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The Chinese Zodiac and the New Year

From the Chinese metaphysics perspective the year of the monkey starts tonight at 6:14pm, that time indicates the beginning of the Chinese solar New Year in the year 2016.

The lunar New Year will be celebrated on February 8th but for the purpose of plotting an astrology chart, those that come to this world before 6:14pm are considered to be born during the year of the sheep and those that come to this world after 6:14pm are considered to be born during the year of the monkey. However none of them really behaves like a sheep or like a monkey.

The sheep, the monkey and all other Chinese zodiac animals represent energy, for instance, the monkey is metal energy that comes from the planet Venus.

So where do the Zodiac animal names come from? There are various legends, one of the most popular says that Buddha convoked the animal kingdom to determine how to restore order in the world and the first animals to show up where the 12 chosen to represent the Chinese zodiac cycle. If you would like to know more about those legends go to http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_chinaway/2003-11/19/content_44290.htm.

 

Meditation

Meditation is, among others, a way to balance the energy between our Yin self (spirit) and our Yang self (body).

For some people meditation might be against their faith or their beliefs and their position deserves the utmost respect but did you know that there are various scientific examinations on meditation that give proof of its benefits?

For instance, there is a research project named Shamatha Project, probably the most comprehensive study on meditation ever conducted, led by Dr. Clifford Saron, a neuroscientist at the University of California Davis campus (UC Davis), which showed that “…people undergoing intensive meditation training became better at making fine visual distinctions and sustaining attention…the ability to sustain attention, previous research shows, can help with regulating emotions, reducing depression and controlling anger…some of our research results even suggest that meditation also has a desirable physiological effects that might increase a person’s lifespan “.

Additionally “The meditators reported (in questionnaires) a range of positive psychological changes, including:

  • enhance wellbeing and a sense of purpose and feeling of control over their life and surroundings;

  • increased mindfulness (being able to observe their experience in a non-reactive manner);

  • decreased neuroticism and negative emotionality;

  • increased empathy

  • decreased tendencies to be anxious and avoidant in interpersonal relationships; and

  • more resilience and greater ability to meet challenges”

 Being said that why not giving it a try?