Waking Up!

 This is a great talk that confirms that what we think can profoundly influence our lives and the lives of others:


Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. In these talks, Harris discussed a range of experiences that have traditionally been considered “spiritual”—in particular the phenomenon of self-transcendence. Although such experiences tell us nothing about the origins of the cosmos, they confirm some well-established truths about the human mind: Our conventional sense of self is an illusion; positive emotions, such as compassion and serenity, are teachable skills; and the way we think can profoundly influence our lives and the lives of others.

This video consists of a one-hour lecture and an hour of Q&A.



Happiness is a Choice



One theory in psychology research suggests that we all have a happiness “set-point” that largely determines our overall well-being. We oscillate around this set point, becoming happier when something positive happens or the opposite, afterwards returning to equilibrium. 

But this set-point, to a certain extent, can be reset. Although our general mood levels and well-being are partially determined by factors like genetics and upbringing, roughly 40 percent of our happiness is within our control, according to some experts, and a large body of research in the field of positive psychology has shown that happiness is a choice that anyone can make. As psychologist William James put it, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

Your Heart is Smart! How your Heart Functions as a Second Brain.


Did you know that the human heart is the organ that generates the strongest electromagnetic field of any organ of the human body? In fact, the electromagnetic field of your heart can be measured up to a few feet away from your body. Furthermore, this energy field changes in relation to your emotions. One thing you should know about electromagnetic field is that every organ and cell in your body generate an energy field.

Because the heart generates the strongest electromagnetic field, the information stored in its electromagnetic field affects every organ and cell in your body. Could this be why the heart is the first organ to function in a fetus? Besides generating the strongest electromagnetic field, the heart has an intelligence of its own, which is why certain neurocardiologists refer to it as the heart-brain or the fifth brain.

Your Brain Can be Trained to Self Regulate Negative Thinking



Neuroplasticity guarantees that the architecture of your mind—and the functional connectivity of your brain—is never set in stone. Hopefully, these science-based findings will inspire you to be proactive about using mindfulness to consciously guide your thoughts away from hatred, negative emotions, and cynicism.

Emotional Intelligence

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include 3 skills:

1. Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others;

2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problems solving;

3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.

One meditative technique is to identify the emotion. Label it. Notice it and feel it without judgement. Then visualize and imagine a moment of gratitude or list what you are grateful for in your life. 

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

Psychology today

Neurogenesis: You Can Grow More Brain Cells.

In this Ted Talk, Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says we can, and offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis to improve mood, increase memory formation and prevent the decline associated with aging as well.

1. Rest/Relaxation/ Sleep/ Meditation

2. Sex

3. Diet

4. Exercise

All activate neurogenesis to improve mood and memory. 

 There is evidence that  meditation  shrinks neurons on the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning capacity, memory, and positive mood. The self-healing hippocampus has the ability to regenerate, if stress is discontinued. And healing meditation reduces stress, as shown in Dr. Davidson's research.

Resources to Expand Your Practice

Hello Meditators,

Here are some resources for you to take with you to expand your practice and give you more tools to change your state and be happier more of the time:

A smile is good medicine:



Meditation is as good as anti-depressants for battling depression:



Apps: http://www.happify.com . Sign up for their mailing list.   Meditations, tools and techniques that are scientifically proven to hardwire happiness (Founded by Sean Achor) 


Ted Talk: Sean Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work.




Books: http://www.amazon.com/Before-Happiness-Achieving-Spreading-Sustaining/dp/0770436730

Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change 



The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. 


Change your state by changing your mind


Your body follows your mind's direction. Be mindful of your thoughts: 



More science here:





Until next time. 


Happy Trails,

Amy Budden
Certified. Ht.
Connectthemind@gmail.com |http://www.Connectthemind.com

Research Finds that Wisdom is a Matter of Both Heart and Mind

The fluctuations of your heartbeat may affect your wisdom, according to new research from the University of Waterloo.

The study suggests that heart rate variation and thinking process work together to enable wise reasoning about complex social issues. The work by Igor Grossmann, professor of psychology at Waterloo, and colleagues based at the Australian Catholic University, appears in the online journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Their study breaks new ground in wisdom research by identifying conditions under which psychophysiology impacts wise judgment.

Mindfulness therapy works as well as anti-depressant drugs, major new study finds

Therapy based on the controversial concept of ‘mindfulness’ works as well as some anti-depressant drugs, according to a major new study.

Inspired in part by Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness involves training the brain to deal with negative emotions using techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga.


Some critics have claimed mindfulness techniques can bring on panic attacks and lead to paranoia, delusions or depression.

But the new study – the largest-ever analysis of research on the subject - found mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) helped people just as much as commonly prescribed anti-depressant drugs and that there was no evidence of any harmful effects.

People suffering from depression who received MBCT were 31 per cent less likely to suffer a relapse during the next 60 weeks, the researchers reported in a paper in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Professor Willem Kuyken, the lead author of the paper, said: “This new evidence for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy … is very heartening. 

“While MBCT is not a panacea, it does clearly offer those with a substantial history of depression a new approach to learning skills to stay well in the long-term.”