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04.03.2014
Jude Won a Meditation Cartoon BookCongratulations to the winner of our  join-our-mailing-list-and-win-a-book draw -  Jude Marentette from Saltspring Island, Canada.
The worlds first and, to our knowledge, only meditation cartoon book: Sit Illustrated is a collection of drawings compiled from the illustrated journals of a small group of spiritual aspirants. A new study has found that participating in an 8-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. Several previous studies have supported the hypothesis that meditation training improves practitioners’ emotional regulation.
Healthy adults with no experience meditating participated in 8-week courses in either mindful attention meditation – the most commonly studied form that focuses on developing attention and awareness of breathing, thoughts and emotions – and compassion meditation, a less-studied form that includes methods designed to develop loving kindness and compassion for oneself and for others. Within three weeks before beginning and three weeks after completing the training, 12 participants from each group traveled to Boston for magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI).  Brain scans were performed as the volunteers viewed a series of 216 different images – 108 per session – of people in situations with either positive, negative or neutral emotional content.
In the mindful attention group, the after-training brain scans showed a decrease in activation in the right amygdala in response to all images, supporting the hypothesis that meditation can improve emotional stability and response to stress. Quiet Time Program Brings Radical Improvement To Schools Worldwide – What's Viral Today? I was reading through all the negativity and stupidity this morning while drinking my coffee and something said, ‘how about some good news?’, so I typed in GOOD NEWS and found your site… Ahhh! Your daily stories have allowed me to rekindle a certain appreciate for the good things in life.
When I read the newspaper, I look for the good news because every thought we think changes our biochemistry.
If news is not really news unless it is bad news, it may be difficult to claim we are an informed nation.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about these things. I am a professor at Case Western reserve University and absolutely love your work--it is very significant. I enjoyed reading the positive stories… I am heartened by the goodness and generosity that I see in people… Keep up your good work. I was absoutely blown away by the fact that there was someone out there in the world who had not only thought of creating a Good News Network, but who had done it for ten years. I was just at one of the big news websites and thought "these people make it seem like the end of the world is coming." Then I found you. The platform for my work is Albert Einstein's 'Knowing' that the only way to change anything is to change the thinking that created it.
I am totally sick of hearing about murders, drugs, and all the rubbish the commercial networks bombard us with. I want to tell you that your Good News Network has helped me through bad times in my life when I struggled through anxiety and depression and sometimes doubts of faith.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate and enjoy getting the GoodNews Network newsletter each Wednesday. I have a 7 year old son and we don't watch TV, listen to the news, or read newspapers because so much of it is negative and full of pain and hate -- things his little body does not need.
I realize how this event (the "Miracle on the Hudson") had touched people's lives, how ready they were for good news, how much they wanted to feel hopeful again. As a parent, small business owner, and citizen I congratulate you on having such a wonderful website. Unless one makes a deliberate effort to seek out good news, what one gets from the media is frequently less than uplifting.
The hired shepherds on the other hand work for pay, and seek above all else their own good. Only one Shepherd died for you – In this world there are many people, politicians, music and movie stars, political parties and organizations that seek our loyalty, our votes, our membership and our dues. For there remains this problem, that many Christians give greater loyalty to their political  leaders, to musicians, to movies stars and the like, than to Jesus Christ. Never been Unloved – No matter what you think you may have done to cancel his love, he knew you would do it before he ever made you. Part of our journey as disciples, as sheep of the Lord is to experience  the call to evangelize. Thus, as King of Love, Jesus, the Risen Lord shepherds us with a love that is passionate, personal, persistent, and powerful. It struck me that there is also a hybrid of people that listen to popular statements on what Jesus would say or do. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and the positive effect it has on people’s lives and well-being has been evident for just as long. There are over 3000 studies on the benefits of meditation, and its impact on everything from stress to concentration has been researched.


MRI scans have allowed scientists to measure the physical effects that meditation has on the brain, and their findings have been extraordinarily striking. Furthermore, an analysis from Harvard University found that rather than just preserving it (which is good enough news in itself), meditation can change the structure of the brain for the better. Meditation is primarily achieved through the focusing of a person’s attention, and this has been found to positively affect meditators’ ability to focus and concentrate in other areas of their lives. Studies have shown that meditation can be a great way for people to deal with negative emotion, with people who suffer with anxiety benefiting from an 8 week course in meditation even 3 years after they had completed it.
Furthermore, a study that looked into addiction found that people who have meditation as part of their strategy to quit were many times more likely to give up smoking than those who didn’t.
Meditation is a brilliant habit that helps many people in their day to day lives, and as more studies get released the many benefits of meditation become clearer.
In their report in the November issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced. Additionally, the two different types of meditation training yielded some differences in the response of the amygdala – a part of the brain known for decades to be important for emotion. While neuro-imaging studies have found that meditation training appeared to decrease activation of the amygdala, those changes were only observed while study participants were meditating. Meditation was not mentioned in pre-imaging instructions to participants, and investigators confirmed afterwards that the volunteers had not meditated while in the scanner.
In the compassion meditation group, right amygdala activity also decreased in response to positive or neutral images.  But among those who reported practicing compassion meditation most frequently outside of the training sessions, right amygdala activity tended to increase in response to negative images – all of which depicted some form of human suffering.
Daily, I was affected by Panic Attacks which were triggered from the news and all it's negative content. A few months ago I realized that I was getting really bogged down by all the terror and destruction that hit me first thing in the morning, and throughout my day.
I felt constantly worried and agitated and it was hard to enjoy doing things I loved to do. I feel like I can never truly be happy as I always get this sense of encroaching doom and most of my fears are heightened by media sensationalism. When I read it I can see how my prayers for worldwide peace and tolerance are being answered.
Michael Vick, steroids, exorbitant contracts, etc.) I'm glad to see GNN come out with a sports section to report all of the good things that are happening in the world of sports. A Christian message is one of "good news' and our congregants thrive hearing these news items from the real world.
Working in the mental health field means, among other things, passing along helpful tools like your site. I check your website everyday and it gives me hope, comfort, and reassurance more than words can say. As a chaplain at a life care retirement community, I lead a discussion group on current news with seniors each week.
I am SO thrilled to be able to show him stories on your Website and talk to him about the positive, Good work that is occurring here on Earth. We've had a worldwide economic downturn, and people are confused, fearful and just so ready for good news. It lifts my heart, gives me courage, and renews my belief in ALL humankind when I read the stories you highlight. Passionate love – In the text Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd, a good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
They also make us promises in return, even as they want to influence us and exercise leadership over us . Too many tuck their faith under their politics, and give greater credence to what popular figures say, than to what Jesus says in his Word and through his Church.
To be in the Lord’s flock is to be in a life changing, transformative relationship with the Lord. Persistent love – The Lord says, I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold, These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd. And it is not merely our old self that rises, it is a new, and transformed humanity that the Lord takes up on our behalf.
Paul says that we should act in proportion to the share of faith that has been given to each of us.
There are far too many findings to explore them all, so here I’ll focus on a few of the key areas in which science has illuminated exactly how meditation can help us. A study by UCLA (the University of California, Los Angeles) found that long-term meditators have better preserved brains than those who do not meditate, with the usual loss of grey matter reduced in older meditators. After eight weeks of practicing meditation, the participants of the study were found to have experienced development in the hippocampus (the area of the brain which governs learning and memory).


At the University of California, Santa Barbara, an investigation showed that mindfulness meditation can have a pronounced effect after only two weeks.
In order to help doctors advise patients using meditation to help with symptoms of stress and depression, another study was undertaken at John Hopkins.
With stress-based illnesses and mental health problems on the rise, it could be that meditation is a key way to help those cope with the symptoms, or even (if schools encourage the habit and people begin meditating while young) stop them from forming.
Life is becoming increasingly stressful, and finding moments of calm through this practice has been found to be better for us than we could have imagined. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that meditation training could also produce a generalized reduction in amygdala.
No significant changes were seen in the control group or in the left amygdala of any study participants. Sometimes, the measure of our work as journalists is not the professional recognition of colleagues, but rather the mark we make in the hearts of readers who see our work. Now, with the Good News Network set as my homepage, I see first the good that goes on in the world and my attitude and state of mind are much better.
Thank you for lifting my spirits, after only 10 minutes of reading I felt better about the world in which we live. I am back in fine form, and your site really helps me stay positive and focused on my business. Perspective is everything, and despite what appears in mainstream news, good does happen - a lot more than I was lead to believe. They are overloaded with the bad news, and even though we don't want to have our heads in the sand, we need to hear some good news.
You have given me a safe place where I can allow my son to browse and follow the stories that interest him. Then I found your site and after reading the first story I immediately felt my spirits lift and I never went home sad again. In such a world of ups and downs and sometimes unbelievable craziness I can always count on GNN to keep me in the uplifted, grateful and inspired zone!
It’s peaceful strains amount to a king of musical onomatopoeia (a word, or in this case a song, that sounds like what it describes). Luckily, with the advent of scientific research, the conviction that it does you good can now be backed up with studies and data. They also found that the size of the amygdala (the area of the brain which induces fear, anxiety and stress), actually decreased. Here the participants had better test results in concentration, as well as reporting fewer distracting thoughts and exhibiting an improved memory. This suggested that the practice can have a significant positive impact on those looking to manage these issues. I think we don't know what the bombardment of crime and violence does to our minds, I think we're in denial about it. Now I’m excited about all the wonderful things around the world, instead of feeling helpless. Reading ordinary news we get a sense that that's all there is, but your site reminds us the world is not as bad as the news would lead us to believe. In effect, the Lord gives us four basic pictures or teachings of how, as the King of Love he shepherds us. He dies for us though we cursed, mocked and ridiculed him.  He loves us and lays down his life us, though he gets nothing out of it. He has always thought about you, he created you, knit you together in your mother’s womb, and every one of your days was written in his book before one of them ever came to be (cf Ps 139).
This tallies well with anecdotal evidence, and the findings of other studies, that meditation reduces stress and improves people’s capacity for learning.
The conclusion was that meditation is an effective technique for improving cognitive function. This is a blog about the stuff I'm currently passionate about, including my journey into the world of whole food plant-based cooking. We need to know that our efforts are paying off, that we can build a paradise -- and we’re doing it.



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