Mindfulness Nurtures Belonging: A Deeper Journey

Harvard University launched the Thich Nhat Hanh Center for Mindfulness in Public Health, a pioneering effort. Its $25 million aim includes investigating mindfulness-based evidence-based health and well-being improvements. Due to the effectiveness of scholarly studies on mindfulness, it may be seen as a personal wellness tool or mental health intervention. However, mindfulness overcomes these constraints. It has led to community for millennia. Meditation pioneer Jack Kornfield calls mindfulness “a practice that enhances our sense of belonging or connection to ourselves and others.”

Nhat Hanh’s Vision: Mindfulness as Action and Connection

The great Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh dismissed mindfulness as a solo practice. He saw it as social action, belonging, and connection. He named his Zen community “The Order of Interbeing,” recognizing that human existence is interrelated. Thich Nhat Hanh’s “socially engaged” mindfulness promoted group meditation, ethical community building, and social and ecological justice.

Ubuntu and Interbeing: Connection Philosophies

The concept of interbeing isn’t exclusive to Buddhism. Southern African Nguni Bantu say “ubuntu,” meaning “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Desmond Tutu says, “A person is a person through other people.” These ideologies emphasize human interdependence and the need for belonging or connection for meaning and survival.

Belonging: Deep Well-Being

Recent literature explores the notion of belonging beyond connectedness to others to nature and shared agency and meaning. Active participation in the wider whole brings profound well-being. This notion, like interbeing and ubuntu, views mindfulness as a means to belonging holistically.

Combating Modern Isolation: Mindfulness Tips to Build Sense of Belonging

  1. Community Meditation

Despite the solitary image, group meditation has been practiced for centuries. In an age of digital mediation, in-person mindfulness meditation with friends, family, or groups can strengthen belonging  and bonds. Beyond personal gains, it builds harmonious and egalitarian societies.

  1. Kindness

The practice of Metta, or lovingkindness, includes fostering compassion toward all, including those one may not like. In times of division, this exercise can remodel neural circuits to boost compassion and happiness. Lovingkindness helps overcome “othering” dynamics.

  1. Feel Earth

Thich Nhat Hanh recommends meditating by walking mindfully, feeling each step, and thanking nature. Mindfulness involves active environmental engagement. Mindfulness with such practices helps people feel connected to nature.

  1. Consider Interbeing

Consider interconnectedness when applying Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness to daily life. Savoring tea commemorates the intertwined web of life, from tea leaf growth to harvesting and packing. This exercise promotes gratitude and interconnectedness.

Mindfulness and Shared Belonging: Odd but Effective

In a world that values independence, mindfulness meditation as a means to community may seem contradictory. However, the preceding practices show how mindfulness may train sense of belonging. In times of social and environmental crisis, these behaviors help overcome loneliness, isolation, and disconnection.

Adopting Thich Nhat Hanh’s Vision amid Modern Turmoil

In the 1960s, Thich Nhat Hanh and Thomas Merton saw contemplative practices healing personal and planetary issues. Their opposition to the Vietnam War and exploration of Buddhism and Christianity showed their dedication to collective well-being through mindfulness.

Mindfulness Beyond Self-Improvement

Evidence-based mindfulness is becoming mainstream, giving more individuals the chance to practice contemplation. Mindfulness has many benefits, but its main goal isn’t self-improvement. This is about finding oneself “in others.” Being part of something bigger.

Finally, as mindfulness evolves and gains acceptance, its foundations in shared belonging must be embraced. By seeing mindfulness as a discipline that strengthens connections and promotes well-being, individuals may help create a more harmonious world. Mindfulness’s journey from ancient wisdom to modern relevance is a common path to a more compassionate and integrated society.


Study Unveils the Best Time for Fat Reduction through Exercise

Exercise stands as one of the most potent methods for weight loss, but did you know that exercising at particular times of the day can yield more significant results? A recent study, published in the journal Obesity, suggests that engaging in physical activity during the morning hours, specifically between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM, may have a more pronounced effect on weight loss.

Morning Workouts for Enhanced Fat Loss

Tongyu Ma, an assistant professor and researcher at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, explains that exercising in the morning before breakfast may offer superior results in shedding pounds compared to working out at other times of the day. Ma, who also serves as the lead researcher in the study, shared, “The advice that I can offer from this study is that if we opt to exercise in the morning before eating, we may potentially burn more fat than when we exercise at other times,” as reported by NBC on Thursday (September 21).

Studying Exercise and Lifestyle Patterns

In their study, Ma and his team scrutinized the eating habits and lifestyles of over 5,200 adults aged 20 and above. During the study, participants were equipped with accelerometer devices to record their activity levels.

Morning Exercisers Exhibit Lower BMI

From the amassed data, researchers discovered that individuals who engaged in morning boasted a smaller body mass index (BMI) compared to those who worked out in the afternoon or evening.

The Science Behind Morning Exercise

Ma elucidated that working out in the morning, especially before having breakfast, aids in burning more body fat. “Because people do not eat while they are asleep, exercising before breakfast can help burn fat rather than carbohydrates. The benefits are also felt for hours after completing the exercise,” Ma clarified.

Psychological Factors Favor Morning Workouts

Ross Andersen, a professor of exercise physiology, medicine, and nutrition at McGill University in Canada, pointed out that there are psychological factors that make morning exercise more optimal. He stated, “It’s very easy to find excuses not to take care of yourself and say, ‘I won’t exercise today because I’m too busy and there are more important things to do.’ But if exercise becomes the first thing you do in the morning, it can become a daily habit.”

Resetting the Body’s Clock

Cameron Mitchell, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, explained that morning exercise can help reset the body’s molecular clock, which plays a role in metabolism. He noted that several studies have already shown that exercise can restore this clock to its normal rhythm, ultimately boosting metabolism and fat burning.

The Catholic Dilemma: Applying the Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Model

The exit, voice, and loyalty model by Albert O. Hirschman illuminates how people interact with their organisations. Three fundamental ideas from his 1970 book “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organisations, and States” have broad applicability.  In light of contemporary events, we analyse the Catholic Church’s approach to the dynamics of this paradigm.

Leaving, Speak Up, and Stay Model

Exit: Dissatisfied employees might leave the company. This might be a magazine subscription cancellation or club membership cancellation. It’s disengagement to find an alternative.
communicate: Voice allows employees to communicate their complaints and dissatisfaction with the company to start change. A client complaining about a product’s quality or a member voting to change the club’s leadership are examples.
Loyalty: Supporting the organisation despite dissatisfaction is loyalty. A client may keep purchasing a product despite dissatisfaction with customer care, or a club member may keep joining while disliking the regulations.

The Catholic Problem

The Catholic Dilemma: Applying the Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Model
The Catholic Church is hierarchical and emphasises doctrinal fidelity. Thus, Catholics who disagree with the Church have a difficult situation. They must decide whether to leave the Church, a severe sin in the religion teaching, or voice their discontent to reform it.
Famous Catholic astronomer Galileo Galilei illustrates this problem. The Inquisition tried Galileo in 1633 for propagating the heliocentric universe hypothesis, which opposed the Church’s geocentric ideas. Galileo recanted his hypothesis under coercion and lived his life under house imprisonment. His story illustrates delicate loyalty-dissent relationship.

A Current Situation

The Catholic Church faces falling enrollment, a clergy shortage, and sexual abuse scandals. Catholic allegiance has been reevaluated due to these concerns.
The “Catholic exodus” is growing in reaction to these issues. This movement involves Catholics leaving for different reasons. Disputes about the Church’s handling of the sexual abuse crisis, its doctrines on abortion and same-sex marriage, and a desire for a more inclusive and welcoming Church have contributed to this tendency.
Another group of Catholics stays and complains. This “Catholic reform movement,” as its name implies, seeks internal change. It proposes structural and theological Church changes to solve current concerns.

Complexity of Catholic Dilemma

The Catholic issue is difficult to resolve. Catholics experiencing Church discontent face a complex decision-making process. To leave, raise issues, or stay loyal is a personal decision.


The departure, voice, and allegiance paradigm helps explain the Catholic dilemma’s complex dynamics. It highlights the conflict between Church allegiance and ardent change. It shows that there is no one remedy for Catholics who are dissatisfied with their religion community. Instead, each Catholic must decide whether to leave, speak, or stay loyal on their own terms.

The Five Largest Religion in the World by Number of Followers

Religion is a belief system that governs faith and worship towards the Almighty. Additionally, it provides guidelines for human life on Earth. Across the globe, various religions exist, ranging from Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, to Hinduism. 

The number of adherents varies greatly, with some boasting billions of followers. In this article, we will explore the five largest religions in the world and the approximate number of their adherents.

The World’s Five Largest Religions

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 84% of the global population adheres to some form of religion, while approximately 1.2 billion people identify as non-religious.


  • With around 2.4 billion adherents, Christianity is the largest religion in the world. It can further divide into six major branches: Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Assyrian Church of the East.
  • The United States has the largest Christian population, with 253 million adherents, followed by Brazil with 185 million, and Mexico with 118 million.

The Five Largest Religion in the World by Number of Followers


  • Islam is the second-largest religion globally, with 1.8 billion followers. It has a significant presence in countries like the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, and Mauritania, where nearly 100% of the population adheres to Islam.
  • In several Middle Eastern countries such as Kuwait, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Afghanistan, around 95% of the population practices Islam.
  • Projections indicate that the number of Muslims may reach 3 billion by 2060.


  • Hinduism ranks third among the world’s largest religions, boasting 1.2 billion adherents. The majority of Hindus reside in India, Nepal, and Mauritius.
  • India stands out with nearly 80% of its population practicing Hinduism, followed by Nepal with 79%, and Mauritius with 48%.
  • Hindu communities can also be found in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, North America, and South America.


  • Buddhism, the fourth-largest religion, has over 500 million followers worldwide. Notably, approximately 18% (around 250 million) of Buddhists are in China.
  • Other significant Buddhist populations are located in East and South Asia, including countries like Thailand, where nearly 93% of the population follows Buddhism. Thailand is the second-largest Buddhist nation after China.


  • Shintoism, which originated in Japan around the 8th century CE, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. As of 2022, there are approximately 104 million adherents worldwide.
  • Shintoism plays a fundamental role in Japanese culture and traditions, influencing many aspects of daily life.


These five major religions shape the beliefs and practices of a significant portion of the world’s population. Each religion has its unique teachings, traditions, and cultural influences. Understanding the diversity of faiths across the globe is essential for fostering tolerance and promoting peaceful coexistence among different religious communities.

Understanding Good and Bad Karma in Buddhism

Buddhism, an ancient philosophy and spiritual practice. Buddhism introduces the profound concept of karma as the universal law of cause and effect. The cause and effect is governs the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Within the framework of karma, one’s actions, intentions, and behaviors have a direct impact on their present and future experiences. This article delves into the understanding of good and bad karma in Buddhism and how these concepts shape our lives.

Karma: The Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect

Karma, derived from the Sanskrit word for “action,” refers to the principle that every action we undertake. Whether physical, verbal, or mental, creates an energy that reverberates through the universe. This energy, whether positive or negative, accumulates over time and molds our future circumstances. Buddhism teaches that we are not victims of fate but architects of our destiny, sculpting it through our thoughts and deeds.

Good Karma: Planting Seeds of Positivity

Good karma is the result of virtuous actions that stem from compassion, kindness, generosity, and selflessness. When we engage in positive behaviors and make choices that benefit others and ourselves, we sow the seeds of good karma. Acts of charity, honesty, and empathy contribute to a positive karmic cycle, ultimately leading to improved circumstances in this life or the next.

Bad Karma: Navigating the Consequences

Conversely, bad karma emerges from harmful actions, driven by negative emotions like anger, greed, and ignorance. Engaging in deceit, violence, or selfishness generates negative energy that can manifest as challenging situations in the future. Buddhism teaches that the consequences of bad karma are not punishments inflicted by an external force, but rather the natural outcomes of our own actions.

Mindfulness and Ethical Living: Shaping Karma

Central to understanding and working with karma is mindfulness – the practice of being fully present in each moment and cultivating awareness of one’s thoughts and actions. By becoming more conscious of our intentions, we can make choices that align with positive karma. Ethical living, rooted in the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, provides guidelines for righteous conduct, fostering the accumulation of good karma.

Breaking the Cycle: Liberation from Karma

Buddhism also emphasizes the possibility of liberation from the cycle of karma and rebirth. Through enlightenment and the cessation of desires and attachments, an individual can break free from the perpetual cycle of cause and effect. This state, known as Nirvana, transcends the constraints of karma and offers the ultimate liberation from suffering.

In Buddhism, the concept of karma serves as a guiding principle for ethical living and mindful actions. The distinction between good and bad karma underscores the importance of our choices and their repercussions on our lives. By understanding karma, individuals can actively shape their destinies, cultivate positive energy, and strive towards liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Through conscious efforts to generate good karma and alleviate bad karma, one can work towards a more enlightened and fulfilling existence.

The Best Ways to Starting Meditation for Inner Peace and Clarity

In today’s fast-paced world, where constant distractions and stresses can easily overwhelm us, finding moments of tranquility and mental clarity has become essential for maintaining our overall well-being. One practice that has gained widespread recognition for its profound effects on mental and emotional health is starting meditation. If you’re new to meditation and seeking the best ways to start, this guide will introduce you to techniques that can help you find inner peace and clarity in your daily life.

Understanding Meditation

Meditation is a centuries-old practice that involves training the mind to focus its attention and eliminate the unnecessary clutter of thoughts. It’s not about emptying the mind but rather about cultivating awareness and presence.

Starting Meditation

  1. Choose a Comfortable Space:
    Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down without disturbances. It could be a corner in your room, a garden, or a dedicated meditation space.
  2. Set a Time:
    Start with just a few minutes each day. Consistency is key. Gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice.
  3. Comfortable Posture:
    Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. You can sit cross-legged on a cushion or a chair. The goal is to find a posture that helps you stay alert yet relaxed.

Breath Awareness:

  1. Focus on Your Breath:
    Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Feel the sensation of each inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. And then you can starting meditation
  2. Deep Breathing:
    Take deep, slow breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This technique can help calm your mind and body.

Guided Meditation:

  1. Use Guided Meditations:
    There are many apps and online resources offering guided meditation sessions. These recordings provide step-by-step instructions, making it easier for beginners to stay focused.
  2. Choose a Theme:
    Guided meditations often have specific themes, such as relaxation, gratitude, or self-love. Choose one that resonates with you.

Mindfulness Meditation:

  1. Be Present in the Moment:
    Mindfulness meditation involves observing your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. This practice enhances self-awareness and reduces rumination.
  2. Body Scan:
    Start by focusing your attention on different parts of your body, from head to toe. Notice any sensations or tension, and consciously release it.

Walking Meditation:

  1. Walking Mindfully:
    Meditation doesn’t have to be confined to sitting. Engage in walking meditation by taking slow, deliberate steps. Pay attention to each movement and sensation as you walk.

Benefits of Meditation:

  1. Reduced Stress:
    Regular meditation can lower stress hormones and promote relaxation, leading to a calmer mind.
  2. Enhanced Focus:
    Meditation strengthens your ability to concentrate and resist distractions, improving overall productivity.
  3. Emotional Well-being:
    It can regulate emotions, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and fostering a greater sense of emotional balance.
  4. Clarity of Thought: Meditation clears mental clutter, allowing for clearer and more creative thinking.
  5. Improved Sleep:
    Practicing meditation before bed can help relax your mind and improve sleep quality.

Embarking on a meditation journey as a beginner can be both enriching and transformative. By choosing a comfortable space, focusing on your breath, exploring guided and mindfulness meditation, and enjoying its numerous benefits, you can find inner peace, mindfulness, and mental clarity in your life. Remember, the key is consistency—start small and gradually build your practice for a more profound experience of the many gifts meditation can offer.

Meditation For Beginners : Guide to Starting Meditation

In the fast-paced world we live in, finding moments of tranquility and inner peace has become more important than ever. Meditation offers a powerful pathway to cultivating a calm and centered mind. If you’re new to meditation, you’re not alone. This beginner’s guide will provide you with essential tips to help you kick-start your meditation practice and embark on a journey of self-discovery and serenity.

1. Create a Comfortable Space:

Tips number one meditation for beginners. Find a quiet and clutter-free space where you can meditate without distractions. This could be a corner of your room, a garden, or any place that brings you a sense of calm. Arrange cushions or a chair for comfortable seating.

2. Choose the Right Time:

Select a time of day that works best for you. Morning and evening are popular choices, but feel free to choose a time that aligns with your schedule. Consistency is key, so try to meditate at the same time each day.

3. Start with Short Sessions:

As a beginner, start with shorter meditation sessions, such as 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.

4. Focus on Your Breath:

One of the fundamental aspects of meditation is focusing on your breath. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as you inhale and exhale. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breath.

5. Guided Meditations:

Guided meditations are excellent tools for beginners. You can find a plethora of guided meditation resources online or through meditation apps. These sessions provide step-by-step instructions, making it easier for you to stay focused.

6. Embrace Patience:

Meditation for beginners is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient with yourself and avoid becoming frustrated if your mind wanders or if you find it challenging to stay still. Every meditation session is a step toward improvement.

7. Body Scan Meditation:

Body scan meditation involves focusing your attention on different parts of your body, promoting relaxation and awareness. Start from your toes and gradually move up to your head, observing any sensations or tension.

8. Mindfulness in Daily Activities:

Extend the benefits of meditation to your daily life by practicing mindfulness. Pay full attention to simple activities like eating, walking, or even washing dishes. Mindfulness helps you stay present and engaged.

9. Stay Open-Minded:

Explore different meditation techniques, such as loving-kindness meditation, transcendental meditation, or mantra meditation. Find what resonates with you and enhances your experience.

10. Stay Consistent:

Consistency is key to experiencing the full benefits of meditation. Even on days when it feels challenging, make an effort to sit for a few minutes. Over time, you’ll notice positive changes in your mental and emotional well-being.

Embarking on a meditation journey as a beginner can be both exciting and transformative. By following these essential tips, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a peaceful mind and enjoying the numerous benefits that meditation offers. Remember, the most important thing is to approach your practice with an open heart and a willingness to explore the depths of your own consciousness.

Incorporate meditation for beginners into your daily routine, and watch as it becomes a source of solace, clarity, and serenity amidst the chaos of modern life.