Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Messengers From The Wilderness

January 10, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

A plant is a weed only within a certain context; one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower.

Simply expressed, a weed is any plant that grows where it isn’t wanted. Weeds are defined by their tendency to flourish at the expense of a gardener’s overall vision, and we tend to battle their presence in our yards. It is interesting to consider, though, that a plant is a weed only within a certain context, which is to say that one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. Most of us have pulled at least one dandelion up by its roots and disposed of it in the interest of preserving the look of a perfect green lawn, yet the dandelion is good medicine, packed with healing properties and vitamin-rich leaves that are a delicious, spicy surprise in a summer salad.

In the wild, there is no such thing as a weed because the overall vision is in the hands of Mother Nature, who accommodates and incorporates all forms of life. In nature, balance is achieved over the long term, without the aid, or interference, of a human supervisor. While one plant may prevail over others for a certain period of time, eventually it will reach an apex and then it will naturally decline, allowing for other forms to be born and survive. This self-regulating realm was the first garden of our ancestors, who learned the art of agriculture from studying the forests and fields of the as yet uncultivated earth. In a sense, weeds are harbingers of this wildness, pushing their way into our well-ordered plots, undermining more delicate flora, and flourishing in spite of us.

The next time you see a weed, you might want to look deeply into its roots, discover its name, its habits, and its possible uses. Instead of seeing an unwanted intruder, you might see a healer offering its leaves for a medicinal tea or its flowers for a colorful salad. At the very least, if you look long enough, you will see a messenger from the wilderness of Mother Earth, reminding you that, even in the most carefully controlled garden, she cannot be completely ruled out.

Good Vibrations

December 2, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

When the vibrations of our physical and spiritual bodies are out of harmony it can cause disease.

Everything in the universe is in a constant state of vibration, including our bodies. Sound is vibration that can be translated by the delicate structures of our inner ear, but it moves more than just those tiny receptors. It is part of the spectrum of energy vibrations that affect us on the mental, physical, and spiritual levels. Long ago shamans recognized the power of sound when they first used chants and drumming to heal people. In ancient Egypt, Greece, and India, the use of sound and music for healing was a highly developed sacred science. Sonic vibration has been one way of experiencing the energy of the universe for much of humanity’s history.

When the vibrations of our physical and spiritual bodies are out of harmony it can cause disease. Sound healing gently massages the molecules back into the right places, clearing blockages and restoring harmony. Ancient healing systems such as Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda associate specific musical notes with subtle-energy systems of the body, such as in yoga where particular notes of music correspond to each of the seven chakras. In Tibet, priests have long used bells and bowls over and around the body to tune and clear the energy centers.  Chimes and tuning forks are other tools that have been used to heal not only the body but the energy in a room as well.

Knowing that sound has the power to heal, we should also try to remember that sounds from modern life can have a negative affect. Choosing silence over discord may help us maintain a state of equilibrium. As we seek soothing and harmonizing sounds to surround us, we may be doing more than creating a balm for the noise of the world. We may actually be performing an act of self-healing that connects us with one of the most basic vibrations of the universe.

Children Of Mother Nature

March 10, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

People are very much like trees needing to send our roots down for grounding and open our crowns toward the sun.

A tree that is beginning to grow sends roots down into Mother Earth even as it reaches and opens to the sky above, seeking nourishment from the sun and the moisture in the air and in the rain that falls. In the same way, we can envision ourselves as treelike beings, imagining that we have roots reaching down into the earth, energetic strands that keep us connected. At the same time, the crowns of our heads lift and open to receive nourishment from above. Just like a tree, we seek the sunshine and water we need to survive and thrive. Both trees and people serve as conduits for the intermingling of the opposite and complementary elements of air, water, sun, and earth.

We also share creative ways of growing, regardless of the challenges we come up against in our environments. Trees will even grow through rock, shattering it, in their effort to reach the air and light they need to survive. We are similarly resilient, with a built-in propensity for growth and the conditions that promote it. We find creative ways around the obstacles we confront as we move along our paths, moving toward the light that feeds us, just as trees grow around other trees and rocks as they make their way upward.

Contemplating the ways in which trees and people mirror one another brings us into alignment with the reality that we are part of Mother Nature. Our children, and the trees and their children, will live together on the earth as long as we all survive, sharing the elements and serving together to forward nature’s plan. Walking in a forest can be a meditation, the interweaving lives of all living creatures and the planet on which we all take root and reach for the sky.

Where is Your Spirit?

November 4, 2010

[ Posted by Deepak Chopra in Care2, adapted from Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra ]

 Where is Your Spirit?

Where is this quantum, mechanical (spiritual) body? One can answer that that it lies in a gap that unfortunately is rather difficult to picture, since it is silent, has no thickness, and exists everywhere.

Finding the silent gap that flashes in between our thoughts seems relatively easy, but because it flashes by, a tiny gap is not a doorway. The quantum body is not separate from us–it is us–yet we are not experiencing it right now. Sitting here, we are thinking, reading, talking breathing, digesting, and so on, all of which happens above the line.

Here is an analogy that brings the quantum mechanical body into focus: Take a bar magnet and place a piece of paper over it. Next, sprinkle iron filings on the paper and jostle it slightly. What will emerge is a pattern of curving lines, one inside the other, that arch from the magnet’s north to south pole and back again. The overall design you have made represents a map of the magnetic lines of force that otherwise would be invisible, except that the iron particles automatically align themselves to bring out the image.

We see all mind-body activity above the paper and the hidden field of intelligence below. The iron filings moving around are mind-body activity, automatically aligning with the magnetic field, which is intelligence. The field is completely invisible and unknowable until it shows its hand by moving some bits of matter around. The piece of paper is the quantum mechanical body, a thin screen that shows exactly what patterns of intelligence are being manifested at the moment.

There you have a picture of how the body-mind actually relates to the field of intelligence. The two remain separated, but the division is invisible and has no thickness whatever. It is just a gap. The only way one knows that the quantum level even exists is that images and patterns keep cropping up everywhere in the body.

To dive into the field of intelligence appears easy now: It requires only a trip across a gap. But even though the gap has no thickness, it forms a barrier no steel door could possibly match. To solve the mystery of the gap, we need to consult the ones who have been there.

As You Believe

June 2, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We can manifest what we want through affirmations as if we have already obtained what we want. 

The creative power of the universe is infinite. A single molecule’s destiny is as important as the consequences of the largest supernova. Human potential is subject to this power, but because we are sentient beings, each of us is permitted to choose whether we will struggle against it or work in tandem with it. When we give voice to our desires through focused meditation or solicit the help of spirit guides, we draw upon the universe’s creative power to achieve certain ends. However, because our words are not all the universe hears, the response we receive may surprise us. The discourse we establish through our appeals is a blend of speech, thought, intention, and subconscious reflection. When we ask the universe for something, the unspoken message is that what we want does not exist, and the universe accepts this as truth. Conversely, we manifest completeness through affirmations in which we declare our desires as if we have already obtained them.   

When we affirm that we are fulfilled instead of articulating deficiencies, we are asserting that contentment is a natural and necessary element of human existence. Our essence is an expression of fulfillment. The universe wants to satisfy our needs and desires. When we describe our realities in positive terms, we are not denying the challenges inherent in existence. We choose not to focus on lack or dissatisfaction because we understand that the energy of our thoughts will determine the response we receive to our entreaties. Ask yourself how you would feel if your wishes were granted, and then allow yourself to internalize that emotional state. Try to create a picture of satisfaction so vivid that its reality is unquestionable and tell the universe that your vision is fact. At the close of your appeal, express your gratitude, as it is your acknowledgment of the truth of your fulfillment that will set the creative power of the universe into motion.

Working in perfect unison with the creative power of the universe will empower you to manifest spiritual realities in your material existence. As you affirm the beauty, peace, and goodness that already exist within in your life, your capacity to sense and understand their influence will become increasingly sophisticated. To meet your needs and achieve your desires, you need then only banish all thoughts of emptiness so that the energy of completeness can attract fullness into your being.

Why it’s Green to go Vegetarian ?

May 30, 2010

[ Info from The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom ]

What we choose to eat is one of the biggest factors in our personal impact on the environment. A 2006 study, examining the impact of a typical week’s eating, showed that plant-based diets are better for the environment than those based on meat. A vegan, organic diet had the smallest environmental impact, but the single most damaging foodstuff was beef and all non-vegetarian diets required significantly greater amounts of environmental resources, such as land and water. Similarly, a 2008 study found that the transition to less meat or even a complete switch to plant-based protein food has a dramatic effect on land use. By feeding grain and vegetables directly to people (rather than livestock) we can increase the amount of food available to everyone.

By going vegetarian you will help:

• Avoid excessive CO2 production
• Reduce methane/nitrous oxide production
• Save large amounts of water
• Avoid polluting our streams/rivers/oceans
• Reduce destruction of topsoil & tropical rainforest
• Reduce the destruction of wildlife habitats & endangered species
• Reduce the use of antibiotics, growth promoters and chemicals

The environmental arguments are strong, but many vegetarians simply believe that it is wrong to kill when there is no need to. Others love and respect animals and want to minimize their suffering. Some vegetarians are specifically opposed to intensive farming and choose vegetarianism because it sends a strong signal, guarantees you won’t be eating an animal reared in appalling conditions, and avoids the distress experienced by all animals slaughtered for their meat. Whatever their reasons for giving up meat, vegetarians benefit from much more than a clear conscience, with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Symbols of Versatility

May 7, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Ducks have adapted to 3 worlds in which they live; earth, water and air. Are you resilient to your surroundings?

If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world that is also a home to ducks, you will no doubt be familiar with the image of their cute feathery bottoms sticking up in the air as their heads disappear under the surface of the water. Perhaps you’ve even taken a moment to wonder what they see in their underwater world, and if they will resurface with a fish or a water bug in their beaks. As we observe them, we see that ducks are denizens of three worlds—the world of air, the world of water, and the world of earth. As such, they have adapted themselves to be able to swim, fly, and walk, and they seek and find nourishment in more than one place. They are symbols of versatility and can inspire us to explore our own ability to adapt and find nourishment in a variety of places.

Ducks are able to float, swim, and dive into the water, fishing for food. They can walk on the ground, eating vegetation and bugs, and they fly in the air to travel long distances relatively quickly. Equipped with feet that are equally good at paddling and walking, as well as wings to fly, ducks seem comfortable in just about any natural environment. Next time you see a duck bottom, you might be inspired to examine your own ability to both float on the surface and to dive beneath it. In many traditions, water symbolizes the emotions—to duck our heads into our emotions means we are able to surrender our minds to our hearts, to go into the watery realm of feeling and see what there is to see, often coming to the surface with nourishment and treasure.

At the same time, we share the duck’s ability to get solid ground under our feet by connecting to the earth on which we live simply by walking on it. And finally, when we reside in our spirits, we fly above the mental, emotional, and material realms, free of all the ties that bind us to this earth, traveling faster and farther than we ever thought possible.

Heal the Earth with Positive Vibrations

April 24, 2010

[ Posted by Susan Wagner in Care2 ]

Since we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I thought I’d give you another perspective on helping our planet. I call it Vibrational Sustainability. This “green” concept allows us to go beyond recycling, planting trees and using personal care products that are free of toxins. It takes global warming and controlling emissions to an entirely new level.

I’d like to teach you about your own energetic emissions, and how you can aid the welfare of the planet and all her creatures simply by controlling your emotional output. Emotions are waveforms that influence all life around us, because everything is based in energy. Scientists have shown that all animate and inanimate objects are made of vibrating waves of electromagnetic energy. When we feel an emotion, we literally send off waves, as if we were a pebble thrown into a pond.

The earth has a natural, healthy vibration that is created by the energy of the soil, planets and animals. Animals serve many roles when it comes to energy of the planet. Their energy fields are far more expansive than ours – a dog’s field is approximately ten times that of a human’s. A horse’s  will encompass a large arena, and a cat’s will fill an entire property. The energy of wildlife is especially important to the survival of the planet. They create frequencies that maintain stability and promote healing.

The earth’s frequency is approximately 8 – 10 Hz, and is also created by Schumann Resonances, which are vibrations formed in the space between the ground and clouds. We can’t see them, but they bounce up and down, as sound waves travel through the shaft of a wind instrument.

There was an interesting experiment done in Europe in the 1960’s. Human subjects were placed in a lead shielded underground living space, blocking outside electromagnetic radiation.  Eventually the humans became confused and agitated, and their biorhythms were disrupted. Researchers then pulsed in varying frequencies and measured the effects on the subjects. The frequency that helped them regain normalcy was 10 Hz – the same as the earth’s natural resonance.

8-10 Hz is the identical frequency range as alpha waves in our brains. This brain activity is produced when we are in a state of relaxation. Being in an alpha state gives us a sense of well-being, increases creativity, and enhances our immune systems. Our optimal vibration is the same as the earth’s inherent frequency. We are meant to live in harmony with nature, not in discord.

Now we know why natural surroundings are good for us. But energy transmission goes both ways. We receive from the earth, and the earth receives from us. When we feel scattered and chaotic, we transmit those frequencies to all the people and animals around us, and to the earth. By being joyful and at peace with ourselves and those around us, we can help heal the planet. Who would have thought tree hugging was really quantum physics in action?

So next time, stop, smell and be grateful for the roses – it will help you and Mother Nature!

The Earth Day “Not Rocket Science” Eco-ABC’s

April 23, 2010

[ Posted by Ronnie Citron-Fink in Care2 ]

Happy 40th Anniversary Planet Earth! As a global holiday, celebrating Earth Day galvanizes us to think about the hopes we have for our planet. Every day provides us another opportunity to recommit how we care. You and I, and the rest of the inhabitants of this planet have a common goal. We share a future that depends upon each other. How we preserve, protect and persevere will make the ultimate difference.

Don’t let anyone tell you that reduce, reuse and recycle, green, eco-friendly and sustainable are meaningless cliches. Yes, they may have evolved, been overused, and their meanings may be watered down and sometimes used unsavorily, but that’s no reason to throw in the towel. It just means we’ll continue to answer the hard questions creatively and collectively about climate, the environment, our health, spirituality and how these all will impact our global family. I bet we continue to find the answers needed to ease the Earth’s stresses.

You’ve found your way to Care2 because you want to make a difference in your life, the lives of others and our planet. What I find so remarkable about this community is how we all approach our collective goal through the eyes of our rich and diverse cultures. Action comes in all shades of green, and once we’ve obtained the tools, we can look into our unique lives and view the future through a green lens. Think of it as an eco-filter. It is everyone’s responsibility to take action to keep our planet smiling.

I put together an ABC guide with some ideas and tips you have no doubt heard about before, and others that may have never even entered your eco-radar screen. These simple tips are not rocket science, but collectively they can be a springboard for important discussions about our collective future.

OK, pep talk over. Let’s start reciting our Eco-ABC’s.

A is for Adjust Your Thermostat
B is for Both Sides of the Paper are Usable
C is for Cruise Control: To Save You Gas
D is for Diaper With a Conscience
E is for Eat Organic
F is for Fly With an E-Ticket
G is for Go Vegetarian Once a Week
H is for Hang Dry
I is for Invest in Your Own Coffee Cup
J is for Junk Mail – Cut it Out of Your Life
K is for Keep Your Fireplace Damper Closed
L is for Local: The Way To Go
M is for Make a Bag And Use It
N is for Newspapers – Recycle and Consider Alternatives
O is for Old Cell Phones Need a New Life
P is for Plastic Bottles
Q is for Q-Tips
R is for Recycle Glass
S is for Shower Instead of Baths
T is for Turn Off Computers at Night
U is for Use Fewer Paper Napkins
V is for Vacations
W is for Wash in Cold Water
X is for X Out Your Phone Book
Y is for Your Enemy is Greenwashing
Z is for Zipcars Can Replace Your Car

Some of the information gathered for this guide is adapted from 50 Ways To Help.

Free of Gravity

February 20, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We take flight when we rise above our habitual ways of thinking about things and experience new insights.

As earthbound beings, humans have always had a fascination with winged creatures of all kinds. The idea of being able to spontaneously lift off from the earth and fly is so compelling to us that we invented airplanes and helicopters and myriad other flying machines in order to provide ourselves with the many gifts of being airborne. Flying high in the sky, we look down on the earth that is our home and see things from an entirely different perspective. We can see more, and we can see farther than we can when we’re on the ground. As if all this weren’t enough, the out-of-this-world feeling of freedom that comes with groundlessness inspires us to want to take flight again and again.

Metaphorically, we take flight whenever we break free of the gravity that holds us to a particular way of thinking or feeling or being. We take flight mentally when we rise above our habitual ways of thinking about things and experience new insights. This is what it means to open our minds. Emotionally, we take flight when the strength of our passion exceeds the strength of our blockages; the floodgates open and we are free to feel fully. Spiritually we take flight when we locate that part of ourselves that is beyond the constraint of linear time and the world of form. It is in this place that we experience the essential boundlessness that defines the experience of flight.

Taking flight is always about freeing ourselves from form, if only temporarily. When we literally fly, in a plane or on a hang glider, we free ourselves from the strength of gravity’s pull. As we open our minds and our hearts, we free ourselves from habitual patterns of thought and emotional blockages. As we remember our true nature, we free ourselves from identification with the temporary state of our physical forms. The more we stretch our wings, the clearer it becomes that taking flight is a state of grace that simply reminds us of who we really are.

Cauliflower: The Cancer-Fighting Crucifer

January 27, 2010

[ By Chef Cary Neff , Experience Life ]

Cauliflower is often relegated to the veggies-and-dip tray, but this nutritional powerhouse deserves a place of honor at every dinner table. Raw or roasted, steamed or sautéed, it can be incorporated into delicious dishes that please the palate while promoting vibrant health.

Food Basics

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable with a mild, slightly nutty flavor. White cauliflower is the most readily available in grocery stores, but there are also green, orange and purple varieties. Green cauliflower — a cross between cauliflower and broccoli — is slightly sweeter than white cauliflower when raw and tastes more like broccoli when steamed. The orange variety is also slightly sweeter than white cauliflower, and the purple variety has a milder flavor. Purple cauliflower cooks a little faster than its white cousin and turns green when heated. When purchasing, look for firm cauliflower with compact florets. The leaves should be green and crisp.

Nutritional Know-How

Cauliflower contains glucosinolates and thiocyanates — both sulfur-containing phytonutrients — that cleanse the body of damaging free radicals. These phytonutrients encourage the body to ramp up its production of enzymes that aid in detoxification and even kill some tumors and cancer cells. Studies have shown that eating three to five servings of cruciferous vegetables each week can significantly lower the risk of several types of cancer. Researchers believe that, when combined with turmeric, cauliflower may help prevent (or stop the spread of) prostate cancer. Orange cauliflower has slightly higher levels of beta-carotene, and purple cauliflower contains the flavonoid anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. A 1-cup serving of boiled cauliflower contains a whopping 91.5 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.

Eat Up!

Cauliflower can be eaten raw, and steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, fried, boiled or roasted. You can cook the cauliflower as a whole head or cut into florets.

  • Cauliflower is uncommonly delicious when roasted. Cut one head into small, even florets. Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried red pepper to taste; or toss with olive oil, 1/4-cup soy sauce and a dash of pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking tray and cook at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden around the edges.
  • Chop raw cauliflower into different sizes and add it to salads. Add small florets to your favorite bean salad for extra crunch.
  • To add texture to your next stir-fry dish, cut the whole cauliflower into 1/2-inch slices, break into florets and stir-fry according to your favorite recipe. Flat slices of cauliflower cook quickly and have more surface area for the sauce to cling to.

Kitchen Tricks

  • Fix quick, healthy snacks by preparing cauliflower as soon as you bring it home from the store. Clean and cut into florets, then store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • To clean, remove the leaves and gently scrape off any brown spots with a knife. Place the cauliflower upside down on a cutting board and carefully cut around and remove the core that keeps the florets intact.
  • Avoid cooking cauliflower in aluminum or iron pots. When chemical compounds in cauliflower come in contact with aluminum, the vegetable will yellow. When they come in contact with iron, cauliflower turns brown or blue-green.

 

Transforming Anger to Light

January 9, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

As humans, we all have anger, sometimes more than others. A healthy way of purging our anger from our bodies is to give it to Mother Earth. We can imagine ourselves being grounded as the electrical energy passes from us into Mother Earth below. We can see that energy go straight to the earth’s core where it becomes part of the continuous growth process of our planet and is transformed from negative to positive, from dark to light. When we choose to give our anger to the earth, we trust our connection with the natural world we live in and the great universe that fuels it all. Mother Earth will lovingly transform your anger into light so no need to feel guilty about unloading to her.

We can make this offering of our energy from any location, whether many stories up or on a ship at sea. We know the earth is below us, supporting us and sustaining us. If we have the opportunity to physically connect to the earth by going outdoors and touching unpaved ground, we may find it easier to connect to nature’s energy flow. It may also be easier to receive the flow of positive, calming, healing energy that comes to fill our bodies when we have emptied ourselves of our anger. To begin, sit and breathe deeply, ask Mother Earth to accept your anger, and imagine it coming down your spine out of your tailbone, and into the earth’s deep core. To finish, be sure to honor and thank the earth for her loving service.

When we work with our anger this way, we acknowledge that like everything else it is merely energy that can be used positively or negatively. During our grounding meditation, we may be given direction to channel this energy for its best use. We may find that the earth can help us cleanse misplaced energy to use for its rightful purpose. When we do this with gratitude, we know that we are not misusing the earth for our own selfish purposes. Instead we are connecting ourselves with the energy of our homeland, and when we do this we nurture the earth as it nourishes us.

Hand in Hand with Nature

January 7, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Time spent in nature’s embrace is a soothing reminder of the fact that we also are products of the natural world’s ingenuity. We feel at home in a quiet forest and are comforted by the pounding surf of the seaside. In both the sunny meadow and the shaded waterfall’s grotto, stress and tension we have long retained melts away. Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature to enjoy its healing benefits can be difficult, however. Planting and tending a garden allows us to spend time with Mother Nature in a very personal and hands-on way. We work in tandem with nature while gardening—honoring the seasons, participating in the life cycle of various organisms, experiencing the unique biorhythms of our environments, and transcending all that divides us from the natural world. As we interact with the soil, we are free to be ourselves and reflect upon meditative topics. Fresh air invigorates us, while our visceral connection to the earth grounds us.

Though you may plant a garden to grow food or herbs, or for the pleasure of seeing fresh flowers in bloom, you will likely discover that the time you spend working in your plot feels somehow more significant than many of the seemingly more important tasks you perform each day. Whether your garden can be measured in feet or is a collection of plants in pots, tending it can be a highly spiritual experience. You, by necessity, develop a closer relationship with the soil, seeds, water, and sunlight. Nurturing just a single plant means cultivating a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that permit it to thrive. A true healing garden is simply one where you feel comfortable plunging your hands into the earth, lingering over seedlings and plants to observe their growth. And yes, even caressing and talking to plants. Creating beauty through the creative use of space, and giving yourself over to awe when you realize that you have worked hand in hand with nature to give birth to something, is truly wonderful.

The partnership that is formed when you collaborate with Mother Nature through gardening is wonderful in that it provides you with so many opportunities to be outdoors. You will be reminded of not only your connection to the earth but also of your unique gifts that allow you to give back to the earth.

The 9 Types of Intelligence

September 2, 2009

These are Gardner’s nine types of intelligence, as described in A Better Brain at Any Age (Conari, 2009) by Sondra Kornblatt.:
 
1. Linguistic intelligence reflects the ability to read, write, tell stories, and learn languages, grammar, and syntax. Strengthen this ability by studying a new language, improving vocabulary, and writing.
 
2. Your friendly computer programmer has logical-mathematical intelligence. She’s comfortable with numbers, logic, reasoning, and abstractions. To increase logical ability, get a book of logic games, knit a sweater, and learn computer programming. Or watch a movie on video, and stop it to predict what will happen.
 
3. Those with strong musical intelligence are sensitive to sounds, tones, rhythms, pitch, musical keys, and structure of the songs (from verse and chorus to symphonies). Borrow different types of music CDs, sing with the radio, be quiet and listen to the sounds around you.
 
4. Those with strong spatial intelligence can imagine, understand, and represent the visual-spatial world. They may have a good sense of direction, hand-eye coordination, and visual memory. Some people, for instance, can visualize how furniture fits in a room without measurements, or buy a scarf that matches the blue in a blouse at home (perfect “chromatic pitch.”) To strengthen your spatial intelligence, be a backseat driver and provide directions for a trip, fit the groceries in the bag or the car, play with jigsaw puzzles and mazes, build some Lego’s, or sculpt some clay.

5. Remember Gene Kelly performing “Gotta Dance!” in Singing in the Rain? He had bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, as do athletes, builders, actors, or surgeons (if they have fine motor skills). Yoga is a great way to increase this ability. Make crafts or build, ride a bike, dance, and learn tai chi or other sports.

6. Someone with interpersonal intelligence is good at organizing people and is aware of moods and motivations. He or she can communicate and lead well. To get more people skills, practice active listening—that is, repeat back what you think someone said. Learn about the types of personalities with the Myers-Briggs test (psychological preferences such as extraversion and introversion) or the Enneagram (a theory of nine personality types—possibly centuries old).

7. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to be self-aware and explore emotions, goals and motivations. This perspective on the human condition is used by writers, philosophers, psychologists, and theologians. To improve your intrapersonal intelligence, “know thyself”—write in a journal, meditate, try the personality tests.

8. Individuals with green thumbs and “horse whisperers” have naturalistic intelligence. They are sensitive to nature and may easily recognize and classify species. To get more naturalistic intelligence, expose yourself to the great outdoors: plant a seed, volunteer at an animal shelter, take a walk with a naturalist at the park, read about classifications of animals (kids’ books can be a great place to start).

9. Spiritual or existential intelligence fits all Dr. Gardner’s criteria except for association with a specific brain specialization—though this intelligence could be a whole-brain function. Those with this ability explore questions about life, death, and what lies beyond the subjective perspective. Prayer and meditation increase whole-brain communication and lessen the blood flow to the parietal lobes (which give a subjective sense of time and space). Explore what lies beyond through inquiry, reading, or talking with others.

The Material world v Pure Possibility

February 7, 2009

From The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

The universe runs on a switch with only two positions, on and off. “On” is the material world with all its events and objects. “Off” is pure possibility, the changing room where particles go when no one is looking.

The “on” position can be controlled only by external means. Once you light it up, the physical universe behaves by a set of rules. But if you catch it in the “off” position, the universe can be changed without regard for time and space.

Nothing is heavy and immovable in the “off” position because there are no objects. Nothing is close or far away. Nothing is trapped in the past, present, or future. The “off” position is pure potential. There, your body is a set of possibilities waiting to happen, and present, too, are all those possibilities that have already happened and those that might happen.

“On” and “off” don’t give quite an accurate picture, however. Just as there are many degrees of physical reality, there are many degrees of nonphysical reality. Your body is a solid object, a swirl of atoms, a storm of subatomic particles, and a ghost of energy, all at the same time. This is the “on” position.

In the “off” position, the same tangle continues but is totally out of sight. The invisible domain is divided in strange ways. At one level, events are all merged. Beginnings and endings meet; nothing happens without affecting everything else. But at another level, some events are more important than others; some can be controlled while others may float around with only the weakest kind of causation.

Events in the universe are exactly the same mixed bag of potential events.