Category: Religion, Astrology and Sprituality

The Ascension of Jesus in the New Testament

The Ascension of Jesus in the New Testament

The Ascension of Jesus (anglicized from the Vulgate Latin Acts 1:9-11 section title: Ascensio Iesu) is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament that the resurrected Jesus was taken up to Heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. In the biblical narrative, an angel tells the watching disciples that Jesus’ second coming will take place in the same manner as his ascension.

The canonical gospels include two brief descriptions of the ascension of Jesus in Luke 24:50-53 and Mark 16:19. A more detailed account of Jesus’ bodily Ascension into the clouds is then given in the Acts of the Apostles.

The ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles’ Creed. The ascension implies Jesus’ humanity being taken into Heaven. The Feast of the Ascension, celebrated on the 40th day of Easter (always a Thursday), is one of the chief feasts of the Christian year. The feast dates back at least to the later 4th century, as is widely attested. The ascension is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, and resurrection.

By the 6th century the iconography of the ascension in Christian art had been established and by the 9th century ascension scenes were being depicted on domes of churches. Many ascension scenes have two parts, an upper (Heavenly) part and a lower (earthly) part. The ascending Jesus is often shown blessing with his right hand – directed towards the earthly group below him and signifying that he is blessing the entire Church.

Related Link: View the Holy Bible website

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Eight things you don’t know about dreams

Eight things you don't know about dreams

Your first dream each night lasts about 5 minutes; the final one can take an hour.

Everyone dreams—every single night—and yet we tend to know so little about our dreams. Where do they come from? What do they mean? Can we control them and should we try to interpret them? We spoke to the dream experts to bring you nine surprising facts about dreams.

1. Dreaming can help you learn.

If you’re studying for a test or trying to learn a new task, you might consider taking a nap or heading to bed early rather than hovering over a textbook an hour longer. Here’s why: When the brain dreams, it helps you learn and solve problems, say researchers at Harvard Medical School. In a study that appeared in a recent issue of Current Biology, researchers report that dreams are the brain’s way of processing, integrating and understanding new information. To improve the quality of your sleep—and your brain’s ability to learn—avoid noise in the bedroom, such as the TV, which may negatively impact the length and quality of dreams.

2. The most common dream? Your spouse is cheating.

If you’ve ever woken up in a cold sweat after dreaming about your husband’s extramarital escapade with your best friend, you’re not alone, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, a dream expert, author and media personality. “The most commonly reported dream is the one where your mate is cheating,” she says. Loewenberg conducted a survey of more than 5,000 people, and found that the infidelity dream is the nightmare that haunts most people—sometimes on a recurring basis. It rarely has anything to do with an actual affair, she explains, but rather the common and universal fear of being wronged or left alone.

3. You can have several—even a dozen—dreams in one night.

It’s not just one dream per night, but rather dozens of them, say experts—you just may not remember them all. “We dream every 90 minutes throughout the night, with each cycle of dreaming being longer than the previous,” explains Loewenberg. “The first dream of the night is about 5 minutes long and the last dream you have before awakening can be 45 minutes to an hour long.” It is estimated that most people have more than 100,000 dreams in a lifetime.

4. You can linger in a dream after waking.

Have you ever woken up from such a beautiful, perfect dream that you wished you could go back to sleep to soak it all up (you know, the dream about George Clooney?)? You can! Just lie still—don’t move a muscle—and you can remain in a semi-dreamlike state for a few minutes. “The best way to remember your dreams is to simply stay put when you wake up,” says Loewenberg. “Remain in the position you woke up in, because that is the position you were dreaming in. When you move your body, you disconnect yourself from the dream you were just in seconds ago.”

5. Even bizarre dreams can be interpreted.

While it can be hard to believe that an oddball dream about your mother, a circus and a snowstorm can have any bearing on real life, there may be symbolism and potential meaning to be mined in every dream—you just have to look for it, says Harvard-trained psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber. “The meaning of our dreams oftentimes relates to things we are needing to understand about ourselves and the world around us,” he says.

Instead of shrugging off strange dreams, think about how they make you feel. “We tend to dismiss these dreams due to the strange components, yet it is the feeling we have in these dreams that matters most,” he explains. “Sometimes the circus and the snowstorm are just fillers that allow us to process the range of emotions we feel about our mother and give us the necessary distraction so we can actually experience that spectrum of emotion.”

6. Recurring dreams may be your mind’s way of telling you something.

Do you have the same nightmare over and over again? Loewenberg suggests looking for underlying messages in recurring dreams so that you can rid yourself of them. For example, a common recurring nightmare people have involves losing or cracking their teeth. For this dream, she recommends that people think about what your teeth and your mouth represent. “To the dreaming mind, your teeth, as well as any part of your mouth, are symbolic of your words,” she says. “Paying attention to your teeth dreams helps you to monitor and improve the way you communicate.”

7. You can control your dreams.

The premise of the new movie Inception is that people can take the reins of their dreams and make them what they want them to be. But it may not just be a Hollywood fantasy. According to the results of a new survey of 3,000 people, dream control, or “lucid dreaming” may be a real thing. In fact, 64.9 percent of participants reported being aware they were dreaming within a dream, and 34 percent said they can sometimes control what happens in their dreams. Taking charge of the content of your dreams isn’t a skill everyone has, but it can be developed, says Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, a dream researcher and visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkley, California.

The technique is particularly useful for people who suffer from recurring nightmares, he says. Dr. Bulkeley suggests giving yourself a pep talk of sorts before you go to sleep by saying: “If I have that dream again, I’m going to try to remember that’s it’s only a dream, and be aware of that.” When you learn to be aware that you are dreaming—within a dream—you not only have the power to steer yourself away from the monster and into the arms of Brad Pitt, for instance, but you train your mind to avoid nightmares in the first place. “Lucid dreaming enhances your ability to learn from the dream state,” says Dr. Bulkeley.

8. You don’t have to be asleep to dream.

Turns out, you can dream at your desk at work, in the car, even at your kid’s soccer game. Wakeful dreaming—not to be confused with daydreaming—is real and somewhat easy to do, says Dr. Bulkeley; it just involves tapping into your active imagination. The first step is to think about a recent dream you had (preferably a good one!). “Find a quiet contemplative place and bring a dream that you remember back into your waking awareness and let it unfold,” he says. “Let the dream re-energize.” Wakeful dreaming can be used as a relaxation tool, but Dr. Bulkeley says it can also help your mind process a puzzling dream. “It creates a more fluid interaction between unconscious parts of the mind and wakeful parts of the mind,” he says.

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History, facts about Year of the Dragon

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The first new moon of the year marks the start of the Chinese calendar.

Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia and Tibet, and is in countries such as Singapore, with significant Chinese populations. Christopher Livaccari of the Asia Society, told Yahoo! Shine it used to be widely celebrated in Japan, but now most Japanese consider first the residence in January will be the main New Year.

Lunar This year, new year begins on January 23, which is the first day of the first new moon of the year. It ends 15 days before the full moon. The Chinese calendar is divided into 12 cycles, each represented by a special animal. According to Chinese astrology, this year is the Year of the Dragon, the only mythical animal in the zodiac. People born in the Year of the Dragon is said to be energetic, charismatic, and natural born leaders. Some famous “dragons” include Joan of Arc, Vladimir Putin, and John Lennon.

Lunar New Year Traditions

Celebrations of the coming year begins on the eve of the first new moon with a festival and fireworks. Families clean their homes to symbolize a new beginning and buy flowers and plants, representing rebirth. Often, monetary gifts or money in new red and gold envelopes are exchanged to bring good fortune. Livaccari Shine said, “I think some people tend to think of these festivals and celebrations as something very exotic, but most people in contemporary East Asia sees this time as an opportunity to take a break from the school and work and reconnect with family, much as we would have Thanksgiving or Christmas. ”

Lucky foods include dumplings and other delicacies that symbolize small packets of good fortune, oranges, in which sound like the Chinese word for “omen”, and apples that look like “peace”. Fireworks explode to ward off evil spirits. Boisterous dragon dances are also performed to scare the spirits away.

A tradition that children love, is that parents are not supposed to scold their children for the Lunar New Year. Livaccari also points out that, as in the West, “Your average 14 years in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and is probably more focused on this as a chance to get more time to play video games or interact with their friends online. ”

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Pope: Many are missing the Christmas’s simple message

Pope: Many are missing the Christmas's simple message

Pope Benedict XVI decried the increasing commercialization of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass on Saturday night, urging the faithful to look beyond the holiday’s “superficial glitter” to discover its true meaning.

Benedict presided over the service in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica, kicking off an intense two weeks of Christmas-related public appearances that will test the 84-year-old pontiff’s stamina amid signs that fatigue is starting to slow him down.

The Christmas Eve Mass was moved up to 10 p.m. from midnight several years ago to spare the pope a late night that is followed by an important Christmas Day speech. In a new concession this year, Benedict processed down the basilica’s central aisle on a moving platform to spare him the long walk.

Benedict appeared tired by the end of the Mass and a dry cough interrupted his homily. In his homily, Benedict lamented that Christmas has become an increasingly commercial celebration that obscures the simplicity of the message of Christ’s birth.

“Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light,” he said.

It was the second time in as many days that Benedict has pointed to the need to rediscover faith to confront the problems facing the world today. In his end-of-year meeting with Vatican officials on Thursday, Benedict said Europe’s financial crisis was largely “based on the ethical crisis looming over the Old Continent.”

Benedict officially kicked off Christmas a few hours before the evening Mass, lighting a candle in his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square in a sign of peace, as crowds gathered to witness the unveiling of the Vatican’s larger-than-life sized nativity scene.

Security was tight for the evening Mass, as it has been in recent years. There were no repeats of the 2008 and 2009 Christmas Eve security breaches, in which a woman with a history of psychiatric problems and wearing a telltale red sweat shirt jumped the wooden security barrier along the basilica’s central aisle and lunged for the pope.

In 2008, the pope’s security detail blocked her from getting to Benedict. But in 2009, she managed to grab Benedict’s vestments and pulled him to the ground. The pope was unhurt and continued along with the service, but a French cardinal who was nearby fell and broke his hip.

On Sunday, Benedict will deliver his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” speech, Latin for “to the city and the world,” from the central loggia of St. Peter’s overlooking the piazza. Usually, the speech is a survey of sorts of the hardships and wars confronting humanity. He’s also due to deliver Christmas greetings in dozens of languages.

Next weekend, he’ll preside over a New Year’s Eve vespers service, followed by a New Year’s Day Mass. A few days later he’ll celebrate Epiphany Mass followed by his traditional baptizing of babies in the Vatican’s frescoed Sistine Chapel.

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The Signs of Zodiac

The Signs of Zodiac

At present, the theme of zodiac sign may not give a surprising burst to anyone. Most people are aware of the notion of Signs of the Zodiac through their daily interaction with the environment horoscopes horoscopes newspaper or online. However, that may not be enough to give you an overview and detailed picture of what the world of Signs of the Zodiac is.

Each time a soul is the human form of being born on earth, some time during the day and date is in operation, as the universe and the world is dynamic. Every moment that passes through time has an association with a particular set of stars and planets, which, individually as well as in respect of each other has an impact on the lives of all those born at that particular time. The impact is in terms of some aspects of the life of an individual life as well as a whole. Signs of the Zodiac determine the nature of character, character, personality, positive, negative, etc.

Zodiac defines a person as a way of life of a person as a whole and the phases of life. Zodiac sign of a person also defines the nature of the compatibility relations and therefore he is supposed to be designed to share with a person of a certain zodiac sign. This is the reason behind the significant role played by the signs of the zodiac and therefore his account when setting up relationships of marriage (and relationships as well), in which the factor of compatibility is of paramount importance to ensure the successful relationship.

Zodiac Signs are also called as ‘Sun Signs’ or ‘Astrological Signs’. The term ‘Zodiac’ in its literal sense refers to “circle of life.” A total of 12 zodiac signs distributed at an angle of 30 degrees each other in the block of space, and forms the complete picture of the sign of the zodiac. The twelve Zodiac Signs are- Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each of these signs of the zodiac is associated with specific traits and characteristics that reflect the nature of the person under him.

Each of the twelve signs of the zodiac is ruled by a planet Zodiac, which is described as “head” of the zodiac sign. In addition, various astrological planets pass through each zodiac sign and stay for a period of time, creating an impact on a person’s life during this period. This movement of the planets can not be said in a computational sense, because it is quite irregular. Get a detailed description of your future on daily, weekly, monthly and annual Astrologers have been experienced in the art of predicting the future by any one period of life to understand every aspect of your astrological sign to draw a clear picture of your future, and different aspects of your life.

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Six dream mysteries explained

Six dream mysteries explained

While you’re sleeping, your brain is cataloging all the events of the day.

We’re all fascinated by our dreams, but most of us don’t have a clue what they mean. And the rest of us can’t even remember what we dreamt about. Well, consider this: Experts say that keeping a closer eye on your dreams can actually help you improve your life. “Every night when you dream, you subconsciously assess what’s going on in your life,” says Gayle Delaney, PhD, author of In Your Dreams. “And if you pay attention, you can use it as a way to solve problems.” Here’s how to decipher your dreams, use them to your advantage, and understand why you have them in the first place.

What Happens When We Go to Sleep

In the first 90 minutes of sleep, you go through deepening stages—ranging from light sleep to deep sleep. Upon entering REM sleep, your heart rate and breathing become irregular, your eyes move rapidly and your brain activity rises toward the same level as when you’re awake. That’s when you do about 80 percent of your active dreaming—and when dreams are most vivid. You’ll go through this sleep cycle three to five times during the night, spending more time in REM sleep with each one until you wake up in the morning.

But here’s the fascinating part: During REM sleep, the rest of your body essentially becomes paralyzed. Why? “It’s nature’s way of making sure you don’t act out your dreams, whether it’s repeatedly kicking your spouse or jumping off the bed and hurting yourself,” explains William Kohler, MD, medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill.

So exactly what happens in our brain when we dream? Sleep experts admit they’re not sure, but it appears that dreams are where memories meet emotion. On the one hand, your dreams can help you tap into the emotional issues in your waking life. On the other, they’re also a way for your brain to catalog the events of the day. “We know that memories are stored during sleep, and dreaming allows the brain to use certain circuits that improve long-term memory,” says Dr. Kohler. Simply put, you dream in order for a specific part of your mind to kick in and sort through memories, figuring out which ones to keep and which ones to let go.

If dreams are there to help file away memories for the long haul, why do they sometimes seem so surreal—not the literal way life happens to us? “When we’re sleeping, the controls of our conscious mind are turned off,” says Dr. Kohler. So as the brain sorts through our different experiences, trying to cross-reference memories (Is the day this happened the same day that happened?), it puts them together in strange and unusual ways (hence, our weird dreams) until it finds a connection that fits—and stores it in our memory bank.

Why Can’t I Remember My Dreams?

“We all dream several times a night, even if we don’t recall them,” says Michael Breus, PhD, author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep. If you wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, you’ll likely remember a dream, but if you snooze through until the next one, you probably won’t. Since you have more REM sleep in the early a.m. hours, adds Dr. Breus, it’s easier to recall a dream when you wake up in the morning, versus, say, in the middle of the night. Age can play a role as well: REM sleep decreases as we get older—kids need more of its stimulation for brain development than adults—causing dreams to become less vivid, says Deirdre Barrett, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of The Committee of Sleep.

Since dreams can help you tap into—and even solve—problems in your life, it pays to remember them. If your power of recall is lacking, Karen Muller, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Medford, Oregon, has an easy way to trigger your memory: Place paper and a pen next to your bed. When you wake up, even in the middle of the night, jot down as much as you remember. Can’t recall more than a fragment? Resume your normal sleeping position for a few minutes. “It helps you recall more of your dream,” she says. Photo: Thinkstock

Is it True that You Never See Yourself in Your Dream?

No. “In my 30 years of practice, many of my clients have seen themselves in a dream,” says Dr. Delaney. Sometimes, however, you don’t look like yourself. So if you’re walking around in Angelina Jolie’s body in your dream, is it just wishful thinking?

Probably not. She could simply represent some part of your personality and the dream is trying to point out the similarities. “Your brain is sending a message that you have some qualities of this person, whether it’s someone you know in real life or not,” says Dr. Delaney. “And what you think that person represents, the feelings she or he evokes, could be the key to something you’re dealing with in your own life.” So rather than revealing that you covet Angelina’s looks, your dream may be drawing parallels to her philanthropic and nurturing nature and your own desire to give back in some way—or have more kids!

I Have Recurrent Nightmares. How Can I Get Rid of Them?

You’re not alone. Research suggests that up to 8 percent of adults suffer from chronic nightmares, like drowning or being chased, at least once a week. “Most of the time, they’re triggered by ongoing stress,” says Shelby Harris, PsyD, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. “Bad dreams are your mind’s way of processing stress and figuring out how to deal with it in the future.”

To find out what some common nightmares mean, read our article, ” Common Dreams Decoded.” But remember, trying to decipher a scary dream won’t make it go away, says Dr. Harris. “Tackling a nightmare head on can help banish it.” If you have frequent bad dreams, see your doctor; nightmares can occasionally be caused by certain medications. If there’s no medical cause, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist to provide relief

One popular method: Imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT), which focuses on changing harmful thought patterns. A landmark study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that 65 percent of people who used the therapy had significantly fewer nightmares. “During IRT, my patients write down their nightmare, then think of a way to change it for the better,” says Dr. Harris. “One patient had a recurring dream of being in shark-infested water. She changed the sharks to friendly dolphins and visualized this new dream for five minutes twice a day—once in the morning, and once before bed. Her nightmares disappeared within weeks.” Photo: istock

Why Do My Dreams Seem So Real that I Wake Up Crying or Laughing?

Because your brain is just as active when you dream as when you’re awake, says Dr. Barrett. In fact, some areas of your brain—like the occipital lobe, which processes images, and the amygdala, which regulates emotions—are even more active when you’re dreaming, “which is why a dream can seem so vivid and evoke so much emotion,” says Dr. Barrett. Pay attention to any negative emotions your dream evokes, especially if they stay with you for the rest of the day, advises Tore Nielsen, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory at the University of Montreal. “Think of the most recent time you felt the way you did in your dream. Upon reflection, you may realize that you felt that way when you argued with your husband recently, or when you ran into someone who was rude. It usually doesn’t take much digging to figure out the source of that emotion, and doing so can help you get closure.”

Can Dreams Predict the Future?

A lot of us have had dreams that foreshadowed an actual event—a relative’s death, the breakup of a relationship. But in reality, a prophetic dream, even one about something unexpected, is just bringing to light an issue you’ve been subconsciously worried about, says Dr. Barrett. If you wake up from a dream feeling disturbed, ask yourself, Have there been hints of that situation in my daily life that I’ve ignored? Say you dreamt of losing your job. Have you recently had any unnerving discussions with your boss?

If you dream of medical ailments like heart attacks, take it seriously, say experts. “Many of my students and associates have had recurring dreams that alerted them to health problems,” says Stanley Krippner, PhD, professor of psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco. “It’s your body’s subtle way of telling you that something strange is going on. If you have a dream like this more than a few times, see your doctor to get checked out.”

I Dreamt of Another Man Last Night. What Does That Mean?

Most of us have sex-related dreams at one time or another, but dreaming about an old boyfriend or a hunky coworker “doesn’t mean that you want to cheat on your spouse,” says Dr. Barrett. Sex dreams are less about wanting to have sex with that person and more about desiring an attribute he represents. So if you dream about a college fling, for example, “you may be feeling nostalgic for a time when you were young and carefree,” says Dr. Barrett.

The same holds true if you dream about sex with a man you don’t know. “When you wake up, ask yourself what characteristics the stranger had, and whether or not those are traits you wish your husband possessed,” says Dr. Barrett. Most of the time, pleasant sex dreams don’t mean you’re dissatisfied with your sex life or unhappy in your marriage. You just want a little of what your “dream” man symbolizes, like assertiveness, say, or nurturing.

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Buddha: The Mind Is Everything

Buddha: The Mind Is Everything

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become” – Buddha

The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) (563 BCE – 483 BCE) Spiritual teacher from ancient India and the historical founder of Buddhism.

After a reputed 49 days of meditation under the Bodhi tree, at the age of 35, he is said to have attained Enlightenment. At the time of his awakening he realized complete insight into the cause of suffering, and the steps necessary to eliminate it. These discoveries became known as the “Four Noble Truths”, which are at the heart of Buddhist teaching. Through mastery of these truths, a state of supreme liberation, or Nirvana, is believed to be possible for any being.

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