Forgive, but never Forget

sound life Jul 19, 2021

Have you noticed? Memory loss, Dementia and Alzheimers' have become quite common, and many are worried about getting old as a result. The potential loss not only of precious memories but eventually our sense of identity and our connection with loved ones is scary. Dementia often runs in families and reappears generation after generation, and a possible diagnosis is like a dark cloud on the horizon for those who might be affected.

Research is being done, resulting in many hypotheses and theories about the origins, causes and progress of these illnesses. So far, there is no cure, and science can't fully explain what is happening in the brain of a person who suffers from dementia. It seems somewhat unpredictable, and even though scientists have found markers in the genome that might point towards an increased risk of certain kinds of Alzheimer's, it doesn't mean that a person who has those makers will inevitably suffer from it. I don't know when these health conditions will be fully...

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The Gift of Intimacy

sound life May 23, 2021

Hope is in the air these days - the weather has become sunny, and spring flowers are blooming. People enjoy their freedom from most of the restrictions that have governed our lives over the past year. A sense of relief and exuberance lingers in the busy streets and hovers in parks that are no longer deserted. Who would have thought that we could appreciate a visit to a restaurant so much or just meeting up for a coffee? Alas, we often only realise the value of something only once it is gone. Now we have a chance to do things differently: to value the company of friends and family, to appreciate the casual chat with a passing stranger - to revel in the simple things that make life beautiful.

The sudden loss of our social networks, close physical contact and those small gestures of affection that come with it left many people off-balance. A lot of our communication is actually non-verbal and comes so naturally to us that we hardly realise what we are doing. The quick, easy smile from...

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Chasing Time

sound life May 09, 2021

I can't believe it is May already, and nearly half of 2021 has already passed. How often have you recently referred to the incredible speed with which the days just seem to fly by?

I bet it was pretty often - lately, it seems that every other conversation I have brings it up one way or another. Thinking back over the years, days seemed so much longer when I was a child and even a young adult.

 Science has a few theories on that, for example, that the number of new experiences influences time perception. Children make new experiences every day, encountering situations that are new and exciting. As we get older, routine replaces excitement and childlike wonder, and we barely pay attention to what is happening. If we pause and reflect on our day before falling asleep, the day would feel as if it contained less time - because we collected hardly any new experiences that stand out in our memory.

In light of this, maybe it is not surprising that many people feel the past year has...

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Emotional Agility: your invisible lifejacket

sound life Apr 25, 2021

On some days, the world seems like a terrible place and despair crowds in the shadows. When I heard about the shooting in Indianapolis, along with reading about a teenager being stabbed during broad daylight in East London, it felt like being punched by an invisible fist. What is going on? Is our society crumbling? It’s as if we are dragging the world down with all this heaviness.

There is no denying that we live in troubled times, where waves of change roll over us and one upheaval follows another. Many people tell me they feel helpless, vulnerable and unable to cope any longer. Maybe this contributes to the rising violence - people lashing out blindly because they can’t see a way out. But is there really no way out - for any of us? Are we doomed to hurt others to feel in control for a short moment?

Call me an optimist, but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel- I’m not ready to give up on humanity just yet. Let us take a closer look at what is...

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Paradigm of Music

sound life Apr 11, 2021

We are rarely without music now; it is freely available almost everywhere - over the internet, on our phones, and on the radio. Music has become a constant companion, we hardly notice it anymore because it fades into the background while we are working, shopping or eating.

Since many of us have had our movements restricted over the past year, many of us have started listening to more music than we used to. The question is: are we listening, or are we consuming without noticing?

Music has long become an industry where an enormous variety of styles and types of music are being produced. Catering to different audiences and tastes, this industry's products are carefully marketed to maximise sales and profits. It is not so much different from, let's say, the car or the tech industry. But is that all that music is or can be?

Looking back into the distant past, music used to be part of spiritual practices and religious ceremony before it became part of community life. In Ancient Greece and...

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Meditation or Medication?

sound life Mar 28, 2021

We are living through turbulent, chaotic times. Each and every one of us is experiencing some level of stress, uncertainty and emotional upheaval. It has been a year since the Covid pandemic has upended our lives, and while we are all impacted to a different degree, nobody has been left untouched. Like unpredictable gales of wind, change has been buffeting us by repeatedly leaving us with feelings of insecurity, helplessness and fear.

Human nature is not designed to cope with prolonged periods of intense stress, yet we must weather these storms for as long as they last - there is no way out nor an easy escape route. We have been doing whatever we can in order to muddle through, and most of us will have fallen back on old, instinctual coping mechanisms to ease the tension. We are re-kindling the very habits that soothed our inner turmoil during childhood such as seeking comfort in the presence of loved ones, distraction in the form of books, movies or games, comfort food and sweets,...

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Do you have healthy boundaries?

sound life Mar 14, 2021

Do you have self-help books at home? Or books on popular psychology?

Many of my students have read some of those or took an interest in the self-help community. Many of them have found Naad Yoga because they searched for ways to change their lives, release trauma and to become a better version of themselves.

We all have our individual goals in life, and the reasons we choose to go down a path are just as unique. But at the same time, we also have much in common: for example, we all want to advance and improve. Stagnation and routine are not natural to us as human beings-when they take over our lives, we tend to suffer. If we can't move on, change our environment or adjust our physical bodies, we venture inwards and explore the world of our psyche.

Discovering who we are, the reasons for our actions, and what forces have moulded our behaviour is the foundation of self-development. It is also an essential part of Naad Yoga, where we use contemplation in many different ways to explore...

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Is our greed destroying us?

sound life Feb 28, 2021

Anyone who follows the news occasionally, or spends time on social media, has by now come across articles, posts and memes about corporate greed. It has been linked to environmental damage, climate change, exploitation, social divides, the increasing wealth gap, modern slavery and public health threats.

Our economic system demands constant growth to maintain the status quo, which means we need to continually produce or work more to earn more money to consume more.  Companies invest heavily in the advertisement sector to convince us that we need their products. This creates a constant sense of privation in us, a feeling that we have to acquire a particular product or pay for a service to satisfy this need. Like clothes and cars, Possessions have become status symbols that place us on an individual level in our social hierarchy. Education, beauty, youth and health are also highly valued and often tied to opportunities for advancement, and companies supporting our quest for...

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Ego: Friend or Foe?

sound life Feb 14, 2021

I bet you have been watching a lot more TV lately than you usually would. With our movements restricted due to lockdown in most countries, there is not much we can do for a change of scenery when staying at home becomes too tedious. Jumping from channel to channel, from documentaries to talk shows, I am struck by the number of people whose job it is to present us with information and entertainment. Even while they are surrounded only by a handful of people in the TV studio, they must be aware of millions of eyes on them. It can't be easy to be so visible and open to judgement, criticism or even outright hostility. Of course, there is admiration and fame as well, but it comes at a price. While many people would shrink from the mere thought of it, some thrive in the spotlight and handle the positive aspects with just as much poise as the negative ones.

When you think about it, it is not just TV personalities who need to be comfortable with being the centre of attention. Many roles and...

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Right or Shame?

sound life Jan 31, 2021

Have you noticed that there is a common word that seems to be used more than usual recently? The one I’m often hearing is "Should", and there has been hardly a conversation in the past weeks where it didn't crop up more than once.

Phrases like "I should use the time of lockdown to gain extra skills", "I should exercise more", "I should be more disciplined" are among the most common. Those phrases usually continue with the admission that whatever should have been done has not been done. The feelings that come with it are shame, embarrassment and guilt.

When I noticed the pattern, I began to reflect on the use of the word "should", and the role shame plays in our relationships and society. Even if we don't know how the sentence will continue, the appearance of "should" signals that the speaker has failed to accomplish something, or expects failure even before acting. So, what are we really saying when we use this word? I believe that it is an expression of dissonance, and it...

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