The Problem of ‘Living in the Present’

“These days, many of us would rather not be living in the present, a time of persistent crisis, political uncertainty and fear. Not that the future looks better, shadowed by technological advances that threaten widespread unemployment and by the perils of catastrophic climate change. No wonder some are tempted by the comforts of a nostalgically imagined past.

Inspiring as it seems on first inspection, the self-help slogan “live in the present” slips rapidly out of focus. What would living in the present mean? To live each day as if it were your last, without a thought for the future, is simply bad advice, a recipe for recklessness. The idea that one can make oneself invulnerable to what happens by detaching from everything but the present is an irresponsible delusion.

The beginning of wisdom here is to think about what we are doing. We engage in all sorts of activities: reading an article in the newspaper, reflecting on life, attending a protest, preparing a report, listening to music, driving home, making dinner, spending time with family or friends. Though all these activities take time, there is a crucial difference in how they relate to the present moment.

What would it mean, then, to live in the present, and what do we gain by doing it?

To live in the present is to appreciate the value of activities like going for a walk, listening to music, spending time with family or friends. To engage in these activities is not to extinguish them from your life. Their value is not mortgaged to the future or consigned to the past, but realized here and now. It is to care about the process of what you are doing, not just projects you aim to complete.”

Extract from The New York Times (Opinion)

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How Leaders Can Improve Their Thinking Agility

“As you work to stretch your own thinking agility, remember that the least likely time to change is when you’re facing high pressure to perform. In those critical moments, people usually behave in the way they know best. This means that efforts to stretch your thinking agility are best undertaken when pressure is low. Agility moves aren’t about right or wrong ways to think. They’re about the situational awareness and intentional effort to adjust your thinking to the circumstance.”

Just like Yoga is for the body…

Source: Strategy+Business

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People doing jobs they think are unnecessary

‘In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by the end of the century technology would have advanced sufficiently that in countries such as the UK and the US we’d be on 15-hour weeks. “In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshalled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. Huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.”

“There’s capital, doing better than ever; the robots, doing all the work; and the great mass of humanity, doing not much but having fun playing with its gadgets.”’

Source: The Guardian

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Once again science confirms what Yogis say

‘Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s linked to brain function and behavior. Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

Another potential insight of the research is on the basic mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network.”’

Source: Neuroscience News

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Yoga joins Unesco world heritage list

“Designed to help individuals build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation, yoga is practised by the young and old without discriminating against gender, class or religion.”

Unesco

Source: The Guardian

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The Colossal Failure of Modern Yoga

“Classes with yoga in the name are a free-for-all now. Most of them are led by people who have practiced for a short time, then took a short training with an inexperienced teacher. Instructions about how to practice yoga have become practically extinct, replaced by music, smiles, and well-intentioned but misguided falsehoods.

Yoga has a big problem now. That is that most contemporary yoga teachers cannot answer one simple question that any teacher should be able to answer without hesitation. And that question is: What do you teach?

The vast majority of modern yoga teachers are incapable of breaking down the most basic concepts about what yoga is, what the human body is, and how they can work together in this thing called posture. They tell their students all about the magical things that happen when you do as they say but they cannot, for the life of them, explain what it is that they are doing and how that may connect to any usable tool for living.

It’s time that skilled yoga teachers, the ones who know this is not okay, to do something. So, where are you? What are you doing? Are you going to let this keep happening or are you going to speak up and help the world learn about yoga?”

From: American Yoga School

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Stephen Hawking’s Warning

‘A lot of people consider astrophysicist Stephen Hawking to be the smartest man in the world. His research and theories have explained some of the deepest mysteries of time and space. So it’s understandable why, on Tuesday, people sort of freaked out when Hawking said there was one thing he could not explain: The popularity of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

But here’s the thing: in that same interview, Hawking also said he didn’t believe Trump was the greatest threat facing America, or even the world. The greatest threat, he said, is human-caused climate change.

“A more immediate danger is runaway climate change,” Hawking said. “A rise in ocean temperature would melt the ice-caps, and cause a release of large amounts of carbon dioxide from the ocean floor. Both effects could make our climate like that of Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees.” Hawking’s comments about Trump made headlines in nearly every major American media outlet. His comments about climate change being the world’s greatest threat, however, did not make the cut.’

Source: The Media Is Ignoring The Most Important Part Of Stephen Hawking’s Comments On Trump

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