Friday, October 23, 2009

Think Out Webinar #6:
"Manifesting Peace and
the Grateful Heart" with
Stephanie Gunning

Last night, I did my best to build a bridge for my listeners from the social science and psychology of gratitude, to the neuroscience of gratitude, to the metaphysics and quantum science of gratitude, with the ultimate goal of showing how we can literally wire ourselves/train ourselves to be more peaceful. Being peaceful makes us centers of peace in our homes, workplaces, and wider communities, where we can influence and support others to be peaceful also. My goal was to increase understanding so our final group meditation would be anchored energetically and biologically. For me, understanding is a key motivator.

I would like to thank everyone who participated for being with me, and I'd like to remind everyone who hasn't listened yet that consciousness is non-local and non-temporal, so by listening and participating in the meditation it is as if you retroactively are live on the call with us. (Sounds weird? Do it anyway!)

I shared an article by Michael E. McCullough, Marcia B. Kimeldorf, nad Adam D. Cohen, "An Adaptation for Altruism?" published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, volume 17, number 4 (2008). The researchers propose that gratitude is an evolutionary adaptation for "reciprocal altruism" (exchanging benefits with non-relatives) and "upstream reciprocity" (paying gratitude forward to a third party). As a "prosocial" emotion, it helps create harmony and bonds among strangers.

The second thing I explored was the health benefits of gratitude. Professor Robert Emmons wrote a book called Thanks, which talks about the science of gratitude. I culled some information from a blog interview with him done by Alvaro Fernandez in 2007, which was posted on, "Enhance Happiness and Health by Cultivating Gratitude." Basically, positive psychology looks at high functioning individuals and in this case how controlling our happiness can be done in a practical framework. Two ideas I got were (1) to keep a gratitude journal where you write down five things or people you are grateful for every day for a minimum of 21 days (the benefits to your health are extraordinary). And (2) to write a gratitude letter to someone you have not properly thanked. If you do a letter such as this once a week, you can then either mail the letter, read it to the person over the pohone, or best of all read it to them in person.

I believe the figure of 21 days is significant, because brain science shows us that our brains are plastic and as we consciously create pathways for 30 to 90 days, we literally build a new personality of gratitude that is life sustaining.

When you demonstrate gratitude to people, remember that some are visual, some are auditory, and some a kinesthetic. The kinesthetic person will want a hug or a handshake. The auditory will LOVE to hear the words spoken. The visual person would like to get a letter or card or a picture. If you know an olfactory dominant person, bake them a cake. Hey, you can't go wrong doing all four things. Cake, card, hug, and verbal expression of appreciation.

On the Mental Health America website, they write that of the ten things that promote good mental health: One is connecting with others (prosocial behavior is good for you), another is taking care of your spirit, and yet another is staying positive. Being positive depends on what you focus on. Positivity resides inside of us, rather than in our reactions to external events. Being grateful makes us healthy and helps us connect, and that leads us to be positive. Their website is

Does gratitude-meditation really change the brain? Why yes, it does, according to a study by Dr. Richard Davidson, who examined the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks using compassion mediation practices. He runs the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin. The research was so compelling that the Dalai Lama came and gave a talk on it at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference, which was attended by 14,000 members in Washington, DC. I liked the article written about it by John Geirland, "Buddha on the Brain," published on

Then I explained why the Think Out intention for peace in our lives would help us to cope with our agressive human tendencies. Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is a state of being that transcends the duality of conflict and non-conflict. This is a spiritual truth. Gratitude and the intention for peace enable us to lift ourselves right out of the desires for defense, retaliation and vengeance, and exerting power over people who are different than us. Those are destructive forces behind hate crimes, as studied by Jack McDevitt of Northeastern University's Institute on Race and Justice, as reported in a CNN article by Jacinth Planer on Ocotber 22, 2009 "Small town killing puts focus on crimes against Latinos."

We entered a meditation and joined our forces of intuition, intention, and gratitude, and I hope that everyone was left with a clear impression of what to do moving forward for the next month or more to be more in hte experience of peace.

It was my sincere pleasure to host and facilitate Think Out 2009. Please listen to the seminars and have a healthy, happy, peaceful year on our blue planet.

You may listen to the recording of my lecture "Manifesting Peace and the Grateful Heart" by pushing the play button below.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Think Out Webinar #5
“The Law of the Garbage Truck”
Guest: David J. Pollay of

David J. Pollay is a columnist, TV presenter, blogger, and business consultant, as well as a leader in the field of positive psychology. In 2010, his book The Law of the Garbage Truck is being brought to market by Sterling Publishing, a Barnes & Noble company. I had the great privilege of reading David's manuscript, which I believe is compelling, friendly, and universally relatable. So we were fortuante to have him with us for an early discussion of his powerful concept.

Now, I should say that David began teaching aspects of The Law of the Garbage Truck in person 19 years ago after an incident in a New York City taxicab, which was nearly sideswiped by a black car driven by a hostile driver. As the cabbie uttered immortal words to David, they fell on fertile ears. "Some people are like garbage trucks. When you see them it is best just to smile, wish them well, let them pass by, and move on." David realized this was a profound philosophy that was applicable to handling the tiny hassles of life that accumulate throughout our days and have the power to drain our energy if we let them.

David has traveled the world and shared what he calls The No Garbage Trucks Pledge with people in as many as 100 different languages. We took The Pledge with him on our call, and I think it's not a bad idea for anyone reading this to go to David's website (, watch the video you find there (filmed in Times Square New York, the crossroads of the world), and TAKE THE PLEDGE.

It's all about increasing civility in the world. It's something to keep at the back of your mind, as a resource when you confront a rude waiter, a hostile customer service rep, or find yourself being cut off on the highway. "I'm going to smile, wish this person well, and let him/her pass by.. and move on with my life."

And... It helps us to remember that we will not spread our own garbage to others.

Enjoy! I am a huge fan of David's for reasons you will no doubt agree after you hear him tell his stories. He is one of the most courteous and likeable fellows I've met.

You may listen to Stephanie's conversation with David J. Pollay here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Think Out Webinar #4
"Be and Grow Rich"
Guest: Richard Aronow of

We had a seriously good call last night! Tons of great questions from listeners and entirely inspiring to converse about values and the connection between people who share them. Richard, you are a visionary! xoxox I so appreciate your heart. Richard is a pioneering social entrepreneur who pours himself into creation of a better world through everything he does. And he has a long history with meditation. As he says, "Five minutes a day will change your life, I pormise you! It's a commitment I make every day to decide how I want to be that day."

For people who want to understand the mind set of wealth in a broader context than money alone, this event would be blam for your soul. Rich understands being, doing, and having what we want and loving our lives, even when external events are rocky.

Listen to the playback recording of Richard Aronow "Be and Grow Rich," by using the player below:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Think Out Webinar #3:
"You Are the Creator of Your Life"
Guest: Kayhan Ghodsi of

Kayhan Ghodsi is a clairvoyant healer and meditation teacher who lives in California’s Central Valley region. Born in Iran, he earned degrees in filmmaking from L’Ecole Seperieure d’Etudes Cinematographique in Paris and the San Francisco Art Institute. Subsequently, he worked as a freelance camera operator and documentary television and film producer. In 1988, he opened CafĂ© Select in Berkeley, California. He studied meditation and healing at the Berkeley Psychic Institute and the Church of Aesclepion Healing in San Rafael, California. In 1999, he began teaching. Kayhan may be contacted at

Last night, I spoke with him about the topic, which is the first chapter in his forthcoming book You Are a Spirit: Nine Steps to Heaven on Earth, reading a short segment from the chapter and doing a fifteen-minute meditation to experience the energy. Kayhan also offered listeners a free Mp3 download if they sent him an email requesting it to him on his website. This gift is a shorter meditation that can be used on a daily basis to practice the clairvoyant style of meditation he teaches.

You may listen to Stephanie's conversation with Kayhan Ghodsi using the play buttons below.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Think Out Webinar #2: "The Biology of Awakening into Oneness Consciousness"
Guest: Dr. Brenda Sanders of

Think out 2009 continued Wednesday night with an exciting conversation with cellular molecular biologist Brenda Sanders about four recent discoveries in brain science that we can use to our advantage in accelerating the pace of our personal spiritual development. The stress response (aka fight or flight) is in a more ancient part of the brain than the relaxation response, which occurs in the front of the brain (more recently evolved in mammals). Therefore, if we bridge these areas of the brain and draw upon the functions of the higher order brain to manage the functions of the lower order part of the brain, we can build a brain that is more compassionate and peaceful. So here are the discoveries...

1) The brain is plastic and continually renews itself, building new neural connections until the end of life.
2) In 2005, scientists discovered that some neurons are devoted to mirroring what we observe firsthand. For instance, if we love ice cream and watch someone eating an ice cream cone, our brain will light up in exactly the same way that the brain of the person eating the ice cream cone does.
3) And "what fires together wires together," meaning by combining a physical activity with a particular emotional state for a few minutes a day every day, in a month or so we can cause oursselves to feel that particular state just by performing the physical activity.
4) It only takes 12 1/2 minutes of meditation a day for eight weeks to wire yourself.

Therefore, Brenda's advice is to meditate, spend time with peaceful people, and take a walk (or garden, or dance) while you're in a state of relaxation and unity from your meditation, and bingo! you'll be wiring your brain for even more unity consciousness. But remember, the felt-sense of connection with the wider world is something to cultivate for a lifetime--you won't become a "finished" person. However, the effort itself has been shown to increase longevity, improve memory, and contributes to health and happiness--even better relationships. So enjoy!


You may listen to Stephanie's conversation with Dr. Brenda Sanders using the play buttons below.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Think Out Webinar #1: "Opening to
Higher Dimensions of Consciousness"
Guest: Dr. Sangeeta Sahi of

Think Out 2009 began with an inspiring conversation between our host, Stephanie Gunning, and her guest, medical intuitive Dr. Sangeeta Sahi, on the energetic shifts of 2009 moving to a new unification of humanity post-2012. Sahi then led a meditation to accelerate the transformation of consciousness.

Last night's call inaugurated the series of six webinars with emerging new thought teachers that continues next week on Wednesday, September 30 with an interview with Dr. Brenda Sanders on how to use the new breakthroughs in neuroscience to advance your personal evolution, create better health and better relationships, develop inner calm, and awaken creatively and spiritually (go to to get details). The series extends through October 22.

You may listen to Stephanie Gunning's one-hour conversation and meditation with Sangeeta Shai, using the play buttons below:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Think Out 2009 Summit Announced

We’ve entered an incredible month, which began on September 21, International World Peace Day, when the energy of millions of people was opened to the possibility of peace. The month culminates on October 22, with Gandhi's birthday and the date of the final group meditation of Think Out 2009, when our hearts will resonate together and positively influence millions more to reduce stress, soothe our souls, and usher in a new era of human civility, green living, and global friendship.

(In a hurry? Click here)

Thousands of people practice meditation to reap the rewards of stress reduction, clarity of thought, and better health, as well as increasing a sense of connection with others, nature, and God (by any name). There are many paths to the destination of inner peace and presence. When enough people come together, the peace is magnified exponentially.

Are you interested? Think Out 2009 will feature a roughly once a week Webinar Summit featuring six breakthrough teachers, hosted by Stephanie Gunning, co-creator of The Great American Think Out and the 30-day online course Stop Thinking Now.

If you sign up for one webinar, you’ll get access to all six of them. Just go to to register and get the details.

Starting on Thursday, September 24, you have six different opportunities to hear an all-star lineup talk about the global transformation of consciousness and methods they’ve developed to feel happier, healthier, prosperous, and free.

Date: Thursday, September 24 at 7pm ET (Eastern Time)
Guest: Stephanie with Dr. Sangeeta Sahi, medical intuitive
Subject: Opening to Higher Dimensions of Consciousness
Click Here to Sign Up

Date: Thursday, September 30 at 8pm ET (Eastern Time)
Guest: Stephanie with Dr. Brenda Sanders, molecular cellular biologist
Subject: The Biology of Awakening
Click Here to Sign Up

Date: Thursday, October 8 at 8pm ET (Eastern Time)
Guest: Stephanie with Kayhan Ghodsi, meditation teacher
Subject: You Are the Creator of Your Life
Click Here to Sign Up

Date: Wednesday, October 14 at 7pm ET (Eastern Time)
Guest: Stephanie with Richard Aronow, entrepreneurial pioneer
Subject: Be and Grow Rich
Click Here to Sign Up

Date: Thursday, October 15 at 8pm ET (Eastern Time)
Guest: Stephanie with David J. Pollay, positive psychologist
Subject: The Law of the Garbage Truck
Click Here to Sign Up

Date: Thursday, October 22 at 3pm ET (Eastern Time)
Host: Stephanie Gunning
Subject: Manifesting Peace and the Grateful Heart
Click Here to Sign Up

You’re going to want to be on these calls to hear the powerful messages of these breakthrough authors, teachers, healers, and speakers, who are helping lead those of us who are part of a massive shift in human consciousness. Don't take my word for it or simply accept what I'm saying on face value.

Come see for yourself.

As always, thank you for the opportunity to bring you authentic and powerful wisdom teachers who have great value to deliver.

In peace,

Stephanie Gunning
Host and Co-creator,