As our semester hurdles toward the dreaded week of final exams, I’ve noticed that a number of my friends have struggled with overwhelming stress, test anxiety and jittery nerves.
We all have our hands full with class projects and exams, and the damage that these can inflict on our bodies is surprising. A number of health issues arise from intense stress and anxiety, as these bodily defenses ultimately hinder our immune systems.
Limited amounts of stress can benefit a person, making him or her more aware, more focused, more productive. In small doses, stress can be a positive reaction our body has to outside stimuli, but as this stress increases with added responsibilities and requirements, … Read more »
The Joliet Area Community Hospice Home will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a labyrinth and meditation garden at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on the hospice property, 250 Water Stone Circle, off of McDonough Street.
The public is invited.
Funded by a $25,000 grant from Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel, the labyrinth and surrounding garden design were developed by Joliet Junior College Professor Greg Pierceall and his horticulture students. The event will begin with refreshments, followed by a short program at 10 a.m.
“Hospice provides a professional, caring service at a most difficult time of life, while allowing for comfort and support for numerous families,” said Darren VanDover, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Joliet … Read more »
For the last two years, the Aetherius Society has opened its pilgrimages to all faiths. About 100 people joined last Saturday’s trek up the tallest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains.
The mountain was supposed to impart energy to its pilgrims, but as he neared the top, Ashraf Carrim wasn’t feeling it.
Slumped on a boulder not far from the peak of Mt. Baldy, the Muslim imam from Torrance laughed when asked how he was faring on his hike. “Badly,” he replied. A few feet away, the Rev. Jeffrey Utter of the United Church of Christ was girding himself for the…
In harmony with the rushing Ammer River, Norbert Parucha, our guide, recites Lao Tse. Poised on a rocky ledge overlooking the water, he stands craggy-faced and as solid as an ancient tree. He might be part of the mountain’s landscape but for the soothing melody of his speech and the rugged hiking boots on his feet.
Here, along the Ammergau Alps Meditation Trail, he calls us to contemplation. We stand, above the rapids, embraced by a belt of wine-bottle green pine trees and a smattering of moss-covered boulders. His words flow out into the brisk air and down to the water. It’s our job to catch them like summertime fireflies in a jar — and … Read more »
Anyone who has run a marathon knows that feats of endurance require mental discipline — a way to fuse mind, body and spirit. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, a monk at a Zen Buddhist temple in Japan has walked a great distance — roughly the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference — as a form of physical and spiritual exercise.
On the side of Mount Hiei, overlooking the ancient capital of Kyoto, the wind whistles around a part of the Enryaku-ji temple complex. Inside, a small congregation of Buddhists recites sutras.
Leading the service is 34-year-old Zen monk Endo Mitsunaga, who manages one of the temples in the complex. His hands flow powerfully and precisely as he … Read more »
The Unity Church of Sun City will dedicate a replica of the labyrinth of Chartres, France, on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Fewer than a dozen replicas exist. The first in the United States was at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Labyrinths have been known to the human race for more than 3,500 years. They have been used in many different religious ways by many peoples and as solar and lunar calendars. In Arizona, the Hopi use a form of the labyrinth in their religious symbolism, and the Tohono O’odham “Man in the Maze” is actually a seven-circuit labyrinth and is part of an elaborate creation myth.
Medieval pilgrims, unable to fulfill their desire to make … Read more »
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Toward Enlightenment offers instructions on dwelling in the body and mind, on metta (or universal lovingkindness), and on Thich Nhat Hanh’s distinctive teaching on “interbeing.” The book includes–as bookends, teachings on walking meditation–but many other practices are discussed in between. The book is in fact quite a collection of Dharma teachings.
Buddha Mind, Buddha Body is based on The Verses on the Characteristics of the Eight … Read more »
Newer research from the University of Wisconsin shows a meditation habit can strengthen the body’s immune function, plus increase brain performance in the form of electrical activity. It validates the mind-body dynamic of meditation.
To gauge immune function, the researchers measured antibodies in the blood that fight flu and other infections.
Volunteer subjects in the study who meditated had significantly higher levels of these healthful antibodies than nonmeditators in just one to two months. In fact, it is interesting to note that participants who meditated for two months had significantly higher levels of antibodies than individuals meditating for just one month.
Results for brain-wave activity were even more amplified. The region of the brain most … Read more »
Courier-Post: Fifteen months ago, Franklin Horowitz was in a bad place in his life.
Entangled in “addictive issues,” he was lost inside his own skin. But then the Voorhees resident started walking the labyrinth at an Episcopal church in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
Though Jewish, he was drawn to the winding path cut in the grass near his childhood home. On it, he discovered the labyrinth’s power for contemplation.
“I was really meditative,” Horowitz said. “I was grounded with the earth. There was something about the way you took specific twists and turns while being cognizant of where you were going, in relation to your center.”
Right there, in the middle of the thing, he … Read more »
Tracy Press: Whether you attend church regularly, practice personally from home or have a unique spiritual practice, you can bring a sense of spirit into your daily life through practical spirituality.
It’s a way to stay consciously connected to your spirit and strengthen your mind-body-spirit connections. Even the busiest of us can take two to five minutes to help ourselves.
Look at the suggestions below and pick one to practice each day this week. Then, notice if you feel any different.
• Breathing exercises are easily the most basic and universally practiced way to slow down, relieve stress and bring more oxygen to our body and brain, helping us feel and think better.
Take … Read more »