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The Luxury Trap

India Farming

For most of human history, we spent our days hunting and gathering food, wherever we could find them. If a particular area was lacking in nutrient rich supplies, or if it was being made use of by another band whom we didn’t want to war with, then we would simply wander somewhere else and make hay wherever the nutritional sun shone.

About 10,000 years ago, our ancestors stumbled across the seemingly genius idea of domesticating animals and cultivating easy to grow foodstuffs so that we could experience plentiful supplies of essential foodstuffs without having to wander the savannah.

Climatic conditions at the time were ripe for this sort of development, and the Middle East began the trend by domesticating goats and cultivating wheat. Peas and lentils followed in the Levant, and later olives, horses and grapevines added a little variety to our newly sedentary lives. Meanwhile in Central America there were simultaneous movements towards the cultivation of maize, beans, potatoes and llamas and in the Far East, it was rice, millet and pigs.

The immediate effects of their work were greater overall supplies of food. However, the work was hard, and so these newly formed communities took advantage of the surplus food supplies by having more children who could share the load and work the farms. (more…)

She’s Leaving Home

pepper recording 2

For me, both musically, and lyrically, this is the unsung hero of Sgt Pepper. My 17 year old self felt close to tears when hearing this song. I remember poignantly listening to this track in my old bedroom, feeling every breath of the young girl who felt the need to leave her parents and abscond with her heart.

Inspired by a front page story of a girl gone missing, the song begins with a beautiful intro of a harp, and then some of George Martin’s trademark strings kicks in before Paul sets the scene with the tale of a young girl (whom we now know is called Melanie) creeps downstairs while her parents are sleeping, and leaves a note that ‘she hopes will say more’. The girl is obviously very upset to be taking this pathway, but equally obviously, doesn’t feel she has any choice but to leave the people she has felt so trapped by. (more…)

To Tweet or to transcend, that is the question

 

twitter tweet transcend social media

One of people’s biggest concerns coming into meditation is ‘how will I find time for 30-40 minutes of meditation a day? It’s a good question, and one that implies an even more fundamental question, which is ‘what am I doing with my time each day, and can I my optimally allocate my time to achieve my life objectives?’

This musing was triggered by the recent research suggesting that the average person spends 40 minutes a day on social media. Obviously, the distribution of time allocated varies a lot from person to person. If there is a fairly normal distribution, it is amazing to think that for every person who spends barely any time on social media, there may be another who spends a whopping 80 minutes on there! Perhaps we should call it anti-social media! (more…)

12 Tips for Surviving Christmas [Part Three]

tips for surviving christmas

Ninth Day of Christmas- Concentration

We all know how important it is to beat that particularly successful family member (let’s face it, it’s usually Dad) in board games. They sailed through to victory in Risk, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit throughout your entire childhood and this needs to be avenged. You can achieve this through top-notch performance that will leave observers in silent awe. “What excellent Monopoly strategy”, they will say breathlessly. “Wait until you see them with a Cluedo board”, others will reply. By taking up the practise of meditation you’ll be hearing praise like this constantly, and this year, finally, could be YOUR YEAR. (more…)

12 Tips For Surviving Christmas [Part Two]

surviving christmas

Fifth Day of Christmas – Sleep

Christmas is too exciting for sleep! And you have to practice to stay up and see Santa. Sure, you may be thirty two years old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get caught up in the spirit of the thing. Except, if you think about it, you do have a week ahead of you so using meditation to help you get as much shut-eye as possible is really a very good idea. (more…)

12 Tips For Surviving Christmas [Part One]

Christmas is indisputably brilliant. It’s the only time where you are officially mandated by your family, peers and possibly even the government to indulge yourself to such an illogical extent that if you did it at any other time of year, people would be legitimately worried about you. But like every party that lasts for two weeks, Christmas is also something of an endurance test. Buying the people you love presents, eating 15 roasts every 48 hours and waking up to Bucks Fizz every day is bloody hard work. So we decided to show you all the ways meditation can help!

By tempering out every aspect of the Christmas emotional roller coaster mentioned below, meditation will help you breeze through the whole thing with as much style and grace that it’s possibly to muster when you are chewing down your sixth mince pie and wearing a sparkly Christmas jumper. (more…)