The Monroe Institute

Saying Yes—The 290th Awesome Thing

March 18, 2011

Being around someone who says yes is a great feeling. It makes you say yes back and turns agreement into the norm.

We've blogged before about Neil Paricha and his fabulous Webby Award-winning site, 1000 Awesome Things. His antennae are exquisitely tuned to the little things that make life fun. When I saw this entry (reposted below) I had to share. Enjoy!

Awesome Thing #290: Saying yes

Chad came to visit last week.

We’ve been friends since ninth grade and you may remember him playing important roles in my life like Neapolitan Shake Inspiration, Ticking Clock Monster, or Chocolate Milk Boy Genius.

Chad’s been there for me through the thick and thin. He’s helped me through painful moments because his warm, easygoing manner and big buckets of kindness get people buzzing around him like moths on a porch light.

We lived near each other for fifteen years until his wife Kristen transferred jobs, sending her and Chad into a whole new life amongst the beer-and-cheese-lined streets of Wisconsin.

I don’t see Chad as often anymore so I always get excited when he visits.

Yes, I roll out my Class A Hospitality Treatment which includes an extra set of keys to my apartment, a dusty deflated air mattress yanked to the middle of the floor, and an open invitation to anything in the fridge — which on good days includes bendable carrots, expired butter, and a lone cream-colored pickle floating in a massive jar of brine.

When Chad came by last week it was like no time had passed at all. He wheeled his suitcase in and we plopped on the couch to catch up.

Of course, since I’m about as organized as a nursery school mud room I hadn’t managed to check my plans by Chad before he came over so over the next couple days I bounced a lot of different things off him.

“Hey Chad, I told a couple guys we might grab pizza with them later. It’s totally optional though — what do you think?” (“Sure, sounds great.”)

“Oh listen, I bumped into a friend on the elevator who may swing by later for a drink. Is that cool?” (“Sure, I’d love to meet them.”)

“Look, I’m stuck in the office a bit late tonight. It it alright if we grab dinner at like eight or nine instead?” (“Yeah, that works well. I’ll finish up my blog. No rush.”)

“Are you okay on the air mattress tonight or did you want some blankets on the couch?” (“The air mattress is like sleeping on a cloud. I feel like I’m five living with the Care Bears.”)

We had a great hangout and while he was packing to go home I mentioned that it was really noticeable how he always said yes … and was always up for everything.

“Hmmm…” he said, zippering up his suitcase. “Yeah, I guess I just always try to say yes. Go with the flow.”

We hugged and he jumped in the elevator before heading to the airport.

But his visit got me thinking. Maybe in these days of gung ho goal setting, squeezed schedules, and lofty plans for lofty nights, there was just something refreshing about Chad’s easy grins and Say Yes Philosophy. His soul seemed cool as a silent lake on a Sunday morning and he was generally unflappable by things around him. He found something he liked at the pizza place, made great conversation with my friend, and slept fine every night.

I had a teacher once who used to say “It’s a lot harder to agree with something than disagree.” He’d organize big debates in class and convince us to bravely venture out with arguments we weren’t even sure of ourselves. But with his constant grounding of “It’s a lot harder to agree than disagree” we’d find ourselves trying to say yes and find reasons why afterwards.

They were usually there.

Being around someone who says yes is a great feeling. It makes you say yes back and turns agreement into the norm. Chad’s helped me learn that life feels a lot smoother with big yes’s rounding every corner — there are less banged elbows, slammed doors, and black scribbly clouds floating above heads.

Saying yes is bold.

Saying yes is brave.

And saying yes is absolutely


A Surgeon and a Filmmaker Probe Neuroscience and Mystery at The Monroe Institute

March 17, 2011

Eben Alexander, III, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Transcendent personal experiences can be game changers, throwing into doubt long-held beliefs and understandings about how life works. When that happens it's good to have a little mentoring and encouragement.

Amy Hardie, a Scottish filmmaker, and American neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, looking for answers to profound life-changing events, found themselves at The Monroe Institute. Here in Virginia Amy filmed Eben speaking of his insightful week at TMI including the neuroscientific perspective of memory and tapping back into mystery at the Gateway Voyage® program. See video from the interview on The Monroe Institute's YouTube channel.

From Eben's website:

Dr. Eben Alexander III has been an academic neurosurgeon for the last 25 years, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Over those years he personally dealt with hundreds of patients suffering from severe alterations in their level of consciousness. Many of those patients were rendered comatose by trauma, brain tumors, ruptured aneurysms, infections, or stroke. While many comatose patients died, there were occasional ones who recovered. None of them was able to provide much insight concerning their experience.

In the predawn hours of November 10, 2008, Dr. Alexander himself became a comatose patient. For reasons that remain obscure, he was overcome by a fulminant bacterial meningitis and was comatose on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit within hours. His physicians were stunned to find that the culprit was a bacteria that almost never causes spontaneous meningitis in adults! After six days on triple antibiotics, showing no response and with little neurological function remaining, his physicians had few words of encouragement for his family.

Director, Amy Hardie

Amy Hardie was launched into mystery by a prophetic dream. Happily for the world, she documented her subsequent journey in a film called The Edge of Dreaming.

From Amy's website:

This is the story of a rational, skeptical woman, a mother and wife, who does not remember her dreams. Except once, when she dreamt her horse was dying. She woke so scared she went outside in the night. She found him dead. The next dream told her she would die herself, when she was 48.

The Edge of Dreaming charts every step of that year. The film explores life and death in the context of a warm and loving family, whose happiness is increasingly threatened as the dream seems to be proving true. From the kids reaction to their horses' death (they taught the dog a new trick — called 'dead dog'), the film mixes humour, science and married life as Amy attempts to understand what is happening to her.

Everyone wrestles with the concept of their own mortality, but few so directly explore and confront the subject. When Amy fell seriously ill, as her dream predicted, she went on a search to change that dream, leading her to eminent neuroscientist Mark Solms, and to new understanding of the complexity of our brains. The final confrontation takes us back into her dream with the help of a shaman, revealing a surprising twist to the tale.

Saturn Video

March 16, 2011

There is no 3-D CGI involved in this amazing Saturn fly-by's made from thousands of hi-res photographs taken by the Cassini orbiter! What an amazing think that there was a time that we never knew what these planets looked like!

5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation from stephen v2 on Vimeo.

Congratulations, Aussie Voyagers!

March 15, 2011

Last week a high-energy group of participants celebrated the first ever 6-day Gateway Voyage program held in Australia. The group gathered at the beautiful Sangsurya Retreat Center located in Byron Bay, New South Wales ("A" in the map above).

Penny Holmes. Irene has participated in many programs at The Monroe Institute (TMI) in Virginia and is an Accredited TMI Outreach Facilitator. Penny, one of Bob Monroe's step daughters, has been a TMI program facilitator since 1992.

Two thumbs up to our Australian friends! Hope to see you here at The Monroe Institute some day.

17 GigaPixels

March 10, 2011

Distance, like everything else, is relative. With Google Earth displaying intimate satellite overviews of our homes, astronomers peering into the deep fields of space, and the steeply increasing number of megapixels available in consumer cameras, we've become a bit jaded to the marvel of long-range photography.

Then something like this comes along. Suddenly the contrast between megapixels and gigapixels resolves into sharp focus. Click the image below to zoom in for yourself . If you have trouble viewing it, try the video here on documents artist Gerard Maynard’s composited photographs taken between May 30 and June 5, 2008 at five different locations within Yosemite National Park. Gerard was invited by xRez to participate in the shooting of their Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project. Gerard’s 17-gigapixel photograph of Glacier Point is the largest known stitched panorama.

— from Maynard's Website

Cavernous Finding!

March 09, 2011

Ernie might not want to live on the moon, but a lot of us sure have given it some thought. And recently an Indian newspaper reported that this long talked about dream just might be becoming more of a reality. According to The Week "India's space agency announced it had discovered an enormous volcanic cave under the surface of the moon, in the midst of analyzing 3D images taken last year by the lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1. Thanks in large part to its stable climate, the cave could provide suitable housing for humans who want to further explore the moon." How cool!? Most intriguing is that the cavern holds a relatively stable temperature unlike the rest of the moon. According to the article, " The cave holds steady at a (relatively) comfortable -4, since the moon's weather can't penetrate its 40-foot-thick wall. It could also protect astronauts from "hazardous radiations, micro-meteoritic impacts," and dust storms..."

(So curious if that little bit of information made anyone else think of this scene from Waiting for Guffman?)

See full source article here.   

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To Sleep, Perchance to Control Your Dreams
Presentiment and the Social Implications of Nonlocal Perception
First Image of Mysterious Web that Connects All Galaxies
How to Think Your Way Healthy - The Power of the Placebo
Scientists Scanned a Woman’s Brain During an OBE — What They Found Was Amazing
Big Bang Discovery Opens Doors to the “Multiverse”
10 Scientific Studies That Prove Consciousness Can Alter Our Physical Material World
The Speed of Light: Science Fact or Belief?


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