This January, like the one before and the one after, we will see a flurry of quotes and memes and videos that will largely constitute our celebration of Martin Luther King Day. But this particular January—perhaps more than ever—we need to move beyond that superficial encounter with King to a deeper engagement with his vision, and come face-to-face with the challenge to each of us, and the nation, that Martin Luther King represents.
Research into the brain has revealed that gratitude is a social emotion; it is an experience of a deeper sense of connection and trust that transforms us. In giving thanks, we shift our perspective; we free ourselves from fear and stress, and open our hearts to opportunity, potential, and happiness.
In this time of uncertainty, looking into the future, we want to recognize this unifying emotion and give attention to its transformative power.
We at IONS are thrilled to have had one of our most successful years ever in furthering the fields of noetic research and education. It is thanks to our many donors, partners and friends that we can proudly reflect on the past year, and be excited for what the coming year holds.
We are also grateful to our founder, Edgar Mitchell, who passed away this year. His visionary leadership in the field of consciousness studies has led the way for great progress, and we look forward to continuing his legacy long into the future.
Paul Temple, co-founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and chairman of the IONS Board of Directors for 17 years, passed away on November 29, 2016, surrounded by his beloved wife, Diane, and seven children. He died as he had lived – peaceful, conscious and ready for his next great adventure. Mr. Temple was a remarkable human being, and a long-time and passionate supporter of IONS. He leaves a legacy of invaluable service and support, and his absence will be deeply felt.
Spoiler alert: ‘The Force’ is strong with IONS.
Reflect for a moment on the galactic numbers of people who will go and see the next Star Wars blockbuster, Rogue One, released on December 16th. It will be, arguably, millions more than the number of people who attend religious services or, for that matter, consciousness research conferences.
Have you ever had the experience of your mind ceasing to spin during meditation?
Anecdotal evidence holds that meditators experience moments where it feels as if the mind simply stops, and is replaced by spaciousness, pure awareness, or some other ineffable experience. Despite hundreds of studies on meditation, previous research has not focused on whether or not meditation really helps with “monkey mind” (a term used by Buddhist scholars to describe the relentless spinning mind).