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4 Ways To Use Mindful Meditation For Grief And Healing

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4 Ways To Use Mindful Meditation For Grief And Healing

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If you are someone who has lost a loved one, the suffering inside is brought about by the perceived lack of connection you feel you have lost. Then, deep sadness ensues because of the same sense of loss that you experience at that moment.

However, if you follow these simple steps on how to use mindful meditation for grief and healing, you will be able to cope with your loss in the most profound way that will give you a deeper connection to all facets of your life.

Mindful awareness will help you more than you know. Let’s dive into it.

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Why Mindful Meditation for Grief?

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware, and once we have that awareness, deep insight allows us to take appropriate action steps within our grief journey.

When we become aware of those emotions that arise within us, we can use the power of mindfulness to release those thoughts and emotions without judgment. We can also use this to make a deeper connection with the memory of our loved ones on the other side of life.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the process by which we come to understand ourselves by becoming aware of the present moment in mind and body. We learn to recognize what is happening in our thoughts and how those thoughts give rise to emotions, sensations, and expressions.

This is a deep level of awareness, and it allows us to tap into the answers contained in universal time and space.

When we practice mindfulness, we can remain conscious of our feelings and the feelings of others. We become more aware of our immediate environment, and we see beyond the perceptions and attachments of others.

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In essence, we become observers rather than participants and awaken deeper insights. Nevertheless, what many people do not realize is that it can give you the keys to unlock the door to a prison we call grief. We can use mindfulness for grief and healing of the suffering that keeps us in chains.

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By becoming more aware, we are able to cope better.

Can You Heal From Grief?

The answer to this is no—not in this realm of existence.

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You must understand that grief is a journey. It is one that you will inevitably have to take at some point in your life, and it is not restricted to the loss of a loved one. However, in this article, I will predominantly use the loss of a loved one as the main theme.

Grief can come in so many forms, but the constant that relates to all aspects of grief is that it is an active form of deep loss, and this loss will show up in multiple ways and emotions.

Grief will cause suffering in one’s life, especially if you do not understand how to deal with the grief process.

Grieving Caveat

When I say you cannot heal from grief, I do mean that within this existence, you will not heal from it, especially when it involves the loss of a close loved one.

You need to come to a place of acceptance of your grief on your journey, and learning to accept it will allow you to use the tools of mindfulness to journey through your grief effectively and with less suffering.

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Acceptance also allows us to be the observer rather than a participant that can cause suffering within. This all takes deep awareness and insight.

Practice Mindfulness for Grief

The benefits of mindfulness as a tool to help you on your grief journey are tremendous. Becoming aware and taking action from the awareness that rises within will help to alleviate the deep sadness you feel and raise you from the pit of your depression and suffering.

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Furthermore, one of the greatest benefits of mindfulness is the connection you will begin to feel with the loved one who has passed. The great thing is that it will reduce the time you have to spend on your journey and alleviate the suffering quicker than normal.

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Harvard researchers carried out one such study on the benefits of mindfulness. They found that mindfulness had a profound effect on the brain and in dealing with imbalances of the mind, including healing the effects of physical imbalance within the body.

4 Ways to Use Mindful Meditation for Grief

There are numerous benefits of meditation, and these can have dramatic effects on your mental health and physical health.

Reducing anxiety and stress and dealing with depression are just some of these benefits. It is also possible to reduce blood pressure and heal your body from the inside out with the help of meditation.

We are going to do things differently and use a different approach to meditation by being more mindful of the imprints of energy and becoming more aware of our emotions in the present moment.

1. Use the Breath

We often take our breath for granted and do not understand the power it holds. The breath is how you exist. It has within it the power of the animating force of all life.

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It is also the seat of your power to be able to heal the body and the mind, and it is also the power that will fuel your innate connection to your loved one through your mindful practice.

Try this short exercise. Find a quiet place to sit and make sure you are not disturbed. Turn all devices and external noise generating products off. It is important that you find a peaceful place in which you can take part in this exercise.

  1. Take one deep breath in and as you breathe in, become aware of the sensation of the air entering through your nose. Feel the cold and clean sensation as you breathe in.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of three.
  3. At that moment, become aware of the peace that exists within the silence and stillness of the breath.
  4. Breathe out through your mouth.
  5. Rinse and repeat for three rounds.

Practice these steps until you are comfortable doing them. Then, we will move on to the next phase. You will always carry out the above steps prior to the next ones.

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2. Connect With Your Environment or Something to Your Loved One

Energy cannot be destroyed, yet it can be manipulated and controlled to a certain extent. Therefore, what we want to do is connect to the energetic pattern of our loved ones mindfully.

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This can be in the same environment that your loved one was attached to, or it could be an item that your loved one cherished. This could be a favorite item belonging to them, such as jewelry or an item of clothing.

Place yourself in that place. Or if it is a personal item belonging to them, hold it in your hand.

Then again, carry out the breathing techniques above before doing this. Take your deep breaths and relax through the visualization exercise.

3. Use Your Power of Mindful Visualization

Visualization is the power by which we can bring what we visualize into reality.

Thoughts are things, and the reality is that everything that exists in our world was first the product of thought.That thought is visualized in the mind, and the mind activates universal law in action. You take action and make the thought into physical reality.

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Think about the inventions that have revolutionized the world. Each comes from thought, and then the thought is visualized in the mind of the recipient.

Now, visualize in your mind something you hold or the place that you are in. Visualize your loved one wearing it or being in that favorite place they used to love spending time with you. In your mind, see it like a movie playing on the big screen of life.

Become aware of the feelings inside yourself as you bring forth those thoughts and feelings and memories that make you smile.

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How does it make you feel? Can you see your loved one clearly in your mind’s eye? That visualization is an active thought, and that active thought is a beacon that will go out into the ether and attract your loved one to you.

4. Be in the Now and Become Aware of the Signs

Now, it is time for you to just sit in the silence of your mind. Just be in the place where you have visualized or even in the item you hold.

It is time to just be in the present moment, to be aware of your peaceful breathing, and to become aware of the thoughts that come unexpectedly. Oftentimes, these thoughts can also be from your loved ones, trying to reach out and connect with you.

Signs of Your Loved Ones Around You

Your loved ones are so keen to connect with you from the other side of life. They want to be involved in your life from the other side of the veil. Becoming more mindful in your practice will make you more aware of the signs they are trying to send to you to let you know they are around and still connected with you.

The bonds of love are always there. They cannot be broken because they also exist as an energy that will never be destroyed.

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The signs they will send you can be so simple and subtle that you could miss them and, at the same time, they can be so profound.

Final Thoughts

Grief can be debilitating, especially when we do not know how to deal with it. No one wants to spiral into depression because of the sense of loss they feel and, in a worst-case scenario, turn to drugs, alcohol, and other vices.

Being able to connect on a deeper level to yourself and igniting a connection with your loved ones through mindful practice will reduce the impact of grief and allow you to arrive at a place of acceptance.

Featured photo credit: Benjamin Child via unsplash.com

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Science

Global Warming Causes Fewer Tropical Cyclones

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Global Warming Causes Fewer Tropical Cyclones

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But having fewer hurricanes and typhoons does not make them less of a threat. Those that do manage to form are more likely to reach higher intensities as the world continues to heat up with the burning of fossil fuels.


Scientists have been trying for decades to answer the question of how climate change will affect tropical cyclones, given the large-scale death and destruction these storms can cause. Climate models have suggested the number of storms should decline as global temperatures rise, but that had not been confirmed in the historical record. Detailed tropical cyclone data from satellites only go back until about the 1970s, which is not long enough to pick out trends driven by global warming.


The new study worked around those limitations by using what is called a reanalysis: the highest-quality available observations are fed into a weather computer model. “That’s something which gets us close to what the observation would have looked like,” essentially “filling in the gaps,” says study co-author Savin Chand, an atmospheric scientist at Federation University Australia. This gives researchers a reasonably realistic picture of the atmosphere over time, in this case going back to 1850. Chand and his team developed an algorithm that could pick out tropical cyclones in that reanalysis data set, enabling them to look for trends over a 162-year period.

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They found the 13 percent global decrease in tropical cyclones over the period of 1900 to 2012, compared with 1850 to 1900 (the latter is widely considered a pre-global-warming reference period). There was an even larger decline of about 23 percent since around 1950, around the time global temperatures started to noticeably rise. The declines vary in different parts of the ocean. For example, the western North Pacific saw 9 percent fewer storms, and the eastern North Pacific saw 18 percent fewer over the 20th and early 21st centuries. And the North Atlantic results indicated a peculiar trend, showing an overall decrease over the past century—but with an uptick in recent decades. That shorter-term increase could be linked to natural climate variations, better detection of storms or a decrease in aerosol pollution (because aerosols have a cooling effect, and tropical cyclones thrive on warm waters).


The study provides crucial ground-truth information for evaluating climate model projections of further future changes in cyclone frequency, says Kimberly Wood, a tropical meteorologist at Mississippi State University, who was not involved with the paper.


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Chand and his colleagues link the decrease in tropical storm frequency to changes in atmospheric conditions that constrict convection—the process where warm, moist air surges upward in the atmosphere, which allows tropical cyclones to develop from small weather disturbances that act as the “seeds.” The researchers think those changes are caused by warming-driven shifts in global atmospheric circulation patterns. “It’s a pretty holistic view,” Wood says of the analysis.


But even if there are fewer tropical cyclones overall, a larger proportion of those that do form are expected to reach higher intensities because global warming is also raising sea-surface temperatures and making the atmosphere warmer and moister—the conditions these storms thrive on. “Once a tropical cyclone forms,” Chand says, “there is a lot of fuel in the atmosphere.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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    Andrea Thompson, an associate editor at Scientific American, covers sustainability. Follow her on Twitter @AndreaTWeather Credit: Nick Higgins

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    The effect of breast cancer screening is declining

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    The effect of breast cancer screening is declining

    Screening for breast cancer has a cost. This is shown by a Danish/Norwegian study that analysed 10,580 breast cancer deaths among Norwegian women aged 50 to 75 years.

    “The beneficial effect of screening is currently declining because the treatment of cancer is improving. Over the last 25 years, the mortality rate for breast cancer has been virtually halved,” says Henrik Støvring, who is behind the study.

    According to the researcher, the problem is that screenings lead to both overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which has a cost both on a human level and in terms of the economy.

    Overdiagnosis and overtreatment

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    When the screening was introduced, the assessment was that around twenty per cent of the deaths from breast cancer among those screened could be averted. While this corresponded to approximately 220 deaths a year in Denmark 25 years ago, today the number has been halved.

    The study shows that in 1996 it was necessary to invite 731 women to avoid a single breast cancer death in Norway, you would have to invite at least 1364 and probably closer to 3500 to achieve the same result in 2016.

    On the other hand, the adverse effects of screening are unchanged.

    “One in five women aged 50-70, who is told they have breast cancer, has received a ‘superfluous’ diagnosis because of screening — without screening, they would never have noticed or felt that they had breast cancer during their lifetime,” says the researcher.

    One in five corresponds to 900 women annually in Denmark. In addition, every year more than 5000 women are told that the screening has given rise to suspicion of breast cancer — a suspicion that later turns out to be incorrect.

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    Peaceful, small nodes — but in who?

    Henrik Støvring notes that the result is not beneficial for the screening programmes. According to him, the Norwegian results can also be transferred to Denmark. Here, women between 50 and 69 are offered a mammogram screening every second year. This is an X-ray examination of the breast, which can show whether the woman has cellular changes that could be breast cancer.

    The Danish screening programme became a national programme offered to all woman in the age group in 2007 — three years after the Norwegians. Approx. 300,000 Danish women are invited to screening for breast cancer every year.

    According to the researcher, the challenge is that we are not currently able to tell the difference between the small cancer tumours that will kill you and those that will not. Some of these small nodes are so peaceful or slow-growing that the woman would die a natural death with undetected breast cancer, if she had not been screened. But once a cancer node has been discovered, it must of course be treated, even though this was not necessary for some of the women — we just do not know who.

    “The women who are invited to screening live longer because all breast cancer patients live longer, and because we have got better drugs, more effective chemotherapy, and because we now have cancer care pathways, which mean the healthcare system reacts faster than it did a decade ago,” says Henrik Støvring.

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    Materials provided by Aarhus University. Original written by Helle Horskjær Hansen. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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    Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

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    Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

    Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners in the EU-funded PERCISTAND project, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25percent- the highest value achieved thus far with this technology. Moreover, this combination of materials is light and versatile, making it possible to envision the use of these tandem solar cells in vehicles, portable equipment, and devices that can be folded or rolled up. The researchers present their results in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

    Perovskite solar cells have made astounding progress over the past decade. Their efficiency is now comparable to that of the long-established silicon solar cells. Perovskites are innovative materials with a special crystal structure. Researchers worldwide are working to get perovskite photovoltaic technology ready for practical applications. The more electricity they generate per unit of surface area, the more attractive solar cells are for consumers

    The efficiency of solar cells can be increased by stacking two or more cells. If each of the stacked solar cells is especially efficient at absorbing light from a different part of the solar spectrum, inherent losses can be reduced and efficiency boosted. The efficiency is a measure of how much of the incident light is converted into electricity. Thanks to their versatility, perovskite solar cells make outstanding components for such tandems. Tandem solar cells using perovskites and silicon have reached a record efficiency level of over 29percent, considerably higher than that of individual cells made of perovskite (25.7percent) or silicon (26.7percent).

    Combining Perovskites with CIS for Mobility and Flexibility

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    Combining perovskites with other materials such as copper-indium-diselenide (CIS) or copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) promises further benefits. Such combinations will make it possible to produce light and flexible tandem solar cells that can be installed not only on buildings but also on vehicles and portable equipment. Such solar cells could even be folded or rolled up for storage and extended when needed, for example on blinds or awnings to provide shade and generate electricity at the same time.

    An international team of researchers headed by Dr. Marco A. Ruiz-Preciado and tenure-track professor Ulrich W. Paetzold from the Light Technology Institute (LTI) and the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) at KIT has succeeded in producing perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with a maximum efficiency of 24.9percent (23.5percent certified). “This is the highest reported efficiency for this technology and the first high efficiency level reached at all with a nearly gallium-free copper-indium diselenide solar cell in a tandem,” says Ruiz-Preciado. Reducing the amount of gallium results in a narrow band gap of approximately one electron volt (eV), which is very close to the ideal value of 0.96eV for the lower solar cell in a tandem.

    CIS Solar Cells with Narrow Band Gap- Perovskite Solar Cells with Low Bromine Content

    The band gap is a material characteristic that determines the part of the solar spectrum that a solar cell can absorb to generate electricity. In a monolithic tandem solar cell, the band gaps must be such that the two cells can produce similar currents to achieve maximum efficiency. If the lower cell’s band gap changes, the upper cell’s band gap has to be adjusted to the change, and vice versa.

    To adjust the band gap for efficient tandem integration, perovskites with high bromine content are usually used. However, this often leads to voltage drops and phase instability. Since the KIT researchers and their partners use CIS solar cells with a narrow band gap at the base of their tandems, they can produce their upper cells using perovskites with low bromine content, which results in cells that are more stable and efficient.

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    “Our study demonstrates the potential of perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells and establishes the foundation for future development to make further improvements in their efficiency,” says Paetzold. “We’ve reached this milestone thanks to the outstanding cooperation in the EU’s PERCISTAND project and, in particular, thanks to our close cooperation with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research.” Important groundwork was done in the CAPITANO project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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