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Help with the next issue of HOLONS

Last post 12-06-2007, 11:07 AM by jondavi. 16 replies.
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  •  06-30-2007, 5:24 PM 25070 in reply to 20477

    Re: Help with the next issue of HOLONS

    Brain Scans Reveal Why Meditation Works

    Melinda Wenner
    Special to LiveScience
    LiveScience.com
    Sat Jun 30, 1:35 PM ET

    If you name your emotions, you can tame them, according to new research that suggests why meditation works.

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    Brain scans show that putting negative emotions into words calms the brain's emotion center. That could explain meditation’s purported emotional benefits, because people who meditate often label their negative emotions in an effort to “let them go.”

    Psychologists have long believed that people who talk about their feelings have more control over them, but they don't know why it works.

    UCLA psychologist Matthew Lieberman and his colleagues hooked 30 people up to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines, which scan the brain to reveal which parts are active and inactive at any given moment.

    They asked the subjects to look at pictures of male or female faces making emotional expressions. Below some of the photos was a choice of words describing the emotion—such as “angry” or “fearful”—or two possible names for the people in the pictures, one male name and one female name.

    When presented with these choices, the subjects were asked to pick the most appropriate emotion or gender-appropriate name to fit the face they saw.

    When the participants chose labels for the negative emotions, activity in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex region—an area associated with thinking in words about emotional experiences—became more active, whereas activity in the amygdala, a brain region involved in emotional processing, was calmed.

    By contrast, when the subjects picked appropriate names for the faces, the brain scans revealed none of these changes—indicating that only emotional labeling makes a difference.

    “In the same way you hit the brake when you’re driving when you see a yellow light, when you put feelings into words, you seem to be hitting the brakes on your emotional responses,” Lieberman said of his study, which is detailed in the current issue of Psychological Science.

    In a second experiment, 27 of the same subjects completed questionnaires to determine how “mindful” they are.

    Meditation and other “mindfulness” techniques are designed to help people pay more attention to their present emotions, thoughts and sensations without reacting strongly to them. Meditators often acknowledge and name their negative emotions in order to “let them go.”

    When the team compared brain scans from subjects who had more mindful dispositions to those from subjects who were less mindful, they found a stark difference—the mindful subjects experienced greater activation in the right ventrolateral prefrontral cortex and a greater calming effect in the amygdala after labeling their emotions.

    “These findings may help explain the beneficial health effects of mindfulness meditation, and suggest, for the first time, an underlying reason why mindfulness meditation programs improve mood and health,” said David Creswell, a UCLA psychologist who led the second part of the study, which will be detailed in Psychosomatic Medicine.

    • Video: Here's to Your Brain
    • Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind
    • Using the Mind to Cure the Body
    • Original Story: Brain Scans Reveal Why Meditation Works

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  •  12-06-2007, 11:07 AM 33207 in reply to 20416

    Re: Help with the next issue of HOLONS

    Hey Marco,

    Here's a story that might fit somewhere into your next publication of Holons.

    It's about an old traditional way of living that can only be described as ethnocentricity in red.  Insofar as the collective c-o-g is concerned, its altitude appears to be concentrated at that level, which doesn't account for the UL quadrant but might say alot about the LL and what it represents here.

    Where does this fit into the overall scheme of things? 

    Pre-Trans Amber, to put it in general terms, huh? 

    Nah...it's gotta be red...and to think, in an Orange county, of all things!

    Of course, one of the key characters involved does claim it's just business as usual.  Of course!  Business and family politics. 

    What's new?

    Well, this might just be a peek into a life-style that's been around for a long, long time.  It might be something many know nothing about.  Unless you've ever been a bohemian nomad with a flair for fighting over territorial domain, you might think this is something new.  Off the radar and virtually unknown, the gypsy sub-culture is alive and well...or at least fighting to stay alive, in good ol' southern California. 

    Gypsy clans feud over fortunetelling biz

    By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press WriterWed Dec 5, 2:44 PM ET

    A dispute between two Gypsy clans over control of the fortunetelling trade in this Southern California city has spilled into court, offering a rare glimpse of an insular culture that has long settled scores according to its own Old World rules of honor.

    The turf war in well-to-do Orange County has unfolded like a gangster movie, with allegations of death threats, a graveside scuffle, and nicknames like "White Bob" and "Black Bob" — details revealed in a police report and requests for restraining orders.

    "The older Gypsies are pulling out their hair, not wanting the courts in our business because they'll find out too much about us," said Tom Merino, who is distantly related to one of the clans but has spurned his heritage. "Ignorance is the Gypsies' weapon against the outside world."

    The Stevens and Merino clans, like other Gypsy families, have run numerous fortunetelling businesses in Southern California for decades.

    The trouble started two years ago when Edward Merino and his wife, Sonia, opened fortunetelling parlors in two trendy resort sections of Newport Beach, not far from where the Stevenses did business.

    Members of the Stevens clan promptly broke in, stole a credit card machine and threatened to kill the Merinos if they didn't shut the places down, the Merinos claim in court papers. Since then, the bad blood has only gotten worse.

    The Stevenses "are very territorial," Merino attorney Tom Quinn said. "This is crazy stuff."

    At the root of the conflict lies a delicate system of intermarriage and social customs that has defused tensions among Gypsy clans for generations, said Anne Sutherland, a University of California, Riverside anthropologist who has studied Gypsies.

    Gypsies trace their origins to India more than 1,000 years ago. They migrated to Europe in the 1300s. For centuries, Gypsies were enslaved and persecuted in Europe, where they were scorned as nomadic thieves and con artists skilled primarily at palm reading.

    Gypsies — also known as Romany — began arriving in the U.S. from Romania toward the end of the 19th century. Experts believe there are now about 1 million in America, one-fifth of them in California, where they dominate the fortunetelling and psychic shops in funky beach communities and other neighborhoods.

    The Stevens and Merino clans adopted an Old World custom of uniting families through marriage to cope with intense competition, much as European nobility once did to avert war. A Merino married the Stevens patriarch, George Stevens.

    But the family bond did not prevent tensions from flaring when, the Merinos say, the Stevenses demanded they pay $500,000 up front and $5,000 a week to open their fortunetelling businesses in the Stevenses' back yard. The Merinos refused to pay, and went ahead and opened their parlors. The alleged break-in soon followed.

    Gypsies have traditionally resolved disputes in front of a secret council of elders that can impose fines, make territorial decisions or order someone shunned. They don't like to involve non-Gypsies, who are considered impure.

    The Merinos, though, went to court after the alleged break-in and obtained a restraining order in 2006 requiring George Stevens to stay a safe distance away.

    That the dispute wound up in court reflects an erosion of tradition among the Gypsies, said Ian Hancock, an expert on Gypsy language and culture at the University of Texas.

    "It used to be that the Romany world was absolutely insulated from the outside world," said Hancock, a Gypsy himself. "But it's very hard to resist the pressures of MTV, and people are beginning to see alternatives."

    He cited cases in which Gypsy women in Houston hired lawyers to get their ex-husbands to pay child support — something previously unheard of.

    Things were calm for months until the Stevens patriarch died of a heart attack at age 53 last May. Edward "Davie" Merino showed up at the funeral, pulling up at the cemetery in a limo with what was described as a menacingly burly chauffeur.

    Merino says members of the Stevens clan attacked him and screamed, "We will make your life a living hell!" But the Stevenses claim that Merino flashed a gun and threatened to "come back and kill all of you." Both sides agree that before speeding off, Merino shouted that he wanted to make sure "the mother-(expletive) was dead."

    Merino declined repeated requests for an interview through his attorney and calls to his home were not returned.

    After the scrap, someone left ominous phone messages and threatened to kill Sonia Merino and the couple's children, ages 9 and 11, Edward Merino claimed in court papers.

    Edward Merino filed for restraining orders against four Stevens men and two Stevens women. Over the summer, a judge granted such an order against just one person, the new Stevens patriarch, Ted Stevens.

    Stevens' nephew, the only Gypsy directly involved in the feud who spoke to The Associated Press, said the Merinos concocted the allegations and are using the courts to try to drive their rivals out of Newport Beach.

    "They beat themselves up and then they testify that we hired people to come to their house and beat them up," said Steve Stevens, who goes by the nickname "White Bob" to distinguish him from his swarthier cousin, "Black Bob."

    Stevens, who owns two fortunetelling parlors and a deli, added: "I feel like they've made me out like a character on `The Sopranos.' I'm a businessman. I'm a family man. That's all I am."


    The yoga of light and sound is really only one event. It's the frequency of their vibrations that is different.

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