Do Our Thoughts Have the Power to Affect Reality?

June 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Discussion, Reflections | 1 Comment
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By Leonardo Vintini | June 12, 2013

A women performs the Falun Gong sitting meditation. Researchers found that meditation and positive thinking can produce long-term brain changes and development of positive traits. (Jeff Nenarella/The Epoch Times)

A women performs the Falun Gong sitting meditation. Researchers found that meditation and positive thinking can produce long-term brain changes and development of positive traits. (Jeff Nenarella/The Epoch Times)

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” —Attributed to Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha

According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, every time we learn or experience something new, hundreds of millions of neurons reorganize themselves.

Dr. Dispenza is known throughout the world for his innovative theory concerning the relationship between mind and matter. Perhaps best known as one of the scientists featured in the acclaimed 2004 docudrama What the Bleep Do We Know, his work has helped reveal the extraordinary properties of the mind and its ability to create synaptic connections by carefully focusing our attention.

Just imagine: In every new experience, a synaptic connection is established in our brain. With every sensation, vision, or emotion never explored before, the formation of a new relationship between two of more than 100 thousand million brain cells is inevitable.

But this phenomenon needs focused reinforcement in order to bring about real change. If the experience repeats itself in a relatively short period of time, the connection becomes stronger. If the experience doesn’t happen again for a long period of time, the connection can become weakened or lost.

Science used to believe that our brains were static and hardwired, with little chance for change. However, recent research in neuroscience has discovered that the influence of every corporal experience within our thinking organ (cold, fear, fatigue, happiness) is working to shape our brains.

If a cool breeze is capable of raising all the hairs on one’s forearm, is the human mind capable of creating the same sensation with identical results? Perhaps it is capable of much more.

“What if just by thinking, we cause our internal chemistry to be bumped out of normal range so often that the body’s self-regulation system eventually redefines these abnormal states as regular states?” asks Dispenza in his 2007 book, Evolve Your Brain, The Science of Changing Your Mind. “It’s a subtle process, but maybe we just never gave it that much attention until now.”

Dispenza holds that the brain is actually incapable of differentiating a real physical sensation from an internal experience. In this way, our gray matter could easily be tricked into reverting itself into a state of poor health when our minds are chronically focused on negative thoughts.

Dispenza illustrates his point by referring to an experiment in which subjects were asked to practice moving their ring finger against a spring-loaded device for an hour a day for four weeks. After repeatedly pulling against the spring, the fingers of these subjects became 30 percent stronger. Meanwhile, another group of subjects was asked to imagine themselves pulling against the spring but never physically touched the device. After four weeks of this exclusively mental exercise, this group experienced a 22 percent increase in finger strength.

For years, scientists have been examining the ways in which mind dominates matter. From the placebo effect (in which a person feels better after taking fake medicine) to the practitioners of Tummo (a practice from Tibetan Buddhism where individuals actually sweat while meditating at below zero temperatures), the influence of a “spiritual” portion of a human being over the undeniable physical self challenges traditional conceptions of thought, where matter is ruled by physical laws and the mind is simply a byproduct of the chemical interactions between neutrons.

Beyond Belief

Dr. Dispenza’s investigations stemmed from a critical time in his life. After being hit by a car while riding his bike, doctors insisted that Dispenza needed to have some of his vertebrae fused in order to walk again—a procedure that would likely cause him chronic pain for the rest of his life.

However, Dispenza, a chiropractor, decided to challenge science and actually change the state of his disability through the power of his mind—and it worked. After nine months of a focused therapeutic program, Dispenza was walking again. Encouraged by this success, he decided to dedicate his life to studying the connection between mind and body.

Intent on exploring the power of the mind to heal the body, the “brain doctor” has interviewed dozens of people who had experienced what doctors call “spontaneous remission.” These were individuals with serious illnesses who had decided to ignore conventional treatment, but had nevertheless fully recovered. Dispenza found that these subjects all shared an understanding that their thoughts dictated the state of their health. After they focused their attention on changing their thinking, their diseases miraculously resolved.

Addicted to Emotions

Similarly, Dispenza finds that humans actually possess an unconscious addiction to certain emotions, negative and positive. According to his research, emotions condemn a person to repetitive behavior, developing an “addiction” to the combination of specific chemical substances for each emotion that flood the brain with a certain frequency.

The body responds to these emotions with certain chemicals that in turn influence the mind to have the same emotion. In other words, it could be said that a fearful person is “addicted” to the feeling of fear. Dispenza finds that when the brain of such an individual is able to free itself from the chemical combination belonging to fear, the brain’s receptors for such substances are correspondingly opened. The same is true with depression, anger, violence, and other passions.

Nevertheless, many are skeptical of Dispenza’s findings, despite his ability to demonstrate that thoughts can modify a being’s physical conditions. Generally associated as a genre of pseudo-science, the theory of “believe your own reality” doesn’t sound scientific.

Science may not be ready to acknowledge that the physical can be changed through the power of the mind, but Dr. Dispenza assures that the process occurs, nevertheless.

“We need not wait for science to give us permission to do the uncommon or go beyond what we have been told is possible. If we do, we make science another form of religion. We should be mavericks; we should practice doing the extraordinary. When we become consistent in our abilities, we are literally creating a new science,” writes Dispenza.

Taken from: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/67071-can-the-mind-affect-reality/

A Cultivator’s View of the World: After Tens of Thousands of Cuts and Polishings, One Finally Becomes Something of Value

October 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Discussion, Good Advice, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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(Minghui.org) It says in Three Character Scripture: “Jade will not become jade without being carved and polished.” To be carved on is a painful process. Therefore, after long-standing endurance and patience, it usually will become something of value. According to legend, a long time ago a large temple was built in a city. The temple was very sacred and quiet. The only thing missing was a Buddha statue for believers to worship. So the faithful invited a famous jade craftsman to carve a Buddha statue so that they could express their admiration.

The jade carver saw that the believers were very devout, so he personally went to the mountains to select the stone. His hard work finally paid off because he found a superior stone. Because the stone was so large, he split it into two pieces, picked up one of them at random, and started working on it. As it was being carved, this piece of stone could barely tolerate the pain. It said to the craftsman, “It hurts terribly. Can’t you cut more gently? I have endured the wind and rain in the mountains, but I have never experienced such pain as this. Can you really carve me into a Buddha statue?” The carver responded, “Endurance is a process. As long as you are determined, there will be a new life at the end of the pain. Trust me and please continue to endure.”

The stone thought for a while and told the carver, “I’ll consider it. When will you be finished carving me?” The carver put down his chisel and said to the stone, “I’ve just started working on you. You will need to continue to endure for 30 days. After I am done, if people are not satisfied with my work, I will need to rework it and improve it. But if others are satisfied, you will become a Buddha statue.”

The stone became silent for a while. On the one hand, it thought about how great it would feel the day it became a Buddha statue. On the other hand, it could not bear the severe pain of being carved. After two hours it cried out, “This is killing me! This is killing me! Please stop using the chisel to carve me because I really cannot stand the pain anymore.”

The carver put down the stone that he had carved on only a little bit and simply broke it into four slabs that he laid down on the temple floor. He then picked up the other half of the stone and started working on it. After carving for a while, the craftsman curiously asked this piece of stone, “Don’t you feel any pain?” This second piece of stone said, “The last piece of stone and I were originally one piece. The intense pain is the same, but I will not give up easily.”

The man asked, “Why don’t you ask me to carve you gently?” The stone replied, “If I ask you to carve gently, the Buddha statue might not turn out refined, which would then be returned for reworking. It’s better for you to do it perfectly the first time and not waste anybody’s time.” The carver was impressed by the tough character of the second stone and was happy to continue his work. After 30 days of endurance, he had successfully carved a beautiful Buddha statue.

Soon after, a solemn and mighty Buddha statue was presented to the believers of the city. It was placed on the altar, and people admired and praised it. The temple became increasingly popular and welcomed an endless flow of people every day. One day the first stone, which had been made into stone slabs, asked the Buddha statue, “Why are you placed so high above to be worshiped, while I have to bear being trampled on by thousands of people every day?” The stone that was made into the Buddha statue smiled and replied, “It’s simple. You only had to go through a very simple process to become stone slabs. I had to endure numerous cuts to become a Buddha statue.”

Throughout history and in looking at human life, this situation is the same for everything in this world. In fact, the only difference between choosing to endure and seeking comfort is one thought. If one misses a given opportunity, one might face endless pain in the end. If one believes in the promise of the future and endures the test with tenacious perseverance, one will have a bright future.

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