• Health and Wellbeing , Positive Psychology

An ordinary deck of cards, with layers of artificial air between, is squeezed with the small, wrinkled fingers of a man more used to counting cash. Though it is the cards that keep him in the business of illusion.

According to Brian Miller, magician and TEDx speaker, “our world is a shared experience, fractured by individual perspectives”. Complete together, yet disconnected, like a deck of cards. Shared understanding alone can bring about a society we’re all proud of, where everyone feels valued. “But what’s really wrong with where we are now?” someone shouts. Maybe they’re right. Maybe ‘now’ shouldn’t be dismissed. Maybe, even, Now is the key. Right now

I first tried ‘mindfulness meditation’ when I felt tired of worrying about everything I wanted to achieve in my life. You sit comfortably and try to focus on an ‘anchor point’, such as breathing slowly through your nose. Meditation is a simple concept but is very hard to maintain in practice, even for a minute. It may sound wacky or pointless, but recent science has shown daily meditation actively grows the area in your brain associated with compassion and self-awareness, and causes the region associated with stress to shrink. It can even boost your immune system, as the brilliant video below points out.

The Chinese tradition of Qigong is an alternative form of ‘moving meditation’ that includes Tai Chi. It aims to balance ‘qi’ (life energy), which I think of as a metaphor for a calm mental state. A feeling of harmony with the world is uncommon in our modern society, yet we all yearn for a fulfilling life. If you meditate consistently, you will feel balanced, and better able to express yourself. If enough of us take up this art, who knows what effect it could have on our relationships and even society as a whole?

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching