Meditation Training Increases Cellular Health!?

Mary increasingly gets guys to attend her spiritual class… She does not know why

Positive psychological changes that occur during meditation training are associated with greater telomerase activity, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, San Francisco. The study is the first to link positive well-being to higher telomerase, an enzyme important for the long-term health of cells in the body.

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Religious Knowledge Survey Shows Americans Lack Some Religious Knowledge

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86% of Americans believe in a higher power but lack knowledge of own traditions.

Americans are clear on God but foggy on facts about faiths.The new U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that although 86% of us believe in God or a higher power, we don’t know our own traditions or those of neighbors across the street or across the globe.

 

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Dalai Lama Inspires Scientist to Study Happiness

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

After hearing about his cutting-edge research on the brain and emotions through mutual friends, the Dalai Lama invited Richard Davidson to his home in India in 1992 to pose a question.  Scientists often study depression, anxiety and fear, but why not devote your work to the causes of positive human qualities like happiness and compassion? the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader asked.

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Listening to Prayer Shuts Off Brain Activity Responsible for Scepticism

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Areas of the brain shuts off in response to healer’s prayer.

Areas of the brain responsible for scepticism and vigilance become less active when we fall under the spell of a charismatic figure.  That’s the finding of a study which looked at people’s response to prayers spoken by someone purportedly possessing divine healing powers.

 

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Three-Fourths of Millennial’s Say They Are ‘More Spiritual Than Religious’

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Many members of “Generation Y” are drifting away from traditional Christian beliefs and practices

Most young adults today don’t pray, don’t worship and don’t read the Bible, a major survey by a Christian research firm shows.If the trends continue, “the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships,” says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. In the group’s survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they’re “really more spiritual than religious.”

 

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Women Who Incite Extramarital Sex ‘Cause More Earthquakes’ Claims Iranian Cleric

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Iranian women outside a shopping mall in Tehran.

Women who dress “inappropriately” incite extramarital sex that in turn cause more earthquakes, a senior Iranian hard-line cleric has claimed.  Attractive women who snub traditional Islamic clothing to instead wear fashionable clothes and apply heavy make-up, caused youths in the country to “go astray” and have affairs, Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi said.

 

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Is There Really Life After Death?

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Is there life after death?

Is there life after death? Theologians can debate all they want, but radiation oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Long says if you look at the scientific evidence, the answer is unequivocally yes. Drawing on a decade’s worth of research on near-death experiences — work that includes cataloguing the stories of some 1,600 people who have gone through them — he makes the case for that controversial conclusion in a new book, Evidence of the Afterlife. Medicine, Long says, cannot account for the consistencies in the accounts reported by people all over the world. He talked to TIME about the nature of near-death experience, the intersection between religion and science and the Oprah effect.

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Belief in God on the Decline

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This is the season for traditions: chestnuts roasting on an open fire, carolers on the doorstep, and the endless argument about the secularization of Christmas. This isn’t the usual complaining about the toy and greeting card companies commercializing the holidays, but a much broader trend involving the secularization of religion around the country.

 

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70% of the World’s Population Restricted From Practicing Religion Freely

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Religion repressed in a third of all countries

In Indonesia, Muslim groups burn down a mosque belonging to the minority Ahmadiyya. In Singapore, the government refuses to recognize Jehovah’s Witnesses. In Belgium, 68 religion-based hate crimes are reported in 2007 alone. People living in a third of all countries are restricted from practicing religion freely, either because of government policies and laws or hostile acts by individuals or groups, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, “Global Restrictions on Religion.”

 

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Vatican to Accept Married Priests on Case-by-Case Basis

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The world is indeed changing with the acceptance of married priests

The Vatican said Saturday that married Anglican priests will be admitted to the Catholic priesthood on a case-by-case basis as Rome makes it easier for disillusioned conservative Anglicans to convert.
A surprise Vatican decision, announced 10 days earlier to make it easier for Anglicans to become Roman Catholics while retaining aspects of Anglican liturgy and identity, had left some wondering whether Rome would embrace married Anglican clergy in large numbers.
A Holy See statement Saturday quoted Cardinal William Levada, the Holy See’s guardian of doctrinal correctness, as saying the Vatican would consider accepting married Anglican priests into the Roman Catholic priesthood as it has in the past — evaluating each case on its own merits.
The Roman Catholic church requires its priests to be celibate, except in the case of the Eastern rite Catholics, who are allowed to be ordained if married. But over the last decades, it has also quietly allowed married Anglican clergy to stay priests when converting to Catholicism.
In no case could a married man become a bishop, and the new rules would exclude any married Anglican bishop from retaining that post.
As for possibly admitting married Anglican seminarians to the Catholic priesthood, Levada said “objective criteria about any such possibilities (e.g. married seminarians already in preparation) are to be developed” for approval by the Holy See.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi dismissed what he called some media speculation that there was “disagreement about whether celibacy will be the norm for the future clergy” among converting Anglicans.
He quoted Levada as saying “there is no substance to such speculation,” and that the only reason why the rules regarding the converting Anglicans haven’t been published yet was due to “technical” reasons. He predicted work on the new rules would be completed by the end of the first week of November.
Pope Benedict XVI has dedicated a good part of his papacy since 2005 welcoming traditionalists into Rome’s fold.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of Anglicans worldwide, wasn’t consulted about the changes but will have the opportunity to discuss the state of Catholic-Anglican relations when he meets with Benedict on Nov. 21 during a visit to Rome.
The Vatican’s easing the way for Anglicans to convert might undermine decades of efforts between the Holy See and Anglican leaders over how they might possibly unite.
Anglicans split with Rome in 1534 when the Vatican refused to give English King Henry VIII a marriage annulment. The Anglican communion includes the Episcopalian Church in the United States.
Some Anglican faithful, unhappy over progressive reforms in their church, consider themselves Catholics although they have not yet officially joined the Roman Catholic church.
Anglicans have been divided over such issues as admitting women to the priesthood. The rift was torn wide open in 2003, when the Episcopal Church in the United States consecrated V. Gene Robinson, as the first openly gay bishop.
Also disenchanting Anglican conservatives has been the blessing of same-sex marriages.

The Vatican said Saturday that married Anglican priests will be admitted to the Catholic priesthood on a case-by-case basis as Rome makes it easier for disillusioned conservative Anglicans to convert.

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