Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Homeopaths are lovely!

It's official - Norwegian research shows homeopaths are nice people!

I was amused, but not entirely surprised, to come across this research paper from Norway. The researchers did some psychometric tests on a group of homeopaths and found they differed considerably from the average Norwegian. 

'People who work as homeopaths can be described as open to new and different ideas, and as caring, understanding, and altruistic persons. Therefore, there is reason to believe that these dispositions are central in choosing homeopathy as an occupation.'  

I wonder how our critics would fare if a similar study turned their attention to the skeptic community?! See my previous blog about the intolerance and bigotry of some of our critics. 

This idea of openness reminded me of something else I'd read recently.  

I’ve started going to a Mindfulness Meditation Group in Bentham which has been very enjoyable and thought provoking. They follow the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn and we often read passages from his books. One recent passage from The Heart Of Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation really struck a chord with me. (For those of you not familar with the language, in this context Dharma = teacher and sutra = teachings)

When we hear a Dharma talk or study a sutra, our only job is to remain open. Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it with our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing. If we read or listen with an open mind and an open heart, the rain of the Dharma will penetrate the soil of our consciousness.

The gentle spring rain permeates the soil of my soul,
A seed that has lain deeply in the earth for many years just smiles.

While reading or listening, don’t work too hard. Be like the earth. When the rain comes, the earth only has to open herself up to the rain. Allow the rain of Dharma to come in and penetrate the seeds that are buried deep in your consciousness. A teacher cannot give you the truth. The truth is already in you. You need only to open yourself – body, mind and heart – so that his or her teachings will penetrate your own seeds of understanding and enlightenment. If you let the words enter you, the soil and seeds will do the rest of the work.

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