Certainly, when I learned Transcendental Meditation back in 1989 it was a life-changing experience, though I gradually moved away from the more cultish aspects of TM. Perhaps anyway, as the Dalai Lama put it, "sleep is the best meditation".
In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.
I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) through a formal course in 1989. I don't entirely buy the claim that just a few minutes' daily meditation can make a difference between an anxious existence and a life of quiet contentment...but it helped. TM opened inner portals that, happily, have never closed.
Is our great contemporary fear anonymity?
If the property that grounded the self in Romanticism was sincerity, and in modernism was authenticity, then in postmodernism is it visibility? So asked the writer of a thought-provoking article on our obsession with connectivity.
Is this what our contemporary selves really want? To be recognised, to be connected, to be visible, if not to the millions via, say, the X Factor, then at least to the hundreds, via Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn?
There can be no very black misery to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still - Henry David Thoreau
Silence never yet betrayed anyone - Antoine de Rivarol
Never explain - your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway - Elbert Hubbard
I played an empty CD on full blast and the mime next door went crazy - Anonymous
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice - William Shakespeare