Do NOT go on a meditation retreat if you've never meditated before. It will hurt your brain. It will hurt your brain so hard you'll think it's trying to give birth to acorns out of your ears and, whilst you could probably make quite a bit of money as a circus act doing that, IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY.
The past three months of my life have been engaged in managing and shaping a fascinating project called films4peace, which reaches its fruition this weekend on the UN's International Day of Peace on 21 September. It's an unusual beast: the brainchild of the highly creative South African curator and art historian Mark Coetzee...
Today is the first day of Christian festival Greenbelt, which similar to Limmud for Jews, provides an opportunity for Christians to come together, share ideas and debate issues. Taking place over four days in Gloucestershire, there was one speaker on the bill in particular that caught our attention.
Criticism is great and without it there'd be a lot less motivation for humans to push themselves and keep coming up with better films, better ways of farming, better cars and better air travel, but empty, meaningless remarks don't help anyone. And if the authors of such remarks are being honest, it doesn't help them either.
For more than 50 years, the island has been unsettled: with periods of violence in the past, there is a now a kind of 'frozen conflict'. The two main communities on the island live apart and a wall separates Greek Cypriots in the south from Turkish Cypriots in the north. Nicosia remains the only divided capital in the world since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Syria - the death toll reaches 93,000, the US administration says it has firm evidence of nerve gas use by the Syrian government and further says it will supply arms to the opposition. Things are moving - but towards what? The debate is focused on the arguments for and against armed intervention. I think that may well be very misleading.
Soldiers may fight wars, but it is politicians who not only start them, the politicians getting around a table and talking also finish them. In a dirty and nasty war which has cost over 35,000 people's lives, the only real way to come out with a solution to the annual cycle of fighting is to discuss it.
We are caught in a spiral of fear, leading to more violence and not leaving enough room for love. So a big real part of the 'war on terror' is one which takes place within us. It is one where we let our fears lead us to hate. 'Fighting' our own fears then becomes the war worth fighting and the way we can stop this cycle of violence. And we need to start uplifting others along with us.