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Forest green natural stone – malachite and its powers

as cited on thespruce.com

The meaning of malachite is in its energy. Malachite is one of the best stones to promote a constant flow because this powerful healer is especially attuned to improving your health and well-being.

Malachite clears stagnant energy, removes blockages and helps you achieve a state of genuine well-being on many levels – from physical to emotional.

Be aware that, as with many other stones, malachite is often synthetically made. The beautiful malachite ring you just bought from a department store might not be a real malachite, so always best to ask about the origin and quality of your stone before purchasing jewelry.

A reputable supplier will help you differentiate between the natural and the man-made malachite so you can make an informed choice.

You can easily find malachite in tumbled form, as well as in shapes such as hearts, spheres, pyramids, angels, turtles, etc.

It is not easy to find malachite clusters or natural points, while geodes are sometimes available. Of course, malachite jewelry is popular and widely available, but again, be sure you are buying a natural malachite if you want to truly benefit from the healing energy of this stone.

WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT MALACHITE?
Malachite has a unique combination of fresh and potent flow of healing energy that is refreshing and soothing at the same time. Depending on the depth of its multitude of green colours, malachite can also be grounding and calming.

This is a much-loved stone in many cultures because it has a strong renewing energy that is optimistic, healing and revitalizing; malachite reminds us to always look at life with fresh new eyes.

Malachite is also used for protection, especially when the striations on its surface resemble the eye shape (this use is similar to the use of Dzi beads and Turkish “evil eye” jewelry).

WHERE DOES MALACHITE COME FROM?
Most of the malachite on the market comes from Russia, Zaire, Chile, and Australia.

WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC FENG SHUI PROPERTIES OF MALACHITE?
As a strong energizer and protector, the malachite is used in many feng shui cures – from feng shui turtles for support, spheres and egg shapes for health to malachite Wu Lou (Chinese gourds) for wealth.

Malachite can also energize any stagnant area of your home or office, so it can be used as a feng shui activating cure for a specific period of time.

WHERE DO I PLACE THE MALACHITE FOR GOOD FENG SHUI?
The strong and vibrant green of the malachite – a color that belongs to the Wood feng shui element – makes malachite items an excellent feng shui cure for Health & Family (East) and Money & Abundance (Southeast) areas of your home bagua.

You can also place the malachite in the office, close to your computer, to help maintain your energy levels throughout the day.

WHAT FORM OF MALACHITE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
You can go for malachite tumbled rocks or choose from a variety of carvings, such as the ones mentioned above – from angels to hearts, it is up to you to choose a symbol that speaks to you the most.

Of course, if malachite is the stone whose energy can really benefit you, do not hesitate to buy yourself malachite jewelry. It is not very expensive, and it can really work its magic when placed close to your body/in your personal energy field.

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Meanings of Healing Gemstones

Learn the power of the stones and improve your life NOW !!!

from energymuse.com

Abalone Shell

Just as an Abalone Shell provides safe shelter for abalone, it will also lend a protective, healing energy to your spirit. Shielding you from waves of negativity, the soothing energy of abalone shells is one full of peace, beauty, compassion and love. The Native Americans believe this shell to be a sacred shell and use it, along with sage, to carry messages to Heaven. Abalone is excellent to wear when you are in need of guidance in a relationship.

Agate

If your life constantly feels out of balance, with one aspect going well while another spins out of control, use agate to establish stability with its grounding energy. Connecting with your physical power, this crystal will slowly but surely help you to build up your strengths and diminish your weaknesses with acceptance. With increased concentration and confidence, the properties of agate make it easier to focus on what is good in your life, so that you can heal from mistakes and bring the harmony it instill in your spirit to everything you do.
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Amazonite

If your mind is polluted with toxic negativity, clean it up with Amazonite. This stone will restore your spirit to its most serene state of being by eliminating your worries, self-doubts and frustrations. Often, pain that we experienced in our past will create an energy block in our present. This block can manifest into a difficulty expressing yourself in relationships, or even into creative slumps at work. By flooding your heart and throat chakras with loving energy, amazonite opens you up to release that which has hurt you. Free of those energy blocks, you better express yourself in every area of life. That’s what makes this stone highly beneficial for artists.
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Amethyst

Amethyst is like a spa-day in a stone, it is the exact kind of relaxing energy that we could all use after a long day. Allow amethyst’s energy of contentment to sooth away the day-to-day stresses that keep you up at night. In working with the third eye and crown chakras, Amethyst indulges your intuitions. This not only means that amethyst will help your body give into innate desires like sound sleep and relaxation, but it will also work with your third eye to balance the mind with insightful solutions to problems.
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Apatite

Your appetite for life, creative endeavors and passionate pursuits will feel nearly insatiable when overwhelmed by the exhilarating energy of Apatite. Working with the energy of this crystal helps you to not only recognize your ambitions, but chase after them with a newfound vigor. Let the inspirate this stirs within you, find new creative outlets.
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Apophyllite

Anxiety is like a weed—if you ignore it, it will take over. Apophyllite lets you be proactive against anxiety by pinpointing its destructive qualities with the energy of calm. Get rid of overactive thoughts, repressed emotions and negative patterns by using apophyllite to redirect your attention from the mind to the body. As apophyllite cleanses the third eye and crown chakras with a sensation of love, devote your attention to breathing in peace and exhaling any useless negativity that you still harbor.
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Aquamarine

Use Aquamarine to ride the positive waves toward closure, major life changes and a higher consciousness. The stress and fear that this stone washes away, leaves room peace and tranquility in their absence. Aquamarine protects the psyche from taking on dark vibrations and negative behavioral patterns. Easy is the essence of the smooth flowing energy of aquamarine.
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Aventurine

If you’re heading to Las Vegas, forget about lady luck—aventurine is the one you want by your side! The whimsical energy of this shimmering crystal is especially conducive to the power of plenty. While it’s playfully referred to as a gambler’s stone, Aventurine is helpful to everyone. Sometimes a gamble looks less like a game, and more like a fork in the road of your life; a time when you have to decide between what is sound and secure, or taking a risk. In connecting with the heart chakra, Aventurine graces the spirit with an easy sense of confidence. The excitement it stimulates can promote a more optimistic outlook that will make jumping out of your comfort zone less scary.
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Azurite

Though Azurite gets its name from the word azure, meaning blue, the energy it blesses you with will have you feeling anything but blue. Azurite is often referred to as the “Stone of the Heavens,” as it aids in the pursuit of the heavenly self. It is believed to awaken psychic abilities, helping you to recognize intuition and spiritual guidance. It calms and relieves mental stress, helping you to clear your mind and dissolve any blocked energy. Native Americans valued it as a sacred stone for communication with Spirit Guides. The Mayans are also said to have used it for sacred and mystical communication.
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Black Tourmaline

Secure under the dome of Black Tourmaline’s protection, not even the worst energy downer can burst your happy bubble. Black Tourmaline is one of the most powerful crystals for protection and elimination of negative energy. It helps to put an energetic boundary between you and others, so that you don’t pick up unwanted energies. When placed in the four corners of a room, Black Tourmaline seals the room with a protective shield. This formation assists in balancing out the energy and dispelling any energies of a lower vibration.
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Bloodstone

Get your blood pumping with the revitalizing energy of Bloodstone. Let bloodstone fill you with a surge of courage, self-esteem, energy and protection so that you can enjoy living in the now. With the pure, upbeat energy of this crystal, you’ll make the most out of every moment.
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Blue Lace Agate

Fear of public speaking and fear of confrontations usually go hand in hand. If a clog in your throat chakra is holding you back, use the comforting energy of Blue Lace Agate to speak your truth. The relaxed peace of mind that blue lace agate establishes will promote insightful, authentic and articulate dialogue.
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Bronzite

Hit the ground running with the grounding and reenergizing properties of Bronzite. This protective stone will postmark negative energy “Return to Sender,” and make sure that the bad vibes of others don’t make their way to you. In harmonizing all chakras, bronzite stimulates the entire chakric field so every chakra is functioning at its highest potential. If you’re going through a difficult situation where your energy is depleted and negativity is everywhere, let bronzite give you the energy to fight through and be your bronze shield against whatever negativity comes your way.
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Carnelian

Carnelian is the life of the party. Creative and confident, the energy of carnelian motivates a rush of vibrancy within the sacral chakra to stimulate your inner star. Tapping into carnelian’s exciting properties will lend a sense of power that can prove especially beneficial for artists needing to break through creative blocks or those embarking on new projects + ambitions. Wear carnelian during a job interview to invoke the energies of opportunity and luck. With carnelian close, you’ll be sure to impress your prospects with your charm and vitality.
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Celestite

The name Celestite comes from the Latin word for heavenly, and its stress relieving vibes will certainly feel like nirvana to a chaotic mind. Though it’s a high-vibrational crystal, the intensity of celestite’s uplifting nature is gentle enough to still be soothing. If you are experiencing anxiety from unfamiliar situations or difficult relationships, working with Celestite can bring clarity and aid in your ability to reconcile. By instilling you with a calm approach, you will be better equipped to handle whatever life brings you.
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Chrysocolla

If you are constantly looking toward the horizon, Chrysocolla is the energy your free spirit needs to stop dreaming about adventure and start one. Inspired by the energy of willpower, creativity, confidence and tranquility, you will feel motivated to transform your future ambitions into present realities. Use chrysocolla to commence a new beginning, and be on your way to happily ever after.
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Chrysoprase

Can’t handle the truth? End the pattern of denial and confront truths with the energy of Chrysoprase. Through a mix of compassion, forgiveness, increased conflict resolution capability and the abandonment of petty judgements, the properties of this crystal will create a mindset ready to take on any harsh truth. The kindness and love that chrysoprase also imbue you with in your heart and sacral chakras will give you a more optimistic and insightful point of view.
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Citrine

Derived from the French word “citron” meaning lemon, this crystal’s vibe is anything but sour! Sweet is the essence of this fortune flourishing gem. The sunny attitude of citrine cultivates energy that is fertile for growth. In working with the solar plexus chakra, citrine warms the core to radiate power, centeredness, confidence and endurance throughout the body and mind. Citrine is unique because it is one of few stones that, rather than absorbing negative energy, clears it. It makes room for happiness and light so that the spirit is welcoming to a wide range of positive possibilities.
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Clear Quartz

Clear Quartz maybe a rockstar among crystals, but it’s no diva—it shares its spotlight. For those whose spirit needs illumination, clear quartz brings clarity to shadows within the mind. The reason there is so much lore surrounding the Clear Quartz is because of how intensely it resonates with the body. A universal healer, it links to all chakras to provide balance and harmony. Its ability to be programed for manifestation is unlike any other crystal. By elevating thoughts and perspective, it will help manifest your intentions like never before.
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Dalmation Jasper

Just like a dalmatian, Dalmatian Jasper can be your best friend when you’re feeling low, and a protective guard when your energy is under attack. Use this stone to lift your spirits with its innate happiness. Its playfulness will take your focus off of what is troubling your mind, and inspire a joy within the body that will enhance strength and creativity. If someone is attempting to push their negative vibes onto you, dalmatian jasper will signal their intentions to you, and infuse you with the positivity to overcome those frequencies.
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Dumortierite

Instead of getting pushed around, bulk up your spiritual strength with Dumortierite and stay true to yourself. While dumortierite lends patience, it won’t let you mistake patience for complacency. The energy of this crystal guides you with insight in how best to communicate in confrontations, or cut toxic ties. As dumortierite makes you feel light and joyful, it also helps you to let go all the things that weigh you down.
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Fluorite

Embrace the energy of fluorite, and flow right into those sweet dreams. Let fluorite guide you from a state of anxiety to one of tranquility by cleansing both your mind and environment. This is an absorbent crystal that will neutralize all of the negativity around it. Sleeping near or meditating with fluorite ensures mental clarity, and harmony between chakras.
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Fuchsite

Also known as the healer’s stone, tapping into the magical and restorative essence of Fuchsite is like sprinkling fairy dust over your emotional wounds. While the energy of fuchsite will restore your spiritual health, it has no qualms about having to break and reset unhealthy mental constructs in order to do so. If your tendency is to blame others and pose as the victim, or to ignore your own problems as you attempt to fix those around you, fuchsite will force you to confront these negative habits. Though it may sound harsh, the love, self-worth and sense of independence that fuchsite infuses you with will ease the sting of any realizations.
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Garnet

Not all energy has to come in a Venti-sized cup; reenergize the crystal way with garnet, and you’ll have all of the vitality without the impending crash. By arousing the chi, or life force, within the physical body, garnet encourages you to go out and smell roses. Seize the day and all of your potential with help of this stone for enhancing health, passion and pleasure.
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Goldstone

To ensure a golden future, embrace the protective energy of Goldstone. Goldstone is made from quartz and sand glass, and infused with copper particles to give it its shimmery appearance. The sparkles of Goldstone are symbolic of light that can always be found in the darkness. It deflects unwanted energies and is highly regarded in the spirit realm as a protective mineral.

Hematite

Hematite tells it like it is. If you’re spinning out of control, or spending all your time going over things in your mind on constant replay, hematite is going to give you a reality check. It brings you out of your mind and back down to earth. Hematite’s energy focuses on the body, and it teaches us to do the same. Rather than over analyzing due to stress or anxiety, use hematite to connect to your root chakra so that you can stay grounded and just be.
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Jade

Jade is like that outfit you wear on first dates or that necklace you wear on job interviews—it always brings good luck. Through awakening a new outlook in the third eye chakra, jade opens you up to prosperity and abundance. The wisdom that this stone can bring has been admired since ancient civilizations, and can still lend an insightful energy to your modern day problems. Through instilling a sense of peace and purity within the mind, jade guides the spirit until it has a clear vision of who you are truly meant to be.
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K2 Stone

Instead of letting your fears dictate who you are and what you do, embody the fierce strength of this crocodile-patterned stone to overcome those anxieties once and for all. Kambaba Jasper will inspire a whole new mental outlook as you become aware of talents and capabilities that you never knew you had. This stone can transform your life if you embrace the direction it points you in, which will often be the scariest and most rewarding.
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Kambaba Jasper

Instead of letting your fears dictate who you are and what you do, embody the fierce strength of this crocodile-patterned stone to overcome those anxieties once and for all. Kambaba Jasper will inspire a whole new mental outlook as you become aware of talents and capabilities that you never knew you had. This stone can transform your life if you embrace the direction it points you in, which will often be the scariest and most rewarding.
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Labradorite

With the mystical energy of labradorite, sparks of neon will illuminate the path to your destiny. Labradorite is a stone of magic and curiosity. Wearing or holding Labradorite helps you tap into a higher state of consciousness. It’s a protective stone as well, so it will keep your energy body grounded, while allowing you to explore the expanded states of the universe. By connecting to and healing all chakras, it boosts mental and spiritual power. Labradorite opens you up, forcing you to become self-aware enough to see what you want your true intentions to be.
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Lapis Lazuli

Realize your spiritual potential with the high vibrational energy of Lapis Lazuli. Full of the wisdom and awareness that this stone brings, your soul will be ready to embark on a journey of awakening. Strive toward enlightenment as you pursue your true destiny, and leave pettiness and stress behind. This is a powerful stone for broadening your understanding, and should be used especially by those having issues with self-expression.
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Leopard Skin Jasper

Sometimes we get hurt, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to move past it. Leopard Skin Jasper surrounds you with self-healing energy to help you to lick those wounds away, and get back to most powerful self. Through supplying ground energy to your base and root chakras, this crystal will take you out of your head and clear the insecurity and fears that reside there. Instead, get realigned with your simplest, most important goals.
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Lepidolite

Enter the next phase of your life with the help of Lepidolite. Through the transformational energy of this crystal, you can recognize where you want to be in life and what you need to change in order to get there. Lepidolite will guide you from chaotic stages of life, toward calm times of consistent progress and positivity. While the lithium in this stone is said to be good for those with turbulent emotions, it’s beneficial for anyone who is in need of a sense of stability. Transitions are tough, but with lepidolite to provide tranquility and balance, the journey can be a little bit easier.
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Malachite

Tough love from a tough crystal, Malachite is the friend you go to when you need that unfiltered relationship advice. If some reason or another, something always seems to go wrong in your relationships, Malachite can cleanse the chakras and bring you to a realization about what’s not working. It’s one of the most powerful transformational crystals for the heart. The emotional balance it provides will encourage you to take the action you need to remove negative patterns and enhance your transformational energy.
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Mookaite

Embrace your wanderlust and let Mookaite be your spiritual compass, pointing you in the direction of adventure. Awaken your true potential with the energy of this stone, and pursue the passions you’ve put on hold. The willpower that mookaite stimulates in your solar plexus and root chakras will rouse in you a desire to explore new activities. Its exciting, yet comforting energy makes for a great travel companion for those on a solo journey.
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Moonstone

The milky radiance of this crystal represents tenderness, and is believed to bring lovers closer together. Moonstone is a magical stone that connects you to your divine feminine and inner Goddess. It helps you unlock the energy of the Moon that resides within you to keep you in a more balanced state. Moonstone acts as a guide to help you do what’s necessary to become more balanced, healthy and in sync.
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Obsidian

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most self-aware of them all? With black obsidian in hand, it’s probably you. Facing the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of ourselves is hard, but obsidian makes it easier. Through showing you a reflection of your true self, obsidian forces you to accept yourself entirely. It connects to the root chakra to ground you during contemplation. Working with black obsidian will assist you in cutting the stress and negative patterns from your life by first bringing them to your attention. As you see what needs to be expelled from your life, obsidian rewards you by absorbing that toxic energy. No wonder they call it the stone of truth!
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Ocean Jasper

Bring in the tide of high vibes with Ocean Jasper. Detox from the stress of life and allow the energy of ocean jasper to assuage your overburdened mind with positivity. Embrace and enjoy your journey with other humans, and let happiness be the current you flow to. When difficulties arise, ocean jasper will help your to avoid a crash by lending you the insight to peacefully navigate around them.
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Onyx

Sometimes, whether in our work life or our relationships, it can feel like we’re walking a tight rope. Adopting the energy of Onyx let’s you breathe easier, giving you the balance, confidence and protection to take the next step. Lending you strength of mind, onyx will help you to see what is weighing you down and release it from your life. By fortifying your decision making capabilities, onyx encourages you to stop concentrating on the rope or the potential to fall, and instead look forward at the bright future ahead of you.
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Orange Calcite

Shower yourself with the love and positivity of Orange Calcite to wash away your fears and negativity. Holding onto sadness from your past only ruins your present. Let that pain go down the drain, and lather up with the revitalizing energy of orange calcite instead. Not only will it balance your emotions and heal your wounds, orange calcite will activate your sacral chakra for enhanced creativity as well.
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Peridot

Skip being green with envy, and use the energy of Peridot to become green with abundance. Resentment doesn’t look good on anybody. Peridot helps you to ditch toxic emotions of jealousy, spite and stress, and replace them with insight, confidence and a radiant sense of purpose. The beauty of this energy will shine through you, as it washes you with powerful cleansing properties that will leave you with a lighter, more pure essence.
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Picture Jasper

Understand the bigger picture more clearly with the help of Picture Jasper. As this crystal nurtures and balances your emotions, it grounds your base and root chakras with its earthly energy. This provides you with the calm wisdom to dispel fears, and reflect on situations with wisdom.
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Pyrite

Often referred to as “Fool’s Gold” for its resemblance to real gold, Pyrite may not have the monetary value of its doppelgänger, but it is a metaphysical treasure. In addition to attracting wealth, abundance and good luck, it’s believed to hold a strong protective energy. The reflective nature of pyrite being more than just physical, it has the ability to show you which of behaviors are holding you back. This elevates your consciousness to be more aware of what you need to change in order to vibrate the intention of abundance on the same frequency as pyrite.
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Red Jasper

Red Jasper almost seems to hug you with its comforting essence. Jasper’s energy is the support you can lean on when stress is tearing you down. As a supreme nurturer, jasper soothes the mind of anxiety so that it can focus on other things. Jasper’s encouragement helps you to take on new pursuits, deal with conflicts and approach problems with creative solutions.
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Rhodochrosite

The self-love stone, Rhodochrosite will combat feelings of inadequacy with a treat yourself mentality of self-worth. You deserve the love you receive, and Rhodochrosite energy helps you to accept that by filling you up with love and joy for yourself. This stone of empowerment will be your cheerleader, infuse your heart chakra with the courage and positivity to take on new challenges.
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Rhodonite

Keep calm and carry on is the message that rhodonite inspires within the heart chakra. When stirring feelings are causing waves of turmoil in your spiritual body, tame the emotional seas with rhodonite’s love, grounding and insight. Discover new passions, attract a more fulfilling kind of love and boost humanitarian efforts with the help of this crystal for calm connectedness.
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Rhyolite

If thoughts about your past are haunting your present, use Rhyolite to tap into your inner zen and stop thinking about “back then.” The self-esteem boosting energy of this crystal helps foster acceptance and emotional release. With a profound wisdom, you can see the past through a new lens, and take the lessons you learn to create positive changes for your future.
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Rose Quartz

See the world through rose tinted glasses by tapping into the universal love of rose quartz. This stone will open up your heart chakra to every kind of love that you need—whether it’s self-love, familial love, friendship love, love for humanity or romantic love. As a flush of compassion, happiness, forgiveness and peace pulses through you, rose quartz will assist you in ease your grip on toxic emotions. With this sense of release, your spirit can finally be free of petty negativity.
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Rutilated Quartz

As if filtering out negativity and psychic attacks through its complex network of needle-like rutiles, Rutilated Quartz ensures that only the purest vibes get through. If you’re prone to holding in frustrations or resentments, working with rutilated quartz may be just the energy you need to forgive and let go. While supportive, the energy of rutilated quartz will force you to bring issues to the surface so that they can be dealt with. That may sound intimidating, but rutilated quartz’s ability to help you better deal with conflicts also relieves the fear and anxiety you may have going into them.
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Selenite

The pure, high vibrational energy of Selenite is like liquid light. As it flows through your space, it brightens the energy of everyone and everything within it. Selenite has the ability to cleanse, purify and align you with your highest potential. It shifts your aura and energetic vibration to attune you with a higher energy. Low vibrational energies attract negativity on the same level. Raising your vibration is essential to keeping feelings of grief, fear, anger and anxiety out of your mental and physical space.
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Serpentine

If an inability to get a handle on your hormones has you reminiscing about your teenage years in all the wrong ways, use Serpentine to bring back the balance. Swings are fun, but mood swings are anything but. Serpentine helps to clear out and release the dense areas of the chakras so that healing can occur. It helps you to take responsibility for your life and know your life is what you create it to be. Serpentine serves as a gentle reminder that you can always reach for the stars and obtain your goals. It can also be used to attract and manifest anything you want in life, whether its abundance, prosperity, love or emotional healing!
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Shungite

Shungite is like the friend in romantic comedies who the love interest doesn’t realize is amazing until 60 minutes into the movie. Touted as the Miracle Stone of the 21st Century, shungite has been around for an estimated 2 billion years, but it wasn’t until the 1996 Nobel Prize-winning research that discovered antioxidant fullerenes within the stone, that people began to wake up to shungite’s healing potential. It is now the go-to stone for EMF protection, purification and detoxification of the body, as well as providing general healing for the emotional well being. You can even place shungite in your water to create a purified elixir!
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Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz isn’t the kind of energy that’s going to let you sit in a dark, stuffy room and pout. This crystal wills you to get up, draw the curtain to positive light, and open the windows to let the air of negativity out. If something no longer serves you, smoky quartz gives you the clarity to let it go. Working with Smoky Quartz helps you to overcome negative emotions such as stress, fear, anger, jealousy, and even feelings of depression. Elevate your mood with this stone that helps to keep both feet on the ground, and remain balanced in any situation.
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Sodalite

The way Sodalite grounds you with energies like self-esteem, acceptance and trust will have you begging to get grounded. This harmony inducing stone reestablishes the connection between the higher mind and the body, releasing the fears and tensions held in both. Use sodalite’s encouraging energy to strengthen bonds with others and bring balance into every area of your life.
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Sunstone

Just as the sun brings life to all the living things on Earth, Sunstone will breathe life into your creative spirit. Sunstone promotes energy, vitality, and creativity. The effervescent energy of sunstone reminds you of the joy that creating is meant to inspire. This stone nourishes the sacral and solar plexus chakras to breed confidence, power and leadership within your being. Free from beneath the blanket of self-doubt, your creativity will finally flourish with the power of the sun.
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Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s Eye gets its name from its amber hues, but its ability to bestow fierce focus and primal power only bolsters its tiger-like reputation. This crystal helps you to see through a fresh set of eyes, so that you can gain clarity on situations that have become blurry or confusing. Tiger’s eye shifts your outlook so that you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself. Is there a new hobby you’d like to try? A solution to a problem you haven’t considered? An aspect to yourself that you haven’t indulged? Tiger’s eye connects to the solar plexus and sacral chakras to ground you in the power you need to pursue those ventures.
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Tourmalinated Quartz

The pillars of tourmaline embedded within Tourmalinated Quartz remind us that we all have pillars of strength within us that we can lean on when we feel weak. With the clarity and energy amplification of quartz, and the protection of tourmaline, you’ll feel a resurge of energy that will encourage you to conquer your self-sabotaging behaviours and thoughts. This stone is all about recognizing the power you have within yourself to solve or deal with any problem in your life. Tap into tourmalinated quartz when you need to harmonize your mind and spirit, and attract the kind of luck and abundance that stem from making positive life decisions.
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Tree Agate

Establish strong spiritual roots with Tree Agate, and wavering emotions will never be enough to tear you down. Those looking for stability and nurturing protection will find solace in the gentle, but sturdy security of tree agate. Tune into the energy of Earth’s ancient trees with this crystal for perseverance, and you’ll learn how to weather any storm. Not only rich in inner peace, the abundance that this crystal attracts will also bring new opportunities your way.
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Turquoise

Said by Native American cultures to be the bridge between heaven and Earth, Turquoise, known as the “master Healer,” provides a path to your vibrationally highest self. Many Native American cultures believe that turquoise helps to connect the mind to the infinite possibilities of the Universe. As a throat Chakra stone, turquoise helps to foster honest and open communication from the heart. In working to protect and align the chakras, turquoise strengthens the entire mind and body in the process.

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Merkaba and quartz, perfect combination of peace.

Pendulums are great tools for self realization and communication with one’s Higher Self. The geometric shape of the Merkaba is a star tetrahedron. There are three of these superimposed on each other making a trinity. It is a vehicle that not only takes spirit and body from one dimension to another it can also create reality. It gives us an expanded awareness of who we are by connecting us with higher levels of consciousness. In other words it plugs us back in so we wake up and remember our true nature!

The Ancient Egyptians believed The Merkaba was a counter-rotating field of light that affects spirit and body simultaneously.

It is believed to be a vehicle that can take spirit and body, or one’s interpretation of reality, from one world or dimension into another. That it can also create reality as well as move through realities. It is seen as an inter-dimensional vehicle that can aid humanity to return to their original higher states of consciousness. Linking the mind, heart and body. The Merkaba balances and revives the activities between the two sides of our brain. Such training strengthens our sensitivities and mental abilities. At this time we use only 5 to 10% of our brain. The Merkaba assists us in our spiritual growth. The Merkaba enables us to feel unconditional love thus healing ourselves as well as others. It gives us the possibility of creating any kind of harmonious reality we desire. The Merkaba can be “programmed” to do anything, the only drawback being our own beliefs.

Rose quartz is pink quartz that is often called the “Love Stone.” It is a stone of unconditional love that opens the heart chakra to all forms of love: self-love, family love, platonic love, and romantic love.

The high energy of quartz gives rose quartz the property of enhancing love in virtually any situation. In turn, this lowers stress. All in all it is a very soothing and happy stone.

Emotionally rose quartz brings gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance.

It raises one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It helps balance emotions and heal emotional wounds and traumas, even grief, bringing peace and calm. Rose quartz removes fears, resentments and anger. It can also heal and release childhood traumas, neglect, and lack of love, in part by enhancing inner awareness. It can help with reconciliation with family and others. Overwhelming or unreasonable guilt is eased by rose quartz.

In the psychic and spiritual realms, rose quartz is often used to attract love, and for love spells. It is also used to ease the process of transition in dying. Rose quartz can be helpful for dream recall and dream work.

Physically rose quartz is used in crystal healing to benefit the heart, the circulatory system, fertility, headaches, kidney disease, migraines, sexual dysfunction, sinus problems, throat problems, depression,

addictions, ear aches, slowing signs of aging, reducing wrinkles, spleen problems, fibromyalgia, and reaching one’s ideal weight / weight loss. Rose quartz is also helpful and protective during pregnancy and with childbirth. It is also sometimes said that rose quartz is helpful for supporting brain functions and increasing intellect.

Rose quartz is associated with the heart chakra.

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Yoga origins and history, peace of mind and natural health

Yoga  is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India.

 

There is a broad variety of Yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic and śramaṇa movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist Pāli Canon, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.

Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.

Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease.

Etymology

In Vedic Sanskrit, yoga  means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach” in its most common literal sense. By figurative extension from the yoking or harnessing of oxen or horses, the word took on broader meanings such as “employment, use, application, performance” . All further developments of the sense of this word are post-Vedic. More prosaic moods such as “exertion”, “endeavour”, “zeal”, and “diligence” are also found in Indian epic poetry.

There are very many compound words containing yoga in Sanskrit. Yoga can take on meanings such as “connection”, “contact”, “union”, “method”, “application”, “addition” and “performance”. In simpler words, Yoga also means “combined”. For example, guṇáyoga means “contact with a cord”; chakráyoga has a medical sense of “applying a splint or similar instrument by means of pulleys “; chandráyoga has the astronomical sense of “conjunction of the moon with a constellation”; puṃyoga is a grammatical term expressing “connection or relation with a man”, etc. Thus, bhaktiyoga means “devoted attachment” in the monotheistic Bhakti movement. The term kriyāyoga has a grammatical sense, meaning “connection with a verb”. But the same compound is also given a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras, designating the “practical” aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the “union with the supreme” due to performance of duties in everyday life

According to Pāṇini, a 6th-century BCE Sanskrit grammarian, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga  or yuj samādhau . In accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, states that yoga means samādhi .

According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga  or yuj samādhau . Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi  or yogini .

Goals

The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha, although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.

According to Jacobsen, “Yoga has five principal meanings:

According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of “yoga” were more or less in place, and variations of these principles developed in various forms over time:

# Yoga, is a meditative means of discovering dysfunctional perception and cognition, as well as overcoming it for release from suffering, inner peace and salvation; illustration of this principle is found in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Yogasutras, in a number of Buddhist Mahāyāna works, as well as Jain texts;

# Yoga, as the raising and expansion of consciousness from oneself to being coextensive with everyone and everything; these are discussed in sources such as in Hinduism Vedic literature and its Epic Mahābhārata, Jainism Praśamaratiprakarana, and Buddhist Nikaya texts;

# Yoga, as a path to omniscience and enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent  and permanent  reality; examples are found in Hinduism Nyaya and Vaisesika school texts as well as Buddhism Mādhyamaka texts, but in different ways;

# Yoga, as a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multiple bodies, and the attainment of other supernatural accomplishments; these are, states White, described in Tantric literature of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the Buddhist Sāmaññaphalasutta; James Mallinson, however, disagrees and suggests that such fringe practices are far removed from the mainstream Yoga’s goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in Indian religions.

White clarifies that the last principle relates to legendary goals of “yogi practice”, different from practical goals of “yoga practice,” as they are viewed in South Asian thought and practice since the beginning of the Common Era, in the various Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical schools.

Schools

The term “yoga” has been applied to a variety of practices and methods, including Jain and Buddhist practices. In Hinduism these include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Laya Yoga and Hatha Yoga.

The so-called Raja Yoga refers to Ashtanga Yoga, the eight limbs to be practiced to attain samadhi, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali. The term raja yoga originally referred to the ultimate goal of yoga, which is usually samadhi, but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga.

Hinduism

Classical yoga

Yoga is considered as a philosophical school in Hinduism. Yoga, in this context, is one of the six āstika schools of Hinduism .

Due to the influence of Vivekananda, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are nowadays considered as the foundational scripture of classical yoga, a status which it only acquired in the 20th century. Before the twentieth century, other works were considered as the most central works, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Vasistha, while Tantric Yoga and Hatha Yoga prevailed over Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga yoga

Yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali refers to Ashtanga yoga. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is considered as a central text of the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy, It is often called “Rāja yoga”, “yoga of the kings,” a term which originally referred to the ultimate, royal goal of yoga, which is usually samadhi, but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga yoga incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethical practices, systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit. the Yoga school of Hinduism accepts the concept of a “personal, yet essentially inactive, deity” or “personal god”. Along with its epistemology and metaphysical foundations, the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy incorporates ethical precepts  and an introspective way of life focused on perfecting one’s self physically, mentally and spiritually, with the ultimate goal being kaivalya .

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga, also called hatha vidyā, is a kind of yoga focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism:

# Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Svātmārāma

# Shiva Samhita, author unknown

# Gheranda Samhita by Gheranda

Many scholars also include the preceding Goraksha Samhita authored by Gorakshanath of the 11th century in the above list.

Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas, has a series of asanas and pranayamas, such as tummo  See also ‘tantra’ below.

Buddhism

Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and insight.

Core techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and Nirvana. The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā and jhāna/dhyāna.

Jainism

Jain meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism along with the Three Jewels. Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom. It aims to reach and to remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure conscious, beyond any attachment or aversion. The practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer . Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to the auspicious Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and Raudra Dhyana.

Tantra

Samuel states that Tantrism is a contested concept. Tantra yoga may be described, according to Samuel, as practices in 9th to 10th century Buddhist and Hindu  texts, which included yogic practices with elaborate deity visualizations using geometrical arrays and drawings, fierce male and particularly female deities, transgressive life stage related rituals, extensive use of chakras and mantras, and sexual techniques, all aimed to help one’s health, long life and liberation.

History

The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization  and pre-Vedic Eastern India, the Vedic period, and the śramaṇa movement. According to Gavin Flood, continuities may exist between those various traditions:

Pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE. Between 200 BCE–500 CE philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge. The Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy.

Pre-Vedic India

Yoga may have pre-Vedic elements. Some state yoga originated in the Indus Valley Civilization. Marshall, Eliade According to Geoffrey Samuel, “Our best evidence to date suggests that  practices developed in the same ascetic circles as the early sramana movements, probably in around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE.”

According to Zimmer, Yoga philosophy is reckoned to be part of the non-Vedic system, which also includes the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, Jainism and Buddhism: ” does not derive from Brahman-Aryan sources, but reflects the cosmology and anthropology of a much older pre-Aryan upper class of northeastern India  – being rooted in the same subsoil of archaic metaphysical speculation as Yoga, Sankhya, and Buddhism, the other non-Vedic Indian systems.”

Textual references

The first use of the root of word “yoga” is in hymn 5.81.1 of the Rig Veda, a dedication to rising Sun-god in the morning, where it has been interpreted as “yoke” or “yogically control”.

Rigveda, however, does not describe yoga and there is little evidence as to what the practices were.

Vedic ascetic practices

Ascetic practices, concentration and bodily postures used by Vedic priests to conduct yajna, might have been precursors to yoga. Vratya, a group of ascetics mentioned in the Atharvaveda, emphasized on bodily postures which may have evolved into yogic asanas. Techniques for controlling breath and vital energies are mentioned in the Brahmanas  and the Atharvaveda. Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda suggests the presence of an early contemplative tradition.

Preclassical era

Yoga concepts begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE such as the Pali Canon, the middle Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata.

Upanishads

The first known appearance of the word “yoga”, with the same meaning as the modern term, is in the Katha Upanishad, where it is defined as the steady control of the senses, which along with cessation of mental activity, leading to a supreme state. It is the earliest literary work that highlights the fundamentals of yoga. White states:

The hymns in Book 2 of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, another late first millennium BCE text, states a procedure in which the body is held in upright posture, the breath is restrained and mind is meditatively focussed, preferably inside a cave or a place that is simple, plain, of silence or gently flowing water, with no noises nor harsh winds.

In addition to the Yoga discussion in above Principal Upanishads, twenty Yoga Upanishads as well as related texts such as Yoga Vasistha, composed in 1st and 2nd millennium CE, discuss Yoga methods.

Sutras of Hindu philosophies

Yoga is discussed in the ancient foundational Sutras of Hindu philosophy. The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra of the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, dated to have been composed sometime between 6th and 2nd century BCE discusses Yoga. According to Johannes Bronkhorst, an Indologist known for his studies on early Buddhism and Hinduism and a professor at the University of Lausanne, Vaiśeṣika Sūtra describes Yoga as “a state where the mind resides only in the soul and therefore not in the senses”.

Similarly, Brahma sutras – the foundational text of the Vedanta school of Hinduism, discusses yoga in its sutra 2.1.3, 2.1.223 and others. and its sutras assert that yoga is a means to gain “subtlety of body” and other powers. The Nyaya sutras – the foundational text of the Nyaya school, variously estimated to have been composed between the 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE, discusses yoga in sutras 4.2.38–50. This ancient text of the Nyaya school includes a discussion of yogic ethics, dhyana, samadhi, and among other things remarks that debate and philosophy is a form of yoga.

Macedonian historical texts

Alexander the Great reached India in the 4th century BCE. Along with his army, he took Greek academics with him who later wrote memoirs about geography, people and customs they saw. One of Alexander’s companion was Onesicritus, quoted in Book 15, Sections 63–65 by Strabo, who describes yogins of India. Onesicritus claims those Indian yogins  practiced aloofness and “different postures – standing or sitting or lying naked – and motionless”.

Onesicritus also mentions his colleague Calanus trying to meet them, who is initially denied audience, but later invited because he was sent by a “king curious of wisdom and philosophy”. He notes: Early known Buddhist sources like the Majjhima Nikāya mention meditation, while the Anguttara Nikāya describes Jhāyins  that resemble early Hindu descriptions of Muni, Kesins and meditating ascetics, but these meditation-practices are not called yoga in these texts. The earliest known specific discussion of yoga in the Buddhist literature, as understood in modern context, is from the third- to fourth-century CE scriptures of the Buddhist Yogācāra school and fourth- to fifth-century Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa.

A yoga system that predated the Buddhist school is Jain yoga. But since Jain sources postdate Buddhist ones, it is difficult to distinguish between the nature of the early Jain school and elements derived from other schools.

The early Buddhist texts describe meditative practices and states, some of which the Buddha borrowed from the śramaṇa tradition. The Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage. However, there is no mention of the tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecarī mudrā. The Buddha used a posture where pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, similar to even modern postures used to stimulate Kundalini.

Uncertainty with chronology

Alexander Wynne, author of The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, observes that formless meditation and elemental meditation might have originated in the Upanishadic tradition. The earliest reference to meditation is in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of the oldest Upanishads.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, uses the term “yoga” extensively in a variety of ways. In addition to an entire chapter  dedicated to traditional yoga practice, including meditation, it introduces three prominent types of yoga:

Karma yoga: The yoga of action.

Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion.

The Gita consists of 18 chapters and 700 shlokas, Some scholars divide the Gita into three sections, with the first six chapters with 280 shlokas dealing with Karma yoga, the middle six containing 209 shlokas with Bhakti yoga, and the last six chapters with 211 shlokas as Jnana yoga; however, this is rough because elements of karma, bhakti and jnana are found in all chapters.

Mahabharata

Description of an early form of yoga called nirodhayoga  is contained in the Mokshadharma section of the 12th chapter  of the Mahabharata. The verses of the section are dated to c. 300–200 BCE. Nirodhayoga emphasizes progressive withdrawal from the contents of empirical consciousness such as thoughts, sensations etc. until purusha  is realized. Terms like vichara, viveka  and others which are similar to Patanjali’s terminology are mentioned, but not described. There is no uniform goal of yoga mentioned in the Mahabharata. Separation of self from matter, perceiving Brahman everywhere, entering into Brahman etc. are all described as goals of yoga. Samkhya and yoga are conflated together and some verses describe them as being identical.

Mahabharata defines the purpose of yoga as the experience of uniting the individual ātman with the universal Brahman that pervades all things.

Classical era

This period witnessed many texts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism discussing and systematically compiling yoga methods and practices. Of these, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are considered as a key work.

Classical yoga

During the period between the Mauryan and the Gupta era  philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge.

Samkhya

Many traditions in India began to adopt systematic methodology by about first century CE. Of these, Samkhya was probably one of the oldest philosophies to begin taking a systematic form. Patanjali systematized Yoga, building them on the foundational metaphysics of Samkhya. In the early works, the Yoga principles appear together with the Samkhya ideas. Vyasa’s commentary on the Yoga Sutras, also called the Samkhyapravacanabhasya, describes the relation between the two systems. The two schools have some differences as well. Yoga accepted the conception of “personal god”, while Samkhya developed as a rationalist, non-theistic/atheistic system of Hindu philosophy. Sometimes Patanjali’s system is referred to as Seshvara Samkhya in contradistinction to Kapila’s Nirivara Samkhya.

The parallels between Yoga and Samkhya were so close that Max Müller says that “the two philosophies were in popular parlance distinguished from each other as Samkhya with and Samkhya without a Lord.”

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

In Hindu philosophy, yoga is the name of one of the six orthodox  philosophical schools. Karel Werner, author of Yoga And Indian Philosophy, believes that the process of systematization of yoga which began in the middle and Yoga Upanishads culminated with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

There are numerous parallels in the concepts in ancient Samkhya, Yoga and Abhidharma Buddhist schools of thought, particularly from 2nd century BCE to 1st century AD, notes Larson. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is a synthesis of these three traditions. From Samkhya, Yoga Sutras adopt the “reflective discernment”  of prakrti and purusa, its metaphysical rationalism, as well its three epistemic methods to gaining reliable knowledge. The verses of Yoga Sutras are terse. Many later Indian scholars studied them and published their commentaries, such as the Vyasa Bhashya . Patanjali’s yoga is also referred to as Raja yoga. Patanjali defines the word “yoga” in his second sutra:

– Yoga Sutras 1.2

This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. I. K. Taimni translates it as “Yoga is the inhibition  of the modifications  of the mind “. Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as “Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff  from taking various forms .” Edwin Bryant explains that, to Patanjali, “Yoga essentially consists of meditative practices culminating in attaining a state of consciousness free from all modes of active or discursive thought, and of eventually attaining a state where consciousness is unaware of any object external to itself, that is, is only aware of its own nature as consciousness unmixed with any other object.”

If the meaning of yoga is understood as the practice of nirodha, then its goal is “the unqualified state of niruddha “, according to Baba Hari Dass. In that context, “yoga  implies duality ; the result of yoga is the nondual state”, and “as the union of the lower self and higher Self. The nondual state is characterized by the absence of individuality; it can be described as eternal peace, pure love, Self-realization, or liberation.”

Patanjali’s writing also became the basis for a system referred to as “Ashtanga Yoga” . This eight-limbed concept is derived from the 29th Sutra of the Book 2 of Yoga Sutras. They are:

# Yama : Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, and Aparigraha . Santosha, Tapas, Svādhyāya, and Ishvara-Pranidhana . Yoga disputes the monism of Advaita Vedanta.

Yoga Yajnavalkya

The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical treatise on yoga attributed to the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya. It takes the form of a dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Gargi, a renowned philosopher. The text contains 12 chapters and its origin has been traced to the period between the second century BCE and fourth century CE. Many yoga texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Yoga Kundalini and the Yoga Tattva Upanishads have borrowed verses from or make frequent references to the Yoga Yajnavalkya. The Yoga Yajnavalkya discusses eight yoga Asanas – Swastika, Gomukha, Padma, Vira, Simha, Bhadra, Mukta and Mayura, numerous breathing exercises for body cleansing, and meditation.

Jainism

According to Tattvarthasutra, 2nd century CE Jain text, yoga is the sum of all the activities of mind, speech and body. as well as one of the essentials—samyak caritra—in the path to liberation. Acarya Haribhadra and Acarya Hemacandra mention the five major vows of ascetics and 12 minor vows of laity under yoga. This has led certain Indologists like Prof. Robert J. Zydenbos to call Jainism, essentially, a system of yogic thinking that grew into a full-fledged religion. The five yamas or the constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear a resemblance to the five major vows of Jainism, indicating a history of strong cross-fertilization between these traditions.

Mainstream Hinduism’s influence on Jain yoga is noticed as Haribhadra founded his eightfold yoga and aligned it with Patanjali’s eightfold yoga.

Yogacara school

In the late phase of Indian antiquity, on the eve of the development of Classical Hinduism, the

Yogacara movement arises during the Gupta period .

Yogacara received the name as it provided a “yoga,” a framework for engaging in the practices that lead to the path of the bodhisattva. The yogacara sect teaches “yoga” as a way to reach enlightenment.

Middle Ages

Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Hatha yoga emerged in this period.

Bhakti movement

The Bhakti movement was a development in medieval Hinduism which advocated the concept of a personal God . The movement was initiated by the Alvars of South India in the 6th to 9th centuries, and it started gaining influence throughout India by the 12th to 15th centuries. Shaiva and Vaishnava bhakti traditions integrated aspects of Yoga Sutras, such as the practical meditative exercises, with devotion. Bhagavata Purana elucidates the practice of a form of yoga called viraha  bhakti. Viraha bhakti emphasizes one pointed concentration on Krishna.

Tantra

Tantra is a genre of yoga that arose in India no later than the 5th century CE. George Samuel states, “Tantra” is a contested term, but may be considered as a school whose practices appeared in mostly complete form in Buddhist and Hindu texts by about 10th century CE. Over its history, some ideas of Tantra school influenced the Hindu, Bon, Buddhist, and Jain traditions. Elements of Tantric yoga rituals were adopted by and influenced state functions in medieval Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in East and Southeast Asia.

By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra. They were later translated into Chinese and other Asian languages, helping spread ideas of Tantric Buddhism. The Buddhist text Hevajra Tantra and Caryāgiti introduced hierarchies of chakras. Yoga is a significant practice in Tantric Buddhism.

Hatha Yoga

The earliest references to hatha yoga are in Buddhist works dating from the eighth century. The earliest definition of hatha yoga is found in the 11th century Buddhist text Vimalaprabha, which defines it in relation to the center channel, bindu etc. Hatha yoga synthesizes elements of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with posture and breathing exercises. It marks the development of asanas  into the full body ‘postures’ now in popular usage and, along with its many modern variations, is the style that many people associate with the word yoga today.

Sikhism

Various yogic groups had become prominent in Punjab in the 15th and 16th century, when Sikhism was in its nascent stage. Compositions of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, describe many dialogues he had with Jogis, a Hindu community which practiced yoga. Guru Nanak rejected the austerities, rites and rituals connected with Hatha Yoga. He propounded the path of Sahaja yoga or Nama yoga  instead. The Guru Granth Sahib states:

Modern history

Reception in the West

Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid-19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy. In the context of this budding interest, N. C. Paul published his Treatise on Yoga Philosophy in 1851.

The first Hindu teacher to actively advocate and disseminate aspects of yoga to a western audience, Swami Vivekananda, toured Europe and the United States in the 1890s. The reception which Swami Vivekananda received built on the active interest of intellectuals, in particular the New England Transcendentalists, among them R. W. Emerson, who drew on German Romanticism and the interest of philosophers and scholars like G.W.F. Hegel, the brothers August Wilhelm Schlegel  and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, Max Mueller, Arthur Schopenhauer  and others who had  interests in things Indian.

Theosophists also had a large influence on the American public’s view of Yoga. Esoteric views current at the end of the 19th century provided a further basis for the reception of Vedanta and of Yoga with its theory and practice of correspondence between the spiritual and the physical. The reception of Yoga and of Vedanta thus entwined with each other and with the  currents of religious and philosophical reform and transformation throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. M. Eliade, himself rooted in the Romanian currents of these traditions, brought a new element into the reception of Yoga with the strong emphasis on Tantric Yoga in his seminal book: Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. With the introduction of the Tantra traditions and philosophy of Yoga, the conception of the “transcendent” to be attained by Yogic practice shifted from experiencing the “transcendent”  in the mind to the body itself.

The American born yogi by the name of Pierre Arnold Bernard, after his travels through the lands of Kashmir and Bengal, founded the Tantrik Order of America in 1905. His teachings gave many westerners their first glimpse into the practices of yoga and tantra.

The modern scientific study of yoga began with the works of N. C. Paul and Major D. Basu in the late 19th century, and then continued in the 20th century with Sri Yogendra  and Swami Kuvalayananda. Western medical researchers came to Swami Kuvalayananda’s Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center, starting in 1928, to study Yoga as a science.

The West, in the early 21st century typically associates the term “yoga” with Hatha yoga and its asanas  or as a form of exercise. During the 1910s and 1920s in the USA, yoga suffered a period of bad publicity due largely to the backlash against immigration, a rise in puritanical values, and a number of scandals. In the 1930s and 1940s yoga began to gain more public acceptance as a result of celebrity endorsement. In the 1950s the United States saw another period of paranoia against yoga,

Teachers of Hatha yoga who were active in the west in this period included B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Swami Vishnu-devananda, and Swami Satchidananda . Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1969. Comprehensive, classical teachings of Ashtanga Yoga, Samkhya, the subtle body theory, Fitness Asanas, and tantric elements were included in the yoga teachers training by Baba Hari Dass, in the United States and Canada.

A second “yoga boom” followed in the 1980s, as Dean Ornish, a follower of Swami Satchidananda, connected yoga to heart health, legitimizing yoga as a purely physical system of health exercises outside of counter-culture or esotericism circles, and unconnected to any religious denomination.

Since 2001, the popularity of yoga in the USA has risen constantly. The number of people who practiced some form of yoga has grown from 4 million  to 20 million . It has drawn support from world leaders such as Barack Obama who stated, “Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing many lines of religion and cultures,… Every day, millions of people practice yoga to improve their health and overall well-being. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take part in PALA, so show your support for yoga and answer the challenge”.

The American College of Sports Medicine supports the integration of yoga into the exercise regimens of healthy individuals as long as properly-trained professionals deliver instruction. The College cites yoga’s promotion of “profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness” and its benefits as a form of stretching, and as an enhancer of breath control and of core strength.

Exercise and health applications

Yoga has been studied and is increasingly recommended to promote relaxation, reduce stress and some medical conditions such as premenstrual syndrome in Europe as well as in the United States.

In 2015 the Australian Government’s Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance; Yoga was one of 17 practices evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found, with the caveat that “Reviewers were limited in drawing definite conclusions, not only due to a lack of studies for some clinical conditions, but also due to the lack of information reported in the reviews and potentially in the primary studies.”

While the practice of yoga continues to rise in contemporary American culture, sufficient and adequate knowledge of the practice’s origins does not. According to Andrea R. Jain, Yoga is being marketed as a supplement to a cardio routine with health benefits, but in Hinduism it is more than exercise and incorporates meditation with spiritual benefits.

Potential benefits for adults

While much of the medical community regards the results of yoga research as significant, others point to many flaws which undermine results. Much of the research on yoga has taken the form of preliminary studies or clinical trials of low methodological quality, including small sample sizes, inadequate blinding, lack of randomization, and high risk of bias. Long-term yoga users in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics. There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice increases brain GABA levels, and yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically-matched exercises, such as walking. The three main focuses of Hatha yoga  make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood-pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors. For chronic low back pain, specialist Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has been found 30% more beneficial than usual care alone in a UK clinical trial. Other smaller studies support this finding. The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs programme is the dominant treatment for society  due to 8.5 fewer days off work each year. A research group from Boston University School of Medicine also tested yoga’s effects on lower-back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in the use of pain medication.

There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients. Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue and to increase anxiety control. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction  programs include yoga as a mind-body technique to reduce stress. A study found that after seven weeks the group treated with yoga reported significantly less mood disturbance and reduced stress compared to the control group. Another study found that MBSR had showed positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth in cancer patients.

Yoga has also been studied as a treatment for schizophrenia. Some encouraging, but inconclusive, evidence suggests that yoga as a complementary treatment may help alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and improve health-related quality of life.

Yoga has been shown in a study to have some cognitive functioning  acute benefit.

A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found no evidence that yoga was effective for metabolic syndrome.

Physical injuries

A small percentage of yoga practitioners each year suffer physical injuries analogous to sports injuries; Yoga has been criticized for being potentially dangerous and being a cause for a range of serious medical conditions including thoracic outlet syndrome, degenerative arthritis of the cervical spine, spinal stenosis, retinal tears, damage to the common fibular nerve, “Yoga foot drop,” etc. An exposé of these problems by William Broad published in January, 2012 in The New York Times Magazine resulted in controversy within the international yoga community. Broad, a science writer, yoga practitioner, and author of The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, had suffered a back injury while performing a yoga posture. Torn muscles, knee injuries, and headaches are common ailments which may result from yoga practice.

An extensive survey of yoga practitioners in Australia showed that about 20% had suffered some physical injury while practicing yoga. In the previous 12 months 4.6% of the respondents had suffered an injury producing prolonged pain or requiring medical treatment. Headstands, shoulder stands, lotus and half lotus, forward bends, backward bends, and handstands produced the greatest number of injuries.

Some yoga practitioners do not recommend certain yoga exercises for women during menstruation, for pregnant women, or for nursing mothers. However, meditation, breathing exercises, and certain postures which are safe and beneficial for women in these categories are encouraged.

Among the main reasons that experts cite for causing negative effects from yoga are beginners’ competitiveness and instructors’ lack of qualification. As the demand for yoga classes grows, many people get certified to become yoga instructors, often with relatively little training. Not every newly certified instructor can evaluate the condition of every new trainee in their class and recommend refraining from doing certain poses or using appropriate props to avoid injuries. In turn, a beginning yoga student can overestimate the abilities of their body and strive to do advanced poses before their body is flexible or strong enough to perform them.

Acetabular labral tears, damage to the structure joining the femur and the hip, have been reported to have resulted from yoga practice.

Pediatrics

It is claimed that yoga can be an excellent training for children and adolescents, both as a form of physical exercise and for breathing, focus, mindfulness, and stress relief: many school districts have considered incorporating yoga into their P.E. programs. The Encinitas, California school district gained a San Diego Superior Court Judge’s approval to use yoga in P.E., holding against the parents who claimed the practice was intrinsically religious and hence should not be part of a state funded program.

Physiology

Over time, an extended yoga physiology developed, especially within the tantric tradition and hatha yoga. It pictures humans as composed of three bodies or five sheaths which cover the atman. The three bodies are described within the Mandukya Upanishad, which adds a fourth state, turiya, while the five sheaths  are described in the Taittiriya Upanishad. They are often integrated:

# Sthula sarira, the Gross body, comprising the Annamaya Kosha

Within the subtle body energy flows through the nadis or channels, and is concentrated within the chakras.

Yoga and specialized meditation

Zen Buddhism

Zen, the name of which derives from the Sanskrit “dhyāna” via the Chinese “ch’an” is a form of Mahayana Buddhism. The Mahayana school of Buddhism is noted for its proximity with yoga. In the west, Zen is often set alongside yoga; the two schools of meditation display obvious family resemblances. This segregation deserves attention because yogic practices integrally exist within the Zen Buddhist school. Certain essential elements of yoga are important both for Buddhism in general and for Zen in particular. The last six are described as “yoga yanas”: “Kriya yoga”, “Upa yoga,” “Yoga yana,” “Mahā yoga,” “Anu yoga” and the ultimate practice, “Ati yoga.” The Sarma traditions also include Kriya, Upa, and Yoga, with the Anuttara yoga class substituting for Mahayoga and Atiyoga.

Other tantra yoga practices include a system of 108 bodily postures practiced with breath and heart rhythm. The Nyingma tradition also practices Yantra yoga, a discipline that includes breath work, meditative contemplation and precise dynamic movements to centre the practitioner. The body postures of Tibetan ancient yogis are depicted on the walls of the Dalai Lama’s summer temple of Lukhang. A semi-popular account of Tibetan yoga by Chang  refers to caṇḍalī, the generation of heat in one’s own body, as being “the very foundation of the whole of Tibetan yoga.” Chang also claims that Tibetan yoga involves reconciliation of apparent polarities, such as prana and mind, relating this to theoretical implications of tantrism.

Reception in other religions

Christianity

Some Christians integrate yoga and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer and meditation. This has been attributed to a desire to experience God in a more complete way. In 2013, Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, servicing Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, having worked for over 23 years with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said that for his Meditation, a Christian can learn from other religious traditions, quoting Aspects of Christian meditation: “Just as “the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions,” neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements are never obscured. It is within the context of all of this that these bits and pieces should be taken up and expressed anew.” Previously, the Roman Catholic Church, and some other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to some eastern and New Age practices that include yoga and meditation.

In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and “A Christian reflection on the New Age,” that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003 document was published as a 90-page handbook detailing the Vatican’s position. The Vatican warned that concentration on the physical aspects of meditation “can degenerate into a cult of the body” and that equating bodily states with mysticism “could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations.” Such has been compared to the early days of Christianity, when the church opposed the gnostics’ belief that salvation came not through faith but through a mystical inner knowledge. but maintains the idea that “there must be some fit between the nature of  prayer and Christian beliefs about ultimate reality.”

Another view holds that Christian meditation can lead to religious pluralism. This is held by an interdenominational association of Christians that practice it. “The ritual simultaneously operates as an anchor that maintains, enhances, and promotes denominational activity and a sail that allows institutional boundaries to be crossed.”

Islam

In early 11th century, the Persian scholar Al Biruni visited India, lived with Hindus for 16 years, and with their help translated several significant Sanskrit works into Arabic and Persian languages. One of these was Patanjali’s Yogasutras. Al Biruni’s translation preserved many of the core themes of Patañjali ‘s Yoga philosophy, but certain sutras and analytical commentaries were restated making it more consistent with Islamic monotheistic theology. Al Biruni’s version of Yoga Sutras reached Persia and Arabian peninsula by about 1050 AD. Later, in the 16th century, the hath yoga text Amritakunda was translated into Arabic and then Persian. Yoga was, however, not accepted by mainstream Sunni and Shia Islam. Minority Islamic sects such as the mystic Sufi movement, particularly in South Asia, adopted Indian yoga practises, including postures and breath control. Muhammad Ghawth, a Shattari Sufi and one of the translators of yoga text in 16th century, drew controversy for his interest in yoga and was persecuted for his Sufi beliefs.

Malaysia’s top Islamic body in 2008 passed a fatwa, prohibiting Muslims from practicing yoga, saying it had elements of Hinduism and that its practice was blasphemy, therefore haraam. Some Muslims in Malaysia who had been practicing yoga for years, criticized the decision as “insulting.” Sisters in Islam, a women’s rights group in Malaysia, also expressed disappointment and said yoga was just a form of exercise. This fatwa is legally enforceable. However, Malaysia’s prime minister clarified that yoga as physical exercise is permissible, but the chanting of religious mantras is prohibited.

In 2009, the Council of Ulemas, an Islamic body in Indonesia, passed a fatwa banning yoga on the grounds that it contains Hindu elements. These fatwas have, in turn, been criticized by Darul Uloom Deoband, a Deobandi Islamic seminary in India. Similar fatwas banning yoga, for its link to Hinduism, were issued by the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa in Egypt in 2004, and by Islamic clerics in Singapore earlier.

In Iran, as of May 2014, according to its Yoga Association, there were approximately 200 yoga centres in the country, a quarter of them in the capital Tehran, where groups can often be seen practising in parks. This has been met by opposition among conservatives. In May 2009, Turkey’s head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Bardakoğlu, discounted personal development techniques such as reiki and yoga as commercial ventures that could lead to extremism. His comments were made in the context of reiki and yoga possibly being a form of proselytization at the expense of Islam.

International Day of Yoga

On 11 December 2014, The 193-member United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus, a resolution establishing 21 June as ‘International Day of Yoga’.

The declaration of this day came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on 27 September 2014. In suggesting 21 June, which is one of the two solstices, as the International Day of Yoga, Narendra Modi had said that the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

The first International Day of Yoga was observed world over on 21 June 2015. About 35000 people, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a large number of dignitaries, performed 21 Yoga asanas  for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi. The day devoted to Yoga was observed by millions across the world.

The event at Rajpath established two Guinness records – largest Yoga Class with 35985 people and the record for the most nationalities participating in it- eighty four.

See also

Yoga physiology

List of asanas

List of yoga schools

Yoga series

Yogis

Notes

References

Sources

Reprint edition; Originally published under the title of “The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy.”

Worthington, Vivian . . Routledge. ISBN 0-7100-9258-X.

Wynne, Alexander  Routledge, 2007, ISBN 1-134-09741-7.

Bollingen Series XXVI; Edited by Joseph Cambell.

Zydenbos, Robert. Jainism Today and Its Future. München: Manya Verlag, 2006. p. 66

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Mindfulness: the key to happiness. Health and balance: quick tips

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali-term sati, which is a significant element of some Buddhist traditions. The recent popularity of mindfulness in the West is generally considered to have been initiated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Large population-based research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with well-being and perceived health. Studies have also shown that rumination and worry contribute to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in the reduction of both rumination and worry.

Clinical psychology and psychiatry since the 1970s have developed a number of therapeutic applications based on mindfulness for helping people who are experiencing a variety of psychological conditions. reducing stress, anxiety, Recent studies demonstrate that mindfulness meditation significantly attenuates pain through multiple, unique mechanisms. It has gained worldwide popularity as a distinctive method to handle emotions.

Clinical studies have documented both physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in different patient categories as well as in healthy adults and children. Programs based on MBSR and similar models have been widely adapted in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and other environments.

Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is practiced sitting with eyes closed, cross-legged on a cushion, or on a chair, with the back straight. Attention is put on the movement of the abdomen when breathing in and out, or on the awareness of the breath as it goes in and out the nostrils. If one becomes distracted from the breath, one passively notices one’s mind has wandered, but in an accepting, non-judgmental way and one returns to focusing on breathing. A famous exercise, introduced by Kabat-Zinn in his MBSR-program, is the mindful tasting of a raisin, in which a raisin is being tasted and eaten mindfully.

Meditators start with short periods of 10 minutes or so of meditation practice per day. As one practices regularly, it becomes easier to keep the attention focused on breathing. Research on the neural perspective of how mindfulness meditation works suggests that it exerts its effects in components of attention regulation, body awareness and emotional regulation. When considering aspects such as sense of responsibility, authenticity, compassion, self-acceptance and character, studies have shown that mindfulness meditation contributes to a more coherent and healthy sense of self and identity. Neuroimaging techniques suggest that mindfulness practices such as mindfulness meditation are associated with “changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, temporo-parietal junction, fronto-limbic network and default mode network structures.” Further, mindfulness-induced emotional and behavioral changes have been found to be related to functional and structural changes in the brain.

Translations and definitions

Buddhism  

Mindfulness meditation can be defined in many ways and can be used for a variety of different therapies. When defining mindfulness meditation, it is useful to draw upon Buddhist psychological traditions and the developing scholarship within empirical psychology.

Sati and smṛti

The Buddhist term translated into English as “mindfulness” originates in the Pali term sati and in its Sanskrit counterpart smṛti. According to Robert Sharf, the meaning of these terms has been the topic of extensive debate and discussion. Smṛti originally meant “to remember,” “to recollect,” “to bear in mind,” as in the Vedic tradition of remembering the sacred texts. The term sati also means “to remember.” In the Satipaṭṭhāna-sutta the term sati means to remember the dharmas, whereby the true nature of phenomena can be seen. Sharf refers to the Milindapañha, which explained that the arisement of sati calls to mind the wholesome dhammas such as the four establishings of mindfulness, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven awakening-factors, the noble eight-factored path, and the attainment of insight. According to Rupert Gethin,

Sharf further notes that this has little to do with “bare attention,” the popular contemporary interpretation of sati, “since it entails, among other things, the proper discrimination of the moral valence of phenomena as they arise.”

Translation

The Pali-language scholar Thomas William Rhys Davids  first translated sati in 1881 as English mindfulness in sammā-sati “Right Mindfulness; the active, watchful mind”. Noting that Daniel John Gogerly  initially rendered sammā-sati as “Correct meditation“, Davids explained,

Alternate translations

John D. Dunne asserts that the translation of sati and smṛti as mindfulness is confusing. A number of Buddhist scholars have started trying to establish “retention” as the preferred alternative.

Bhikkhu Bodhi also points to the meaning of “sati” as “memory”. The terms sati/smriti have also been translated as:

Attention

Awareness

Concentrated attention

Inspection

Mindful attention

Self-recollection

Recollecting mindfulness

Recollection

Secondary consciousness

Retention

Presence  Dav Panesar

Remindfulness

Psychology

A.M. Haynes and G. Feldman have highlighted that mindfulness can be seen as a strategy that stands in contrast to a strategy of avoidance of emotion on the one hand and to the strategy of emotional overengagement on the other hand. Mindfulness can also be viewed as a means to develop wisdom. A distinction can also be made between the state of mindfulness and the trait of mindfulness.

According to David S. Black, whereas “mindfulness” originally was associated with esoteric beliefs and religion, and “a capacity attainable only by certain people”, scientific researchers have translated the term into measurable terms, providing a valid operational definition of mindfulness. Black mentions three possible domains:

# A trait, a dispositional characteristic, a person’s tendency to more frequently enter into and more easily abide in mindful states;

# A state, an outcome, being in a state of present-moment awareness;

# A practice .

Trait-like constructs

According to Brown, mindfulness is

Seven mindfulness measures have been developed which are based on self-reporting of trait-like constructs:

Mindful Attention Awareness Scale

Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory

Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills

Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale

Mindfulness Questionnaire

Revised Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale

Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale

State-like phenomenon

According to Bishop et al., mindfulness is

The Toronto Mindfulness Scale  measures mindfulness as a state-like phenomenon, that is evoked and maintained by regular practice.

Mindfulness-practice

Mindfulness as a practice is described as:

“Mindfulness is a way of paying attention that originated in Eastern meditation practices

“Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” proposed a two-component model of mindfulness:

In this two-component model, self-regulated attention  “involves bringing awareness to current experience – observing and attending to the changing fields of “objects”, from moment to moment – by regulating the focus of attention”. Orientation to experience  involves maintaining an attitude of curiosity about objects experienced at each moment, and about where and how the mind wanders when it drifts from the selected focus of attention. Clients are asked to avoid trying to produce a particular state, but rather to just notice each object that arises in the stream of consciousness.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, mindfulness may also refer to “a state of being aware”. Synonyms for this “state of being aware” are wakefulness, attention, alertness, prudence, It leads to insight into the true nature of reality, namely the three marks of existence, the impermanence of and the unsatisfactoriness of every conditioned thing that exists, and non-self. With this insight, the practitioner becomes a socalled Sotāpanna, a “stream-enterer”, the first stage on the path to liberation. Vipassana is practiced in tandem with samatha, and also plays a central role in other Buddhist traditions such as Tibetan Buddhism.

According to Paul Williams, referring to Erich Frauwallner, mindfulness provided the way in early Buddhism to liberation, “constantly watching sensory experience in order to prevent the arising of cravings which would power future experience into rebirths.” According to Vetter, dhyana may have been the original core practice of the Buddha, which aided the maintenance of mindfulness.

According to Rhys Davids, the doctrine of mindfulness is “perhaps the most important” after the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. Rhys Davids viewed the teachings of Gotama as a rational technique for self-actualization and rejected a few parts of it, mainly the doctrine of rebirth, as residual superstitions.

Transcendentalism

Kabat-Zinn himself refers to Thoreau as a predecessor of the interest in mindfulness, together with the other eminent Transcendentalists Emerson and Whitman:

The forms of Asian religion and spirituality which were introduced in the west were themselves influenced by Transcendentalism and other 19th-century manifestations of Western esotericism. Transcendentalism was closely connected to the Unitarian Church, which in India collaborated with Ram Mohan Roy  and his Brahmo Samaj. He found that Unitarianism came closest to true Christianity, and had a strong sympathy for the Unitarians. This influence worked through on Vivekananda, whose modern but idiosyncratic interpretation of Hinduism became widely popular in the west. Vipassana meditation, presented as a centuries-old meditation system, was a 19th-century reinvention, which gained popularity in south-east due to the accessibility of the Buddhist sutras through English translations from the Pali Text Society. It was brought to western attention in the 19th century by the Theosophical Society. Zen Buddhism first gained popularity in the west through the writings of D.T. Suzuki, who attempted to present a modern interpretation of Zen, adjusted to western tastes.

Jon Kabat-Zinn and MBSR

In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction  program at the University of Massachusetts to treat the chronically ill. This program sparked the application of mindfulness ideas and practices in Medicine for the treatment of a variety of conditions in both healthy and unhealthy people. MBSR and similar programs are now widely applied in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and other environments.

Mindfulness practices were inspired mainly by teachings from the Eastern World, particularly from Buddhist traditions. One of MBSR’s techniques – the “body scan” – was derived from a meditation practice  of the Burmese U Ba Khin tradition, as taught by S. N. Goenka in his Vipassana retreats, which he began in 1976. It has since been widely adapted in secular settings, independent of religious or cultural contexts.

Popularization, “mindfulness movement”

Mindfulness is gaining a growing popularity as a practice in daily life, apart from buddhist insight meditation and its application in clinical psychology. and can be practiced outside a formal setting. The terminology used by scholars of religion, scientists, journalists, and popular media writers to describe this movement of mindfulness “popularization,” and the many new contexts of mindfulness practice which have cropped up, has regularly evolved over the past 20 years, with some criticisms arising.

Buddhism

Sati is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. “Correct” or “right” mindfulness  is the seventh element of the noble eightfold path.

Mindfulness is an antidote to delusion and is considered as a ‘power’  which contributes to the attainment of nirvana. This faculty becomes a power in particular when it is coupled with clear comprehension of whatever is taking place. Nirvana is a state of being in which greed, hatred and delusion  have been overcome and abandoned, and are absent from the mind.

Anapanasati, satipaṭṭhāna, and vipassana

Anapanasati is mindfulness of breathing. “Sati” means mindfulness; “ānāpāna” refers to inhalation and exhalation. Anapanasati means to feel the sensations caused by the movements of the breath in the body. The Anapanasati Sutta gives an exposition on this practice.

Satipaṭṭhāna is the establishment of mindfulness in one’s day-to-day life, maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one’s body, feelings, mind, and dharmas. The practice of mindfulness supports analysis resulting in the arising of wisdom .

Vipassanā is insight into the true nature of reality, According to the contemporary Theravada orthodoxy, samatha is used as a preparation for vipassanā, pacifying the mind and strengthening the concentration in order to allow the work of insight, which leads to liberation.

Vipassanā-meditation has gained popularity in the west through the modern Buddhist vipassana movement, modeled after Theravāda Buddhism meditation practices, which employs vipassanā and ānāpāna meditation as its primary techniques and places emphasis on the teachings of the Sutta.

Samprajaña, apramāda and atappa

In Buddhist practice, “mindfulness” also includes samprajaña, meaning “clear comprehension” and apramāda meaning “vigilance”. All three terms are sometimes  translated as “mindfulness”, but they all have specific shades of meaning.

In a publicly available correspondence between Bhikkhu Bodhi and B. Alan Wallace, Bodhi has described Ven. Nyanaponika Thera’s views on “right mindfulness” and sampajañña as follows:

“Bare attention”

Georges Dreyfus has expressed unease with the definition of mindfulness as “bare attention” or “nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness”, stressing that mindfulness in Buddhist context means also “remembering”, which indicates that the function of mindfulness also includes the retention of information.

Therapy programs

Mindfulness-based stress reduction

Mindfulness-based stress reduction  is a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, which uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful. In recent years, meditation has been the subject of controlled clinical research. This suggests it may have beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to quality of life, but that it does not help prevent or cure disease. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy  is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression, specifically in individuals with Major depressive disorder . It uses traditional cognitive behavioral therapy  methods and adds in newer psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. Cognitive methods can include educating the participant about depression. Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, focus on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, but not attaching or reacting to them.

Like CBT, MBCT functions on the theory that when individuals who have historically had depression become distressed, they return to automatic cognitive processes that can trigger a depressive episode. The goal of MBCT is to interrupt these automatic processes and teach the participants to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead accepting and observing them without judgment.

Acceptance and commitment therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy or   is a form of clinical behavior analysis  used in psychotherapy. It is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. The approach was originally called comprehensive distancing. It was developed in the late 1980s by Steven C. Hayes, Kelly G. Wilson, and Kirk Strosahl.

Dialectical behavior therapy

Mindfulness is a “core” exercise used in dialectical behavior therapy, a psychosocial treatment Marsha M. Linehan developed for treating people with borderline personality disorder. DBT is dialectic, explains Linehan, in the sense of “the reconciliation of opposites in a continual process of synthesis.” As a practitioner of Buddhist meditation techniques, Linehan says:

Mode deactivation therapy

Mode deactivation therapy  is a treatment methodology that is derived from the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and incorporates elements of Acceptance and commitment therapy, Dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness techniques such as simple breathing exercises are applied to assist the client in awareness and non-judgmental acceptance of unpleasant and distressing thoughts and feelings as they occur in the present moment. Mode Deactivation Therapy was developed and is established as an effective treatment for adolescents with problem behaviors and complex trauma-related psychological problems, according to recent publications by Jack A. Apsche and Joan Swart.

Other programs

Since 2006, research supports promising mindfulness-based therapies for a number of medical and psychiatric conditions, notably chronic pain, stress, anxiety and depression, substance abuse, and recurrent suicidal behavior . Bell  gives a brief overview of mindful approaches to therapy, particularly family therapy, starting with a discussion of mysticism and emphasizing the value of a mindful therapist.

Morita therapy

The Japanese psychiatrist Shoma Morita, who trained in Zen meditation, developed Morita therapy upon principles of mindfulness and non-attachment. Since the beginnings of Gestalt therapy in the early 1940s, mindfulness, referred to as “awareness”, has been an essential part of its theory and practice.

Adaptation Practice

The British doctor Clive Sherlock developed Adaptation Practice in 1977. Adaptation Practice is a structured programme of self-discipline.

Hakomi therapy

Hakomi therapy, under development by Ron Kurtz and others, is a somatic psychology based upon Asian philosophical precepts of mindfulness and nonviolence.

IFS

Internal Family Systems Model, developed by Richard C. Schwartz, emphasizes the importance of both therapist and client engaging in therapy from the Self, which is the IFS term for one’s “spiritual center”. The Self is curious about whatever arises in one’s present experience and open and accepting toward all manifestations.

Mindfulness relaxation

Mindfulness relaxation uses breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

Scientific research

Mindfulness has gained increasing empirical attention ever since 1970. According to a 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of systematic reviews of RCTs, evidence supports the use of mindfulness programs to alleviate symptoms of a variety of mental and physical disorders. and may also prevent or delay the onset of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mindfulness proved to be effective also in enhancing people’s capacity to self-regulate.

Movement

Mindfulness is gaining a growing popularity as a practice in daily life, apart from buddhist insight meditation and its application in clinical psychology.

The mindfulness movement has entered the mainstream, mainly through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness has come to be seen as a mode of being,

MindUP, a classroom-based program spearheaded by Goldie Hawn’s Hawn Foundation, teaches students to self-regulate behavior and mindfully engage in focused concentration required for academic success. For the last decade, MindUP has trained teachers in over 1,000 schools in cities from Arizona to Washington.

The Holistic Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that created an in-school mindfulness program called Mindful Moment, is currently serving almost 350 students daily at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School and approximately 1300 students at Patterson Park High School in Baltimore, Maryland. At Patterson High School, the Mindful Moment program engages the school’s faculty along with the students during a 15-minute mindfulness practice at the beginning and end of each school day.

Mindful Life Project, a non-profit 5013 based out of Richmond, California, teaches mindfulness to elementary school students in underserved schools in the South Richmond school district. Utilizing curriculum, “Rise-Up” is a regular school day intervention program serving 430 students weekly, while “Mindful Community” is currently implemented at six South Richmond partner schools. These in-school mindfulness programs have been endorsed by Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who has recommended additional funding to expand the program in order to serve all Richmond youth.

A study enrolled college students in a course about mindfulness that included guided mindfulness meditation as part of the curriculum. After the semester, pre- and post-levels for different aspects of mental health were compared and students were found to have more non-judgmental stances towards their thoughts and feelings. This is believed to result better stress coping skills, improved academic performance and quality of life. Furthermore, scores continued to improve for the weeks following the end of the course, demonstrating the long-lasting effects of mindfulness meditation.

Business

Mindfulness training appears to be getting popular in the business world, and many large corporations have been incorporating practicing mindfulness into their culture. For example, companies such as Google, Apple, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Mayo Clinic, and the U.S. Army offer mindfulness coaching, meditation breaks and other resources to their employees to improve workplace functioning. Mindfulness has been found to result in better employee well-being, lower levels of frustration, lower absenteeism and burnout as well as an improved overall work environment.

Law

Legal and law enforcement organizations are also showing interest in mindfulness:

Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation hosted a workshop on “Mindfulness in the Law & Alternative Dispute Resolution.”

Many law firms offer mindfulness classes. Additional studies indicate that mindfulness interventions can result in significant reductions in anger, reductions in substance use, increased relaxation capacity, self-regulation and optimism.

Government

Many government organizations offer mindfulness training. Coping Strategies is an example of a program utilized by United States Armed Forces personnel. The British Parliament organized a mindfulness-session for its members in 2014, led by Ruby Wax.

Criticism

Various scholars have criticized how mindfulness has been defined or represented in recent western psychology publications.

These modern understandings depart significantly from the accounts of mindfulness in early Buddhist texts and authoritative commentaries in the Theravada and Indian Mahayana traditions. Adam Valerio has introduced the idea that conflict between academic disciplines over how mindfulness is defined, understood, and popularly presented may be indicative of a personal, institutional, or paradigmatic battle for ownership over mindfulness, one where academics, researchers, and other writers are invested as individuals in much the same way as religious communities. According to Safran, the popularity of mindfulness is the result of a marketing strategy:

“McMindfulness is the marketing of a constructed dream; an idealized lifestyle; an identity makeover.”

According to Purser and Loy, mindfulness is not being used as a means to awaken to insight in the “unwholesome roots of greed, ill will and delusion,”

Risks

In media reports, people have attributed unexpected effects of increasing fear and anxiety panic or “meltdowns” after practicing, which could expose bipolar vulnerability or repressed PTSD symptoms. However, according to one editorial, “there is a paucity of robust research that specifically assesses whether Mindfulness Based Interventions can induce non-salutatory health outcomes”.

Related concepts

Choiceless awareness

Choiceless awareness is posited in philosophy, psychology, and spirituality to be the state of unpremeditated, complete awareness of the present without preference, effort, or compulsion. The term was popularized in the mid-20th century by Jiddu Krishnamurti, in whose philosophy it signifies a main theme. Similar or related concepts had been previously developed in several religious or spiritual traditions; the term or others like it has also been used to describe traditional and contemporary secular and religious meditation practices. However, Krishnamurti’s approach to Choiceless Awareness was unique, and differs from both pre-existing and later-developed notions.

Nonviolent communication

Nonviolent communication  is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s. NVC often functions as a conflict resolution process. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy, empathy, and honest self-expression .

NVC is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms others when they don’t recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs. Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence  are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that if people can identify their needs, the needs of others, and the feelings that surround these needs, harmony can be achieved.

While NVC is ostensibly taught as a process of communication designed to improve compassionate connection to others, it has also been interpreted as a spiritual practice, a set of values, a parenting technique, an educational method and a worldview.

See also

Alexander Technique

Buddhism and psychology

Buddhist meditation

Sampajanna

Satipatthana

Self-compassion

Dennis Lewis

Eternal Now

Henepola Gunaratana

John Garrie

Mahasati Meditation

Mahasi Sayadaw

Metacognition

Mindfulness

Mindfulness Day

Nepsis

Ovsiankina effect

Phronesis

Religious studies

S.N. Goenka

Sacca

Satya

Satyagraha

Samu

Shinzen Young

Taqwa and dhikr, related Islamic concepts

Thich Nhat Hanh

Tiny Buddha

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendentalism

Mindfulness and technology

Notes

References

Sources

Published sources

Bishop, S.R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., et al. ., Clin Psychol Sci Prac 11:230–241.

Boccio, Frank Jude . Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body and Mind. ISBN 0-86171-335-4

Bowen, S., Chawla, N., Marlatt, G.A. . Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician’s Guide. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-60623-987-2

Brahm, Ajahn . Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator’s Handbook. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0-86171-275-5

Brantley, Jeffrey . Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness & Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, & Panic. 2nd ed. New Harbinger. ISBN 978-1-57224-487-0.

Deckersbach, T., Hölzel, B., Eisner, L., Lazar, S.W., Nierenberg, A.A. . Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Bipolar Disorder. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-4625-1406-9

Germer, C.K. . The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-59385-975-6

Germer, C.K., Siegel, R., Fulton, P.R., eds. . Mindfulness and Psychotherapy: Second Edition. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-4625-1137-2

Germer, Christopher K., Ronald Siegel, Paul R. Fulton, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, The Guilford Press, ISBN 1-59385-139-1

Guenther, Herbert V. & Leslie S. Kawamura, Mind in Buddhist Psychology: A Translation of Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan’s “The Necklace of Clear Understanding” Dharma Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Gunaratana, Bhante Henepola . . Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0-86171-906-8

Hanh, Thich Nhat . The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation. Beacon Press.

Hayes, S.C., Follette, V.M., Linehan, M.M., eds. . Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-60918-989-1

Hoopes, Aaron  “Zen Yoga: A Path to Enlightenment through Breathing, Movement and Meditation”. Kodansha International.

Kapleau, Phillip . The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice and Enlightenment. Anchor Books.

Langer, Ellen J. . Mindfulness. Merloyd Lawrence.

Linehan, Marsha . Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Guilford Press.

Marlatt, GA & Kristeller, J; Mindfulness and meditation. WR Miller, Integrating spirituality in treatment: Resources for practitioners, American Psychological Association Books, Washington, DC, pp. 67–84

Melemis, Steven M. . Make Room for Happiness: 12 Ways to Improve Your Life by Letting Go of Tension. Better Health, Self-Esteem and Relationships. Modern Therapies. ISBN 978-1-897572-17-7

Nemcova, M. and Hajek, K. . Introduction to Satitherapy – Mindfulness and Abhidhamma Principles in Person-Centered Integrative Psychotherapy. Morrisville, Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4092-5900-8

Orsillo, S.M., Roemer, L. . The Mindful Way through Anxiety: Break Free from Chronic Worry and Reclaim Your Life. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-60623-464-8

Pollak, S.M., Pedulla, T., Siegel, R.D. . Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-4625-1398-7

Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G., Teasdale, J.D. . Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: Second Edition. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-4625-0750-4

Siegel, Daniel J. . The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-70470-9.

Siegel, R.D. . The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-60623-294-1

Siegel, Ronald D. . . The Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-60623-294-1

Teasdale, J.D., Williams, J.M.G., Segal, Z.V. . The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-4625-0814-3

Weiss, Andrew . Beginning Mindfulness: Learning the Way of Awareness. New World Library

Williams, Mark, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn . The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-59385-128-6.

Williams, J.M.G., Teasdale, J.D., Segal, Z.V., Kabat-Zinn, J. . The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. Guilford Press, ISBN 978-1-59385-128-6

Web-sources

Further reading

Practice

Buddhism

William Hart, The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation As Taught by S. N. Goenka, Pariyatti

Psychology

Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, Ellen J. Langer, The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness, John Wiley & Sons

Popular

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Hyperion Books, 2005. ISBN 1-4013-0778-7

History

Critical

Kabat-Zinn, Jon; Williams, Mark, Mindfulness – Diverse perspectives on its meanings, origins and applications

 

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The science, physics and history of pendulums

A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When a pendulum is displaced sideways from its resting, equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the equilibrium position. When released, the restoring force combined with the pendulum’s mass causes it to oscillate about the equilibrium position, swinging back and forth. The time for one complete cycle, a left swing and a right swing, is called the period. The period depends on the length of the pendulum and also to a slight degree on the amplitude, the width of the pendulum’s swing.

From the first scientific investigations of the pendulum around 1602 by Galileo Galilei, the regular motion of pendulums was used for timekeeping, and was the world’s most accurate timekeeping technology until the 1930s. The pendulum clock invented by Christian Huygens in 1658 became the world’s standard timekeeper, used in homes and offices for 270 years, and achieved accuracy of about one second per year before it was superseded as a time standard by quartz clocks in the 1930s. Pendulums are also used in scientific instruments such as accelerometers and seismometers. Historically they were used as gravimeters to measure the acceleration of gravity in geophysical surveys, and even as a standard of length. The word “pendulum” is new Latin, from the Latin pendulus, meaning ‘hanging’.

The simple gravity pendulum is an idealized mathematical model of a pendulum. This is a weight  on the end of a massless cord suspended from a pivot, without friction. When given an initial push, it will swing back and forth at a constant amplitude. Real pendulums are subject to friction and air drag, so the amplitude of their swings declines.

Period of oscillation

The period of swing of a simple gravity pendulum depends on its length, the local strength of gravity, and to a small extent on the maximum angle that the pendulum swings away from vertical, θ0, called the amplitude. It is independent of the mass of the bob.  If the amplitude is limited to small swings, the period T of a simple pendulum, the time taken for a complete cycle, is:

 

where L is the length of the pendulum and g is the local acceleration of gravity.

For small swings the period of swing is approximately the same for different size swings: that is, the period is independent of amplitude. This property, called isochronism, is the reason pendulums are so useful for timekeeping. Successive swings of the pendulum, even if changing in amplitude, take the same amount of time.

For larger amplitudes, the period increases gradually with amplitude so it is longer than given by equation . For example, at an amplitude of θ0   23° it is 1% larger than given by . The period increases asymptotically  as θ0 approaches 180°, because the value θ0   180° is an unstable equilibrium point for the pendulum. The true period of an ideal simple gravity pendulum can be written in several different forms  ), one example being the infinite series:

 

T   2\pi \sqrt \left

The difference between this true period and the period for small swings  above is called the circular error. In the case of a typical grandfather clock whose pendulum has a swing of 6° and thus an amplitude of 3°, the difference between the true period and the small angle approximation  amounts to about 15 seconds per day.

For small swings the pendulum approximates a harmonic oscillator, and its motion as a function of time, t, is approximately simple harmonic motion:

Compound pendulum

The length L used to calculate the period of the ideal simple pendulum in eq.  above is the distance from the pivot point to the center of mass of the bob. Any swinging rigid body free to rotate about a fixed horizontal axis is called a compound pendulum or physical pendulum. The appropriate equivalent length L for calculating the period of any such pendulum is the distance

from the pivot to the center of oscillation. This point is located under the center of mass at a distance from the

pivot traditionally called the radius of oscillation, which depends on the mass distribution of the pendulum. If most of the mass is concentrated in a relatively small bob compared to the pendulum length, the center of oscillation is close to the center of mass.

The radius of oscillation or equivalent length L of any physical pendulum can be shown to be

 

where I is the moment of inertia of the pendulum about the pivot point,

m is the mass of the pendulum, and R is the distance between the pivot point and the center of mass.

Substituting this expression in  above, the period T of a compound pendulum is given by

 

for sufficiently small oscillations.

A rigid uniform rod of length L pivoted about either end has moment of inertia I   mL2.

The center of mass is located at the center of the rod, so R   L/2. Substituting these values into the above equation gives T   2π. This shows that a rigid rod pendulum has the same period as a simple pendulum of 2/3 its length.

Christiaan Huygens proved in 1673 that the pivot point and the center of oscillation are interchangeable. This means if any pendulum is turned upside down and swung from a pivot located at its previous center of oscillation, it will have the same period as before and the new center of oscillation will be at the old pivot point. In 1817 Henry Kater used this idea to produce a type of reversible pendulum, now known as a Kater pendulum, for improved measurements of the acceleration due to gravity.

History

One of the earliest known uses of a pendulum was a 1st-century seismometer device of Han Dynasty Chinese scientist Zhang Heng. Its function was to sway and activate one of a series of levers after being disturbed by the tremor of an earthquake far away. Released by a lever, a small ball would fall out of the urn-shaped device into one of eight metal toad’s mouths below, at the eight points of the compass, signifying the direction the earthquake was located. claim that the 10th-century Egyptian astronomer Ibn Yunus used a pendulum for time measurement, but this was an error that originated in 1684 with the British historian Edward Bernard.

During the Renaissance, large pendulums were used as sources of power for manual reciprocating machines such as saws, bellows, and pumps. Leonardo da Vinci made many drawings of the motion of pendulums, though without realizing its value for timekeeping.

1602: Galileo’s research

Italian scientist Galileo Galilei was the first to study the properties of pendulums, beginning around 1602. The earliest extant report of his research is contained in a letter to Guido Ubaldo dal Monte, from Padua, dated November 29, 1602. His biographer and student, Vincenzo Viviani, claimed his interest had been sparked around 1582 by the swinging motion of a chandelier in the Pisa cathedral. Galileo discovered the crucial property that makes pendulums useful as timekeepers, called isochronism; the period of the pendulum is approximately independent of the amplitude or width of the swing. He also found that the period is independent of the mass of the bob, and proportional to the square root of the length of the pendulum. He first employed freeswinging pendulums in simple timing applications. His physician friend, Santorio Santorii, invented a device which measured a patient’s pulse by the length of a pendulum; the pulsilogium. The pendulum was the first harmonic oscillator used by man. This was a great improvement over existing mechanical clocks; their best accuracy was increased from around 15 minutes deviation a day to around 15 seconds a day. Pendulums spread over Europe as existing clocks were retrofitted with them.

The English scientist Robert Hooke studied the conical pendulum around 1666, consisting of a pendulum that is free to swing in two dimensions, with the bob rotating in a circle or ellipse. He used the motions of this device as a model to analyze the orbital motions of the planets. Hooke suggested to Isaac Newton in 1679 that the components of orbital motion consisted of inertial motion along a tangent direction plus an attractive motion in the radial direction. This played a part in Newton’s formulation of the law of universal gravitation. Robert Hooke was also responsible for suggesting as early as 1666 that the pendulum could be used to measure the force of gravity. In 1687, Isaac Newton in Principia Mathematica showed that this was because the Earth was not a true sphere but slightly oblate  from the effect of centrifugal force due to its rotation, causing gravity to increase with latitude. Portable pendulums began to be taken on voyages to distant lands, as precision gravimeters to measure the acceleration of gravity at different points on Earth, eventually resulting in accurate models of the shape of the Earth.

1673: Huygens’ Horologium Oscillatorium

In 1673, Christiaan Huygens published his theory of the pendulum, Horologium Oscillatorium sive de motu pendulorum. Marin Mersenne and René Descartes had discovered around 1636 that the pendulum was not quite isochronous; its period increased somewhat with its amplitude. Huygens analyzed this problem by determining what curve an object must follow to descend by gravity to the same point in the same time interval, regardless of starting point; the so-called tautochrone curve. By a complicated method that was an early use of calculus, he showed this curve was a cycloid, rather than the circular arc of a pendulum, confirming that the pendulum was not isochronous and Galileo’s observation of isochronism was accurate only for small swings. Huygens also solved the problem of how to calculate the period of an arbitrarily shaped pendulum, discovering the center of oscillation, and its interchangeability with the pivot point.

The existing clock movement, the verge escapement, made pendulums swing in very wide arcs of about 100°. Huygens showed this was a source of inaccuracy, causing the period to vary with amplitude changes caused by small unavoidable variations in the clock’s drive force. To make its period isochronous, Huygens mounted cycloidal-shaped metal ‘chops’ next to the pivots in his clocks, that constrained the suspension cord and forced the pendulum to follow a cycloid arc. This solution didn’t prove as practical as simply limiting the pendulum’s swing to small angles of a few degrees. The realization that only small swings were isochronous motivated the development of the anchor escapement around 1670, which reduced the pendulum swing in clocks to 4°–6°.

1721: Temperature compensated pendulums

During the 18th and 19th century, the pendulum clock’s role as the most accurate timekeeper motivated much practical research into improving pendulums. It was found that a major source of error was that the pendulum rod expanded and contracted with changes in ambient temperature, changing the period of swing. This was solved with the invention of temperature compensated pendulums, the mercury pendulum in 1721 and the gridiron pendulum in 1726, reducing errors in precision pendulum clocks to a few seconds per week. which used this principle, making possible very accurate measurements of gravity. For the next century the reversible pendulum was the standard method of measuring absolute gravitational acceleration.

1851: Foucault pendulum

In 1851, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault showed that the plane of oscillation of a pendulum, like a gyroscope, tends to stay constant regardless of the motion of the pivot, and that this could be used to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. He suspended a pendulum free to swing in two dimensions  from the dome of the Panthéon in Paris. The length of the cord was . Once the pendulum was set in motion, the plane of swing was observed to precess or rotate 360° clockwise in about 32 hours.

This was the first demonstration of the Earth’s rotation that didn’t depend on celestial observations, and a “pendulum mania” broke out, as Foucault pendulums were displayed in many cities and attracted large crowds.

1930: Decline in use

Around 1900 low-thermal-expansion materials began to be used for pendulum rods in the highest precision clocks and other instruments, first invar, a nickel steel alloy, and later fused quartz, which made temperature compensation trivial. Precision pendulums were housed in low pressure tanks, which kept the air pressure constant to prevent changes in the period due to changes in buoyancy of the pendulum due to changing atmospheric pressure.

The timekeeping accuracy of the pendulum was exceeded by the quartz crystal oscillator, invented in 1921, and quartz clocks, invented in 1927, replaced pendulum clocks as the world’s best timekeepers. Pendulum gravimeters were superseded by “free fall” gravimeters in the 1950s, but pendulum instruments continued to be used into the 1970s.

Use for time measurement

For 300 years, from its discovery around 1581 until development of the quartz clock in the 1930s, the pendulum was the world’s standard for accurate timekeeping. In addition to clock pendulums, freeswinging seconds pendulums were widely used as precision timers in scientific experiments in the 17th and 18th centuries. Pendulums require great mechanical stability: a length change of only 0.02%, 0.2 mm in a grandfather clock pendulum, will cause an error of a minute per week.

Clock pendulums

Pendulums in clocks  are usually made of a weight or bob  suspended by a rod of wood or metal . To reduce air resistance  the bob is traditionally a smooth disk with a lens-shaped cross section, although in antique clocks it often had carvings or decorations specific to the type of clock. In quality clocks the bob is made as heavy as the suspension can support and the movement can drive, since this improves the regulation of the clock . A common weight for seconds pendulum bobs is . Instead of hanging from a pivot, clock pendulums are usually supported by a short straight spring  of flexible metal ribbon. This avoids the friction and ‘play’ caused by a pivot, and the slight bending force of the spring merely adds to the pendulum’s restoring force. A few precision clocks have pivots of ‘knife’ blades resting on agate plates. The impulses to keep the pendulum swinging are provided by an arm hanging behind the pendulum called the crutch,, which ends in a fork,  whose prongs embrace the pendulum rod. The crutch is pushed back and forth by the clock’s escapement, .

Each time the pendulum swings through its centre position, it releases one tooth of the escape wheel . The force of the clock’s mainspring or a driving weight hanging from a pulley, transmitted through the clock’s gear train, causes the wheel to turn, and a tooth presses against one of the pallets, giving the pendulum a short push. The clock’s wheels, geared to the escape wheel, move forward a fixed amount with each pendulum swing, advancing the clock’s hands at a steady rate.

The pendulum always has a means of adjusting the period, usually by an adjustment nut  under the bob which moves it up or down on the rod. Moving the bob up decreases the pendulum’s length, causing the pendulum to swing faster and the clock to gain time. Some precision clocks have a small auxiliary adjustment weight on a threaded shaft on the bob, to allow finer adjustment. Some tower clocks and precision clocks use a tray attached near to the midpoint of the pendulum rod, to which small weights can be added or removed. This effectively shifts the centre of oscillation and allows the rate to be adjusted without stopping the clock.

The pendulum must be suspended from a rigid support. During operation, any elasticity will allow tiny imperceptible swaying motions of the support, which disturbs the clock’s period, resulting in error. Pendulum clocks should be attached firmly to a sturdy wall.

The most common pendulum length in quality clocks, which is always used in grandfather clocks, is the seconds pendulum, about long.  In mantel clocks, half-second pendulums, long, or shorter, are used. Only a few large tower clocks use longer pendulums, the 1.5 second pendulum, long, or occasionally the two-second pendulum,  which is used in Big Ben.

Temperature compensation

The largest source of error in early pendulums was slight changes in length due to thermal expansion and contraction of the pendulum rod with changes in ambient temperature. This was discovered when people noticed that pendulum clocks ran slower in summer, by as much as a minute per week . Thermal expansion of pendulum rods was first studied by Jean Picard in 1669. A pendulum with a steel rod will expand by about 11.3 parts per million  with each degree Celsius increase, causing it to lose about 0.27 seconds per day for every degree Celsius increase in temperature, or 9 seconds per day for a change. Wood rods expand less, losing only about 6 seconds per day for a change, which is why quality clocks often had wooden pendulum rods. The wood had to be varnished to prevent water vapor from getting in, because changes in humidity also affected the length.

Mercury pendulum

The first device to compensate for this error was the mercury pendulum, invented by George Graham To improve thermal accommodation several thin containers were often used, made of metal. Mercury pendulums were the standard used in precision regulator clocks into the 20th century.

Gridiron pendulum

The most widely used compensated pendulum was the gridiron pendulum, invented in 1726 by John Harrison. which achieved accuracy of 15 milliseconds per day. Suspension springs of Elinvar were used to eliminate temperature variation of the spring’s restoring force on the pendulum. Later fused quartz was used which had even lower CTE. These materials are the choice for modern high accuracy pendulums.

Atmospheric pressure

The effect of the surrounding air on a moving pendulum is complex and requires fluid mechanics to calculate precisely, but for most purposes its influence on the period can be accounted for by three effects:

By Archimedes’ principle the effective weight of the bob is reduced by the buoyancy of the air it displaces, while the mass  remains the same, reducing the pendulum’s acceleration during its swing and increasing the period. This depends on the air pressure and the density of the pendulum, but not its shape.

The pendulum carries an amount of air with it as it swings, and the mass of this air increases the inertia of the pendulum, again reducing the acceleration and increasing the period. This depends on both its density and shape.

Viscous air resistance slows the pendulum’s velocity. This has a negligible effect on the period, but dissipates energy, reducing the amplitude. This reduces the pendulum’s Q factor, requiring a stronger drive force from the clock’s mechanism to keep it moving, which causes increased disturbance to the period.

Increases in barometric pressure increase a pendulum’s period slightly due to the first two effects, by about 0.11 seconds per day per kilopascal . and by 1900 the highest precision clocks were mounted in tanks that were kept at a constant pressure to eliminate changes in atmospheric pressure. Alternatively, in some a small aneroid barometer mechanism attached to the pendulum compensated for this effect.

Gravity

Pendulums are affected by changes in gravitational acceleration, which varies by as much as 0.5% at different locations on Earth, so pendulum clocks have to be recalibrated after a move. Even moving a pendulum clock to the top of a tall building can cause it to lose measurable time from the reduction in gravity.

Accuracy of pendulums as timekeepers

The timekeeping elements in all clocks, which include pendulums, balance wheels, the quartz crystals used in quartz watches, and even the vibrating atoms in atomic clocks, are in physics called harmonic oscillators. The reason harmonic oscillators are used in clocks is that they vibrate or oscillate at a specific resonant frequency or period and resist oscillating at other rates. However, the resonant frequency is not infinitely ‘sharp’.  Around the resonant frequency there is a narrow natural band of frequencies, called the resonance width or bandwidth, where the harmonic oscillator will oscillate. In a clock, the actual frequency of the pendulum may vary randomly within this resonance width in response to disturbances, but at frequencies outside this band, the clock will not function at all.

Q factor

The measure of a harmonic oscillator’s resistance to disturbances to its oscillation period is a dimensionless parameter called the Q factor equal to the resonant frequency divided by the resonance width. The higher the Q, the smaller the resonance width, and the more constant the frequency or period of the oscillator for a given disturbance. The reciprocal of the Q is roughly proportional to the limiting accuracy achievable by a harmonic oscillator as a time standard.

The Q is related to how long it takes for the oscillations of an oscillator to die out. The Q of a pendulum can be measured by counting the number of oscillations it takes for the amplitude of the pendulum’s swing to decay to 1/e   36.8% of its initial swing, and multiplying by 2π.

In a clock, the pendulum must receive pushes from the clock’s movement to keep it swinging, to replace the energy the pendulum loses to friction. These pushes, applied by a mechanism called the escapement, are the main source of disturbance to the pendulum’s motion. The Q is equal to 2π times the energy stored in the pendulum, divided by the energy lost to friction during each oscillation period, which is the same as the energy added by the escapement each period. It can be seen that the smaller the fraction of the pendulum’s energy that is lost to friction, the less energy needs to be added, the less the disturbance from the escapement, the more ‘independent’ the pendulum is of the clock’s mechanism, and the more constant its period is. The Q of a pendulum is given by:

 

where M is the mass of the bob, ω   2π/T is the pendulum’s radian frequency of oscillation, and Γ is the frictional damping force on the pendulum per unit velocity.

ω is fixed by the pendulum’s period, and M is limited by the load capacity and rigidity of the suspension. So the Q of clock pendulums is increased by minimizing frictional losses . Precision pendulums are suspended on low friction pivots consisting of triangular shaped ‘knife’ edges resting on agate plates. Around 99% of the energy loss in a freeswinging pendulum is due to air friction, so mounting a pendulum in a vacuum tank can increase the Q, and thus the accuracy, by a factor of 100.

The Q of pendulums ranges from several thousand in an ordinary clock to several hundred thousand for precision regulator pendulums swinging in vacuum. A quality home pendulum clock might have a Q of 10,000 and an accuracy of 10 seconds per month. The most accurate commercially produced pendulum clock was the Shortt-Synchronome free pendulum clock, invented in 1921. Its Invar master pendulum swinging in a vacuum tank had a Q of 110,000 The most accurate escapements, such as the deadbeat, approximately satisfy this condition.

Gravity measurement

The presence of the acceleration of gravity g in the periodicity equation  for a pendulum means that the local gravitational acceleration of the Earth can be calculated from the period of a pendulum.  A pendulum can therefore be used as a gravimeter to measure the local gravity, which varies by over 0.5% across the surface of the Earth. The pendulum in a clock is disturbed by the pushes it receives from the clock movement, so freeswinging pendulums were used, and were the standard instruments of gravimetry up to the 1930s.

The difference between clock pendulums and gravimeter pendulums is that to measure gravity, the pendulum’s length as well as its period has to be measured. The period of freeswinging pendulums could be found to great precision by comparing their swing with a precision clock that had been adjusted to keep correct time by the passage of stars overhead. In the early measurements, a weight on a cord was suspended in front of the clock pendulum, and its length adjusted until the two pendulums swung in exact synchronism. Then the length of the cord was measured. From the length and the period, g could be calculated from equation .

The seconds pendulum

The seconds pendulum, a pendulum with a period of two seconds so each swing takes one second, was widely used to measure gravity, because most precision clocks had seconds pendulums.  By the late 17th century, the length of the seconds pendulum became the standard measure of the strength of gravitational acceleration at a location. By 1700 its length had been measured with submillimeter accuracy at several cities in Europe. For a seconds pendulum, g is proportional to its length:

 

Early observations

1620: British scientist Francis Bacon was one of the first to propose using a pendulum to measure gravity, suggesting taking one up a mountain to see if gravity varies with altitude.

1644: Even before the pendulum clock, French priest Marin Mersenne first determined the length of the seconds pendulum was, by comparing the swing of a pendulum to the time it took a weight to fall a measured distance.

1669: Jean Picard determined the length of the seconds pendulum at Paris, using a copper ball suspended by an aloe fiber, obtaining .

1672: The first observation that gravity varied at different points on Earth was made in 1672 by Jean Richer, who took a pendulum clock to Cayenne, French Guiana and found that it lost minutes per day; its seconds pendulum had to be shortened by lignes  shorter than at Paris, to keep correct time. In 1687 Isaac Newton in Principia Mathematica showed this was because the Earth had a slightly oblate shape  caused by the centrifugal force of its rotation, so gravity increased with latitude. He used a copper pendulum bob in the shape of a double pointed cone suspended by a thread; the bob could be reversed to eliminate the effects of nonuniform density. He calculated the length to the center of oscillation of thread and bob combined, instead of using the center of the bob. He corrected for thermal expansion of the measuring rod and barometric pressure, giving his results for a pendulum swinging in vacuum. Bouguer swung the same pendulum at three different elevations, from sea level to the top of the high Peruvian altiplano. Gravity should fall with the inverse square of the distance from the center of the Earth. Bouguer found that it fell off slower, and correctly attributed the ‘extra’ gravity to the gravitational field of the huge Peruvian plateau. From the density of rock samples he calculated an estimate of the effect of the altiplano on the pendulum, and comparing this with the gravity of the Earth was able to make the first rough estimate of the density of the Earth.

1747: Daniel Bernoulli showed how to correct for the lengthening of the period due to a finite angle of swing θ0 by using the first order correction θ02/16, giving the period of a pendulum with an extremely small swing. He compared his measurements to an estimate of the gravity at his location assuming the mountain wasn’t there, calculated from previous nearby pendulum measurements at sea level. His measurements showed ‘excess’ gravity, which he allocated to the effect of the mountain. Modeling the mountain as a segment of a sphere in diameter and high, from rock samples he calculated its gravitational field, and estimated the density of the Earth at 4.39 times that of water. Later recalculations by others gave values of 4.77 and 4.95, illustrating the uncertainties in these geographical methods.

Kater’s pendulum

The precision of the early gravity measurements above was limited by the difficulty of measuring the length of the pendulum, L . L was the length of an idealized simple gravity pendulum, which has all its mass concentrated in a point at the end of the cord. In 1673 Huygens had shown that the period of a real pendulum  was equal to the period of a simple pendulum with a length equal to the distance between the pivot point and a point called the center of oscillation, located under the center of gravity, that depends on the mass distribution along the pendulum. But there was no accurate way of determining the center of oscillation in a real pendulum.

To get around this problem, the early researchers above approximated an ideal simple pendulum as closely as possible by using a metal sphere suspended by a light wire or cord. If the wire was light enough, the center of oscillation was close to the center of gravity of the ball, at its geometric center. This “ball and wire” type of pendulum wasn’t very accurate, because it didn’t swing as a rigid body, and the elasticity of the wire caused its length to change slightly as the pendulum swung.

However Huygens had also proved that in any pendulum, the pivot point and the center of oscillation were interchangeable. representing a precision of gravity measurement of 7×10−6 . Kater’s measurement was used as Britain’s official standard of length  from 1824 to 1855.

Reversible pendulums  employing Kater’s principle were used for absolute gravity measurements into the 1930s.

Later pendulum gravimeters

The increased accuracy made possible by Kater’s pendulum helped make gravimetry a standard part of geodesy. Since the exact location  of the ‘station’ where the gravity measurement was made was necessary, gravity measurements became part of surveying, and pendulums were taken on the great geodetic surveys of the 18th century, particularly the Great Trigonometric Survey of India.

Invariable pendulums: Kater introduced the idea of relative gravity measurements, to supplement the absolute measurements made by a Kater’s pendulum. Comparing the gravity at two different points was an easier process than measuring it absolutely by the Kater method. All that was necessary was to time the period of an ordinary  pendulum at the first point, then transport the pendulum to the other point and time its period there. Since the pendulum’s length was constant, from  the ratio of the gravitational accelerations was equal to the inverse of the ratio of the periods squared, and no precision length measurements were necessary. So once the gravity had been measured absolutely at some central station, by the Kater or other accurate method, the gravity at other points could be found by swinging pendulums at the central station and then taking them to the nearby point. Kater made up a set of “invariable” pendulums, with only one knife edge pivot, which were taken to many countries after first being swung at a central station at Kew Observatory, UK.

Airy’s coal pit experiments: Starting in 1826, using methods similar to Bouguer, British astronomer George Airy attempted to determine the density of the Earth by pendulum gravity measurements at the top and bottom of a coal mine. The gravitational force below the surface of the Earth decreases rather than increasing with depth, because by Gauss’s law the mass of the spherical shell of crust above the subsurface point does not contribute to the gravity. The 1826 experiment was aborted by the flooding of the mine, but in 1854 he conducted an improved experiment at the Harton coal mine, using seconds pendulums swinging on agate plates, timed by precision chronometers synchronized by an electrical circuit. He found the lower pendulum was slower by 2.24 seconds per day. This meant that the gravitational acceleration at the bottom of the mine, 1250 ft below the surface, was 1/14,000 less than it should have been from the inverse square law; that is the attraction of the spherical shell was 1/14,000 of the attraction of the Earth. From samples of surface rock he estimated the mass of the spherical shell of crust, and from this estimated that the density of the Earth was 6.565 times that of water. Von Sterneck attempted to repeat the experiment in 1882 but found inconsistent results.

Repsold-Bessel pendulum: It was time-consuming and error-prone to repeatedly swing the Kater’s pendulum and adjust the weights until the periods were equal. Friedrich Bessel showed in 1835 that this was unnecessary. As long as the periods were close together, the gravity could be calculated from the two periods and the center of gravity of the pendulum. So the reversible pendulum didn’t need to be adjustable, it could just be a bar with two pivots. Bessel also showed that if the pendulum was made symmetrical in form about its center, but was weighted internally at one end, the errors due to air drag would cancel out. Further, another error due to the finite diameter of the knife edges could be made to cancel out if they were interchanged between measurements. Bessel didn’t construct such a pendulum, but in 1864 Adolf Repsold, under contract by the Swiss Geodetic Commission made a pendulum along these lines.  The Repsold pendulum was about 56 cm long and had a period of about second. It was used extensively by European geodetic agencies, and with the Kater pendulum in the Survey of India. Similar pendulums of this type were designed by Charles Pierce and C. Defforges.

Von Sterneck and Mendenhall gravimeters: In 1887 Austro-Hungarian scientist Robert von Sterneck developed a small gravimeter pendulum mounted in a temperature-controlled vacuum tank to eliminate the effects of temperature and air pressure. It used a “half-second pendulum,” having a period close to one second, about 25 cm long. The pendulum was nonreversible, so the instrument was used for relative gravity measurements, but their small size made them small and portable. The period of the pendulum was picked off by reflecting the image of an electric spark created by a precision chronometer off a mirror mounted at the top of the pendulum rod. The Von Sterneck instrument, and a similar instrument developed by Thomas C. Mendenhall of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1890, were used extensively for surveys into the 1920s.

 

Gulf gravimeter: One of the last and most accurate pendulum gravimeters was the apparatus developed in 1929 by the Gulf Research and Development Co. It used two pendulums made of fused quartz, each in length with a period of 0.89 second, swinging on pyrex knife edge pivots, 180° out of phase. They were mounted in a permanently sealed temperature and humidity controlled vacuum chamber. Stray electrostatic charges on the quartz pendulums had to be discharged by exposing them to a radioactive salt before use. The period was detected by reflecting a light beam from a mirror at the top of the pendulum, recorded by a chart recorder and compared to a precision crystal oscillator calibrated against the WWV radio time signal. This instrument was accurate to within ×10−7 . Enlightenment scientists argued for a length standard that was based on some property of nature that could be determined by measurement, creating an indestructible, universal standard. The period of pendulums could be measured very precisely by timing them with clocks that were set by the stars. A pendulum standard amounted to defining the unit of length by the gravitational force of the Earth, for all intents constant, and the second, which was defined by the rotation rate of the Earth, also constant. The idea was that anyone, anywhere on Earth, could recreate the standard by constructing a pendulum that swung with the defined period and measuring its length.

Virtually all proposals were based on the seconds pendulum, in which each swing  takes one second, which is about a meter  long, because by the late 17th century it had become a standard for measuring gravity . By the 18th century its length had been measured with sub-millimeter accuracy at a number of cities in Europe and around the world.

The initial attraction of the pendulum length standard was that it was believed  that gravity was constant over the Earth’s surface, so a given pendulum had the same period at any point on Earth. So a pendulum length standard had to be defined at a single point on Earth and could only be measured there. This took much of the appeal from the concept, and efforts to adopt pendulum standards were abandoned.

Early proposals

One of the first to suggest defining length with a pendulum was Flemish scientist Isaac Beeckman who in 1631 recommended making the seconds pendulum “the invariable measure for all people at all times in all places”. Marin Mersenne, who first measured the seconds pendulum in 1644, also suggested it. The first official proposal for a pendulum standard was made by the British Royal Society in 1660, advocated by Christiaan Huygens and Ole Rømer, basing it on Mersenne’s work, and Huygens in Horologium Oscillatorium proposed a “horary foot” defined as 1/3 of the seconds pendulum. Christopher Wren was another early supporter. The idea of a pendulum standard of length must have been familiar to people as early as 1663, because Samuel Butler satirizes it in Hudibras:

 

In 1671 Jean Picard proposed a pendulum defined ‘universal foot’ in his influential Mesure de la Terre. Gabriel Mouton around 1670 suggested defining the toise either by a seconds pendulum or a minute of terrestrial degree. A plan for a complete system of units based on the pendulum was advanced in 1675 by Italian polymath Tito Livio Burratini. In France in 1747, geographer Charles Marie de la Condamine proposed defining length by a seconds pendulum at the equator; since at this location a pendulum’s swing wouldn’t be distorted by the Earth’s rotation. James Steuart  and George Skene Keith were also supporters.

By the end of the 18th century, when many nations were reforming their weight and measure systems, the seconds pendulum was the leading choice for a new definition of length, advocated by prominent scientists in several major nations. In 1790, then US Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson proposed to Congress a comprehensive decimalized US ‘metric system’ based on the seconds pendulum at 38° North latitude, the mean latitude of the United States. No action was taken on this proposal. In Britain the leading advocate of the pendulum was politician John Riggs Miller. When his efforts to promote a joint British–French–American metric system fell through in 1790, he proposed a British system based on the length of the seconds pendulum at London. This standard was adopted in 1824 .

The metre

In the discussions leading up to the French adoption of the metric system in 1791, the leading candidate for the definition of the new unit of length, the metre, was the seconds pendulum at 45° North latitude. It was advocated by a group led by French politician Talleyrand and mathematician Antoine Nicolas Caritat de Condorcet. This was one of the three final options considered by the French Academy of Sciences committee. However, on March 19, 1791 the committee instead chose to base the metre on the length of the meridian through Paris. A pendulum definition was rejected because of its variability at different locations, and because it defined length by a unit of time.  A possible additional reason is that the radical French Academy didn’t want to base their new system on the second, a traditional and nondecimal unit from the ancien regime.

Although not defined by the pendulum, the final length chosen for the metre, 10−7 of the pole-to-equator meridian arc, was very close to the length of the seconds pendulum, within 0.63%. Although no reason for this particular choice was given at the time, it was probably to facilitate the use of the seconds pendulum as a secondary standard, as was proposed in the official document. So the modern world’s standard unit of length is certainly closely linked historically with the seconds pendulum.

Britain and Denmark

Britain and Denmark appear to be the only nations that  based their units of length on the pendulum. In 1821 the Danish inch was defined as 1/38 of the length of the mean solar seconds pendulum at 45° latitude at the meridian of Skagen, at sea level, in vacuum. The British parliament passed the Imperial Weights and Measures Act in 1824, a reform of the British standard system which declared that if the prototype standard yard was destroyed, it would be recovered by defining the inch so that the length of the solar seconds pendulum at London, at sea level, in a vacuum, at 62 °F was 39.1393 inches. This also became the US standard, since at the time the US used British measures. However, when the prototype yard was lost in the 1834 Houses of Parliament fire, it proved impossible to recreate it accurately from the pendulum definition, and in 1855 Britain repealed the pendulum standard and returned to prototype standards.

Other uses

Seismometers

A pendulum in which the rod is not vertical but almost horizontal was used in early seismometers for measuring earth tremors. The bob of the pendulum does not move when its mounting does, and the difference in the movements is recorded on a drum chart.

Schuler tuning

As first explained by Maximilian Schuler in a 1923 paper, a pendulum whose period exactly equals the orbital period of a hypothetical satellite orbiting just above the surface of the earth  will tend to remain pointing at the center of the earth when its support is suddenly displaced. This principle, called Schuler tuning, is used in inertial guidance systems in ships and aircraft that operate on the surface of the Earth. No physical pendulum is used, but the control system that keeps the inertial platform containing the gyroscopes stable is modified so the device acts as though it is attached to such a pendulum, keeping the platform always facing down as the vehicle moves on the curved surface of the Earth.

Coupled pendulums

In 1665 Huygens made a curious observation about pendulum clocks. Two clocks had been placed on his mantlepiece, and he noted that they had acquired an opposing motion. That is, their pendulums were beating in unison but in the opposite direction; 180° out of phase. Regardless of how the two clocks were started, he found that they would eventually return to this state, thus making the first recorded observation of a coupled oscillator.

The cause of this behavior was that the two pendulums were affecting each other through slight motions of the supporting mantlepiece. This process is called entrainment or mode locking in physics and is observed in other coupled oscillators. Synchronized pendulums have been used in clocks and were widely used in gravimeters in the early 20th century. Although Huygens only observed out-of-phase synchronization, recent investigations have shown the existence of in-phase synchronization, as well as “death” states wherein one or both clocks stops.

Religious practice

Pendulum motion appears in religious ceremonies as well. The swinging incense burner called a censer, also known as a thurible, is an example of a pendulum. Pendulums are also seen at many gatherings in eastern Mexico where they mark the turning of the tides on the day which the tides are at their highest point. See also pendulums for divination and dowsing.

See also

Notes

The value of g reflected by the period of a pendulum varies from place to place. The gravitational force varies with distance from the center of the Earth, i.e. with altitude – or because the Earth’s shape is oblate, g varies with latitude.

A more important cause of this reduction in g at the equator is because the equator is spinning at one revolution per day, reducing the gravitational force there.

References

 

Further reading

  1. L. Baker and J. A. Blackburn . The Pendulum: A Case Study in Physics .
  2. Gitterman . The Chaotic Pendulum .

Michael R. Matthews, Arthur Stinner, Colin F. Gauld The Pendulum: Scientific, Historical, Philosophical and Educational Perspectives, Springer

Michael R. Matthews, Colin Gauld and Arthur Stinner  The Pendulum: Its Place in Science, Culture and Pedagogy. Science & Education, 13, 261-277.

Schlomo Silbermann, “Pendulum Fundamental; The Path Of Nowhere”

  1. P. Pook . Understanding Pendulums: A Brief Introduction .

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Reiki and the power of the soul and quartz / amethyst pointers

Reiki

is a form of alternative medicine developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. Since originating in Japan, Reiki has been adapted into varying cultural traditions across the world. Reiki practitioners use a technique they call palm healing or hands-on healing by which a “universal energy” is allegedly transferred through the palms of the practitioner to a patient in order to encourage healing.

Reiki is considered pseudoscience. Clinical research has not shown Reiki to be effective as a medical treatment for any medical condition. The American Cancer Society, state that Reiki should not be a replacement for conventional treatment.

Etymology

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English alternative medicine word reiki or Reiki is etymologically from Japanese reiki  “mysterious atmosphere, miraculous sign”, combining rei “soul, spirit” and ki “vital energy”—the Sino-Japanese reading of Chinese língqì  “numinous atmosphere”. The earliest recorded English usage dates to 1975.

The Japanese reiki is commonly written as レイキ in katakana syllabary or as 霊気 in shinjitai “new character form” kanji. It compounds the words rei  and ki . Ki is additionally defined as “… spirits; one’s feelings, mood, frame of mind; temperament, temper, disposition, one’s nature, character; mind to do something, intention, will; care, attention, precaution”. Some reiki translation equivalents from Japanese-English dictionaries are: “feeling of mystery”, “an atmosphere  of mystery”, and “an ethereal atmosphere ;  a spiritual  presence.” Besides the usual Sino-Japanese pronunciation reiki, these kanji 霊気 have an alternate Japanese reading, namely ryōge, meaning “demon; ghost” .

Chinese língqì 靈氣 was first recorded in the  Neiye “Inward Training” section of the Guanzi, describing early Daoist meditation techniques. “That mysterious vital energy within the mind: One moment it arrives, the next it departs. So fine, there is nothing within it; so vast, there is nothing outside it. We lose it because of the harm caused by mental agitation.” Modern Standard Chinese língqì is translated by Chinese-English dictionaries as: ” spiritual influence or atmosphere”; “1. intelligence; power of understanding; 2. supernatural power or force in fairy tales; miraculous power or force”; and “1. spiritual influence ; 2. ingeniousness; cleverness”.

Origins

According to the inscription on his memorial stone, Usui taught his system of Reiki to more than 2,000 people during his lifetime. While teaching Reiki in Fukuyama, Usui suffered a stroke and died on 9 March 1926.

Research, critical evaluation, and controversy

Basis and effectiveness

Reiki’s teachings and adherents claim that qi is physiological and can be manipulated to treat a disease or condition. The existence of qi has not been established by medical research. Most research on Reiki is poorly designed and prone to bias. There is no reliable empirical evidence that Reiki is helpful for treating any medical condition, although some physicians have said it might help promote general well-being.

Scholarly evaluation

Reiki is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in scholarly texts and academic journal articles. Emily Rosa became the youngest person to publish in the medical literature at 11 years old when her school science project was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrating that Reiki pracitioners could not detect the alleged “life force” under experimental conditions.

Rhonda McClenton states, “The reality is that Reiki, under the auspices of pseudo-science, has begun the process of becoming institutionalized in settings where people are already very vulnerable.” Ferraresi et al. state, “In spite of its  diffusion, the baseline mechanism of action has not been demonstrated…” Wendy Reiboldt states about Reiki, “Neither the forces involved nor the alleged therapeutic benefits have been demonstrated by scientific testing.” Several authors have pointed to the vitalistic energy which Reiki is claimed to treat. Larry Sarner states, “Ironically, the only thing that distinguishes Reiki from Therapeutic Touch is that it involves actual touch.”

A guideline published by the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation states, “Reiki therapy should probably not be considered for the treatment of PDN .” Canadian sociologist Susan J. Palmer has listed Reiki as among the pseudoscientific healing methods used by cults in France to attract members.

Hospital usage

In April 2016 Reiki treatments were being made available at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Utah. “We have two reiki masters if this is something patients are interested in,” said Rachel King, the hospital’s marketing coordinator.

Issues in the literature

One systematic review of 9 randomized clinical trials conducted by Lee, Pittler, and Ernst  found several issues in the literature on Reiki. First, several of these studies are actually funded by the US National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Second, depending on the tools used to measure depression and anxiety, the results varied and didn’t appear to have much reliability or validity. Furthermore, the scientific community has had issues in replicating the findings of studies that support Reiki. The authors of the review also found issues in reporting methodology in some of the literature, in that often there were parts left out completely or not clearly described. Frequently in these studies, sample sizes are not calculated and adequate allocation and conceal procedures were also not followed. In their review, Lee, Pittler, and Ernst  found that studies without double-blind procedures tended to exaggerate treatment effects as well. Additionally, there was no control for differences in experience of the Reiki administers and they found that even the same healer could produce different outcomes in different studies. None of the studies in the review provided rationale for the treatment duration in such that there is a need for an optimal dosage of Reiki to be established for further research. Another questionable issue with the Reiki research included in this systematic review was that no study reported any adverse effects. It is clear that this area of research requires further studies to be conducted that follow proper scientific method, especially since the main theory on which the therapy is based has never been scientifically proven.

Safety

Safety concerns for Reiki sessions are very low and are akin to those of many complementary and alternative medicine practices. Some physicians and health care providers however believe that patients may unadvisedly substitute proven treatments for life-threatening conditions with unproven alternative modalities including Reiki, thus endangering their health.

Catholic Church concerns

In March 2009, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the document Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy, in which they declared that the practice of Reiki was superstition, being neither truly faith healing nor science-based medicine. Since this announcement, some Catholic lay people have continued to practice reiki, but it has been removed from many Catholic hospitals and other institutions.

See also

Energy medicine

Glossary of alternative medicine

Laying on of hands

List of ineffective cancer treatments

Shinto

Vibrational medicine

References

Bibliography

External links

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Orgone and orgonite for energy regulation

Orgone is a pseudoscientific and spiritual concept described as an esoteric energy or hypothetical universal life force, originally proposed in the 1930s by Wilhelm Reich. Orgone was seen as a massless, omnipresent substance, similar to luminiferous aether, but more closely associated with living energy than with inert matter. It could allegedly coalesce to create organization on all scales, from the smallest microscopic units—called “bions” in orgone theory—to macroscopic structures like organisms, clouds, or even galaxies.

Reich stated that deficits or constrictions in bodily orgone were at the root of many diseases, much as deficits or constrictions in the libido could produce neuroses in Freudian theory. Reich founded the Orgone Institute ca. 1942

to pursue research into orgone energy after he immigrated to the US in 1939, and used it to publish literature and distribute material relating to the topic for more than a decade. Reich designed special “orgone accumulators”—devices ostensibly collecting and storing orgone energy from the environment—for improvement of general health or even for weather control. but this was not enough to stop the action.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health lists orgone as a type of “putative energy”.

There is no empirical support for the concept of orgone in medicine or the physical sciences, He was expelled from the Institute of Psycho-analysis because of these disagreements over the nature of the libido and his increasingly political stance. He was forced to leave Germany very soon after Hitler came to power.

Reich took an increasingly bioenergetic view of libido, perhaps influenced by his tutor Paul Kammerer and another biologist, Otto Heinrich Warburg. In the early 20th century, when molecular biology was in its infancy, developmental biology in particular still presented mysteries that made the idea of a specific life energy respectable, as was articulated by theorists such as Hans Driesch. As a psycho-analyst Reich aligned such theories with the Freudian libido, while as a materialist he believed such a life-force must be susceptible to physical experiment.

He wrote in his best known book, The Function of the Orgasm: “Between 1919 and 1921, I became familiar with Driesch’s ‘Philosophie des Organischen’ and his ‘Ordnungslehre’… Driesch’s contention seemed incontestable to me. He argued that, in the sphere of the life function, the whole could be developed from a part, whereas a machine could not be made from a screw….. However, I couldn’t quite accept the transcendentalism of the life principle. Seventeen years later I was able to resolve the contradiction on the basis of a formula pertaining to the function of energy. Driesch’s theory was always present in my mind when I thought about vitalism. The vague feeling I had about the irrational nature of his assumption turned out to be justified in the end. He landed among the spiritualists.”

The concept of orgone was the result of this work in the psycho-physiology of libido. After his migration to the US, Reich began to speculate about biological development and evolution, and then branched out into much broader speculations about the nature of the universe.

For Reich, neurosis became a physical manifestation he called “body armor”—deeply seated tensions and inhibitions in the physical body that were not separated from any mental effects that might be observed. He developed a therapeutic approach he called vegetotherapy that was aimed at opening and releasing this body armor so that free instinctive reflexes—which he considered a token of psychic well-being—could take over.

Evaluation

Orgone was closely associated with sexuality: Reich, following Freud, saw nascent sexuality as the primary energetic force of life. The term itself was chosen to share a root with the word orgasm, which both Reich and Freud took to be a fundamental expression of psychological health. This focus on sexuality, while acceptable in the clinical perspective of Viennese psychoanalytic circles, scandalized the conservative American public even as it appealed to countercultural figures like William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.

In at least some cases, Reich’s experimental techniques do not appear to have been very careful, or to have taken precautions to remove experimental bias. Reich was concerned with experimental verification from other scientists. Albert Einstein agreed to participate, but thought Reich’s research lacked scientific detachment and experimental rigor; and concluded that the effect was simply due to the temperature gradient inside the room. “Through these experiments I regard the matter as completely solved,” he wrote to Reich on 7 February 1941. Upon further correspondence from Reich, Einstein replied that he could not devote any further time to the matter and asked that his name not be misused for advertising purposes.

Orgone and its related concepts were quickly denounced in the post-World War II American press. Reich and his students were seen as a “cult of sex and anarchy,” at least in part because orgone was linked with the title of his book The Function of the Orgasm, and this led to numerous investigations as a communist and denunciation under a wide variety of other pretexts. He was, as the New York Times later put it, “much maligned”. The psychoanalytical community of the time saw his approach to healing diseases as quackery of the worst sort, partly because of his comments about UFOs. In 1954, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration successfully sought an injunction to prevent Reich from making medical claims relating to orgone, which  prevented him from shipping “orgone devices” across state lines.

Some of Reich’s observations have been replicated by other researchers. Stefan Müschenich, in his Master’s thesis, demonstrated effects of orgone accumulators on test subjects in keeping with Reich’s original descriptions, while subjects exposed to a known “dummy box” showed no such effects. As of 2007, the National Institutes of Health database PubMed, and the Web of Science database, contained only 4 or 5 peer-reviewed scientific papers published  dealing with orgone therapy.

Some psychotherapists and psychologists practicing various kinds of Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology have continued to use Reich’s proposed emotional-release methods and character-analysis ideas.

In popular culture

Orgone was used in the writings of several prominent beat generation authors, who were fascinated by both its purported curative and sexual aspects. To that extent, it is heavily associated with the 1950s counterculture movement, though it did not carry over into the more extensive movements of the 1960s.

William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs was a major proponent of orgone research, who often included it as part of the surreal imagery in his novels. Orgone interested Burroughs particularly because he believed that it could be used to ease or alleviate “junk sickness”—a popular term for heroin withdrawal. This fitted well in the context of his novels, which were usually narrative recreations of his own experiences with narcotics and the Beat life.

Burroughs explicitly compares “kicking the habit” to cancer in the novel Junky, and ties it to the use of orgone accumulators. He writes:

At the time that Burroughs was writing, orgone accumulators were only available from Reich’s Orgone Institute in New York, offered for a ten dollar per month donation. Burroughs built his own instead, substituting rock wool for the sheet iron, but believed it still achieved the desired effect. Burroughs writes about what occurred once he started using the accumulator:

Jack Kerouac

In Jack Kerouac’s popular novel On the Road, the orgone accumulator was treated more as another type of drug than as a medical device: primarily a stimulant, with strong sexual overtones. When Sal Paradise visits Old Bull Lee in the novel, Lee’s orgone accumulator is described as follows:

The 2012 film of Kerouac’s novel includes the scene described above, but adds a small window in the accumulator and a funnel to breathe through.

J.D. Salinger

According to his daughter, J.D. Salinger would sometimes use an orgone accumulator, among an assortment of other alternative health regimens.

Orson Bean

Noted American actor and raconteur Orson Bean was once a proponent of orgone therapy and published a well-received book about it entitled Me and the Orgone.

Dušan Makavejev

Dušan Makavejev opened his 1971 satirical film W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism with documentary coverage of Reich and his development of orgone accumulators, combining this with other imagery and a fictional sub-plot in a collage mocking sexual and political authorities. Scenes include one of only “ten or fifteen orgone boxes left in the country” at that time.

Hawkwind

British space rockers Hawkwind released the track “Orgone Accumulator” as the first track on side three of the 1972 live album, Space Ritual.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen’s 1973 comedy science fiction movie Sleeper features an orgasmatron—a cylinder big enough to hold one or two people, containing some future technology that rapidly induces orgasms. This is required as almost all people in the movie’s universe are impotent or frigid, although males of Italian descent are considered the least impotent of all groups. It has been suggested that the orgasmatron was a parody of Reich’s orgone accumulator.

Kate Bush

The song “Cloudbusting” by British singer Kate Bush describes Reich’s arrest and incarceration through the eyes of his son, Peter. The 1985 video, in which Donald Sutherland plays Wilhelm Reich during his research and subsequent arrest, features a Foucault pendulum as an alternative method of demonstrating the rotational motion of the earth to prove the heretical view that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe. The Foucault pendulum in this video simultaneously connects and contrasts the disgraced Wilhelm Reich to both of the respected Foucaults, the scientist, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault and the philosopher, Michel Foucault, who had died one year prior to the video in 1984.

Devo

The new wave ’80s band Devo claimed that their iconic energy dome design was used to recycle the wasted orgone energy that flows from a person’s head. Devo cofounder Mark Mothersbaugh has said:

Evelyn Waugh

An orgone accumulator plays an important role in the semi-autobiographical Evelyn Waugh novel The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. A neighbour to Mr. Pinfold owns a box, and with it he experiments on Mr Pinfold’s wife. Later, in a hallucinatory state, Mr Pinfold imagines that his problems have originated from that box.

Warren Leight

Warren Leight’s play, Side Man, contains a scene where Gene and Terry receive an orgone box that Gene’s friend’s wife made him get rid of.

Hal Duncan

In Hal Duncan’s book Ink, one of alternative realities is orgone-based, i.e. orgone  is used as primary energy source.

Peep Show

In the Channel 4 comedy series Peep Show episode “Mark’s Women”, Jeremy joins a cult, Spiritual Wellness, which defines Orgones as “the invisible molecules of universal life energy which govern our moods and our actions”, with negative Orgones being the sources of all the problems in the world. Mark is concerned that Jeremy has joined a cult, and tries to explain that this is an over simplistic view of the world.

Lupin the Third

In episode 11 of the Lupin III television specials, the enemy wants the secrets of the Columbus Files and the Columbus Egg, which involve the mysterious Orgone energy.

Redline

Orgone energy features prominently in the science-fiction world of video game Redline, released in 1999.

Captain Earth

In the anime series Captain Earth, Orgone energy is the source of power and sustenance for the invading aliens, the Kill-T-Gang, who plan to harvest it from the libidos of all humanity. It is also the power behind the Livlaster guns used by the protagonists.

See also

Alexander Gurwitsch

Ark of the Covenant

Animal magnetism of Franz Anton Mesmer

Energy

Energy medicine

Fringe science

List of ineffective cancer treatments

Odic force of Carl Reichenbach

Rupert Sheldrake

Vitalism

References

External links

This video shows a fringe viewpoint on orgone, reflecting the personal views of James DeMeo.

Institutions investigating orgone

, Argentinian site on Orgonomy

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Amethyst history and power – purple quartz stone with mystical properties.

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the ancient Greek ἀ a-  and μέθυστος méthystos, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and made drinking vessels decorated with it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.

Structure

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz  and owes its violet color to irradiation, iron impurities, and the presence of trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. The hardness of the mineral is the same as quartz, thus it is suitable for use in jewelry.

Hue and tone

Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and blue. The best varieties of amethyst can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the far East. The ideal grade is called “Deep Siberian” and has a primary purple hue of around 75–80%, with 15–20% blue and  red secondary hues. Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being prasiolite. Other names for green quartz are vermarine or lime citrine.

Of very variable intensity, the color of amethyst is often laid out in stripes parallel to the final faces of the crystal. One aspect in the art of lapidary involves correctly cutting the stone to place the color in a way that makes the tone of the finished gem homogeneous. Often, the fact that sometimes only a thin surface layer of violet color is present in the stone or that the color is not homogeneous makes for a difficult cutting.

The color of amethyst has been demonstrated to result from substitution by irradiation of trivalent iron  for silicon in the structure, in the presence of trace elements of large ionic radius, but loses its dichroism, unlike genuine citrine. When partially heated, amethyst can result in ametrine.

Amethyst can fade in tone if overexposed to light sources and can be artificially darkened with adequate irradiation.

The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication, while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. Western Christian bishops wear an episcopal ring often set with an amethyst, an allusion to the description of the Apostles as “not drunk” at Pentecost in Acts 2:15.

A large geode, or “amethyst-grotto”, from near Santa Cruz in southern Brazil was presented at a 1902 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany.

In the 19th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, since it can be greatly altered and even discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. Ferric thiocyanate has been suggested, and sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral.

Synthetic amethyst

Synthetic amethyst is produced by gamma ray, X-ray or electron beam irradiation of clear quartz which has been first doped with ferric impurities. On exposure to heat, the irradiation effects can be partially cancelled and amethyst generally becomes yellow or even green, and much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be merely “burnt amethyst”.

Synthetic amethyst is made to imitate the best quality amethyst. Its chemical and physical properties are so similar to that of natural amethyst that it can not be differentiated with absolute certainty without advanced gemnological testing . There is one test based on “Brazil law twinning”  which can be used to identify synthetic amethyst rather easily. It is possible to synthesize twinned amethyst, but this type is not available in large quantities in the market. Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. In his poem “L’Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste”, the French poet Remy Belleau  invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the chaste goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste’s desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life was spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears then stained the quartz purple.

This myth and its variations are not found in classical sources. Although the titan Rhea does present Dionysus with an amethyst stone to preserve the wine-drinker’s sanity in historical text.

Other cultural associations

Tibetans consider amethyst sacred to the Buddha and make prayer beads from it. Amethyst is considered the birthstone of February. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a symbol of royalty and used to decorate English regalia.

Value

Up until the 18th century, amethyst was included in the cardinal, or most valuable, gemstones . However, since the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil, it has lost most of its value.

Collectors look for depth of color, possibly with red flashes if cut conventionally. As amethyst is readily available in large structures the value of the gem is not primarily defined by carat weight; this is different to most gemstones where the carat weight exponentially increases the value of the stone. The biggest factor in the value of amethyst is the color displayed.

The highest grade amethyst  is exceptionally rare and therefore, when one is found, its value is dependent on the demand of collectors. It is, however, still orders of magnitude lower than the highest grade sapphires or rubies .

See also

Ametrine

Prasiolite

List of minerals

Specimen Ridge

References

Attribution

External links

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

 

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Quartz varieties and clear, rose and amethyst pointers

 

Varieties

Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal or clear quartz, is colorless and transparent or translucent, and has often been used for hardstone carvings, such as the Lothair Crystal. Common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others.

The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline  and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties . The cryptocrystalline varieties are either translucent or mostly opaque, while the transparent varieties tend to be macrocrystalline. Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica consisting of fine intergrowths of both quartz, and its monoclinic polymorph moganite. Other opaque gemstone varieties of quartz, or mixed rocks including quartz, often including contrasting bands or patterns of color, are agate, carnelian or sard, onyx, heliotrope, and jasper.

Amethyst

Amethyst is a popular form of quartz that ranges from a bright to dark or dull purple color. The world’s largest deposits of amethysts can be found in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Russia, France, Namibia and Morocco. Sometimes amethyst and citrine are found growing in the same crystal. It is then referred to as ametrine. An amethyst is formed when there is iron in the area where it was formed.

Citrine

Citrine is a variety of quartz whose color ranges from a pale yellow to brown due to ferric impurities. Natural citrines are rare; most commercial citrines are heat-treated amethysts or smoky quartzes. However, a heat-treated amethyst will have small lines in the crystal, as opposed to a natural citrine’s cloudy or smokey appearance. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between cut citrine and yellow topaz visually, but they differ in hardness. Brazil is the leading producer of citrine, with much of its production coming from the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The name is derived from the Latin word citrina which means “yellow” and is also the origin of the word “citron”. Sometimes citrine and amethyst can be found together in the same crystal, which is then referred to as ametrine. Citrine has been referred to as the “merchant’s stone” or “money stone”, due to a superstition that it would bring prosperity.

Milky quartz

Milk quartz or milky quartz is the most common variety of crystalline quartz. The white color is caused by minute fluid inclusions of gas, liquid, or both, trapped during crystal formation, making it of little value for optical and quality gemstone applications.

Rose quartz

Rose quartz is a type of quartz which exhibits a pale pink to rose red hue. The color is usually considered as due to trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese, in the massive material. Some rose quartz contains microscopic rutile needles which produces an asterism in transmitted light. Recent X-ray diffraction studies suggest that the color is due to thin microscopic fibers of possibly dumortierite within the massive quartz.

Additionally, there is a rare type of pink quartz  with color that is thought to be caused by trace amounts of phosphate or aluminium. The color in crystals is apparently photosensitive and subject to fading. The first crystals were found in a pegmatite found near Rumford, Maine, USA and in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Smoky quartz

Smoky quartz is a gray, translucent version of quartz. It ranges in clarity from almost complete transparency to a brownish-gray crystal that is almost opaque. Some can also be black.

Vermarine

Vermarine, also known as prasiolite, is a variety of quartz that is green in color. Since 1950, almost all natural vermarine has come from a small Brazilian mine, but it is also seen in Lower Silesia in Poland. Naturally occurring vermarine is also found in the Thunder Bay area of Canada. It is a rare stone in nature, most green quartz is heat-treated amethyst.

Synthetic and artificial treatments

Not all varieties of quartz are naturally occurring. Some clear quartz crystals can be treated using heat or gamma-irradiation to induce color where it would not otherwise have occurred naturally. Susceptibility to such treatments depends on the location from which the quartz was mined. Prasiolite, an olive colored material, is produced by heat treatment; natural prasiolite has also been observed in Lower Silesia in Poland. Although citrine occurs naturally, the majority is the result of heat-treated amethyst. Carnelian is widely heat-treated to deepen its color.

Because natural quartz is often twinned, synthetic quartz is produced for use in industry. Large, flawless, single crystals are synthesized in an autoclave via the hydrothermal process; emeralds are also synthesized in this fashion.

Like other crystals, quartz may be coated with metal vapors to give it an attractive sheen.

Occurrence

Quartz is a defining constituent of granite and other felsic igneous rocks. It is very common in sedimentary rocks such as sandstone and shale and is also present in variable amounts as an accessory mineral in most carbonate rocks. It is a common constituent of schist, gneiss, quartzite and other metamorphic rocks. Quartz has the lowest potential for weathering in the Goldich dissolution series and consequently it is very common as a residual mineral in stream sediments and residual soils.

While the majority of quartz crystallizes from molten magma, much quartz also chemically precipitates from hot hydrothermal veins as gangue, sometimes with ore minerals like gold, silver and copper. Large crystals of quartz are found in magmatic pegmatites. Well-formed crystals may reach several meters in length and weigh hundreds of kilograms.

Naturally occurring quartz crystals of extremely high purity, necessary for the crucibles and other equipment used for growing silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry, are expensive and rare. A major mining location for high purity quartz is the Spruce Pine Gem Mine in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, United States.

The largest documented single crystal of quartz was found near Itapore, Goiaz, Brazil; it measured approximately 6.1×1.5×1.5 m and weighed more than 44 tonnes.

Related silica minerals

Tridymite and cristobalite are high-temperature polymorphs of SiO2 that occur in high-silica volcanic rocks. Coesite is a denser polymorph of SiO2 found in some meteorite impact sites and in metamorphic rocks formed at pressures greater than those typical of the Earth’s crust. Stishovite is a yet denser and higher-pressure polymorph of SiO2 found in some meteorite impact sites. Lechatelierite is an amorphous silica glass SiO2 which is formed by lightning strikes in quartz sand.

History

The word “quartz” comes from the German, which is of Slavic origin . Other sources attribute the word’s origin to the Saxon word Querkluftertz, meaning cross-vein ore.

Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is found regularly in passage tomb cemeteries in Europe in a burial context, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grianchloch, which means ‘sunstone’. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, as well as many other countries, for stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of the prehistoric peoples.

While jade has been since earliest times the most prized semi-precious stone for carving in East Asia and Pre-Columbian America, in Europe and the Middle East the different varieties of quartz were the most commonly used for the various types of jewelry and hardstone carving, including engraved gems and cameo gems, rock crystal vases, and extravagant vessels. The tradition continued to produce objects that were very highly valued until the mid-19th century, when it largely fell from fashion except in jewelry. Cameo technique exploits the bands of color in onyx and other varieties.

Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed quartz to be water ice, permanently frozen after great lengths of time.  He supported this idea by saying that quartz is found near glaciers in the Alps, but not on volcanic mountains, and that large quartz crystals were fashioned into spheres to cool the hands. This idea persisted until at least the 17th century. He also knew of the ability of quartz to split light into a spectrum.

In the 17th century, Nicolas Steno’s study of quartz paved the way for modern crystallography. He discovered that regardless of a quartz crystal’s size or shape, its long prism faces always joined at a perfect 60° angle.

Quartz’s piezoelectric properties were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880. The quartz oscillator or resonator was first developed by Walter Guyton Cady in 1921. George Washington Pierce designed and patented quartz crystal oscillators in 1923. Warren Marrison created the first quartz oscillator clock based on the work of Cady and Pierce in 1927.

Efforts to synthesize quartz began in the mid nineteenth century as scientists attempted to create minerals under laboratory conditions that mimicked the conditions in which the minerals formed in nature: German geologist Karl Emil von Schafhäutl  was the first person to synthesize quartz when in 1845 he created microscopic quartz crystals in a pressure cooker. However, the quality and size of the crystals that were produced by these early efforts were poor. By the 1930s, the electronics industry had become dependent on quartz crystals. The only source of suitable crystals was Brazil; however, World War II disrupted the supplies from Brazil, so nations attempted to synthesize quartz on a commercial scale. German mineralogist Richard Nacken  achieved some success during the 1930s and 1940s. After the war, many laboratories attempted to grow large quartz crystals. In the United States, the U.S. Army Signal Corps contracted with Bell Laboratories and with the Brush Development Company of Cleveland, Ohio to synthesize crystals following Nacken’s lead.  By 1948, Brush Development had grown crystals that were 1.5 inches  in diameter, the largest to date. By the 1950s, hydrothermal synthesis techniques were producing synthetic quartz crystals on an industrial scale, and today virtually all the quartz crystal used in the modern electronics industry is synthetic.

Piezoelectricity

Quartz crystals have piezoelectric properties; they develop an electric potential upon the application of mechanical stress. An early use of this property of quartz crystals was in phonograph pickups. One of the most common piezoelectric uses of quartz today is as a crystal oscillator. The quartz clock is a familiar device using the mineral. The resonant frequency of a quartz crystal oscillator is changed by mechanically loading it, and this principle is used for very accurate measurements of very small mass changes in the quartz crystal microbalance and in thin-film thickness monitors.

See also

Dallasite

Fused quartz

List of minerals

Shocked quartz

Quartz reef mining

References

External links

 

Quartz gemstones

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia