Monday, February 23, 2015

Manifesting Zen Life - A Dharma Talk

Friday, February 6, 2015

Brain Healing: Physical and mental exercise, including meditation, might slow the age-related loss of gray matter in the brain

 There have been major research findings regarding what helps us age well minimizing and slowing down physical and mental deterioration.

Here is an excerpt from one recent research findings sent to me:

"Although people might be living longer, the years they gain often come with increased risks for mental illness and neurodegenerative disease. Fortunately, a new study shows meditation could be one way to minimize those risks."

For the study's findings and other sources, see this link:

From many other sources, the consensus seems that the most valuable action one can take for both physical and mental well being includes regular and sustained physical activity, especially regular aerobic activity, as well as mental exercise. I highly recommend this recent extensive review of research findings and recommendations:

Here are a few quotes from this article:

"It turns out that our brains, like our bodies in general, are far more likely to waste away from underuse than to wear down from overuse."

"the foundation for the brain’s distinctive way of healing. If an area is damaged, new neurons can often take over old tasks. Nor are we just our neurons. Our memories and experiences are also encoded in the patterns of electrical energy produced by our brain cells, like a musical score. As with an orchestra, when one member of the string section is sick, the show can still go on if a replacement has access to the musical score."

"They found that men who consistently did a few things reduced their risk for cognitive decline and dementia by a staggering 60%. These activities included eating a healthy diet (at least three to four servings of fruits and vegetables a day); maintaining a normal weight, with a body-mass index of 18 and 25; limiting alcohol to about a glass of wine a day; and not smoking. But the activity with the biggest impact on risk was walking at least 2 miles a day, biking 10 miles a day or engaging in some other regular, vigorous physical exercise. All five of these factors have been found in other studies to promote the general health of two types of cells in the brain: neurons and glial cells (which interact with and protect neurons)."

If you are interested, read the full article!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Islamic State is only one part of a larger regional movement, a Sunni rebellion trying to beat back the Iranian security apparatus that now represses them mercilessly throughout the Levant while controlling four historic Arab capitals—Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sana’a."

Obama wants a deal with Iran so much in large part because he doesn’t think the United States should be the world’s policeman—and he’s right. Our oil and natural gas industry won’t make us energy independent but it makes us less dependent and we simply don’t need that high a profile in a part of the world that has seldom returned our love. So, why keep shedding blood and spending money—as well as domestic political capital—in the Middle East?

The answer is not that we need to look out for the world’s interests, but that we need to continue protecting our own. A nuclear weapon in the hands of an expansionist regime doesn’t get the United States out of the Middle East. It puts Iran on our doorstep, by turning the clerical regime into an aggressive global nuclear-armed power. There can’t be much question by now about what Iran has in mind for the Middle East, or for other countries that it enlists in its schemes, like Argentina. What Iran wants makes the world a more dangerous place for Americans. The question is not whether there’s a deal to be had with Iran, but if it’s too late to crash the comprehensive agreement the White House has already struck with our new regional partner—whose sickening consequences are plain to see."

If you are interested, I encourage reading the full article.

Here is a link: