Off-beat perceptions and life tips of the world and all its players.
Keep it clean, keep it honest and as a great friend told me, keep swimming!
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"For those of us who want to see democracy survive and thrive --and we
are legion --the heart is where everything begins: that grounded place
in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members
of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten democracy as
openings to new life for us and for our nation." Parker Palmer shares
more in this piece. Read Article
A new study investigates whether mindfulness may have bad side effects
for some people.
Potential side effects are often front and center
when considering taking medicine for physical or mental conditions, but
information is less clear with treatments like meditation that don’t come in
By Marianne Spoon Popular media and case studies have recently highlighted negative side effects
from meditation—increases in depression, anxiety, and even psychosis or
mania—but few studies have looked at the issue in depth across large numbers
In a recent paper featured in the journal Psychological
Medicine, researchers at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of
Wisconsin–Madison found that people who took part in the most common and
widely available secular mindfulness program did not experience psychological
harm at a rate higher than people in control groups who did not take part in
As meditation joins a growing list of treatment
In a time when there is so much division, comfort can still be found in the world around us. We’re pulling our favorite sweater over our heads and coming out to the other side to celebrate an animal who has been gifting us relief for centuries! With an alpaca’s undeniably cute underbite and “super fiber” fleece, your hard day is about to become a little softer!
What exactly is it about your favorite sweater that brings you so much joy? Could it be that the soft, intuitive nature of the animal that grew the fiber has woven its personality into each thread? Alpacas have been comforting humans for centuries, and not just by warming our bones with their luxurious fur! Get cozy, dear friend, for we’re about to envelop ourselves in appreciation for one of the most underrated (and floofy) mammals out there!
Where do business and spirituality meet? How does one use creativity to
unite? How might we walk our unique path in solving problems outside and
dissolving the ego inside? A weekday brand-consultant, a weekend
rock-climber, author during nights and a lifetime seeker of Truth --
Kiran Khalaps journey is a striking example of a life of emergence which
defies linear planning. Read more about his journey here. Read Article
"How might we unlock hope in an expansive spirit of democracy for
present and future generations in this time of upheaval? This new
conversation series on "The State of American Democracy" invites us to
explore this question with some of our most creative thinkers and public
intellectuals. The first episode on September 17, 2020, focuses on the
moral foundations of democracy we can draw for guidance." The article
that follows is about the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and highlights the
early roots of democracy in the United States." Read Article
Experiencing wonder and awe in nature has many benefits, new studies
You might enjoy skiing or hiking. But do you feel at home in
the mountains? Do you feel connected to the wilderness? According to a new study, that sense of being “home” in nature could be linked to your life
satisfaction and personal growth, at least for young people. Another new study
of older people finds that a connection to nature seems to make them happier
and more willing to help others.
By Teja Pattabhiraman In the first study, a team of researchers in Norway followed a group of
college students who were training to lead wilderness expeditions in one of
two settings: either in a forest in the middle of a storm or across a
high-altitude plateau. The students agreed to complete a pre- and
post-adventure questionnaire, which assessed their life satisfaction and
A portion of these students also answered prompts
every evening of their five-day excursion. They were asked to…
What if the tension and conflict you experience with your loved ones or your co-workers could be explained in terms of time! Your perception of time may be entirely different than somebody else, but knowing how this works could leave you with a lot less conflict in your life. This simple test will help you get started!
Could the person next to you understand time completely differently? Could this be a reason you and someone you love find yourself having trouble communicating? If you’re an English speaker, there are two ways that you could perceive time, and the way to determine that starts with this statement: “Wednesday’s noon meeting has been moved forward by two hours.”
"Everyone has a deep story," says Arlie Hochschild. "Our job is to
respect and try to understand these stories." Hochschild is one of the
most distinguished sociologists of our time. Considered the founder of
the "sociology of emotion," she examines some of the most urgent
challenges our societies face: work-family balance, shifting gender
roles, alienation, globalization, and the ever-widening political
divide. Throughout these issues, she studies how we feel about things,
what we think we should feel, and why. Why do people choose what they
choose? What are the invisible forces behind our actions? What are the
emotional costs, if any? And most recently, why does it seem like people
vote against their own interests? What follows is an excerpt from her
book, "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American
A new report looks at how schools have been grappling with the
challenges imposed by COVID-19.
Starting in March, education
leaders have been working furiously to create a school experience that must
satisfy a dizzying list of public health, education, economic, and labor
concerns. Now that classes have begun, educators face the daunting task making
up lost ground from COVID-19-related learning loss, which hit low-income
students and students of color particularly hard, against the backdrop of
high-profile police violence and anti-Black racism. Students are being asked
to learn an atmosphere of prolonged stress and anxiety, often through a Zoom
call or a plexiglass partition. In a situation like the one we all face, how
can educators possibly meet students’ needs?
A novel changed the life of Francesca Lo Basso—and there’s scientific evidence
that she’s not alone.
I started college in the fall of 2003, when I
was seventeen years old. I’d spent the last year dissecting news articles with
my AP Government class on the U.S.’s escalating tensions with Iraq. War had
moved beyond theory and into inevitability—yet I didn’t know how to express my
horror and had even less of an idea of what to do with it. Then, six months
after the first time the U.S. invaded Fallujah, I read Tim O’Brien’s The
Things They Carried.
By Francesca Lo Basso In this award-winning novelization of his experiences as a soldier in the
Vietnam War, O’Brien tells the story of Rat Kiley and Curt Lemon. Rat and Curt
are best friends—inseparable—until the moment when, during a game of catch,
Curt steps on a hidden landmine and dies instantaneously. The abruptness of
the incident and its placement in the middle of a scene of languor tells one
kind of truth about th…
"It's been 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment
secured voting rights for womensort of. In She Votes: How U.S. Women Won
Suffrage, and What Happened Next, author Bridget Quinn and 100 female
artists survey the complex history of the struggle for women's rights,
including racial segregation and accommodation to White supremacy. They
celebrate the hitherto under-recognized efforts by women of color to
secure voting rights for all Americans, and BIPOC-led, diverse, and
intersectional movements for equality. In this excerpt, Quinn describes
how White leaders of the womens suffrage movement were influenced by
Indigenous political structures and culture..."
Could the TV shows you watched when you were younger influence who you are today? Researchers have been looking into this since a certain popular fictional character hit the mainstream and sparked a movement that changed the world of science forever!
We know that the media we watch has a knack for swaying what we buy, what we wear, and how we act, but how influential is it, really? Studies of the impact of one fictional character, in particular, give us a clue to how we can harness our TV habits for good!
"No one who met her [Vimala Thakar] could fail to be moved.For she was a
great spiritually enlightened revolutionary and activist; a notable
Indian figure of the 20th Century who boldly forged a radically
independent approach to spirituality and the search for truth. Freed
from all religious tradition, she brought the timeless wisdom of the
East to the modern egalitarian West without the baggage of religious
terminology, endeavoring to awaken people through deep rational inquiry.
Fiercely independent, beholden only to her own burning passion for
liberation, she crisscrossed the world for many years, traveling to 35
countries through the sixties, seventies and eighties, exhorting all who
would listen to wake up to what she would term the 'totality of Life.'"
Chris Parish shares more in this tribute, that also includes an excerpt
from Vimala Thakar's book 'Spirituality and Social Action: A Holistic
Making friends isn’t necessary for solving political polarization.
Amid two crises—the pandemic and the national reckoning sparked by the killing
of George Floyd—there have been anguished calls for Americans to come together
across lines of race and partisanship. Change would come, a
USA Today contributor wrote, only “when we become sensitized to the distress of our neighbors.”
Empathy born of intimacy was the prepandemic solution to the
nation’s fractured political landscape.
If Americans could simply get to know one another, to share stories and appreciate each other’s struggles, civic leaders
argued, we would develop a sense of understanding and empathy that would
extend beyond the single encounter.
But after studying how Americans cooperate, both in moments of political upheaval and in ordinary times, I am convinced
that tackling America’s political divide demands more than intimacy—and less
than it. Ordinary people, talking
What if there were a new place to look for a sense of security in these times of turmoil and uncertainty, and it did not involve inventing something new or forcing ourselves forward? Instead, what if the answer to our thriving, right now, lies with remembering how our ancestors thrived!? Here’s how they’re doing it in Hawaii.
Blending into the ocean floor is a predator hunting for their dinner. She looks a lot like you and me, because, well, she is! This huntress is just one of many in Hawaii who are finding a new way forward to protect themselves and their communities by looking into the history of their home. Their way of life has a lot for any of us to learn from and may have you looking at your own skills with a bit more love!
"Watching the sun rise over the wetlands, the mist fading, even here in
the midst of nature there is the strange stillness of a world in
lockdown waiting, wondering, anxiety, and fear its companions. I am
writing these words in the time of the great pandemic, when for a few
brief months our world slowed down and almost stopped; when as the
stillness grew around us there was a moment to hear another song, not
one of cars and commerce, but belonging to the seed of a future our
hearts need to hear.This song comes from a place where the angels are
present, where light is born, where the future is written." Sufi teacher
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee shares more in this timely offering.