Spiritual Cleanse for Heart, Mind and Soul

By Angie Lewis

Immersed in Prayer

Article excerpt:

 

Often times when we don’t feel well, we cleanse the body for physical health  to prevent surgery, feel good, look younger, and live longer.  What about our  spiritual health? Did you know that if we cleanse the mind of unwanted toxins  our physical health would also improve?

Spiritual cleansing is excellent therapy for negative and destructive  emotions, depression, sadness, drug and alcohol addiction, and all other  addictions that have to do with the mind and attitude.

Rejuvenate the mind everyday with the positive affirmations of prayer.  How  can prayer help? The influence of prayer actually gives us the hope, faith, and  encouragement that our negative feelings have taken from our heart and mind.

Every day we are literally plagued with negative garbage, listening to and  looking at it, to behaving in destructive ways that upset the equilibrium of our  minds.

Have you ever thought that maybe it is all the harmful garbage in the world  that brings on depression, addiction, and bad feelings? If we are under control  of addiction or depression how can we ever recognize the spiritual person within  us?  I know first hand that addiction keeps us far from God. So then how do we  not know that all we need is a spiritual cleanse to free us from the grips of  what is controlling us?

In other words, is it really a chemical imbalance in the brain, like doctors  want us to believe that makes some people depressed or addicted to a substance?  And if it is a chemical imbalance, could it have something to do with  lifestyle/environment — whether it’s through what a person eats and drinks or  other contaminates that are entering their system?

CEO’s and business owners use affirmations in their corporations to keep the  salesmen positive and optimistic. It is a well-known fact that positive minds  sell more products.  So then why couldn’t a positive mind learn to forgive and  love completely too?

Every day prayer not only lets God know that we are genuinely seeking his  spiritual counsel but also makes us feel better about who we are, even when we  are battling with an addiction or just plain old negative feelings.

Applying prayer into our life is the first step to overcoming the negative  aspects of our character and supercharging the positive aspects within us.

The first thing we need to do is to humble our selves to prayer. We need to  remember that we are praying for a reason, a purpose, not necessarily to get  what we want but to get closer to God and become more spiritually aware. How  should we pray?

We can pray anytime of the day and anywhere. We do not have to be in Church  and we do not have to let others hear our personal prayers to God. We are in  control of how, when and what we pray. Prayer begins in the mind and ends in the  heart.  We can pray silently and God hears us.

Prayer involves humbleness and humility.  It entails that we trust that God  is listening to us as we pray and that our prayers we’ll get answered. Prayers  may not get answered in the way you want. Many times prayers are answered in the  way that God knows is best for you, not what you think is best for you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/112453

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Distant Healing Put to the Test

Distant Healing Put to the Test

 

 

Christopher Stewart

On an operating table at a medical center in San Francisco, a breast cancer
patient is undergoing reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. But this will
be no ordinary surgery. Three thousand miles away, a shamanic healer has been
sent the woman’s name, a photo and details about the surgery.

For each of the next eight days, the healer will pray 20 minutes for the
cancer patient’s recovery, without the woman’s knowledge. A surgeon has inserted
two small fabric tubes into the woman’s groin to enable researchers to measure
how fast she heals.

The woman is a patient in an extraordinary government-funded study that is
seeking to determine whether prayer has the power to heal patients from afar — a
field known as “distant healing.” While that term is probably unfamiliar to most
Americans, the idea of turning to prayers in their homes, hospitals and houses
of worship is not. In recent years, medicine has increasingly shown an interest
in investigating the effect of prayer and spirituality on health. A survey of
31,000 adults released last year by the national Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention found that 43% of U.S. adults prayed for their own health, while 24%
had others pray for their health.

Some researchers say that is reason enough to study the power of
prayer.
“Almost every community in the world has a prayer for the sick, which
they practice when a member of their community is ill,” said Dr. Mitchell
Krucoff, a Duke University cardiologist and researcher in the field of distant
prayer and healing. “It is a ubiquitous cultural practice, as far as we can
tell…. Cultural practices in healthcare frequently have a clue. But
understanding that clue, learning how to best use it, requires basic clinical
science.”

Science has only begun to
explore the power of distant healing, and the early results of this research
have been inconclusive. In an article published in the Annals of Internal
Medicine in 2000, researchers reported on 23 studies on various distant healing
techniques, including religious, energy and spiritual healing. Thirteen of the
23 studies indicated there are positive effects to distant healing, nine studies
found no beneficial effect and one study showed a modest negative effect with
the use of distant healing.

The study of distant healing was once the realm of eccentric scientists, but
researchers at such prominent institutions as the Mind/Body Medical Institute in
Chestnut Hill, Mass., Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and the
California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco are involved in the field.
And the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine has spent $2.2 million on studies of distant healing and
intercessory prayer since 2000 — a small fraction of the agency’s annual budget,
which totaled $117 million in 2004.

Some people think even that relatively small sum of money is not being well
spent.
“You can’t use science to prove God,” said John T. Chibnall, an
associate professor of psychiatry at St. Louis University School of Medicine in
Missouri, who co-wrote a scathing rebuttal of studies on distant prayer
published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2001. “We shouldn’t waste the
money of the government showing that Jesus is ‘the man,’ ” Chibnall said in an
interview. “Faith is faith. Science is science. Don’t use science to strengthen
or diminish belief in God.”

While some scientists oppose such studies on religious or scientific grounds,
others question whether it is possible to devise a scientifically valid method
for measuring something as nebulous as the power of prayer.

What constitutes a “dose” of prayer? How does one define prayer? Is
channeling Buddhist intention or reiki energy the same thing as praying to a
Judeo-Christian God? And how do you determine whether it was prayer that made a
patient better, or something else, such as the placebo effect?

“There are enormous methodological and conceptual problems with the studies
of distant prayer,” said Dr. Richard Sloan, a professor of behavioral medicine
at Columbia University in New York. “Nothing in our understanding of our
universe or ourselves suggests how the thoughts of one group of people could
influence the physiology of people 3,000 miles away.”
For example, said
Sloan, unlike clinical trials where researchers can carefully monitor the dose
of medicine each patient receives, it is all-but-impossible for scientists to
control or quantify the amount of prayer directed toward a patient.

“People all over the world are praying for the sick,” said Sloan. “Friends
and family are praying for people in any control group. Unless you assume some
potency — that the prayers of certain people are more powerful than others — you
are talking about a tiny amount of prayer against the enormous amount that is
already out there. It is like taking a drop of water, putting it in Lake
Michigan and trying to detect the effect.”

Weighing the possibilities
One of the leading centers for such research is
the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell
in 1973 and located on 200 acres of oak-studded hillside in Petaluma, the
institute describes its research mission on its website as “exploring phenomena
that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models.”

Marilyn Schlitz, vice president of research and education at IONS and a
senior scientist at California Pacific Medical Center, is leading the study of
breast cancer patients.

For more than 20 years, Schlitz’s research interest has been studying whether
the human mind has hidden capacities to promote healing. Some of her projects
sound a bit far-out. She once studied whether off-site healers could revive
anesthetized mice. Another time, working on research funded by the Pentagon, she
conducted experiments designed to determine whether someone could provoke a
physiological response in a person in another room simply by staring at his or
her picture on a video monitor.

Her work continues to look at whether mind can influence matter.
“The
survey data is saying people pray, that they are using it as part of their
healing regimen,” said Schlitz. “Shouldn’t science look at that? … Maybe it
helps in certain kinds of conditions and not in others. Well, we cannot answer
that unless we take a rigorous, systematic look at what people are actually
doing.”

Early research
Cardiologist Randolph Byrd did the first major clinical
study on distant healing at San Francisco General Hospital in 1988. He divided
393 heart patients into two groups.
One group received prayers from
Christians outside the hospital; the other did not. His study, published in the
Southern Medical Journal, found that the patients who were not prayed for needed
more medication and were more likely to suffer complications. While it had
flaws, the study garnered considerable attention.

Since then investigators have continued to look at the possible effects of
remote prayer and similar distant healing techniques in the treatment of heart
disease, AIDS and other illnesses as well as infertility. Numerous experiments
involving prayer and distant healing have also been done involving animals and
plants. One such study found that healers can increase the healing rate of
wounds in mice.

“Critics often complain that if you see positive results in humans it is
because of positive thinking, or the placebo response,” said Dr. Larry Dossey, a
retired internist in Santa Fe, N.M., and author of numerous books on
spirituality and healing. “Microbes don’t think positively, and are not subject
to the placebo response.”

In the early ’90s, Elisabeth Targ and colleagues at the California Pacific
Medical Center studied the effects of distant healing on 20 AIDS patients.
Schlitz, who worked with Targ (who died of a brain tumor in 2002), said the
study found those receiving prayer survived in greater numbers, got sick less
often and recovered faster than those who did not. A follow-up study of 40
patients found similar results.

At about the same time, Duke University’s Krucoff was leading a small but
unusual experiment to determine if cardiac patients would recover faster after
angioplasty surgery if they received any of several intangible (noetic)
treatments. His study compared the results of healing touch, stress relaxation
and distant healing with standard care.

Spiritual healers from around the world — including Jews leaving prayers at
the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Buddhists praying in monasteries in Nepal and
France, Carmelite nuns in Baltimore offering prayers during vespers, and
Moravians, Baptists and fundamental Christians praying during church — each
simultaneously prayed for one of several designated groups in the study.
All
of the groups did better than the standard care group, with those receiving
distant prayers doing best. He has since completed a larger, multi-site study.
That study — the largest to date — is currently under review for publication in
a medical journal.

The IONS and California Pacific study, which will be completed next year,
will follow 140 breast cancer patients who have undergone reconstructive
surgery. At the time of the surgery, each patient has two small, spaghetti-like
tubes of Gore-Tex implanted in her pubic area to measure how much collagen is
deposited as her wound heals.

The study is designed to address one of the primary concerns raised by
critics of distant healing research: that the studies are not designed to
account for a placebo effect.

Researchers have divided the patients into three groups. One group will be
prayed for but will not know of the prayers; another will be prayed for and will
be told of the prayers; and a third group will receive no prayers and will be
told nothing. The healers who will do the praying must have years of experience
in distant healing and come from varied traditions — such as shamanism,
bioenergy and reiki.

After eight days, the tubes will be removed and collagen growth in the wound
area will be analyzed — an accepted scientific method to measure wound healing.
The rates of healing of the groups will then be compared.

But even some who believe in prayer’s power to heal concede the difficulties
of designing a good study.

“I do believe distant intention works,” said Dr. Loren Eskenazi, a California
Pacific Medical Center surgeon who is working on the study. “I don’t know how,
but it works. But it is so hard to design a study that works. We don’t know the
mechanisms. Is their whole church praying for them? That could skew the results.
If someone wishes [a patient] ill, that could void the results.”

Mary Destri, 43, a reiki healer who is participating in the study, also had
misgivings about the study design. She said she had participated as a healer in
other scientific experiments, but had typically been given more information
about the patient.

“This is the first time I’ve ever worked on someone I’ve never met, the first
time I’m working with someone I have no access to, cannot communicate with,” she
said. “It helps with intentionality to have a sharper focus.”

Dossey said such concerns were a challenge for researchers.
“I think you
can sanitize the process so greatly you eliminate the effect,” he said. “They
are taking prayer out of the real life context to the extent that you wonder if
this has a real life applicability. People in real life tend to pray for people
they know and love. Healers will say if you want healing to work it has to
include a factor of profound love and compassion. Many of these randomized,
controlled trials virtually eliminate any knowledge whatsoever of the
subject.”

As a cardiologist Krucoff has seen many patients near death. He says that
what determines their survival often reaches beyond technology and medicine.
Whether you call it chi, faith, divine energy or placebo, this intangible factor
makes a difference, he says.

“We are pretty good at doing studies on the safety and effectiveness of pills
and procedures,” said Krucoff. “We have a well-established approach to figure
out what the risks and benefits are likely to be….

Could you inadvertently kill someone with a loving prayer? Not too many
theologians want to have that discussion. But in healthcare, these are
fundamental questions.”

Hilary E. MacGregor L.A. Times

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The Law of Reciprocity

   

The Law of Reciprocity

        by Amira

 

 

 

The Law of Reciprocity means: to give and take mutually; to return in kind or even in another kind or
degree. You may have heard the Law of Reciprocity expressed as: “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” The law of reciprocity, (which
applies in EVERY culture on the face of the earth), simply explains that when someone gives you something you feel an obligation to give back.

Giving and receiving favors is a common exchange and is an implicit assumption in most of our relationships. When someone does something for you, they implicitly expect that when the circumstance is right, you will do something of approximately equal value for them. The expectation may never be discussed openly but nonetheless it exists and affects negotiations and relationships.

All parties must benefit from the relationship and invest in the relationship and acts must be mutually rewarding otherwise it creates an
imbalance in reciprocity. When someone is the primary giver, they often expect they will receive in kind from the receiver or eventually from someone else in the world at another time.

Possibly the earliest version of the Golden Rule is translated from The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant (1970 BC) and states:

“Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do”.
Similarly, the Golden Rule says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” “You reap what you sow.”

By doing for others you make favorable impressions on them and relationships
blossom as you extend courtesy, kindness, honesty, respect, and other favors.
Even if favors are small, they accumulate over time as you build trust and
create a history of what to expect from each other. People evaluate your
actions and motives through giving and receiving.

Reciprocity is a basis of trust and a basis for legitimate power. The principle
is that others will reciprocate in kind based upon the way you treat them. The
world gives you what you give to the world.

The Bible reminds us that: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap
sparingly, and whoever sows

generously will also reap generously…. And God is able to make all grace abound
to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will
abound in every good work.”

Salespeople, copywriters, and all types of “marketers” use this
immutable natural law to their advantage to make more sales. That’s why people
in these professions give you free samples. That’s whydoor-to-door vacuum cleaner salespeople offer to clean your house for free.

That’s why charities give out free gifts.

Others understand this law on a faith-based level. They were taught and believe that you should “plant a seed.” Their faith has taught them that giving is somehow a key to carrying out Gods instructions to them. When we give because of faith, we do receive more!
We don’t have to understand it, for it to work. That’s why it’s called faith.

Reciprocity can be both positive and negative and if you harm others, they mayseek revenge or retribution. People want to make things even in relationships, doing good for those who have treated them well. They may even want to do harm to those who have harmed them.

You might ask yourself: How does it apply to me? How should I respond?

In the Divine system, we are created as a channel to serve others. Setting resources in motion, sets spiritual forces in action for you receive your
actions. Practice doing good deeds when opportunities present themselves especially to those who believe and understand this Universal principle.

Tithing, an age-old concept endorsed by every major religion in the world, is  an example of the “Law of Reciprocity” in action. To tithe is to give
back ten percent of your gross earnings to your spiritual source, whether that
is the church, temple, ashram or mosque you attend … it’s where you get your spiritual nutrition and sustenance.

Only giving creates human dignity.

Only giving opens up the soul.

Only giving can miraculously change a life.

Only giving works at soul level and radiates outward to every area of your experience.

Only givers get.

Only givers live a truly fulfilled, powerful, positive, happy and deeply
meaningful life.

Most of us believe to an extent that when we give, we somehow create “good  vibes,” “good karma,” or that we will get something back because we give. We don’t all fully understand how it works however on a psychological level some of us do  understand the immutable law of reciprocity.

Reciprocity isn’t always instantaneous, therefore persistence is vital. Even if you’ve found yourself saying “I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work”, don’t give up! At them proper time we will reap a harvest. By understanding and using the power of  reciprocity, you can improve your relationships and avoid mistakes that can permanently damage your relationships. In life and work, you get what you give.

Start with a smile. It will come back to you! Give ideas! Give money! Give support! Give resources! Repay, in kind, what another person has
provided you.