Sunday, December 26, 2010

Can Meditation Cure Disease?


The following article about a Tibetan lama that was able to cure his leg of gangrene through meditation is a testament to the power of the mind over the body. It is also a story about Mother Earth’s curative powers; meditation, mindfulness, loving acts and the like tap into Mother Earth and she responds by sending us what I call Cosmic Prana. Researchers in neuroplasiticity have found that meditation alters our brain and makes us more compassionate. I would argue that certain acts attract Cosmic Prana and it is this nutrient that feeds our brain(subtle body and consciousness) the same way that physical food gives us energy. I talk about this in my book The Way Home—Making Heaven on Earth .

To me this article confirms that Healers should be active Meditators as well, because meditation will help you attract higher essences, energies and consciousness beyond Earth Prana, the primary prana that feeds the physical body. What is better yet is meditating with Mother Earth and gaining sentience of her, because when you do you get the full spectrum of what she has to offer and you increase your draw of all of her nutrients, essences and consciousness.

Heal Thyself, MEDITATE!!!!

Madis Senner

From the Daily Beast

Can Meditation Cure Disease?
by Maureen Seaberg
December 25, 2010 7:15pm
A Tibetan lama believes he cured his gangrene-stricken leg by meditating for a year. Now scientists are studying his brain, hoping to discover a medical miracle.
Can the power of the mind help humans self-heal? That’s what a group of scientists are hoping to help determine by studying a Tibetan lama who believes he cured himself of gangrene through meditation.
When Tibetan Lama Phakyab Rinpoche immigrated to the United States in 2003, he was a 37-year-old refugee with diabetes and Pott’s Disease. His afflictions had gotten so bad that his right foot and leg had developed gangrene. He was hospitalized and examined by three different doctors in New York City who all gave the same treatment recommendation: amputate.
Few people would go against such medical advice, but Rinpoche (pronounced Rin-Poh-Chey) is no average person. Born in 1966 in Kham, Tibet, he was ordained at the age of 13 and named the Eighth Incarnation of the Phakyab Rinpoche by the Dalai Lama himself when he was working toward the highest level of Tibetan Buddhist study, the Geshe degree, in 1993. A deeply spiritual man who has devoted his life to the teachings of Buddhism, it was only natural that he should reach out to his mentor, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, when deciding whether to allow his leg to be cut off.
The Dalai Lama’s response was shocking: Do not amputate. Instead, Lama Rinpoche says, the Tibetan spiritual leader advised his protégé to utilize his virtuoso skills at Tsa Lung meditation—heal himself, and then teach others the value of the ancient tradition. He sent a letter prescribing additional mantras, such as the Hayagriva, which, at the outset of new endeavors, is said to clear obstacles and provide protection in their tradition.
It was a decision that would require an incomprehensible leap of faith. But Rinpoche says there was no doubt within him. Though doctors had made it clear he could die, he was not afraid. “As a Buddhist, what is the worst thing that could happen if I die?” he told The Daily Beast through a translator. “I would be reborn again. But to lose a leg in one lifetime because I didn’t try to save it didn’t make sense.”
And so he began to meditate. Rinpoche says he took no medicine and his diet was an ordinary one. He would break for meals—when the lama he was living with came home from work, they would have dinner and enjoy conversation—but then he would return to meditating before getting a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. In the morning, he would awake and return to his routine.
Can meditation cure disease? (Getty Images)
In the early days of this ritual, Lama Rinpoche remembers, the putrid ooze from his leg ran black; a few months later it turned cloudy, he said, and bruising started to appear. The swelling increased and it was more painful. The odor was sickening, he recalls. But still he felt no doubt.
The progression of the degradation wasn’t simply halted—his leg was back from the dead.
Then, after nine months, he says something began to happen that many Americans would consider a miracle. The liquid leaking from his disabled leg began to run clear. The swelling went down. Soon he could put some weight on it. At ten months, he could walk again, first with crutches. A short time later he was down to one crutch, and then, before even a year had passed, he was walking on his own.
The progression of the degradation wasn’t simply halted—his leg was back from the dead. His diabetes and complicating Tuberculosis are gone today as well.
Now, a group of doctors at New York University have begun studying Rinpoche—specifically, his brain. Practitioners of Tsa Lung meditation like Rinpoche visualize a wind (or “lung,” or “prana”) that is one with the mind, moving down the center channel of their bodies, clearing blockages and impurities before moving on to ever-smaller channels.
"This is a cognitive-behavioral practice that present East-West science suggests may be more effective that any existing strictly Western medical intervention,” says Dr. William C. Bushell, an MIT-affiliated researcher in medical anthropology and director of East-West Research for Tibet House in New York. Gangrene is not curable by current medical intervention once past a certain point in its progression, except by amputation.
This month, Dr. Bushell and NYU neuroscientist Zoran Josipovic, Ph.D. won Lama Rinpoche’s cooperation in undergoing a functional MRI scan of his brain while he meditated inside the scanner at NYU’s Center for Brain Imaging. In this first scan the Rinpoche participated in an ongoing study of the effects of different types of meditations on anti-correlated networks in the brain that Dr. Josipovic has been conducting at NYU.
Bushell wrote a scientific analysis of the processes occurring in the same form of meditation used by Rinpoche in a letter to Joshua Lederberg, Nobel Prize winner in medicine, some 10 years ago. Dr. Lederberg was one of the giants of modern science, father of molecular biology, infectious disease medicine, and modern genetics. His foundation published the letter, which is actually an adaptation of a scientific paper, posthumously on his website. It speaks of the mild to moderate hyperthermia resulting from the practice, which kills bacteria and aids the body in healing.
“It is not entirely clear from a Western science perspective what the winds are, but the scientific evidence suggests to me and others that the meditative process involving winds includes increased local blood flow, metabolic activity, and oxygenation,’’ Bushell explains. “The original scientific model I developed (which is largely in a theoretical state) was based on, among other things, the pioneering work of Thomas K Hunt, MD, on the antibiotic properties of oxygenation in the blood and surrounding tissues, and was sponsored by the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, Calif. Research shows that mental imagery directed to sites of the body, both superficial as well as deeper tissues, can with practice eventually lead to increased local blood flow, metabolic activity, and oxygenation. Such increases could in principle combat even powerful bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which not only can be the cause of gangrene, but is now often times resistant to antibiotics.”
Dr. Bushell’s colleague Dr. Josipovic was also very curious about Rinpoche’s abilities and, in particular, about the way they may have affected the functional and structural organization of his brain. The early results of the test are significant at first glance, he says. They show changes in a wide network of brain areas mediating attention and awareness. The team will publish their findings next year.
“Over the past 10 years research into the effects of meditation on the brain has been gaining unprecedented public and scientific attention,” Dr. Josipovic explains. “What these studies have shown is that it is possible to optimize one's life experience through cultivation of subtle cognitive states generated through meditation, and that these are accompanied by changes in the anatomical structure of the brain, or neuroplasticity. But what soon became evident was that a great variety of meditation techniques and states of consciousness they engender, pose a considerable challenge for understanding them in terms of the established constructs of Western science.”
Dr. Josipovic says that a major new discovery in the field of neuroscience, that of spontaneously fluctuating resting-state networks in the brain, has the potential to shed some light on this issue. “On a global level, the brain appears to be organized into two large-scale networks: extrinsic, or the task-positive network, composed of the brain areas that are active when we are focused on some task or external environment, and the intrinsic, or ‘default’ network, composed of the areas that are active when we reflect on ourselves and own experience.”
These networks are usually anti-correlated in their activity—that is, when one is “up” the other is “down,” he says. “While this antagonism serves some healthy functions, for example, of allowing us to focus on a task and refrain from being distracted by daydreaming or irrelevant concerns, we suspect it may also underlie some unhealthy aspects of our everyday experience, such as excessive fragmentation between self/other and internal/external—in other words the ‘dualistic mind’ that many contemplative traditions see as the root of our suffering.’’
Those who wish to begin a Tsa Lung practice, which is an advanced but achievable discipline, are encouraged to seek a teacher. Rinpoche himself teaches often across the country, and is adding a website and Skype to his teaching sessions to reach more people around the world. This year he will lead a special New Year gathering in Tubac, Arizona sponsored by Pocket Sanctuary and the Helen Graham Park Foundation.
MaryAnn Zitka, a medical researcher and senior student of Phakyab Rinpoche explains that the word Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist honorific title that literally means the precious one. “This is a very appropriate title to me,” she says. “It’s not often that you meet someone so committed to helping others. Rinpoche freely teaches his wisdom traditions to all who wish to learn, and his only request is to practice.”

Maureen Seaberg is a NYC-based journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Daily News, Irish America, ESPN the magazine and on PBS and MSNBC. She won a scholarship to the inaugural Norman Mailer Writers Colony in 2009. She is also a synesthete and synesthesia researcher who is on the organizing committee of the Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference for the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Her first book, about synesthesia, titled Tasting the Universe, will be out in March 2011 from New Page Books.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Church Square—Dansville, NY

Church Square--A spiritual Gathering Place,
Dansville, NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

Imagine a small quaint town where many of its places of worship were located around a town park. Imagine if that town square was nestled upon a precious piece of Mother Earth’s soul and radiated love and consciousness. Church square ( Clara Barton, Church, Liberty & School Streets) in Dansville NY is such a place. Its serene and pastoral feel recalls a bygone era that invites you to slow down and spend some enjoying the moment there.

Clara Barton’s Epiphany
We were drawn to Dansville a few years back to survey Clara Barton’s home in Dansville. It is there that she had her epiphany to start the American Red Cross. I did not write the home up because there were no areas where people could pray.

Clara Barton was not the first one to have an epiphany in the heart of Mother Earth’s soul. Charles Grandison Finney after a walk in the woods in North Adams decided to leave being a lawyer for the clergy and is credited with forming and shaping the Evangelical movement and America’s second great awakening. Trappist Monk Thomas Merton found is calling at Olean NY. There are many more. Clara Barton’s transformation also speaks to the empowerment that women found in the area from the leaders of the women’s movement to those like Harriet Tubman.

Since first surveying the Barton home I have learned that fields of consciousness appear in series. So in the fall of 2010 when we were in area we decided to look for other fields close to the Barton home. My rods immediately led to Church Square when we got there.

Churches in Area
The following Places of worship are located in Church Square. Each has several stacked fields of consciousness within them. A stacked field means that there are several fields of consciousness upon each other. The number can range from 2 to 12 fields upon each other and the more that there are the more powerful will be the consciousness emanating from them.

Dansville Presbyterian Church has a stacked field (8) of consciousness closer to School Street in what appears to be the sanctuary. In other words 8 fields are stacked upon each other. Very nice!
St. Peters Episcopal Church has a stacked field (6) of consciousness towards School Street within the sanctuary.

St Pauls Lutheran is where Clara Barton set up the first local society of the American Red Cross. There is a stacked field (3) the side closer to School Street.

New Bread Ministries has several stacked (2) fields of consciousness within it, closer to School Street.

Church Square Park
Church Square Park is great. Fields of consciousness are located throughout. So any place you go is going to be good. There is a stacked (6) field of consciousness located on the park side of the Presbyterian Church. There is a stacked (5) field of consciousness about 10-15 from the Oak Tree going towards School Street.

The Gazebo is wonderful, it appears to have marked the intersection of 2 Native America trails and been a meeting place. There is a stacked field (3) of consciousness going towards the intersection of School and Liberty Streets. The gazebo also contains the spiritual embers of what I believe may have been a natural vortex. Such vortices form from prayer, ceremony or ritual. This makes sense as Native Americans would often stop, particularly at the intersection of trails to do ceremony. All said the Gazebo is a must visit, meditate at place.

Dansville is located about 40-50 miles south of Rochester, NY along Rte 390. You can also access off of Rte 86 in the southern tier.

Thanks to Lorraine Mavins for her photography.
Peace,In emailing me make sure to change (at) to @ in the address header: madis senner
Madis Senner
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