Archive for January 2015

Help to heal our world; conquer fanaticism   1 comment

shutterstock_111413969What I most love about my country is our general lack of fanaticism – a startling contrast to recent high-profile instances of it here and elsewhere. I started thinking about this subject before the terrorism events in Paris, but those events have made dealing with fanatical thinking seem even more imperative.

A fanatic expresses excessive, irrational zeal. Far from taking an intelligent and well-informed stance on an issue, their passion and manic obsession with a cause or way of doing things colour their decision-making ability negatively.

Fanaticism about a political or religious philosophy that makes us feel superior; holding obsessively to a non-proven hypothesis; belief that there is only one way to play football and there’s a single worthy team; prejudice about what foods we should eat and the best way to cultivate them; or uncompromising belief that we only need to attend to the physical body to be healthy, are all too common habits that lead us down a slippery slope of intolerance. Fanatical beliefs are nearly always built on fear.

A red flag should go up if we find ourselves extremely sensitive about our viewpoint or hating anyone who opposes it.

Alternatively, common sense based on a positive stance, sure of a solution becoming apparent that will be good for everyone, is a better viewpoint. This demeanour is not just a good-old Aussie “she’ll be right” attitude, but grows out of a well-informed and caring approach to the world.

This is a spiritual approach that begins with ourselves – that is, feeling and accepting the love that comes from our divine source. It’s so much easier to love, when we’re feeling loved.

What will help the world through this current fermentation is our individual commitment to choosing love and understanding over hate and apathy.

I find it’s useful to ask myself: could I be a little more thoughtful and kinder with my comments? I’d have to confess that the answer is usually, “well, maybe.”

Try this scenario. If you could go back in time, would you choose to continually belittle our ancestors’ beliefs about a flat earth? Wouldn’t you instead gently nurture and point out bridges of understanding to help them comprehend the reality?

American Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute was interviewed about possible motives for the killings at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Married to a Christian, Mr Ahmad holds a unique perspective on cross-cultural understanding (or misunderstandings) between Muslims and non-Muslims. He pointed out, “…it is one thing to make a joke about a rich man or a powerful man who slips and falls. It is something entirely different and not funny to make a joke about your poor old grandmother slipping and falling. To the Muslim people, jokes and cartoons about the faith of an oppressed people are not funny. They hurt.”

We all know how humiliation hurts, and most of us at some time have been down the road of wanting to lash out at a perceived enemy.

So, if we can empathise, we can forgive and work towards healing our world.

Academics and experienced change-managers in the field of terrorism psychology are stepping forward this week to share with the world some common patterns for success in de-radicalising regimes and terrorists. (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0525/Are-terrorists-beyond-redemption)

Surprisingly, these don’t include retribution but active, solution-based change-management, such as recognizing the needs of jihadists; finding them vocational education, jobs and even wives; and, recognizing the importance of their social network (http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/11/05/the-3-step-guide-to-de-radicalizing-jihadists/)

Whether or not you have a direct hand in these compassionate measures, you can begin to make a difference in the health of our wonderfully promising world by de-radicalising your own thinking.

Utilise this good advice to start the healing movement within your own circle:
•  “Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last…
•  If you have been badly wronged, forgive and forget…
•  Never return evil for evil;
•  and, above all, do not fancy that you have been wronged when you have not been.” (Mary Baker Eddy)

None of us have all the answers to the world’s problems right now, but today you can at least be a law to yourself to give up any fanatical beliefs you may be harbouring. This self-regulating action is also good for your stress levels, heart, immune system and much more.

This article is by Kay Stroud.  Her articles on the link between consciousness, spirituality and health appear regularly in APN print and online publications. For more information on these trends or answers to questions about Christian Science visit www.health4thinkers.com

Age Doesn’t Necessitate Decline   Leave a comment

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We grow in wisdom and understanding of ourselves and the world around us as we age, and why should this be under-valued?  Wouldn’t the world benefit from our knowledge? So why not share it?  By opening your thought to others, they will see and be drawn to you and the qualities you express.

Should we accept that we must slow down as we get older?  There is a woman who published her first book in her 50s and went on to publish others, along with three magazines, and a newspaper that she started in he 80s.  Her name was Mary Bake Eddy, and the first sentence in her first book is “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures).  Eddy showed that qualities such as kindness, intelligence, practicality and joy come from the “sustaining infinite” and so are timeless and available whatever your age.

To realize how active you truly are, and how vitally active your contribution to the world is, think about the qualities and unique gifts you have; and search for ways of sharing these with others.  By more actively expressing these qualities at home, with family, or at work, you are leaning on the “sustaining infinite” and will see more harmony in the workplace and home, and the stimulation this brings to try new ideas.

The qualities we share by “leaning on the sustaining infinite” do not slow down, or diminish; they are ever-present and always active.  Because they never slow down, how can you?  The ever-active thought of kindness continually seeks ways to improve its environment, and this flows out to embrace the rest of the world.

 

This article was submitted by Jane Keogh.  Jane writes on the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health.

Fresh Perspectives on Aging   2 comments

shutterstock_171402770A ten-year study involving thousands of older people explored a number of aging-related issues. Some surprisingly upbeat findings were published in its summary. The Los Angeles Times said the study “debunks a number of myths including the common belief that genetics are destiny, and physical and mental deterioration are coded into our genes. In fact, say the authors, the influence of genetics shrinks with the years while lifestyle choices become increasingly important in shaping the quality of later life” (May 18,1998). Among the most important lifestyle changes they recommend: engaging in activities and cultivating new friends.

Anything that pushes back limits and discloses more of man’s capacity is worth nothing … Read more …

This article by Channing Walker was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.  It is currently available on line at JHS-online.  In it Walker examines the link between spirituality and healthy longevity.

Christian Tolerance   Leave a comment

shutterstock_90543814When we reflect on the question of Christian tolerance, thoughts come to us of one of the most gracious of the Christian virtues. Tolerance has a host of spiritual qualities behind it, such as humility, loving-kindness, compassion, patience, charity,—all based on the understanding of divine Principle, God. And patience and charity are especially linked up with that virtue without which human existence would be unbearable. To be tolerant does not imply any condonation of evil, or that one is afraid to handle the belief of evil; rather is it the case that Christianly scientific tolerance is a most efficient weapon with which to meet and overcome evil and to neutralize its effects.  Read more …

The full text of this article, Christian Tolerance by Duncan Sinclair, is available on JHS-online.  Follow the link to read the full article.

Forgiveness   Leave a comment

FriendshipForgiveness – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy that were inspired by the quality of forgiveness.

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra. Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science: The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday please join us. Everyone is welcome.

This recording represents the readings on the topic: Forgiveness.

Make a Game-Changing New Year’s Resolution   Leave a comment

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While some of us are still dealing with the influx of visitors, festivities and sun-soaked holidays, in the back of our minds is the niggling thought that 2015 has already begun and now is the time to make our New Year’s resolutions, before it’s too late.

Some are choosing to eat healthier and exercise more. That certainly can make us feel better.

Two other resolutions that go hand-in-hand will not only increase your health but be game-changers in your life: always opt for the positive viewpoint over the negative and choose to be kinder to others.

A friend related how his acquaintance was in hospital recently, suffering from a life-threatening illness.

Things were looking pretty grim and it seemed that he was hanging on by a thread. Then his heart stopped and he ceased breathing.

At that moment, the medical staff on duty in that area of the hospital noticed that he was passing on and began to congregate around his bed …. not rushing to him with defibrillator or drip, but unexpectedly telling jokes, laughing and talking loudly and animatedly about everyday things.

They continued by his bedside including everyone in the ward in the jovial conversation until he began to regain consciousness. The man made a full recovery.

What happened? Did the nurses and doctors know that their confident and caring presence was more effective than apparatus or medication? Yes.

Something similar is at play when a teacher disregards the negative ‘label’ attached to the child and responds with love and recognition of that child’s higher nature and abilities, bringing a turnaround in attitude at school.

Or when a brick wall tumbles down between two people who haven’t spoken to each other for years as one reaches out with forgiveness.

The reasons for such changes for the better spring from (1) choosing a positive, solution-based approach, and (2) trusting our instinct to be warm and caring, despite a temptation to take an impersonal, defeatist or hard-line approach.

Lissa Rankin MD, sought-after TEDx presenter and one of the keynote speakers at the Byron Bay Uplift Festival  a few weeks ago, urges us to strip back everything that isn’t really us that we’ve learned in the world of hard knocks, to find that inner pilot light or divine spark of love within.

Research results from studies on cancer recovery and remission support her claim to the beneficial effects of this practice.

Rankin also cites conclusive evidence that an essential part of any successful treatment is engaging a health practitioner who is reassuring, gentle and kind, and treats patients with compassion.

Did Jesus mean in his well-known parable, that the warmth and care that the Good Samaritan showed had as much to do with the traveller’s recovery (who was robbed and beaten by thieves) as the bandages, oil and wine provided?

Mary Baker Eddy believed so and based her scientific, healing method on this premise. An important researcher into how consciousness affects health, she discovered in her investigations and successful treatments through prayer that…

“Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

Forgetting ourselves and putting others first really FEELS divine and invariably makes us glow with happiness.

I hope your 2015 takes wings. Seems it’s sure to do so if you choose to take this two-pronged approach to a happier, healthier year ahead – adopting a positive, solution-based viewpoint, and actively and warmly caring for yourself and others.

This article by Kay Stroud was published on 32 APN news sites, including these dailies:  Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Sunshine Coast Daily, Bundaberg News Mail, Tweed Daily News, Toowoomba Chronicle, Mackay Daily Mercury, Fraser Coast Chronicle, Coffs Coast Advocate, Clarence Valley Examiner, Lismore Northern Star, Gladstone Observer, Gympie Times, Ipswich Queensland Times, Warwick Daily News

Kay is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our health. She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion.

This Year Have MORE Gratitude. It’s Good for Your Health   Leave a comment

 

Happy-New-Year-hd-wallpaper-2015[1]What will you be thinking about when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st ? Will you recall 2014 and anticipate 2015, with gratitude or grumbling?  To kick off the New Year and make it a good one, why not put more gratitude as number one on your self-improvement, to-do list? It’s good for your health.

There’s growing evidence that gratitude makes you a more satisfied, happier, less stressed or depressed person. Grateful people actually sleep better because they think more positive and less negative thoughts at night. They also have more constructive ways of coping with life’s difficulties. They complain less, and spend more time working on resolving any problems. In short, being a grateful person helps you live a happy, healthy life.

 

MORE gratitude

Gratitude, more than any other character trait, is thought to have the strongest links with good health. Considered as a universal sentiment, it has long been prized in the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist traditions. But being a truly grateful type-of-person, doesn’t just happen. It takes regular practice.

TIP:

– Exercise your “mental  gratitude muscle” more. Flex it right through the day. Even, “Under affliction in the very depths, stop and contemplate what you have to be grateful for”. (The Mary Baker Eddy Collection)

– Boost the health-bringing quality of gratitude each morning with words such as, “I’m grateful for the day ahead, the people I’ll meet, and for the good that will come my way.” At night, give thanks for three “heart-lifting”, joy-bringing things that occurred during the day.

– Start-up a gratitude list. Add at least one more thing to it every day. For example, “I’m grateful that my teenager tidied his room today without being asked to do so.”

– Make meal-time an occasion for conversation that bubbles over with gratitude for the positive things that occurred during the day, rather than a “complaint session”.

 

MORE appreciation

The trouble with complaining about others and grumbling over their shortcomings, is that it tends to obscure the good that’s right at hand. This is illustrated by the story of a speaker who showed his audience a large sheet of white card with one tiny black dot on it. He asked them what they saw. Each said a black dot. No one mentioned all the white on the card!

TIP:

Make an effort to boost your gratitude-levels. Don’t focus on negatives. Use your “gratitude-lens” to see more of the good around you.

– Complain less. Appreciate every person’s contribution more. This could include the volunteers who help school children cross the road safely, or the local barista who cares enough to make your coffee just the way you like it.

– Express your gratitude to others through your grace, kind words and actions.

– Be thankful for the good already received. Take advantage of the blessings you have, and “thus be fitted to receive more.”  (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p. 3)

– Remember, more  gratitude is good for your health.

 

This article is by Beverly Goldsmith.  Beverly is a Melbourne-based writer on how spirituality and thought affect health.

Beverly’s activities include: Writer for Pulitzer prize winning newspaper the Christian Science Monitor; magazine contributing editor and author of over 140 articles. She is also a speaker on local and national radio, TV, in bookstores, at conferences and Healthy Living Expos in Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

She is a qualified Practitioner and Teacher of Christian Science healing with over 35 years experience.

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