Rio Chama Publications

The Rio Chama Blog

The blog page offers holistic information regarding all facets of healing—be it emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical. We welcome your participation: email us your questions and comments regarding posted information or add a comment to the blog.

MEDITATION PART 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_7136699_s.jpgIn my last blog, I used two specific people--the Dalai Lama and Congressman Tim Ryan--to demonstrate the positive power of  meditation. Today I describe two major studies that show how we can benefit from the use of meditative approaches. Researchers at Harvard Medical School report that long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation had many more disease-fighting genes than individuals who did not practice any form of relaxation. These genes protect us from pain, infertility, high blood pressure, and even rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, the meditative state of relaxation is linked to higher levels of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. According to the publication, Psychology Today, research also shows that when meditators shift their brain activity from the stress-prone right frontal portion of the brain to the calmer, left frontal portion of the brain, a decrease in the negative effects of stress, depression, and anxiety occur. Additionally, there is less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.

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Emotions and Sprituality

When I was a child growing up in a Catholic family, I was very confused about the relationship between emotions and spirituality. I knew that attending mass every Sunday was meant to be spiritual, but going to confession on Saturday afternoon was another matter. Recounting my wrongdoings to the priest through the latticed window in the dimly lit confessional and being given five Hail Mary prayers to recite as penance didn’t sit well with me.

What were my wrongdoings? What did I confess?  Such misdemeanors as “I got mad at my sister three times.” “I had impure (i.e. sexual) thoughts twenty times.” The sense of dread prior to my admissions was followed by a very brief period of relief when I left the confessional. The problem was I know I would be back the next week with the same items to confess.

This situation was compounded by how my family with their German background kept emotional reactions and discussions completely under wraps. I had no idea that feeling anger and sexual energy are part of our humanness. It wasn’t until graduate school that I learned differently—that when we acknowledge our feeling states and make appropriate choices on how to express their energy we are both advancing our holistic wellbeing and walking right into spiritual territory.

The more I researched this topic the more I realized I had to write about the relationship between emotions and spirituality in words anyone could understand. Grow Up Your Ego: Ten Scientifically Validated Stages to Emotional and Spiritual Maturity is the holistic result. And that’s what this blog is all about: holistic healing of mind, body, spirit, and soul. What are your thoughts about the ego being too big or would be best gotten rid of?

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Super User
Yes, as you continue to read these blogs you will learn ways to help your ego work in your favor and thus improve relationships bo... Read More
Monday, 25 July 2011 14:22
Super User
I always thought of the ego as something I needed to get rid of. I’m looking forward to learning more factual information about it... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2011 14:28
Super User
You’re at the right place to learn more! Ongoing blogs on this site will not only explain the scientific importance of the ego in ... Read More
Friday, 13 May 2011 14:29
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Is Your Ego Too Big? Should It Be Gotten Rid Of?

The answer to both questions is no.  Behavioral research now shows that the ego not only is real but is also responsible for two very important jobs. It keeps us alive and gives us a sense of self. Just as we physically grow up, our egos have to grow up as well. When the growing doesn’t happen, the ego unable to cope with life’s contingencies, resorts to detrimental behaviors and emotional mayhem. On the other hand, scientific data solidly indicates that as the ego emotionally matures, spirituality emerges as its natural companion.

Nonetheless, the mythical ego is often viewed as a spiritual culprit. Early on in my clinical practice I was surprised by the number of clients who came to my office confused about feeling depressed after months and even years devoted to one spiritual practice or another. I had naively figured that those who pursued such paths had built in constitutions suited to the task. Even more distressing were those who came after the downfall of a guru. Burned by the aftermath of a leader gone wrong, too often the client’s focus turned to “getting rid of ego.” Reactions of feeling bummed out, disappointed, or angry were considered ego bound and did not pave the way to enlightenment.

This is not to argue with the way in which Eastern philosophies speak about the ego or refer to its demise. This is about what psychological theory and research from the Western perspective have to say about this important facet of our psyche that shows itself from the moment of our births. And the purpose of this blog is to show how solid investment in ego growth can change your life for the better including having loving relationships that support your individuality. Being spiritual is not equivalent to a monk-like sacrificial existence.

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Super User
It has been a lifelong habit to believe that when things get tough, such as distress in relationships, people’s egos can take over... Read More
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 14:24
Super User
What can parents do to help children develop a healthy sense of self?
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 14:26
Super User
Excellent question! #1 The more you learn about growing up your ego and apply what you know to yourself, the more you will advance... Read More
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 14:26
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