Archive for August, 2011

Opening our eyes to the world around us

posted on: Friday, August 26th, 2011 by T ORourke

NationalGeographicHave you ever had a moment during a busy day where your consciousness shifted, and you suddenly saw the visual world in a new way? A sunset or a dramatic vista or colorful urban festival might have caught your breath. Or maybe it was a simple leaf, floating on water. Or the rays of sunshine on your kitchen table. Or a child asleep. 

Thanks to the work of professional and amateur photographers, National Geographic has been presenting us with stunning visual images from around the world for many years now. If you love photography, or seeing in a new way, check out their photography site, including the photo of the day feature.

New program offers a retreat from the Internet

posted on: Thursday, August 11th, 2011 by T ORourke

freedomWe often see Harbin guests looking a bit strained during their first hours of a retreat once they realize that they’ve entered a wifi-free world. Sure, they can use the cyber cafe by the library, but the payment system and fixed location are (purposely) inconvenient. So most decide to grin and “bare it” with a soak in the pools, or hike, or yoga class, or kirtan. And they begin to realize how many hours a day they now have for more interesting endeavors. 

If you’d like to try bringing this “unplugged” experience back home with you after your visit to Harbin, check out Freedom, a simple computer application for Macs and PCs. It’s just $10, and can be programmed to lock you away from the Internet for up to 8 hours at a time. We haven’t tried it, but they’ve collected some fairly impressive testimonials. Now you just need to find a hot spring in your backyard… 

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