Segunda-feira, 4 de Maio de 2020

Tree-Hugging Encouraged in Iceland as a Way to Cope with Isolation

Tree-Hugging Encouraged in Iceland as a Way to Cope with Isolation

Lottie Miles, M.A.

learning-mind.com

Posted May 4th, 2020.

 
.Tree Hugging

 


The citizens of Iceland have been encouraged by the forestry service to hug trees every day for five at least minutes. This is being encouraged to help people cope with social isolation, but does it really work? In this post, we will look at research showing the surprising benefits of hugging trees and explore why tree-hugging really can make you feel better.

Why is tree-hugging recommended in Iceland?

In response to the challenges of social isolation and social distancing due to COVID-19, Iceland’s Forestry Service has encouraged tree-hugging. Physical contact with others has been discouraged whether we are socially distancing or socially isolating. However, this prolonged physical separation can be psychologically challenging. The lack of hugs and physical touch can intensify feelings of separation, isolation, and loneliness. Iceland’s response? Hug trees!
Icelanders are being recommended to hug a tree for at least 5 minutes. The experience of hugging a tree has been described as a visceral feeling. As you hug the tree, a sensation travels through your toes and up through your body all the way up to your head. Rangers from the Hallormsstaður National Forest have cleared snow and marked out 2-meter spaces to help.

The psychological benefits of connection to nature

Humans are intimately connected to nature. This is an idea that has persisted across cultures and throughout the history of time. This is reflected by the idea that we all tend to prefer countryside views to urban ones. Similarly, 100s of studies have found that experiencing nature has a positive effect on our physical and mental wellbeing. Other studies also show that people with pets tend to be happier.
Nature and images of nature often inspire feelings of awe. Piff et. al.’s study found that this sense of awe changes our sense of self and reduces barriers we feel between ourselves and others. The positive emotions we get from nature have also been shown to foster altruistic behavior even when briefly experienced. On the other side, Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods” study hypothesizes that depression and anxiety are fuelled by a disconnect with nature they term a “nature-deficit disorder”.
Other studies have shown the numerous and wide-ranging benefits of a connection to nature. For example:

What are the benefits of tree-hugging?

As we have outlined, getting out into nature, being surrounded by it, or simply viewing it can have psychological and physical benefits. Getting up close and personal only serves to accentuate these effects. This has long been known in Japan, where the national health program has offered forest bathing since 1982.
Known as shinrin-yokuforest bathing has been found to reduce blood pressure, improve memory and concentration, and lower cortisol levels. Rather than simply strolling through a forest, it involves shedding all devices and mindfully spending time under the tree’s canopies. Typically, this would last at least 3 hours. However, the close contact of hugging a tree for 5 minutes makes mindful practice somewhat easier.
Breathe in the smells, feel the way the tree presses against you, feel its energy, and listen to the sounds. Some studies have suggested that forest bathing and tree-hugging might even work because of chemicals the tree emits. Known as phytoncides, these chemicals may have physiological effects that explain why hugging trees and immersing yourself in nature can be beneficial for your health.

How can you benefit from hugging trees and immersing in nature?

walking in nature
There are numerous ways you can seek to benefit from increased engagement with nature, whether that involves hugging trees or not. Here, we outline some of the different ways you can increase your connectedness to nature from the small to the big:
  1. Watch nature programs (truly, this works!).
  2. Surround yourself with plants (at work and at home).
  3. Choose routes with more trees and green spaces, not just the quickest.
  4. Get up early for the birds’ dawn chorus (be sure to be in place before the start of sunrise).
  5. Grow your own flowers and/or food to feel that connectedness with nature.
  6. Plant a tree (or more than one).
  7. Sit under a tree and practice mindfulness.
  8. Go the whole hog and give that tree a big old cuddle! Do this daily, once or more. Close your eyes and really feel at one with nature.
During the time of social distancing, we should be careful to avoid emotional distancing. Fortunately, Iceland’s forestry service might just have cracked how we can all feel more connected.
More and more studies reveal the benefits of feeling connected with nature, and tree-hugging is just one example. Simply seeing it more can improve our wellbeing, both physically and psychologically. However, when we get up close and hug a tree, the benefits can be even greater. Give it a go and see what it can do!


 

 

Lottie Miles

 




 
About the Author: Lottie Miles


 
Lottie Miles is a professional researcher and writer with a passion for human rights. She has 4 years of experience working within the NGO sector and has a Masters Degree in Social Policy. She has a keen interest in exploring ways in which happiness habits can help to improve mental health and wellbeing. In her spare time, she likes doing crossword puzzles, painting and traveling.
 
Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


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Sexta-feira, 14 de Fevereiro de 2020

19th-Century Photos of Snowflakes Under a Microscope Show the Captivating Beauty of Nature’s Creations.

19th-Century Photos of Snowflakes Under a Microscope Show the Captivating Beauty of Nature’s Creations.

Sherrie Hurd.

learning-mind.com

Posted February 13th, 2020.

 
 

 
Every snowflake is different, and yet, curiously the same. Why is this? Well, the fluffy edges and lengths are various, but each snowflake always has the same number of points.
 
As a child, I folded paper and used scissors to cut shapes off the corners of the folded paper. Then I would fold the paper again and cut more shapes from the new corners. After I was done, I unfolded the paper to reveal what looked like a snowflake. This one couldn’t melt, and it brought a huge smile to my face.
 
I think many children did this, and it was magical to them. Although I couldn’t hold the beauty of the snowflake in my hand during a snowstorm, I could keep these paper snowflakes as long as I wanted. Either way, I never got over just how amazing snowflakes could be.
The thing about snowflakes
 
Have you ever heard the expression “No two snowflakes are alike”? Well, it’s actually true. Every single snowflake has its own shape and size. The only similarity and I mean identical part of each snowflake, is the fact that they all have 6 points. Isn’t it remarkable how such unique forms of nature have such mathematical aspects? But you can only fathom this if you understand how snowflakes are formed in the first place.
 
 
How snowflakes form
 
Do you want to know how snowflakes form? Well, the short answer is that cold drops of water attach to pollen or dust in the air, which then forms a crystal. This crystal continues its descent until more water vapor attaches to the crystal and forms its unique shape – which pertains, basically, to the 6 arms of the snowflake.
 
Also, it is that the temperature, not the humidity governs how the snowflake is formed from the crystal. In 23 degree weather, the snowflake will have long pointed crystals while in colder temperatures, the 6 points of the crystal will be flattened. The truth is, a snowflake can change shapes all the way down, but it always retains 6 points. It all depends on the atmosphere.
Capturing the snowflake under a microscope
 
In the 17th century, Johannes Kepler was the first to wonder why snowflakes formed the way they did. It wasn’t until two centuries later that a farmboy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley, used a microscope to discover more.
 
After Bentley’smother purchased him a microscope, he started gazing at everything from blades of grass to insects, but what stopped him in his tracks was when he caught a melting snowflake underneath the lens. He was amazed.
 
 
 
Of course, Bentley had to study his snowflakes in the coldest place he could find around his home. After some time, and despite his father’s irritation of him neglecting his farm chores, he received a camera. When he attached his huge accordion-like camera to his microscope, he captured the first photograph of the snowflake. This was on January 15, 1880.
 
Wilson Bentley took more than 5000 pictures of snowflakes over the course of 46 years. He examined each one carefully, admiring their intricate and unique formations.
 
Of course, after each photo was taken, the snowflake would melt away gradually, taking it’s tangible beauty away forever. If not for the images, we would never be able to see what Bentley saw in those many winters that he devoted his life to his passion.
 
 
Bentley became known as the “Snowflake Man” to those who knew him and also in a 1998 biography written by Duncan Blanchard.
Snowflakes are alluring
 
I may have cut out paper snowflakes as a child, but nothing rivals the real deal. I applaud nature’s art and hope you have enjoyed learning facts about the snowflake and how while vastly different, all retain 6 points of intricate beauty. Maybe we will see a few of them this year, and catch a glimpse of their magic before they fade away.
 
 
References:

  1. https://www.brainpickings.org
  2. https://www.noaa.gov
 

 

Sherrie Hurd

 

 

Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us. 

 

 

 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


 

 

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publicado por achama às 01:16
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Quinta-feira, 30 de Janeiro de 2020

Thought-Provoking TED Talk Shows What Power Our Words Actually Have

Sherrie Hurd.

learning-mind.com

Posted January 29th, 2020.

 
 

 
 
We speak, sometimes without even paying close attention to the words we say. Our words are sometimes babbling, and not really any form of instruction or description at all. After viewing a TED talk about language, I started to look differently at the way I formed my words.
 
Lera Boroditsky delves into the why we speak, how we speak, and the differences in cultural languages. This TED talk brings innovative ideas to wrap your brain around, but you will have to listen with your entire being to understand.
 
What happens when we talk?
 
Basically, we force air out of our mouths in different ways and the hisses, puffs and such travel through the air to others. When they enter the ears of other people, they hit the eardrum and are translated into thoughts. Because of language, we can transmit thoughts across vast distances.
 
There are around 7 thousand languages that are spoken all around the world. Each language works in a different manner. They aren’t just different numbers, letters or exclamations, and they also have different structures. They also come from different ways of thinking as well. So, we might ask ourselves, “do bilingual people have more than one way of thinking?”
 
Structures of language
 
One example of different structures of language comes from an aboriginal tribe in Australia. Instead of saying things like “Your left foot”, they would say, “your southeast foot”.
 
Also, instead of saying ‘hello’ when greeted, these natives ask you which way you are going. You may reply with “I am headed southeast.” Although this may sound incredibly strange, these aboriginal people are much better adapted to directions than many of us are. This is established with simple language.
 
Age progression and language
 
People of different languages think about time differently as well. If you looked at photographs of the aging progression of someone, and the youngest photo was on the left, English speakers would look from left to right. Other cultures may glance at the photos in the opposite direction.
 
As for the aboriginal people, they would order the photos in different ways according to their facing direction. So, to them, time is not locked within us, it is locked within the landscape…from east to west. Reminds you of the suns travel across the sky during a day, doesn’t it?
 
Understanding photos in language
 
If you saw a photo of a group of animals, as an English speaker, you would count them to know the number, right? Well, it isn’t the same with others. For those who weren’t taught the linguistic trick of counting with numbers, this might be difficult. After all, not everyone has the number “6” or “3”, so when matched with other photos of the same number of animals, they might not understand the point.
 
Language and color
 
For many people, there are numerous words for colors and shades of colors. For others, there are few names. On the other hand, in English when we say the overall color “blue”, Russian speakers have two separate words for light blues (goluboy) and dark blues (siniy). Because of this linguistic difference, Russians recognize and differentiate between light and dark blue much faster than English speakers.
 
Feminine and masculine
 
In some languages, nouns have genders. For instance, Spanish speakers see the sun as masculine and the moon as feminine. It’s the opposite for German speakers, with the moon being the masculine form and the sun feminine. This means that those who use masculine and feminine forms also use masculine and feminine descriptions when talking about them. If a bridge is considered masculine, then it might be called “strong or sturdy”…masculine words.
 
Languages and events
 
An event, such as an accident, is described differently according to different languages. If someone leans over and bumps a table, knocking over a lamp, an English speaker might say, “She broke the lamp”, while Spanish speakers may simply say, “the lamp broke”. According to Spanish people, accidents shouldn’t be correlated with someone doing something bad. English people remember who did it. Spanish people remember their intention.
 
The effects of language
 
Words are powerful, and now you can see how they have various effects from one culture to the other. They can have big effects, as they can decide how time works, they can have deep effects as they show the differences in how we understand quantity.
 
Language can govern how fast we differentiate between colors and how we perceive objects in our lives. And finally, words can shape how we feel about and how we handle situations and events. This includes blame and punishment, both decided by language.
 
So, you see, language isn’t just about speaking carelessly and understanding that there are various dialects. It’s about how we perceive these various languages. Unfortunately, we lose a different language about every week, and soon there will be a great reduction in the various cultural dialects. You have to ask yourself, what does this mean for the world.
 
I guess we have to wait and see.’
 

 

Sherrie Hurd

 

 

Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us. 

 

 

 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


 

 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 01:57
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Terça-feira, 21 de Janeiro de 2020

5 Benefits of Handwriting Compared to Typing, According to Science

Lottie Miles.

learning-mind.com

Posted January 21st, 2020.

 
Benefits of Handwriting.

 

 
 
In the modern world, the prominence of smartphones, tablets, and computers means that we communicate via typing rather than the written word. The art of writing by hand is fast becoming a tradition of the past. Yet, according to science, handwriting benefits our brain in multiple ways.
 
In this post, we explore the 5 benefits of handwriting compared to typing and show why you should consider putting pen to paper more often.
 
Is handwriting a lost art?
 
Can you remember the last time you put pen to paper? If the answer is no, then you are likely to be part of a growing body of people who now solely use typing rather than the handwritten word.
 
While it’s hard to put an exact figure on the decline in handwriting over time, some are predicting that this is a dying art form. A study conducted by Docmail found that out of 2000 respondents, one in three had not written anything down on paper over a six month period.
 
5 Benefits of Handwriting
 
So why are we being encouraged to grab a pen and practice the old fashioned art of handwriting? Let’s take a look at the ways handwriting can benefit your cognitive abilities.
 
1. Writing by hand helps us to learn
 
When writing by hand or typing into a computer, we use different parts of our brain, which affects our ability to learn. The movements which we make when we write triggers the activation of larger regions of the brain than when we type, including those that take care of language, healing, thinking, and our memory.
 
A study by Longcamp et al (2006) compared the effect handwriting and typing have on our ability to learn. They found that children that learned to write letters by hand were better able to remember the letters and recognize them than children who had learned the letters by typing them onto a computer.
 
Further research has also demonstrated how handwriting benefits our ability to learn in comparison with typing. Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) compared the ability of students to comprehend information conveyed to them whilst attending a lecture by comparing those that took notes on laptops versus those that wrote them out by hand.
 
Over the course of three experiments, they repeatedly found that students that took notes in longhand were better at answering questions about the lecture than those that typed up the notes.
 
The study concluded that in typing out notes, we are more likely to be transcribing them verbatim. At the same time, with handwriting them out, we are required to process the information and reframe it in our own words, which aids the learning process.
 
2. Handwriting sparks creativity
 
One of the appealing benefits of handwriting is that it helps to spark creativity. Many famous writers have favored the written word even when they had access to a typewriter or computer. J.K Rowling, for instance, hand wrote the whole of The Tales of Beedle the Bard in a leather-bound notebook. Franz Kafka and Ernest Hemingway were also said to have preferred putting pen to paper over reaching for the typewriter.
 
According to science, there is a link between fluid arm movement and its ability to enhance creativity. The speed with which we write also helps us to be more creative. For most of us, typing is now second nature and, consequently, we type with speed. Writing, on the other hand, is much slower and allows you the time to process your thoughts as you write. This gives creative ideas the chance to develop as you write.
 
3. Putting pen to paper can sharpen your brain
 
Retaining cognitive ability as you grow older can also be aided through writing by hand. As when we write, we are engaging our brain more than when we type, handwriting practice boosts your cognitive performance. This, in turn, can reduce the occurrence of cognitive decline in later life. Writing letters, keeping a handwritten diary, or writing out plans can all help towards keeping your brain sharp as you grow older.
 
4. Handwriting can improve your problem-solving skills
 
The process of writing can also help with problem-solving. Many find that writing out the problem can help to clear the mind of the confusion around an issue and make it easier to reach a solution.
 
The technique of ‘brain dumping’ is a great way of being able to see all your ideas down on paper and conceptualize what the next steps are. It can help us to organize knowledge, spot patterns, and draw connections as we write it down.
 
5. Writing helps to relax our mind
 
In a fast-paced world, finding the time to sit down and write can be troublesome. However, in focusing the mind in this way, we can use writing as a way to be mindful and relax our mind. It forces us to slow down a little and patiently write out what we want to say. Similar to doodling or painting, writing can be a way to find a moment of peace in a chaotic world.
 
Final Words
 
With online diary planners, messaging apps, and email, it can seem like there is no longer a need for a pen and paper. However, there are multiple benefits of handwriting which suggest we should not be so quick to dismiss them.
 
Writing on paper can help to engage our brain in a way that typing cannot. It can help us to learn and retain information better, unleash our creative juices, help us to problem solve and even be a mindful process of relaxation.


 

 

Lottie Miles

 






 
About the Author: Lottie Miles


 
Lottie Miles is a professional researcher and writer with a passion for human rights. She has 4 years of experience working within the NGO sector and has a Masters Degree in Social Policy. She has a keen interest in exploring ways in which happiness habits can help to improve mental health and wellbeing. In her spare time, she likes doing crossword puzzles, painting and traveling.
 
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


 

 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 03:31
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Terça-feira, 19 de Novembro de 2019

How Symbols and Meanings Affect Our Perception in the Modern World

Janey Davies.

https://www.learning-mind.com

November 18th, 2019.

 
symbols and meanings.
 
 

 
Do you get hungry when you see the golden arches of McDonald’s? Are you proud when you think about your National flag? You might not think these two things are connected, but they are. They are both symbols, and although they have very different meanings, they demonstrate how they affect our perception.

Symbols and Meanings
 
“A symbol is not just an image, but is like a door into the inner world of the soul.” Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Why We Have Symbols
 
Our brains have to process an enormous amount of data every second of our lives. Symbols help us to make sense of our surroundings. This is because they are a way of instantly communicating. They provide a mental shortcut that triggers recognition, understanding and feeling.
 
Symbols can take on many different forms. For example, a letter, as with the McDonalds’ example, or a simple cross to denote a religious building. Symbols include signs, gestures, objects, signals and even words. We have symbols because they have the ability to reach across a diverse range of races and cultures.
 
Not matter what language you speak, everyone knows what the Apple logo, the red poppy or the Swastika stand for. And with the increase in the use of emoji’s, we are going to use symbols even more to give us meaning.

Symbols Are Used For Communication
 
Our world is rife with symbols. Just think about it. Company logos, traffic signs, the male and female signs on toilet doors, these are all symbols and they all convey different meanings.
 
But symbols are more than just information. Think about the authority behind a policeman’s badge. The instruction your brain receives when it see a Stop Sign. The colour red, the colour green. A gold ring on your third finger. A Nazi Swastika. Symbols can have emotional meanings as well as being informative.

Symbols Have Emotional Meanings
 
Symbols represent ideologies such as religion and political concepts. As such, they are intrinsically linked with our emotions. In the US, the national flag is a revered symbol to be respected and honoured. In the UK, we don’t place so much importance on our flag. So you could argue that symbols have different meanings to whoever is reacting to it.
 
For example, to many Germans, the Nazi Swastika was a symbol of racial purity and German power. To the Jewish population, it instilled fear. Yet, some groups are now adopting this symbol to front their cultural agendas.
 
 
It is the same with religious symbols. The cross is sacred to Christians. However, a burning cross at night is not religious at all. Therefore, each symbol is loaded with meaning, dependant on the person viewing it. The person will associate that particular symbol with a certain feeling or emotion.
 
Symbols Unite Us As Groups
 
But symbols can also unite us into groups. The symbol will then serve as a link for members to express their identity, all without saying a word. The symbols we wear on our lapels, our uniforms or our flags reveal a common way of thinking. We instantly align ourselves by adopting certain symbols. These symbols connect us in a way that words never can.
 
So, in this context, the meanings behind the symbols we use are to show our identity within a certain group. By adopting one symbol over another, we are literally pinning our character to a flag for all to see. We are saying that we identify with others who adopt this symbol.

Why Are Symbols Powerful?
 
You only have to look at the world of sports to appreciate the power of symbols. Take Roger Federer. To many people, Roger is the epitome of someone at the very top of their craft. It’s not surprising then that sports brands fight to the death to sponsor him. Nike had that contract for years.
 
Now just think about that single Nike tick. What it represents to people. When you go to a sports shop and you have to choose between two pairs of trainers, you see the Nike pair with a tick. In your subconscious mind, that is no ordinary tick. That tick represents Roger Federer. His class, his wins, and his triumphs in the face of defeat.
 
It is a symbol loaded with meaning. That tick is a sign of a true sportsman, on and off the court. When you reach for the Nike trainers, for an instant, you are in that special Federer club. You are luxuriating in his success. But it’s just a tick, remember?
 
So, symbols instantly bring up a certain feeling or image or association. As such, they are often used in the media or for propaganda. Symbols have the power to unite or divide us.
 
Many of us added a French flag filter to our social media profile picture after the shootings in a Paris nightclub. Taiwanese students used sunflowers to protest against a secret controversial deal with China. Protests are banned in Thailand. However, students have begun using the three-fingered salute seen in the Hunger Games as a form of silent protest.
 
Even political parties adopt symbols. There is the red rose for Labour, a flying dove for the Libdems, the pound sign for UKIP. This is so that people who cannot read or write can easily vote for their party.
 
Symbols are everywhere. We cannot avoid them.

Final Thoughts on Symbols and Meanings
 
There’s no doubt of the power of symbols and what their meanings represent. They have an instant effect on us. We need to understand this. Then we can step back before we react and think about symbols and how their meanings really affect us.
 
References:
 

Janey Davies

 



About the Author: Janey Davies.
Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 
 
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 




 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 03:41
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