Category Archives: spirituality

What is mindfulness? Nobody really knows, and that’s a problem

You’ve probably heard of mindfulness. These days, it’s everywhere, like many ideas and practices drawn from Buddhist texts that have become part of mainstream Western culture.

But a review published today in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science shows the hype is ahead of the evidence. Some reviews of studies on mindfulness suggest it may help with psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress. But it’s not clear what type of mindfulness or meditation we need and for what specific problem.

Continue reading What is mindfulness? Nobody really knows, and that’s a problem

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Take the High Route: The Best High Elevation Hikes Around the World

Taking the high route involves more preparation, both physically and mentally. Our list below of some of the world’s best high elevation hikes will take you to new heights while also possibly allowing you to discover something you didn’t know about yourself.

Inca Trail, Peru

Machu Picchu

While there are other trails that can get you to the famous archaeological ruins of Machu Picchu, none or more famous than the Inca Trail. While you can get to the mythical citadel without making the trek, you will miss out on imposing mountain passes, snow capped peaks visible along the route, cloud forest high in the Andes and the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Inca. The 3-4 day trek can only be done with an approved outfitter and there are limits on the number of people allowed on the trail daily. Plan early as slots fill up fast.

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Climbing to the rooftop of Africa can be a daunting task. While multiple routes exist to summit the continent’s highest peak (19,340 feet), the Machame and Marangu routes are the most popular. The trek can can between 7-8 days depending on the route and will take you through a multitude of ecosystems from tropical jungle to glacial snowfields on your way to the summit. If you desire to see the the snow atop the peak, you better hurry as they are expected to be completely gone within the next decade.

Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

Mount Everest Nepal

Whether you have a desire to climb the world’s highest peak, making the trek to Everest Base Camp can afford you to walk among giants with views of Mount Everest being the highlight. The route will take you from Lukla, Nepal through beautiful forests, numerous villages and will take you over 19,000 feet before descending back down to EBC. The trek takes about two weeks so allow yourself ample time on the front end of your trip to stay and tour Kathmandu.

Snowman Trek, Bhutan

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, The Tigers Nest, Bhutan

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, The Tigers Nest, Bhutan

Crossing more than 10 passes above 14,000 feet (and some at 18,000 feet), this trek will take more than three weeks and is considered to be one of the most difficult in the world. Located along the Tibet-Bhutan border, this journey will take the most experienced of hikers to Buddhist monasteries perched on the side of cliffs along with experiencing some of the most dramatic landscapes you will ever witness.

Tour du Mont Blanc – France, Switzerland, and Italy

Mont Blanc to Switzerland

As the name implies, this ambitious trek encircles the Mont Blanc massif taking trekkers from France to Italy to Switzerland and back to France. Some 20,000 hikers attempt this adventure each year. While the trek can seem imposing, the trail is well marked, has multiple lodging options, and doesn’t require any real technical skills.

Károly Makk obituary

Award-winning Hungarian director whose best films demonstrate how state oppression damages love and fidelity but cannot kill the human spirit.

The glory days of the Hungarian cinema from the mid-1960s to the mid-70s came about mainly because of the relative liberalisation of the communist regime under the Soviet loyalist János Kádár. Károly Makk, who has died aged 91, was among leading Hungarian directors such as Miklós JancsóMárta MészárosIstván SzabóZoltán Fábri and István Gaál whose films were beginning to be shown and acclaimed more and more in the west.

Because of problems with censorship under the previous, Stalinist puppet regime, Makk, who had been making films since 1955, had to wait until 1971 to gain international recognition with his simply titled masterpiece, Love. “I asked every year for six years for permission to make it. The political elite finally gave in because it was part of a rejection of the Stalin years.”

Continue reading Károly Makk obituary

Dog Carrying Day: Chinese village celebrates annual tradition by dressing animal in clothes and parading on wooden throne

Legend has it that the first settlers in the area were saved from dying of thirst by a dog which led them to a water source in the area

An annual festival that sees a dog being dressed up in human clothing, carried on a sedan chair and worshipped as a god, has been celebrated by villagers in an area of China.

Conducted every year by the Miao people of Jiaobang village in the Guizhou province, The Dog Carrying Day festival has seen the creatures worshipped for centuries.

Continue reading Dog Carrying Day: Chinese village celebrates annual tradition by dressing animal in clothes and parading on wooden throne

The best album of every year since 2000, according to critics

Each year in music, one album stands out from the crowd as the most critically acclaimed work of the year.

Since the turn of the new century, review aggregator Metacritic has compiled an annual list of the years’ most well-received albums, by assigning scores based on their composite critical reception.

We selected the top album from each year, starting with 2000 (and including the best album of 2017 so far). The resulting list includes appearances from great artists like Kendrick Lamar, Bob Dylan, and Kanye West, as well as a few lesser-known but incredible LPs.

Check out the best album of each year in the new century so far:

Continue reading The best album of every year since 2000, according to critics

Hang Em’ High: How to Hang a Bear Bag

Do you like peanut butter? How about instant oatmeal or trail mix — or at least the M&M’s you pick out from the overstuffed GORP bag? Well, so does every mountain critter from cute little squirrel to big ol’ Grizzly. If you’re heading into the back-country this summer and know you’ll be in bear-itory, it’s time to learn how to hang a bear bag. Although it sounds like a basic, self-explanatory task, there is a right way and a wrong way to hang your food.

Continue reading Hang Em’ High: How to Hang a Bear Bag

Noel Gallagher donates ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ royalties to Manchester fund

Oasis hit has become something of an anthem for the resilience shown following the Manchester terror attack

Noel Gallagher has reportedly donated royalties from classic Oasis track ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ to help the families of those killed and affected by the Manchester terror attack.

Continue reading Noel Gallagher donates ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ royalties to Manchester fund

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