Hallucination

The psychosomatic theory of dreams proposes that dreams are a product of dissociated imagination, which is dissociated from the conscious self and draws material from sensory memory for simulation, with sensory feedback resulting in hallucination. By simulating the sensory signals to drive the autonomous nerves, dreams can affect mind-body interaction.

In the brain and spine, the autonomous “repair nerves”, which can expand the blood vessels, connect with pain and compression nerves. These nerves are grouped into many chains called meridians in Chinese medicine. While dreaming, the body also employs the chain-reacting meridians to repair the body and help it grow and develop by sending out very intensive movement-compression signals when the level of growth enzymes increase.

This theory was proposed by Y.D. Tsai as part of his psychosomatic theory of dreams. Inside each brain, there is a program ” I ” (the conscious self) which is distributed over the conscious brain and coordinates mental functions (cortices), such as thinking, imagining, sensing, moving, reasoning … etc. “I” also supervises memory. Many bizarre states of consciousness are actually the results of dissociation of certain mental functions from “I”.

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Role

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using moxa, or mugwort herb. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia. Suppliers usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff. Practitioners then burn the fluff or process it further into a stick that resembles a cigar. They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or sometimes burn it on a patient’s skin.

Practitioners use moxa to warm regions and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. Research has shown that mugwort acts as an emmenagogue, meaning that it stimulates blood-flow in the pelvic area and uterus. It is claimed that moxibustion militates against cold and dampness in the body.

Medical historians believe that moxibustion pre-dated acupuncture, and needling came to supplement moxa after the 2nd century BC. Different schools of acupuncture use moxa in varying degrees. For example a 5-elements acupuncturist will use moxa directly on the skin, whilst a TCM-style practitioner will use rolls of moxa and hold them over the point treated. It can also be burnt atop a fine slice of ginger root to prevent scarring.

Practitioners consider moxibustion to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems. Bian Que, one of the most famous doctors of Chinese antiquity and the first specialist in moxibustion, discussed the benefits of moxa over acupuncture in his classic work. He asserted that moxa could add new energy to the body and could treat both excess and deficient conditions. On the other hand, he advised against the use of acupuncture in an already weak patient, on the grounds that needle manipulation would leak too much energy.

In North and South America, indigenous peoples regard mugwort as a sacred plant of divination and spiritual healing. Mugwort amongst other herbs were often bound into smudge sticks. Europeans placed sprigs of mugwort under pillows to provoke dreams, and the herb had associations with the practice of magic in Anglo-Saxon times.

Resources

Human Givens is a school or model of psychology described as a bio-psycho-social approach to psychotherapy. It attempts to find and address innate needs common to all humans, called givens.

According to the Human Givens approach, if someone cannot get their needs met in healthy ways, they will try to get them met in unhealthy ways. For example, someone might seek to satisfy the need for connection to the wider community by joining a street gang if no better means of community connection is available. It is the way those needs are met, and the way we use the resources that nature has given us, that determine the physical, mental and moral health of an individual.

Human Givens theorises that it is by meeting our physical and emotional needs that we survive and develop as individuals and a species. As animals we are born into a material world where we need air to breathe, water, nutritious food and sleep. These are the paramount physical needs. Without them, we die.

It theorises that we also need the freedom to stimulate our senses and exercise our muscles. In addition, we instinctively seek sufficient and secure shelter where we can grow and reproduce ourselves and bring up our young. These physical needs are intimately bound up with our emotional needs which are the main focus of human givens psychotherapy in practice. They are considered inbuilt patterns that continually interact with one another and seek their natural fulfillment in ways that allow us to survive, flourish and live together as many-faceted individuals in a great variety of social groupings.

The basic assumption is that humans have evolved innate emotional needs that they seek to match to their environment, and that mental distress results when these needs are not met in a balanced way. The focus of the therapy is the discovery and rectification of any blocks to these needs being met. Blocks may take such forms as a sick environment, misuse of imagination through excessive worrying, or damage to their internal guidance system by psychological trauma or a developmental disorder.

These needs are seen as part of the human condition independent of culture. The approach describes resources as having evolved in response to these needs, including memory, imagination, and self awareness, and that their exercise determines physical, mental and moral health. Misuse of these resources or failure to meet these needs leads to development of disorders such as addictions or depression.

Heroism

Dāna is a Sanskrit term meaning generosity or giving. In Buddhism, it also refers to the practice of cultivating generosity. As a formal religious act it is directed specifically to a monastic or spiritually-developed person. In Buddhist thought, it has the effect of purifying and transforming the mind of the giver.

Buddhists believe that giving, without seeking something in return, leads to greater spiritual wealth and reduces acquisitive impulses that ultimately lead to further suffering. Generosity developed through giving leads to being reborn in happy states and material wealth. Alternatively, lack of giving leads to unhappy states and poverty.

The quality of giving is believed to be one of the virtues perfected over numerous lifetimes by Shakyamuni Buddha in his bodhisattva phase, before the final culmination into Nirvana, after he had purified obscurations and released attachment. This is symbolized by the sacrifice of his own body when he has nothing else to offer an unexpected guest in the Jataka folktale entitled Shasha Jataka, where Shakyamuni Buddha is born as a rabbit, and unable to present any other food to a Brahmin come home, roasted himself in a fire.

A similar message is given by the story of King Shibi in the Jataka Mala, who having given away all his wealth, was still moved enough by small insects hovering around him, and inflicted several wounds on his body to feed the mosquitoes. In another narrative from the same text, the bodhisattva throws himself in front of a hungry tigress, who otherwise was on the verge of consuming her own cubs. This is however not the only instance of the Buddha-To-Be sacrificing his physical body partly or fully and numerous tales abound in Buddhist Canonical literature illustrating this theme.

In the ancient Samadhiraja-Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha’s principal disciple Ananda asks how a bodhisattva can cheerfully suffer the loss of his limbs and not feel any pain when he mutilates himself for the good of others. Shakyamuni Buddha explained that intense compassion for humankind and the love of Bodhi (spiritual awakening), sustain and inspire a bodhisattva towards heroism, just as worldly people are inclined to enjoy sensual pleasures even when their bodies are burning with fever.

Ultimately, the practice culminates in one of the Perfections, the Perfection of Giving. This can be characterized by unattached and unconditional generosity, giving and letting go.

Rosette

The Spider Plant is a species of Chlorophytum native to South Africa.

They have long narrow leaves that are 8–15 inches long which grow from a central rosette. At the spot where a leaf would normally develop a node, these plants will produce roots down into the soil, and new above-ground shoots. It also produces branched stolons with small white flowers and baby plantlets.

It is a popular houseplant. The most widely grown is the variegated cultivar with one or two broad yellowish-white bands running along the length of each leaf, but natural, entirely green plants are also grown. The Spider Plant is an especially popular plant with beginners, as it is easy to grow and propagate and is very tolerant of neglect, being able to thrive in a wide range of conditions.

Spider Plants can be propagated by splitting its main rosette, or more easily by removing plantlets from the stolons and potting them separately or putting them in a glass of water. They will root readily in water but establish faster in soil while still attached to the parent plant. Pinning the plantlet to the soil with a bent paper clip can be helpful. Make sure the soil is damp and well draining. The plantlet can then be removed from the parent plant in 7-10 days.

Spider plants have also been shown to reduce indoor air pollution.

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