Friday, October 25, 2019

Meditation or Vacation, Which is Better?

No time for vacation?

 Meditation found to have similar effect 

Many studies show the benefits of vacation as well as the benefits of Meditation. However now we have 2 studies (one in 2016, one in 2018) that show the two side by side. Also, one of the studies includes what other people perceive about the person meditating and the difference between days they meditate or don't meditate.

The 2016 research included both new meditators and regular meditators’ benefits over time. Researchers employed blood samples from the beginning, in 1 month and at the 10 month mark. They also used self-reported wellness surveys at the same time intervals. Everybody showed equally large immediate improvements in well-being (reduced stress reactions, improved immune function, and amyloid beta (Aβ) metabolism) but the beginners at meditation showed greater maintenance of lower distress over time compared with those who went on vacation. Regular meditators showed a trend toward increased telomerase activity not seen in the other groups. Increased telomerase activity has been shown to be an indicator for longevity.

The 2018 research worked only with new meditators. Over an 8 week period, the participants completed a survey that assessed their well-being, emotions, and mindfulness. People around them also completed a survey noting their reactiveness. On days the participants meditated, they reported lower levels of negative emotions such as irritation and higher levels of positive emotions such as gratefulness. They also scored higher on several facets of mindfulness. The researchers found similar associations on days the participants were on vacation. Christopher May, the author of the study said, “We found that just 15-minutes of meditation was associated with similar effects as a day of vacation on aspects of mindfulness. Both meditators and vacationers reported heightened awareness of their environment and greater equanimity in experiencing their emotions.”

While this quote is from the researchers in the second study, it mirrors similar statements from the first study: "However, we should be clear that these results only demonstrate similarities for beginning meditators. They do not speak to the unique, cumulative effects of long-term meditation practice, the benefits of which may outweigh those of vacation.”

If you are looking for a simple, yet profound meditation practice, The Art of Ascension as taught by the Ishayas can be used anywhere, anytime by anybody, even while on vacation! A free audio introduction is available online, or you can sign up for a free live Zoom introduction.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

How to Meditate in Bed Without Using Your Phone

How to meditate in bed without using your phone

Free photo 2994648 © Adam Borkowski -

As more and more people are hearing about the benefits of meditation, they are turning to all kinds of methods.  Many new apps are available as well as guided meditations and books on meditation.

Most people tend to believe that in order to “meditate successfully”, they need to learn to control their mind or turn off their thoughts and achieve a certain feeling of calmness.  Research indicates that none of this is not true.  The mind is similar to an ocean.  The surface level of the ocean has many waves which vary in size and quantity depending on a variety of circumstances.  But at the depth of the ocean, all is calm, quiet, and very still. 
The surface level of the mind experiences a variety of quality and quantity of thoughts, similar to the waves of the ocean.  But, if one knew how to dive deeply into the depths of the mind, what is commonly called the unconscious, they would find a calm and stillness. 

Due to mass consciousness and the busyness of life, the vast majority people only experience the surface level of the mind, thousands of thoughts.  On rare occasions, often involving nature or creativity, time falls away, you experience no conflict, no doubt, and no self-criticism, but have a deep calmness, possibly euphoria.  One study found that only 2% of the general population have peak experiences, but Maslow believed that nearly everyone has peak experiences. Because most people have little to no context for the experience and cannot make sense of the experience, the memory may eventually fade away. 

Peak experiences also have a physiological response, that of coherent brain waves as well as an alertness of mind and deep rest. After studying peak performers in a variety of fields, they found that peak performances often coincided with peak experiences. Said another way, the more peak experiences a person experienced, the more likely they would be successful. 

Dr. Herbert Benson from Harvard, one of the early researchers on meditation, showed through his research that given a simple and effortless technique, people began to experience coherent brain wave patterns more often, as well as deeper levels of rest than sleep.   He called this as well as his book describing the research “The Relaxation Response.”  His latest research shows positive genetic upgrades.

Ishayas’ Ascension offers a simple, effortless mental technique.  Ascension means to rise beyond.  In this case, it means to effortlessly move beyond the busy thoughts, mental filters and veils to allow the mind to dive into the depths of the mind.  As with the ocean, one does not need to stop the waves in order to experience the depths, one merely needs to take the correct angle to dive deeply. Ishayas’ Ascension charms the mind into the correct angle for the deep dive.  It is effortless and can be done by everyone.  It can even be done in bed!

With Ishayas’ Ascension, you need nothing but the technique.  You don’t need an app, music, incense, etc. as these keep you at the surface level of the mind.  So, you can meditate in bed or wherever you are!

For information on the Art of Ascension, visit  

Sunday, October 6, 2019

How to Boost Your Immune System Without Effort

How to boost your immune system without effort 

Our minds have hidden depths.

Dr. Herbert Spector at the National Institute of Health performed a study on mice. He gave mice a powerful immune system stimulating drug (poly I:C ) at the same time he exposed them to camphor (a neutral agent with a strong odor). With their strong immune system, no bacterial agents made them ill, no tumors developed if exposed to carcinogens, etc. Even after removing the immune system stimulating drug but continuing to administer the camphor, they remained strong and healthy. Later, receiving the camphor alone, every mouse showed three times the killer cell activity than that of the control group.

Drs. Ader and Cohen at the University of Rochester performed a similar but contrasting study. The researchers gave rats water sweetened with saccharin (a neutral agent) followed by an injection of cyclophosphamide, an immunosuppressant that caused nausea. Through classical conditioning, the rats quickly began avoiding the saccharin water. Ader and Cohen force fed the rats the saccharin solution minus the drug injection. Even so, rats began to die. They found the rate of death was directly related to the quantity of saccharin solution the rats consumed. Due to weakened immune systems, the rats contracted bacterial and viral infections that they were unable to fight off.

From these findings, they proposed a theory that the rats died because their association of the taste of saccharin with cyclophosphamide was enough to suppress their immune system – even though the drug injections had long been discontinued.

Do you see what’s happening here? The two groups were interpreting a completely neutral agent differently. What causes the difference? The interpretation of reality. This shows how much our interpretation of reality influences our experience of reality. If we have learned to associate bad health or unhappiness with a certain experience of life, it becomes a very difficult habit to break.

Dr. Ader, of the rat study above, coined the word psychoneuroimmunology to describe the field of study he helped create. He believed that the human mind could significantly affect the ability of the immune system to fight disease.

So we see from the above studies that life experiences can affect our immune system. How do we program our conditioning toward health? Here’s just a few studies showing the positive effects of meditation on the immune system.

A study at UCLA showed that HIV positive patients who meditate slowed down the drop in their immune cells. 100 HIV positive men were taught to meditate. 50 of them practiced daily. The other 50 did not practice. The CD-4 cells (those that fight HIV) sharply diminished in the men who did not practice. Those that practiced regularly maintained their CD-4 cells. In fact, the more training sessions that the regular meditator attended, the more CD-4 cells they had. Dr. Servan-Schreiber, a neuroscientist, said about meditation, “it’s clear that periods of time spent focusing on the inner life, allowing the sensations of life to take root without anxiety about the past and future, are so beneficial to the mind and body that it would be a pity to forego them.”

Dr. Davidson, University of Wisconsin, performed another study to see if meditation could boost the immune system. He found that those that meditated for 4 months following an 8 week meditation course had significantly more antibodies after a flu vaccine than did the control group. The study also showed meditators had more positive brain patterns compared with the non-meditators.

In a regular meditative practice such as the Art of Ascension, stress begins to fall away as conscious awareness begins to expand. It becomes more and more obvious that most if not all the problems of life are rooted in the old self-defeating patterns we created to deal with our life experiences.

Just 20 minutes of this effortless practice gives more rest than 8 hours of sleep at night. This restful time erases old patterns and brings clarity and focus to deal with life in a more focused fashion. All of these new patterns produce improved immune response, more health and increased vitality.

The practice is simple and can be used anytime, anywhere, by anybody. Visit for more information.