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Learning paths content lists

Neural networks are a plastic, dynamic architecture, a constellation of neurons that light up momentarily to perform a specific task. This is why, as you mull over a particular thought (good or bad), or practice a particular activity (beneficial or detrimental), you reinforce the neural networks that correlate with those thoughts and skills. Each time a situation reminds you of an actual fearful or dangerous experience from your past and instinctual emotions are brought up, that specific neural network is reinforced. More
“The motif of the return of the Great Goddess and her consort is encountered over and over again in the dreams and unconscious fantasies of people who seek psychological help to overcome the deadness of their lives. Arts, films, literature, and political upheavals also reflect increasingly the same dynamics. The changes they demand entail new understanding of masculinity and femininity in both men and women and the relations between the sexes as well as new views of reality.” —Edward C. Whitmont More
The Gifts of Imperfection book cover
In many ways, my research has not only taught me new ways to think about how I want to live and love, it’s taught me about the relationship between my experiences and choices. One of the most profound changes in my life happened when I got my head around the relationship between gratitude and joy. I always thought that joyful people were grateful people. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? They have all of that goodness to be grateful for. But after spending countless hours collecting stories about joy and gratitude, three powerful patterns emerged: More
I grew up in an atheist family.  While my parents were raised in religious homes—my father in a kosher Jewish house, my mother in a devout Christian Science one—as adults they renounced their adherence to organized religion and raised me and my sisters in a “religion free-zone.”  More
It is extremely difficult for me to give a message from the spirit world to someone whose thinking is negative and limited, because spirit is expansive. In order for spirits to reach us, our minds must be open to what could be. Negative thinking, skepticism, and control create restriction, and spirits cannot harness the energy from us necessary to communicate. The following example shows how destructive thinking and skepticism closed down the channels to a daughter’s desperate plea for love. More
Stephan Rechtschaffen, cofounder of Omega, suggest that true wellness is about understanding yourself and your body by listening within to become aware of what is healthy and what is harmful. Finding wellness is like experiencing peaceful silence amidst the roar of an urban turbo-charged environment. It’s possible, but requires commitment and effort. More
Stephan: The Stress Reduction Clinic, which you founded in 1979, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Since that time, we’ve seen incredible changes in the fields of health and healing, including the introduction of mindfulness into mainstream medicine and culture. What drew you to devote yourself to this teaching? More
Elizabeth: You are often called one of America’s leading spiritual teachers. What does it mean to you to be a spiritual teacher? Sharon: I call myself a meditation teacher rather than a spiritual teacher. But, I understand why people use that word. I imagine they’re trying to capture the idea of practicing or working with someone to look underneath our immediate circumstance to find meaning or happiness without identifying with a particular religious path. More
People marvel at the way children live in the moment. Yet from the time we are very young we are taught to abandon our direct experience and move lock, stock, and barrel into the abstract land of the reasoning mind. A reasoning mind is a great wonder! It helps us analyze, classify, learn, and plan; it is key to our survival. Yet, the older we get, the more lost in thought we become. We contemplate the past, we dream about the future, we worry, we anticipate, we fantasize about our lives. Our minds grow filled with an endless stream of chatter. More
Imagine yourself under water, still fully able to breathe. Now try moving. Move just one arm and hand, slowly at first. Can you "feel" how the "water" streams around the arm, between the fingers, across the back of the hand and all around? As I do it now, I feel a fluidity in the movement itself, as if my arm and hand suddenly have a new life to them. More