Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Andy Warhol

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Angela Gheorghiu - La Wally: Ebben, ne andro lontana - Prague 1994

Mozart - Requiem - Cecilia Bartoli - George Solti 1991

Uploaded on Nov 10, 2011
06:13 Requiem 16:18 Dies irae 18:24 Tuba mirum 21:31 Rex tremendae 23:36 Recordare 28:41 Confutatis 31:02 Lacrymosa45:00 Domine Jesu 48:52 Hostias 54:38 Sanctus 56:10 Benedictus1:09:36 Agnus Dei

  • Requiem - Mozart
    Sir Georg Solti

    Arleen Auger, Soprano
    Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano
    Vinson Cole, Tenor
    René Pape, Bass

    Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Vienna State Opera Concert Chorus

    St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.

Mindfulness Meditation And Your Brain

What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?

Mindfulness meditation: 
More people than ever are doing some form of this stress-busting meditation, and researchers are discovering it has some quite extraordinary effects on the brains of those who do it regularly.

Buddhist meditation technique that has evolved into a range of secular therapies and courses, most of them focused on being aware of the present moment and without judgement, simply noticing feelings and thoughts as they come and go.

It’s been accepted as a useful therapy for anxiety and depression for around a decade, and mindfulness websites like are attracting millions of subscribers. It’s being explored by schools, pro sports teams and military units to enhance performance, and is showing promise as a way of helping sufferers of chronic pain, addiction and tinnitus, too. There is even some evidence that mindfulness can help with the symptoms of certain physical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, and HIV.

Yet until recently little was known about how a few hours of quiet reflection each week could lead to such an intriguing range of mental and physical effects. Now, as the popularity of mindfulness grows, brain imaging techniques are revealing that this ancient practice can profoundly change the way different regions of the brain communicate with each other – and therefore how we think – permanently.

Mindfulness practice and expertise is associated with a decreased volume of grey matter in the amygdala (red), a key stress-responding region. (Image courtesy of Adrienne Taren)

No fear
MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress.

As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker.

The “functional connectivity” between these regions – i.e. how often they are activated together – also changes. The connection between the amygdala and the rest of the brain gets weaker, while the connections between areas associated with attention and concentration get stronger.

The scale of these changes correlate with the number of hours of meditation practice a person has done, says Adrienne Taren, a researcher studying mindfulness at the University of Pittsburgh.

“The picture we have is that mindfulness practice increases one’s ability to recruit higher order, pre-frontal cortex regions in order to down-regulate lower-order brain activity,” she says.

In other words, our more primal responses to stress seem to be superseded by more thoughtful ones.

Lots of activities can boost the size of various parts of the pre-frontal cortex – video games, for example – but it’s the disconnection of our mind from its “stress center” that seems to give rise to a range of physical as well as mental health benefits, says Taren.

“I’m definitely not saying mindfulness can cure HIV or prevent heart disease. But we do see a reduction in biomarkers of stress and inflammation. Markers like C-reactive proteins, interleukin 6 and cortisol – all of which are associated with disease.”

Feel the pain
Things get even more interesting when researchers study mindfulness experts experiencing pain. Advanced meditators report feeling significantly less pain than non-meditators. Yet scans of their brains show slightly more activity in areas associated with pain than the non-meditators.

“It doesn’t fit any of the classic models of pain relief, including drugs, where we see less activity in these areas,” says Joshua Grant, a postdoc at the Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. The expert mindfulness meditators also showed “massive” reductions in activity in regions involved in appraising stimuli, emotion and memory, says Grant.

Again, two regions that are normally functionally connected, the anterior cingulate cortex (associated with the unpleasantness of pain) and parts of the prefrontal cortex, appear to become “uncoupled” in meditators.

“It seems Zen practitioners were able to remove or lessen the aversiveness of the stimulation – and thus the stressing nature of it – by altering the connectivity between two brain regions which are normally communicating with one another,” says Grant. “They certainly don’t seem to have blocked the experience. Rather, it seems they refrained from engaging in thought processes that make it painful.”

Feeling Zen
It’s worth noting that although this study tested expert meditators, they were not in a meditative state – the pain-lessening effect is not something you have to work yourself up into a trance to achieve; instead, it seems to be a permanent change in their perception.

“We asked them specifically not to meditate,” says Grant. “There is just a huge difference in their brains. There is no question expert meditators’ baseline states are different.”

Other studies on expert meditators – that is, subjects with at least 40,000 hours of mindfulness practice under their belt – discovered that their resting brain looks similar, when scanned, to the way a normal person’s does when he or she is meditating.

At this level of expertise, the pre-frontal cortex is no longer bigger than expected. In fact, its size and activity start to decrease again, says Taren. “It’s as if that way of thinking has becomes the default, it is automatic – it doesn’t require any concentration.”

There’s still much to discover, especially in terms of what is happening when the brain comprehends the present moment, and what other effects mindfulness might have on people. Research on the technique is still in its infancy, and the imprecision of brain imaging means researchers have to make assumptions about what different regions of the brain are doing.

Both Grant and Taren, and others, are in the middle of large, unprecedented studies that aim to isolate the effects of mindfulness from other methods of stress-relief, and track exactly how the brain changes over a long period of meditation practice.

“I’m really excited about the effects of mindfulness,” says Taren. “It’s been great to see it move away from being a spiritual thing towards proper science and clinical evidence, as stress is a huge problem and has a huge impact on many people’s health. Being able to take time out and focus our mind is increasingly important.”

Perhaps it is the new age, quasi-spiritual connotations of meditation that have so far prevented mindfulness from being hailed as an antidote to our increasingly frantic world. Research is helping overcome this perception, and ten minutes of mindfulness could soon become an accepted, stress-busting part of our daily health regimen, just like going to the gym or brushing our teeth.

About the Author: Tom Ireland is managing editor at the Society of Biology and a freelance journalist covering mostly health, education and science. Follow on Twitter @Tom_J_Ireland.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


Cantate Domino - Gregorian Chant

Published on Sep 29, 2012
Cantate Domino - Gregorian Chant BY:choir of the benedictine nuns of sainte marie de maumont
Track Listings
1. Et nunc sequor - Antiphon
2. Posuit - Antiphon 7th Mode
3. Annulo suo - Antiphon 7th Mode
4. Ecce quod - Antiphon 1st Mode
5. Tibi dixit - Introit 3rd Mode
6. Exaudi, Domine - Introit 1st Mode
7. Adjuvabit eam - Gradual 5th Mode
8. Exsulta satis - Offertory 3rd Mode
9. Exsulta - Communion 4th Mode
10. Hodie Nobis - Christmas Responsory 8th Mode
11. Verbum - Christmas Responsory 8th Mode
12. Adorate Deum - Introit 7th Mode
13. Recordare - Offertory 1st Mode
14. Deus, vitam - Gradual 8th Mode
15. Sciant gentes - Gradual 1st Mode
16. Audi filia - Gradual 7th Mode
17. Cognovi, Domine - Introit 3rd Mode
18. Me exspectaverunt - Introit 2nd Mode
19. Principes - Communion 1st Mode
20. Confundantur - Communion 1st Mode
21. Ego Autem - Introit 1st Mode
22. Confortamini - Offertory 4th Mode
23. Dicite - Communion 7th Mode
24. Caligaverunt - Good Friday Responsory 5th Mode
25. Plange quasi - Holy Saturday Responsory 5th Mode
26. Ecce quomodo - Holy Saturday Responsory 4th Mode
27. Pacha nostrum - Alleluia 7th Mode
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Steve Winwood // Blind Faith - "Can't Find My Way Home"

Published on May 16, 2012

Steve Winwood plays an acoustic version of Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home"

Hildegard von Bingen - Voice of the Living Light

Uploaded on Jan 14, 2012

Hildegard of Bingen.

Voice of the Living Light .

Hildegard of Bingen: healing and the nature of the cosmos.

01 O rubor sanguinis, antiphon for Saint Ursula & her companions.

02 Favus distillans, response for Saint Ursula & her companions.

03 Work(s).

04 Studium divinitatis, Laudes antiphon for Saint Ursula & her Companions.

05 O ecclesia occuli tui, sequence for Saint Ursula & her Companions.

06 Misc. instrumental Pieces associated with Hildegard recordings.

07 O eterne Deus, antiphon.

08 O dulcissime amator, sinfonia for the virgins.

09 Rex noster promptus est, response for the Holy Innocents.

10 O cruor sanguinis, antiphon.

11 Cum vox sanguinis, hymn for Saint Ursula & her Companions.

12 Misc. instrumental Pieces associated with Hildegard recordings.

13 O virgo ecclesia, antiphon for the dedication of a church.

14 Nunc gaudeant materna, antiphon for the dedication of a church.

15 O orzchis ecclesia, antiphon for the dedication of a church.

Blessed Hildegard of Bingen (German: Hildegard von Bingen; Latin: Hildegardis Bingensis) (1098 -- 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama.

She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, poems, and arguably the oldest surviving morality play, while supervising brilliant miniature Illuminations.
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mahalia Jackson 16 Most Requested (Full Album)

Published on Sep 22, 2013

1. I Will Move On Up A Little Higher 0:00

2 Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen 5:27

3 What a Friend We Have in Jesus 9:14

4 Come on Children, Let's Sing 13:21

5 There Is a Balm in Gilead 15:18

6 How I Got Over 20:59

7 Trouble of the World 27:40

8 Walk in Jerusalem 32:26

9 In The Upper Room 35:06

10 Didn't It Rain 42:20

11 My God is real (Yes, God is real) 44:59

12 Walk Over God's Heaven 48:37

13 His Eye Is On The Sparrow 51:12

14 I Found The Answer 55:37

15 Oh Lord Is It I? 59:56

16 Lord's Prayer 1:02:45
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Century 3 -1000 ans de chant Gregorien - La musique ancienne. De l'Antiq...

Published on Apr 1, 2013
Century 3

1. Universi qui te expectant
2. Requiem aeternam, introit in mode 6 (Liber Usualis 1807a)
3. Kyrie eleison
4. Requiem aeternam, gradual in mode 2
5. Absolve, Domine, animas omnium, tractus in mode 8 (Liber Usualis No 1809)
6. Dies irae, dies illa, sequence in Mode 1
7. Domine Jesu Christe, offertory
8. Sanctus
9. Agnus Dei
10. Lux aeterna, communion, mode 8
11. Libera me, Domine, de Morte Eterna, responsory
12. In paradisum, antiphon
13. Omnipotens eterne (Agnus Dei)
14. Corpus quod nunc / Psallite domino, troped communion
15. Cives celestis patrie, hymn
16. Regem regum dominum (Invitatoire)
17. Iacobe servorum spes, répons
18. Ascendens Ihesus in montem (Offertoire)
19. In timore Dei
20. Testamentum eternum
21. Dedit Dominus confessionem sancto suo
22. Natus est rex
23. In natale

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"Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are one".

Tiger Stream: "Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are one".

Song Dynasty painting in the Litang style illustrating the theme: 

"Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are one". 

Depicts Taoist Lu Xiujing (left), official Tao Hongjing (right) and Buddhist monk Huiyuan (center, founder of Pure Land) by the Tiger stream. 

The stream borders a zone infested by tigers that they just crossed without fear, engrossed as they were in their discussion. 

Realising what they just did, they laugh together, hence the name of the picture,Three laughing men by the Tiger stream.

Source: from

Kathleen Battle "Et incarnatus est" - Mozart's Great Mass


CANTO GREGORIANO.- Coro de Monjes de St. Benoit bu Lac

Published on Sep 2, 2013

Los Coros Populares más bellos.

Coro de Monjes de St. Benoit bu Lac

Director: D. André Saint

Antienne " Asperges me" VII-------------------------------------­-[00:00:00]

Kyrie 9 " De Algelis" V---------------------------------------­-------[01:51:06]

Gloria de " Angelis" V---------------------------------------­--------[03:45:00]

Sanctus " De Angelis" VI--------------------------------------­----[06:43:06]

Agnus dei " De Angelis" VI--------------------------------------­-[08:34:13]

Séquence " Victimae Paschali Laudes" I-------------------[10:02:19]

Credo 3 V---------------------------------------­------------------------[11:53:19]

Hymne " Veni Creator" VIII------------------------------------­---[16:36:06]

Motet " Adoro te Devote" VIII------------------------------------­[19:31:00]

Antienne " Pax Vobis" et le cantique " Magnificat" VI--[23:43:19]

Motet "Tantum Ergo" III-------------------------------------­-------[27:56:00]

Antienne " Salve Regina" (simple) V--------------------------[29:17:13]

Antienne W Hosanna" VII-------------------------------------­---[31:17:19]

Hymne " Gloria Laus" I---------------------------------------­----[35:57:19]

Hymne "Audi, Benigne Conditor" II--------------------------[41:59:19]

Litanies des Saints----------------------------------­--------------[44:27:19]

Antienne "Te decet Laus" II------------------------------------[0­1:02:18:06]
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Samsara in Buddhism:


Cyclic existence; the six realms of conditioned existence, three lower—hell, hungry ghost, and animal—and three upper—human, demigod, and god.

The beginning-less, recurring cycle of death and rebirth under the control of delusion and karma, fraught with suffering.

Also refers to the contaminated aggregates of a sentient being.

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Thubten Yeshe

To think that samsara consists of external objects and then to cast them away is completely mistaken. Samsara is within you. - Lama Yeshe

Yeshe, Lama (1935–1984) 
Born and educated in Tibet, he fled to India, where he met his chief disciple, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

They began teaching Westerners at Kopan Monastery in 1969 and founded the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in 1975.

- See more at:, lama (1935–1984)


Samsara in Buddhism:  Saṃsāra or Sangsāra (Sanskrit)

Main article: Saṃsāra (Buddhism)

Within Buddhism, samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth, death, and intermediate bardo state that arises from ordinary beings' generating and fixating on a mistaken concept of self and experiences.

Samsara arises out of wrong knowledge about reality (avidya) and is characterized by dukkha (failure, suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). 

In the Buddhist view, liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path.

Generally, there are six realms of samsara. These include: Gods, Asuras, Hungry Ghosts, Hell Beings, Animals and Humans.

Etymology and origin

Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word, the literal meaning of which is "a wandering through" – in reference to the passage through many states of existence that is involved in the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

The historical origins of a concept of a cycle of repeated reincarnation are obscure but the idea appears frequently in religious and philosophical texts in both India and ancient Greece during the middle of the first millennium B.C.E. 

Orphism, Platonism, Jainism and Buddhism all discuss the transmigration of beings from one life to another. 

The concept of reincarnation is present in the early Vedic texts such as the Rig Veda but some scholars speculate it to have originated from the Shramana traditions. 

Several scholars believe that reincarnation was adopted from this religious culture by Brahmin orthodoxy, and Brahmins first wrote down scriptures containing these ideas in the early (Aitereya) Upanishads.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Magnificat IV Toni

Uploaded on Sep 16, 2010

I Cantori della Resurrezione
Direttore: Antonio Sanna


Lecture 15. Gregorian Chant and Music in the Sistine Chapel

Published on Dec 7, 2012

Listening to Music (MUSI 112)

This lecture begins the third part of the course, which looks at music from a historical perspective. 

Here Professor Wright focuses on the medieval period. He discusses chant, and its role in the lives of monks and nuns in medieval monasteries, convents, and cathedrals. He then moves on to briefly discuss polyphony. 

The lecture is supplemented by visuals of cathedrals, monasteries, and medieval illuminations, as well as recordings of monophonic chant by the eleventh-century polymath Hildegard of Bingen, anonymous polyphony, 
polyphony by the Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina, and a recording of the last papal castrato, Alessandro Moreschi.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Gregorian Chants in the Medieval Period

07:14 - Chapter 2. Religious Influence on Early Music: The Roles of Monks and Nuns

16:56 - Chapter 3. Chant Analysis of Hildegard's "O Greenest Branch"

26:56 - Chapter 4. From Monophony to Polyphony: A Cappella of the Sistine Chapel

46:22 - Chapter 5. Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why Music Matters

Published on Mar 1, 2012

Theodore Levin, Arthur R. Virgin Professor of Music, presented the annual Faculty Presidential Lecture on Tuesday, February 28. His lecture, entitled "Why Music Matters."

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