of information outside of time and space. That’s the terminology I used in publishing this information for my scientific peers. At the Institute of HeartMath we call it our large. But between us, if it’s something else outside of time and space, it is what you call the higher self, spiritual self, Spirit, soul, God. In the scientific exploration of the heart we have found awareness we are spiritual beings as well as physical.

We now know that we are connected in a way that is not just metaphorical. In exploring this capacity, we find we all have an ability to transfer information among us. There is electromagnetic energy which transmits information very much like your cell phone. The heart opens us to this and the heart deepens our capacity for it. It is the major player in this bio-electric field.

I’m told several people facing major challenges right here in your congregation have said they feel the prayers said for their healing. This is more than an intuitive connection. When we send intentions of healing and health to another, depending on our vibrational pitch, and the more we are attuned, the more powerfully the intention travels from the higher self through the heart. It literally lifts our consciousness and we become more aligned and have more power to change things in our world globally.

In science we measure things, like the magnetic energy of the Earth. We have placed 8 magnetometers around the world. We have found resonant frequencies just like those in the heart. We have found that when these frequencies are higher, so too are those of people. We adults perform better. It’s just the opposite for the young. They tend to do more stupid things and get hurt more. So we are all truly connected! It is becoming clear; it is real; it is measurable.

We collected data on about 800 people showing we are sync’d up around the world. These people fell into 3 groups. Some were connected with certain resonant frequencies of the planet. A second group with other planet frequencies. The third group was not connected. They were disconnected. It’s not good. Their energy is incoherent.

We are close to proving we are affecting this energy globally. This will lift global consciousness! The carrier wave has been measured. Being together as a group, especially if you like or love each other, as you do here, amplifies the signal and helps feed the global field. You are feeding the field constantly. So the question then is, “What are you feeding the field?” How much today was love and compassion, and how much was frustration and anger? What is your ratio?

March 6, 2016 – Be Here Now

Freddie Weber
Be Here Now

I wanted to be still so God can love me, to be still and relax and let God take over. But I can’t sit still! It’s hard to honor the still small voice in my mind! 60,000 thoughts or more a day on a loop: Where do I have to go today? What do I have to wear today? What about my hair today? Me, me, me, me, me! –and what’s for dinner?

Be here now? What is “be”? What is “here”? –with so many thoughts! What is “past”? What is “future”? –and what’s for dinner? What is God? Who am I? Who are you? So many voices, so many choices in my brain!

God loves us whether we’re still or not. I give it all to you God. I surrender. I will notice silence. No more thought. No more fear. For just a moment I was here. I understand now how to pray, nothing in my head, no thought today. I knew nothing of the silence or still small voice inside. Nothing will make you happy until you know that still small voice. I had no distance from my thoughts. I WAS my thoughts and lived my life according to my head.

So I learned to meditate. I meditated to get a Broadway show! But God didn’t care why. And something lifted. My day felt better. I got to watch stuff going on in my mind. I looked at the icky “I’m no good” stuff, at so many negative depressing things. After a while it became funny. I saw that I thought things like “people who wear glasses are smart, so I should stay away or they’d find out I was stupid.” I wanted to be enlightened, so I didn’t want any thoughts at all.

I studied with Eckhart Tolle. He loved the human of us. He said, “You’re going to have thoughts. Allow them. You don’t have to believe them or buy it. Allow.” So I began to notice without judging. Eckhart Tolle had said to just be aware. Don’t judge. Just allow—it is just a thought!

One day I was surprised to notice I did love! I cared! Something had opened up, like my heart. I felt such real compassion. I hadn’t even known it was possible. It was no longer about me, me. It was about the world! When you’re doing “your work” what comes up is the real you! When I asked God what was “my work” I heard “I don’t know.” It’s really a moment to moment thing. A smile, what you wear. Look into their eyes for just two seconds without judgment. Eckhart Tolle said God can come through and bless them. They don’t know and you don’t know what you did. God comes through. A real smile. Something so small done with your heart—that’s why you’re here today! My mom used to say, “Don’t just sit there, do something.” Now I say, “Don’t just do something, sit there!”

March 6, 2016 – Be Here Now

Freddie Weber
Be Here Now

I wanted to be still so God can love me, to be still and relax and let God take over. But I can’t sit still! It’s hard to honor the still small voice in my mind! 60,000 thoughts or more a day on a loop: Where do I have to go today? What do I have to wear today? What about my hair today? Me, me, me, me, me! –and what’s for dinner?

Be here now? What is “be”? What is “here”? –with so many thoughts! What is “past”? What is “future”? –and what’s for dinner? What is God? Who am I? Who are you? So many voices, so many choices in my brain!

God loves us whether we’re still or not. I give it all to you God. I surrender. I will notice silence. No more thought. No more fear. For just a moment I was here. I understand now how to pray, nothing in my head, no thought today. I knew nothing of the silence or still small voice inside. Nothing will make you happy until you know that still small voice. I had no distance from my thoughts. I WAS my thoughts and lived my life according to my head.

So I learned to meditate. I meditated to get a Broadway show! But God didn’t care why. And something lifted. My day felt better. I got to watch stuff going on in my mind. I looked at the icky “I’m no good” stuff, at so many negative depressing things. After a while it became funny. I saw that I thought things like “people who wear glasses are smart, so I should stay away or they’d find out I was stupid.” I wanted to be enlightened, so I didn’t want any thoughts at all.

I studied with Eckhart Tolle. He loved the human of us. He said, “You’re going to have thoughts. Allow them. You don’t have to believe them or buy it. Allow.” So I began to notice without judging. Eckhart Tolle had said to just be aware. Don’t judge. Just allow—it is just a thought!

One day I was surprised to notice I did love! I cared! Something had opened up, like my heart. I felt such real compassion. I hadn’t even known it was possible. It was no longer about me, me. It was about the world! When you’re doing “your work” what comes up is the real you! When I asked God what was “my work” I heard “I don’t know.” It’s really a moment to moment thing. A smile, what you wear. Look into their eyes for just two seconds without judgment. Eckhart Tolle said God can come through and bless them. They don’t know and you don’t know what you did. God comes through. A real smile. Something so small done with your heart—that’s why you’re here today! My mom used to say, “Don’t just sit there, do something.” Now I say, “Don’t just do something, sit there!”

Play

April 19, 2015 – Take A God Break

04/19/15 Rev. David McArthur
Take A God Break

There is tremendous spiritual energy flowing into the Earth in this time. Things keep speeding up and that brings up our “stuff”—things that don’t reflect the spiritual beings that we are. It’s now time to heal our relationships and insecurities and the unenlightened parts of us. We have the tools and know what to do, but things comes faster and faster. The spiritual truth about handling this is to slow down and let this transformative energy in.

Jesus met each of his challenges by a change of his consciousness and went through baptism to receive greater spiritual energy. Then rather than party and celebrate, he went alone into the desert for forty days to be in this consciousness. The story of his inner struggle there is told as an argument he had with the devil. Each of the 3 times in the story that the devil challenged his greater consciousness, Christ shifts to the consciousness of the divine. He took a God break and took hold of his new consciousness. So take a God break when you are challenged, when someone at work or in the family brings up your “stuff”.

Ejaz Naqvi, in his book A Look Inside the Koran and the Bible, says that by far, the most repeated passages are those that are the most compassionate, the most merciful, and that it’s not just that God is compassionate, but the God is compassion. When we are in the expression of mercy we are in the divine consciousness.

Taoism says to go from duality to the divine consciousness. “The Tao doesn’t take sides, it gives birth to both good and evil. The Master doesn’t take sides, she welcomes both saints and sinners.” [and] “The Tao is like a bellows…the more you use it, the more it produces; the more you talk of it, the less you understand. Hold on to the center.” Center in your heart; connect with the infinite.

So if you are talking of it (thinking), you are not there. This is how: empty your mind for 30 seconds. Did you still have thoughts? Well, that’s the way we are. But focus on the experience of what God is, on the presence of God—the feelings of compassion, love, and kindness. To really feel it, hug yourself! Breathe quiet compassion. When your stuff comes up, hug yourself. Feel the difference between the thinking and the feeling? It is more powerful to feel compassion than to think it. To be powerful and effective is to feel the power and presence of God. Take a God break. Hug yourself. Feel the compassion.

Breathe quiet compassion. 30 seconds will do it. That’s what we mean by slow down. Don’t be fixing things or figuring anything out then, but go slower. Everything you need is right there when your stuff comes up. Take a God break. Breathe quiet compassion. It’s a doorway to peace!

Play

April 19, 2015 – Take A God Break


04/19/15 Rev. David McArthur
Take A God Break

There is tremendous spiritual energy flowing into the Earth in this time. Things keep speeding up and that brings up our “stuff”—things that don’t reflect the spiritual beings that we are. It’s now time to heal our relationships and insecurities and the unenlightened parts of us. We have the tools and know what to do, but things comes faster and faster. The spiritual truth about handling this is to slow down and let this transformative energy in.

Jesus met each of his challenges by a change of his consciousness and went through baptism to receive greater spiritual energy. Then rather than party and celebrate, he went alone into the desert for forty days to be in this consciousness. The story of his inner struggle there is told as an argument he had with the devil. Each of the 3 times in the story that the devil challenged his greater consciousness, Christ shifts to the consciousness of the divine. He took a God break and took hold of his new consciousness. So take a God break when you are challenged, when someone at work or in the family brings up your “stuff”.

Ejaz Naqvi, in his book A Look Inside the Koran and the Bible, says that by far, the most repeated passages are those that are the most compassionate, the most merciful, and that it’s not just that God is compassionate, but the God is compassion. When we are in the expression of mercy we are in the divine consciousness.

Taoism says to go from duality to the divine consciousness. “The Tao doesn’t take sides, it gives birth to both good and evil. The Master doesn’t take sides, she welcomes both saints and sinners.” [and] “The Tao is like a bellows…the more you use it, the more it produces; the more you talk of it, the less you understand. Hold on to the center.” Center in your heart; connect with the infinite.

So if you are talking of it (thinking), you are not there. This is how: empty your mind for 30 seconds. Did you still have thoughts? Well, that’s the way we are. But focus on the experience of what God is, on the presence of God—the feelings of compassion, love, and kindness. To really feel it, hug yourself! Breathe quiet compassion. When your stuff comes up, hug yourself. Feel the difference between the thinking and the feeling? It is more powerful to feel compassion than to think it. To be powerful and effective is to feel the power and presence of God. Take a God break. Hug yourself. Feel the compassion.

Breathe quiet compassion. 30 seconds will do it. That’s what we mean by slow down. Don’t be fixing things or figuring anything out then, but go slower. Everything you need is right there when your stuff comes up. Take a God break. Breathe quiet compassion. It’s a doorway to peace!
 

August 10, 2014 – Weed Wackers


8/10/14 Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
Weed Wackers

The Parable of the Tares (Weeds), says to let the weeds grow along with the wheat until the wheat is ready for harvest. Then collect the weeds first and burn them before harvesting the wheat. Traditionally, it is understood as a lesson on good vs. evil. However, with the new Polarity thinking we get an even deeper meaning. Polarity thinking says that right/wrong, good/evil, light/dark, etc., are interdependent with each other. For example, Alaskans have their summer of constant daylight, but they need to create darkness for sleeping. You need right and left, up and down. Polarity thinking says this brings coherence.

Metaphysically, in the parable, the sower is the soul; the seeds are our thoughts or ideas (and they are real things). They are energy. The field is the world as it shows up in our reality (from our thoughts). The weeds choke off the new beliefs. The enemy is anything that comes in, like fear, doubt, feeling “less than”, or that we can never measure up. Just when we think we can grow into the new idea the enemy clicks in automatically. When we are new to learning spiritual truths the weeds crop up. But it is not good to get rid of them too soon because you could pull up the “wheat”, the new ideas, with them too.

Polarity thinking says it is no longer “you’re wrong and I’m right.” We’re both right and wrong, so what is best for our relationship, for our business, or for our community? How can we work together–the light and dark, opposing concepts–to create coherence? Can’t we discontinue bombing and the killing of whole neighborhoods just to be right? I’m right and you’re right–how can we go forward in love to bring peace for all? What can we do together to bring this new quantum leap in consciousness?

Concentrate on your wheat so that it grows strong. To do this and wack the weeds, use first, Prayer. Prayer is creating a relationship with God, our Source. Gratitude is powerful prayer, even having gratitude for our impairments, because we know something greater is there.

Secondly, use Meditation. That’s when God talks to us, and we can align ourselves with God’s guidance. Then there is Forgiveness. It is not so much letting somebody else off the hook for what they did, but letting ourselves off the hook for carrying that around 24/7. Forgiveness is your relief, your gift to you.

The HeartMath tools are the best way to bring coherence into your own life. And lastly there is Compassion. You can view Compassion, too, through Polarity thinking: the one that hurts others is also hurting, too.

As your spiritual evolution is occurring you discover who and whose you are. Don’t be so quick to pull up your weeds. As you get stronger the weeds get weaker and even merge with your “wheat”. Ask yourself, where is my abundance, my harvest? Where are my weeds? Look at them together. Be willing to have the weeds there but not let them choke off your harvest. They will diminish in time as your wheat grows stronger. Concentrate on your wheat.

Affirm, “I remember that I Am a Child of God and the Way is made clear for my Good to Manifest. I Am the Beloved of God!” Feel it. Feel the energy around you. “I Am the Beloved of God!” –And yes you are, my love!
 

August 10, 2014 – Weed Wackers

8/10/14 Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
Weed Wackers

The Parable of the Tares (Weeds), says to let the weeds grow along with the wheat until the wheat is ready for harvest. Then collect the weeds first and burn them before harvesting the wheat. Traditionally, it is understood as a lesson on good vs. evil. However, with the new Polarity thinking we get an even deeper meaning. Polarity thinking says that right/wrong, good/evil, light/dark, etc., are interdependent with each other. For example, Alaskans have their summer of constant daylight, but they need to create darkness for sleeping. You need right and left, up and down. Polarity thinking says this brings coherence.

Metaphysically, in the parable, the sower is the soul; the seeds are our thoughts or ideas (and they are real things). They are energy. The field is the world as it shows up in our reality (from our thoughts). The weeds choke off the new beliefs. The enemy is anything that comes in, like fear, doubt, feeling “less than”, or that we can never measure up. Just when we think we can grow into the new idea the enemy clicks in automatically. When we are new to learning spiritual truths the weeds crop up. But it is not good to get rid of them too soon because you could pull up the “wheat”, the new ideas, with them too.

Polarity thinking says it is no longer “you’re wrong and I’m right.” We’re both right and wrong, so what is best for our relationship, for our business, or for our community? How can we work together–the light and dark, opposing concepts–to create coherence? Can’t we discontinue bombing and the killing of whole neighborhoods just to be right? I’m right and you’re right–how can we go forward in love to bring peace for all? What can we do together to bring this new quantum leap in consciousness?

Concentrate on your wheat so that it grows strong. To do this and wack the weeds, use first, Prayer. Prayer is creating a relationship with God, our Source. Gratitude is powerful prayer, even having gratitude for our impairments, because we know something greater is there.

Secondly, use Meditation. That’s when God talks to us, and we can align ourselves with God’s guidance. Then there is Forgiveness. It is not so much letting somebody else off the hook for what they did, but letting ourselves off the hook for carrying that around 24/7. Forgiveness is your relief, your gift to you.

The HeartMath tools are the best way to bring coherence into your own life. And lastly there is Compassion. You can view Compassion, too, through Polarity thinking: the one that hurts others is also hurting, too.

As your spiritual evolution is occurring you discover who and whose you are. Don’t be so quick to pull up your weeds. As you get stronger the weeds get weaker and even merge with your “wheat”. Ask yourself, where is my abundance, my harvest? Where are my weeds? Look at them together. Be willing to have the weeds there but not let them choke off your harvest. They will diminish in time as your wheat grows stronger. Concentrate on your wheat.

Affirm, “I remember that I Am a Child of God and the Way is made clear for my Good to Manifest. I Am the Beloved of God!” Feel it. Feel the energy around you. “I Am the Beloved of God!” –And yes you are, my love!
 

Play