All posts tagged: wellness

Lucid Dreaming

What distinguishes lucid dreaming from dreaming? What makes a lucid dream – lucid? Why explore and develop this skill? How could it contribute to better health and well-being?  To begin exploring this, let us first land upon a story shared in the Zhuangzi, by the master Zhuang. In the “Butterfly Dream”, Zhuang Zhou dreams of being a butterfly, happily fluttering around. He awakens from this vivid dream and – pauses, wonders – is he Zhuang Zhou who dreamt of being a butterfly? Or is he a butterfly, dreaming that he is Zhuang Zhou? “The Butterfly Dream” of Zhuang Zhou is a dream, recalled — and a portal through which we can move between the concepts of dreaming and lucid dreaming. Psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge specializes in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. He describes lucid dreaming as “fully reflective consciousness during unequivocal (REM) sleep” — and also simply: “dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming.” When you become aware that you are dreaming, myriad new possibilities emerge in your dreams. Applications being explored by lucid dreamers include: …

If Ewe Know, Ewe Know

Night and Light and the Half-Light The Gaelic seasonal festival Imbolc takes place halfway in the cycle between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere (1 February in the calendar of days).  It is a celebration of the returning of the light, or the returning to the light, depending on one’s perception. (After all, does the sun really ‘rise’ in the east and ‘set’ in the west?) At this time, some will walk ‘round holy wells. If we tune in, we sense the days getting longer. The stretching glow of candles in the home softens the breath in the evening. Sparks. Fresh energy. These spheres ripple into our fields, always present if not always acknowledged, until they reach the graspable routine of 24 hours, in the lived experiences of our circadian rhythms. Responding to the light and the dark, these biological rhythms affect our health by influencing hormone release, body temperature, and rest and digest functions. Our internal circadian clocks need to adjust and readjust to remain in alignment with external time, …

Caveat Meditator

| INT. – A bookstore in Rishikesh, India – Afternoon | I am with a yoga teacher from the west. She is browsing the shelves for herself, but then remembers that I, her student, am present. She hands me a book. “Here, this is good. You should read this and practice the exercises.” The book she has handed me is on advanced breathing techniques. While it is a good book, it is not a good book for me at this stage. Curiously, she has not asked me essential questions about my previous training, interests, and goals; so how does she know that this is appropriate for me? Simple answer: she does not know. She has not asked me the questions because this retreat she has organized is not for me or other participants. It is for herself. And this book is not for me—not yet. What little I do know about advanced breathing techniques: they are powerful. One must proceed with proper training, adequate knowledge, and competent guidance. Otherwise, it could be dangerous. This book requires far more …

Hygiene and Wellness

When it comes to hygiene – personal hygiene – the cleanliness of body, clothing, and home environment are typically the focus. And while these are important, hygiene is much more: it is about maintaining health and preventing disease – and so that includes physical and mental cleanliness.  In the 19th century, the poet Robert Browning dropped us into the secret inner world of a monk who is enraged at “Brother Lawrence”. What exactly did this Brother Lawrence do? You might wonder, if you haven’t already read the fiercely gnarled interior monologue known as the “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”. Well, for one, Brother Lawrence grew melons to share with the order. (The effrontery! The virtue signaling!) “Oh, those melons! if he’s able   We’re to have a feast; so nice!One goes to the Abbot’s table,   All of us get each a slice.How go on your flowers? None double?   Not one fruit-sort can you spy?Strange!–And I, too, at such trouble,   Keep them close-nipped on the sly!” This is a monk going through the motions of appearing pious, and while we witness his contaminated thoughts …

On the Waves of Thoughts

More than 14 million books Published over a period of 125 years (1855 – 2019) In 3 languages (English, German, Spanish) Add machine learning and algorithms that tirelessly seek and identify textual markers of “cognitive distortions” — thinking patterns associated with anxiety and depression — for researchers to analyze. And? They analyzed. And? The interdisciplinary team of researchers found that the language records show a surge of cognitive distortions since the 1980s. Suggesting? In fact, entire societies may be getting more depressed — and this may correlate with new technologies and “social” media. Aha. Before you say, “I knew it; I just had a feeling” — just consider if that may indicate a cognitive distortion… Find information on the cognitive distortion schemata used in the study here, and below a brief overview: 12 Cognitive Distortions 1. Catastrophizing Exaggerating the importance of negative events Examples: “will go wrong” and “will never end” 2. Dichotomous Reasoning Thinking that an inherently continuous situation can only fall into two categories Examples: “everything” and “nothing” 3. Disqualifying the Positive Unreasonably …

Kneipp*

Water always finds a way Have you ever wondered at how certain books seem to choose you, sliding into your life just when there is a specific longing and space for them, binding with threads of your destiny from the moment you choose them, too?  That’s how the young Sebastian Kneipp must have felt that evening when he returned from the library in Munich. It was at the end of the 1840s and he was trying to get through his university studies while suffering from a lung disease he couldn’t shake off. From a poor family, he had to rely on knowledge flowing to him from various, perhaps unexpected sources. Knowledge discovered. Knowledge earned by intellectual curiosity. And so one day in the library (was he trying to suppress his coughs in the studied silence of the reading room? Did he wander off into the stacks where nobody was, where he could cough into a handkerchief and not bother anybody?) he found a book by one Dr. Johann Siegmund Hahn — written a hundred years …

Wellness Real Estate

Where can we live and also thrive in this era of extremes? It’s not merely in a gated and guarded estate, underground bunker, or “remote” island. Even when luxurious, that’s just real estate. What’s wellness real estate? Consciously designed spaces for cooperative communities to form and thrive, rooted in holistic health and well-being principles. Whereas owning real estate can be fragmenting, wellness real estate is about integration. To shift from investing in and owning real estate — to investing in and owning wellness real estate, we must expand our conceptual knowledge. We will put forward here the concepts of land stewardship and wellness, and then highlight some features of wellness real estate. Land Stewardship Property ownership comes with benefits. Beyond their precise contractual obligations, though, most real estate owners are unconcerned with the wider responsibilities of property ownership — which is actually stewardship. With wellness real estate, owners must center on being a property owner and a steward of the land. This means caring for the property and land as well as reaping the benefits. …