Book Review: Fundamentals of Yoga

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Books, Health, Meditation | 0 comments

Book Review: Fundamentals of Yoga

This manual could, quite possibly, be the spark that ignites the revolution of higher mind integration. The title, Fundamentals of Yoga, may seem a bit narrow to live up to my elevated claim but if you investigate the rich content in this book, you will surely understand why I consider it so. First of all the author, Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D is very worthy of a proper introduction. A prolific author on the science and philosophy of Yoga, he combined the universal message of these teachings with his deep knowledge of both Eastern and Western medicine and psychology. His areas of specialty ranged from Ayurveda (the ancient eastern practice translates to “Life science”) to modern psychiatry and neurosurgery. In his clear and concise manual, he manages to squeeze and refine an incredibly abundant amount of information, which has been accumulated over millennia and stood true through rigorous scientific tests and research, into what is known as, “The most authoritative and complete manual on the theory and practice of Yoga available anywhere.”

Yoga is the function of enlightenment. Enlightenment is the constant realization of inner peace and happiness. The practice of Yoga goes well beyond stretching your physical body (or, more accurately, well within) and helps you to experience your Self as pure and unlimited energy, which is the most natural state. Of coarse, as this ideal is achieved with much practice, the preliminary effects of consistent yoga practice include cure of all physical and mental disease (dis-ease), control of your mind, clarity of your mind,  and tone, strong, and perfect well functioning physical body. Don’t these claims seem outrageous or at least over exaggerated? Get Rammurti S. Mishra’s Fundamentals of Yoga, to experience the integration of YOUR higher mind along with all the benefits mentioned here and more. You will come to understand that the ideal state of being (inner peace and happiness) is the most natural and is easily achieved with easy to understand and scientifically proven techniques.  Then you will see, as I do, that as more of us utilize our minds that everything other than peace, happiness, and fulfillment will either disintegrate or transform into its true expression, sparking the collective evolution of consciousness. Will you join me?

Hypnosis vs. Mediation

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Hypnosis, Meditation | 0 comments

Hypnosis vs. Mediation

What’s the Difference Between Meditation and Hypnosis?

Excerpts from Article written by Mark Tyrrell



First, let’s get some kind of definition of hypnosis. Sometimes hypnosis is described as a state of deep relaxation. Though deep relaxation can indeed be a feature of hypnosis, it does not accurately describe it.

A secret of hypnosis

Hypnosis is any state of mind that makes us:

  • More disassociated
  • More focussed
  • More suggestible

When people are experiencing a horribly traumatic experience, they become infinitely more suggestible. For instance, a war-weary veteran whose heart pounds every time he hears a car backfiring, or a driver who feels anxious whenever she passes the corner where she had that accident. This is pure hypnotic phenomenon, but not relaxation at all.

And what’s more, all emotions are, to a greater or lesser extent, hypnotic.

Emotional hypnosis

That’s right – emotion is hypnotic. Ever been in lust? Love? A rage? Think about how focussed and suggestible (and disassociated) you become in these states.

Anger is very hypnotic – it focusses our attention right down and makes us suggestible. And, of course, depression is a trance-like focus. All these states are hypnotic, which is why they are so amenable to hypnotic treatment.

Anyone who can make you more emotional will also be making you more suggestible. When cults (or politicians) want to influence people’s belief systems, they will try to raise the emotional pitch. And such charismatic people are naturally more hypnotic.

Really, all therapists use hypnosis to some degree (even if they are unaware of this). If a counsellor asks you to direct your attention to a recent break-up or the pain of your childhood, they are encouraging disassociation from the here and now (which can be a feature of hypnotic trance). Furthermore, the state of flow, or being ‘in the zone’, is also very focussing and therefore shares similarities with relaxed therapeutic hypnosis.

So my point is, hypnosis isn’t ‘just a state of relaxation’ as you might read on a million hypnotherapists’ advertising blurbs. It’s actually much more interesting than that.

So what about meditation?

Meditation vs. hypnosis; alcohol and wine

Just like hypnosis, meditation may have great benefits (1), but (I would suspect) it can also have drawbacks if used unwisely. I’m thinking here of the woman who meditated up to 12 hours a day and began to find she could no longer cope with some of life’s practicalities. It’s not always a question of ‘more is better’; sometimes more is just more and may even be harmful. Taking a hundred painkillers is most certainly not better than taking one.

Hypnosis, used purposefully, will generally have a very specific psychological (and therefore behavioral) aim. We hypnotize people to help them engage in the kinds of thoughts, feelings, and actions that will stop them being depressed or drinking heavily or being traumatized or phobic. We use hypnosis to help them switch off pain or maximize their motivation in sports. Meditation may have, as a ‘by-product’, the effect of making us calmer day-to-day, but it’s not usually used to stop someone smoking or to treat a specific phobia.

Likewise, clinical hypnosis, whilst wonderful for ‘just relaxing’, isn’t generally used with the sole intention of helping someone achieve an ’empty’ mind or objective ‘mindfulness’ – although we can certainly use hypnosis for this effect very well.

So one difference between hypnosis and meditation is for what purpose they are used.

Ultimately, asking what the difference is between hypnosis and meditation is a little like asking what the difference is between alcohol and wine. Meditation may be a very specific, specialized use of a type of hypnotic state, often as part of a wider ‘spiritual system’. The most famous ‘meditater’ in history was, of course, Siddhārtha Gautama – otherwise known as the ‘awakened one’ or the Buddha. His followers believed he had attained enlightenment through meditation. However, the words ‘meditation’ and ‘hypnosis’ are much more recent inventions.

One aspect of the Buddha’s ‘awakening’ was a perception of the connectedness of all things beneath deceptive appearances. ‘Meditation’ and ‘hypnosis’ are just words and could sometimes mean exactly the same thing. Some hypnotic states could be more like quiet meditative states, and I’m sure some people who meditate experience profoundly hypnotic imagery sometimes.

Hypnosis and meditation can both make you happier

I have seen the judicious use of hypnosis change lives by helping people rid themselves of unwanted patterns of thought and emotional chaos. And there is also some research that regular meditation or self-hypnosis can make us happier.

We use hypnosis to help people detach from destructive emotions and calmly begin to see wider and happier possibilities (such as feeling calmer around spiders!). One meditation technique, that of ‘mindfulness’, seeks the same result as the person meditating seeks to name his or her feelings whilst not disentangling themselves from them. In this way, meditation can help people.

Hypnosis used therapeutically will often focus on helping someone relax around memories of the past or prepare to feel better and act differently in the future. Meditation, as I understand it, is often an attempt to be absolutely in the present. But again, people in hypnosis will often report feeling totally focussed in the now.



Neuroscience Student Shows How Meditation Can Vanquish Mental Disorders

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Meditation | 0 comments

GlasierCan mindfulness practice (meditation) help vanquish mental disorders? According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 7.7 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – approximately 3.3% of the US population when combined. Of these, approximately 40% of the individuals with schizophrenia and 51% of those with bipolar are untreated in any given year, but with the new studies being presented by Juan Santoyo and his peers, there could be strong scientific proof that meditation could help even the most debilitating psychological disorders.

Juan Santoyo is studying neuro and contemplative sciences, and he isn’t doing it ‘just to tickle his fancy,’ but to solve the real problem of mental disorders in our society. He presented his findings at the 12th Annual International Scientific Conference of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

He noticed when his family emigrated from Columbia that many homeless people suffered from psychological orders that often went untreated. Instead of pumping them full of pharmaceutical meds, he sees another plausible solution based on the preliminary results of a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The paper describes how meditation affects a subject’s ability to change brain activity in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Given the chance to observe real-time feedback on their PCC activity, some meditators were even able to control the levels of activity there.

“You can observe both of these phenomena together and discover how they are co-determining one another,” Santoyo said.“Within 10 one-minute sessions they [participants in a meditation study] were able to develop certain strategies to evoke a certain experience and use it to drive the signal.”

Mindful Meditation

Of course this is far from the first study to show how meditation can trigger mental and even genetic alterations, but for some scientists, the revelation that meditating can actually trigger molecular changes is groundbreaking. While science certainly isn’t needed to experience or even prove the benefits of this ancient practice, these studies are likely heavily contributing to doctors prescribing things like meditation to patients instead of medications.

This has profound implications for those who suffer from psychiatric conditions, since it is known that certain mental challenges can be mapped to certain areas of the mind.

In the study Santoyo was involved with, he found that carefully coded data on experience —“grounded theory methodology” — supports the formulation and testing of hypotheses and a scientific investigation of mindfulness. . . specifically to aid those who have mental health issues. In a study he published on ‘effortless awareness,’ a phenomenon that often accompanies meditation, he noticed that specific memories or thoughts that caused distress could be changed with feedback after a meditation session.

While studying at Brown University, Santoyo has also noted that “these practices [meditation] have allowed him to feel more engaged with what he is studying, to become more adept at handling difficult situations, and to perform better academically.”

From better grades, to handling life’s challenges with greater élan, to helping the homeless, the further study of meditation and mindfulness has a lot to offer. If Santoyo and others studying this phenomenon are correct, more than 7 million Americans could benefit.

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and *See the Big Picture*. Her blog is Yoga for the New World . Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing The Body And Mind Through The Art Of Yoga.