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Informative and inspiring blog posts on science and religion and related topics by Sanjay C. Patel

Yoga and Meditation Switch Off Stress Genes


Yoga and Meditation Help

100 years ago, scientists in the west laughed at yoga and meditation.

But recently, a five-year Harvard Medical School study [1] by the psychiatrist John Denninger shows that yoga and meditation can switch on and off certain genes that appear to be linked to immune function and stress.

Many previous studies of the effect of meditation and yoga on stress and other ailments were usually based on heart rate and blood pressure. These new studies are based on neuro-imaging and genomics technology.

“There is a true biological effect,” says Denninger. “The kinds of things that happen when you meditate have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.” 

The robust findings might encourage even more doctors to start recommending yoga and meditation to their patients. Various studies have shown that in the US, between 60% to 90% of doctor’s visits are linked to the effects of stress.

The effects of yoga and meditation on the well-being of the practitioner are very clearly stated by ancient yogis in India – perhaps 2000 years ago.

There is very little doubt now in mainstream science about the effectiveness and truthfulness of these statements by ancient yogis.

Are scientists prepared to go one step further? 

Can they accept the truthfulness of ancient yogis who said yoga and meditation helped connect them to the universe and a supreme consciousness that revealed to them knowledge of the entire universe?

New findings in cosmology, paleontology, and oceanography are indicating some rare ancient yogis truly had extraordinary knowledge of phenomena in these three areas of science.

When will Harvard scientists gain the courage to accept that? After another 100 years?



[1] Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation Benefit, By Makiko Kitamura,,  Nov 21, 2013

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Can yoga improve your relationships?

Can yoga improve your relationships?

When we become calmer, we behave more intelligently. When we behave more intelligently, things work out better for ourselves.

In which way? Probably in as many ways as you can imagine. Studies, skills, memory, steadiness, objectivity, receptivity, sensitivity, compassion, mercy, empathy, love, and relationships just to mention a few.

Moments of madness – madness meaning irrationality – are probably the source of most mistakes in our lives.

Sometimes the negative consequences last a lifetime.

If only we could learn to calm down and not be reactive to everything that happens to us. We need to apply the opposite of “don’t just sit there, do something.” In other words, “don’t just do something, sit there.” The latter is frequently the more appropriate response.

Yoga and meditation put us back in control. They help us take a moment and decide judiciously before reacting to a situation. Those extra few precious moments can make the difference in one’s career, marriage, friendships, and other relationships.

Deep breathing, or mindful breathing, is a cleansing process of yoga and meditation. It cleanses not just the body, but ones mind. They give us some ability to switch our mind on or off.

Even if one does make a mistake in reacting to a situation, Yoga and meditation are like a reset switch which help us within our own souls to accept what we or others have done and live tranquilly.

~ Sanjay C Patel


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Are there friendly atheists?

are there friendly atheists?












Apparently there are. Some of my own friends are atheists or agnostics. And they are delightful people. They are also charitable, cultured, and thoughtful.

Hemant Mehta (not one of my personal friends), for instance, appears to be one such friendly atheist. He is raising funds to help pay the medical bills of Rev. Norman Hayes. Hayes was reportedly attacked by a militant atheist after a church service. He suffered facial lacerations and a broken nose.

The alleged atheist attacker – is reportedly also a registered sex offender. Mehta apparently admits that the attacker is a serious atheist who is active on Facebook.

Does this mean that all militant atheists are sexual fiends? Of course not. 

Then why do militant atheists insist on bad mouthing all believers? Maybe it’s a kind of Freudian slip and they’re talking about themselves. Maybe there are as many answers as there are militant atheists.

But we can praise Hemant for being a friendly atheist. Kudos to him!

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Atheism explains so little. Spirituality suggests answers.

atheism explains so little









Many militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins make the baseless claim that atheism and evolution theory explain the whole universe.

This is evidently false. 

The universe exists. But it does not explain itself. 

Why is it here? Why is there something – this universe – rather than nothing at all – zilch, nada, nothing? Not even space? 

Atheism and evolution have no answer.

The next most obvious thing to us is our consciousness. What is it? The nature of our consciousness and the feeling of I-ness is so real. Yet science is unable to give any rational explanation of it as of yet.

Thirdly, there is love, truth, and beauty. What are they? 

All of these things evade explanation by atheism and evolution theory.

The truth is atheism and evolution can never answer the Grand Questions of WHY. Militant atheists keep harping on the Hows, but they are silent on the Whys.

It’s a deafening silence. But if they meditate and pray, they might hear the music of their soul, wonder at the grandeur of their consciousness, and connect with a Divinity that transcends their comparatively fickle scientific experiments and theories.

~ Sanjay C Patel



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Soup kitchen rejects atheists’ donation

compassion, mercy, and forgiveness

The Spartanburg soup kitchen apparently rejected $2000 that were being donated by an atheist group. Reportedly, members of the soup kitchen rejected the money because the donors were atheists. They felt that they were being targeted.

Perception is reality. If a group of people perceive that another group is trying to undermine them or diminish them, they might well reject their so-called offer to help.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not supporting what members of the soup kitchen did. I’m just trying to understand their actions.

They must have known that this money would help the homeless and hungry. Yet they refused to take it. To me, this shows how suspicion or hatred can undermine humanitarian work even when two sworn ‘enemies’ try to come together in a common cause.

There are many repercussions and implications.

For instance, do some atheists refuse to donate to some charities because they have a spiritual background? Isn’t that as bad as the soup kitchen rejecting their money because of their non-spiritual background?

What a twisted, convoluted, inverted world we live in!

But all’s well that ends well. The atheist group set up its own help stand across the road and distributed packages to the homeless.

Bravo to all those who help those in need.

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Does Heaven belong to all?

The Spiritual Experiences of Millions







There have been a number of books in recent years about people who have had near-death experiences. Those individuals were certified clinically dead, but somehow bounced back. They reported they had a spiritual experience – often termed a ‘near-death experience.’

During these spiritual encounters they purportedly left their bodies and made a trip to heaven. After a period of engagement and communication with the divine or with family and loved ones who had also passed away, these individuals are sent back to Earth to complete their mortal lives.

Near-death experiences are not rare. There are tens of thousands of recorded instances in the United States alone. There have been millions reported throughout the world. Millions more have been reported throughout history.

Neither are near-death experiences unique to people from any one faith. Christians experience them. Hindus experience them. Moslems experience them. Jews experience them. Buddhists experience them. People from obscure faiths experience them.

Even atheists have experienced them!

It appears that near-death experiences are universal. Spirituality is universal. Heaven belongs to all. God belongs to all. Maybe even to some alleged atheists.

In effect, we all appear to be worshiping the same Divinity. We all go to the same heaven. We all belong to the same faith. We just call our God, heaven, and faith by different names and we have different concepts based on various cultures and experiences.

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Times Square Board – “Thank God You’re Wrong”


Is Yoga a Religion? Is It Against Christianity?

There is now a billboard in the middle of Times Square saying “To all our atheist friends: thank God you’re wrong.”

This was apparently in response to an atheistic statement in Times Square last Christmas.

Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, reportedly told CNN, “(creationists) refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none.”

I personally also disagree with the Young Earth Creationist view. But I respect it.

And I also disagree with the atheistic view. But I respect it too. What troubles me, are not the views of both these parties per se. It’s that both groups have their eyes closed to Eastern faiths.

Silverman’s statement can blow back in his face as follows: “atheists and creationists refuse to look at the wider world of scientific and spiritual discovery. They refuse to look at the evidence from Eastern faiths….”

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