This week, I’ve been researching an ancient mnemonic technique called ‘the mind palace’, where people imprint a real or imagined building onto their memory – a palace, a mansion, a church, even a whole street – and then fill it with striking images, to which they attach bits of information they want to remember. The Read more…

3 Comments

Last week, I went to an exhibition on Goya, in Boston. It was filled with his bizarre and fantastic dream-drawings, exploring the strange manias and nightmares that fill humans’ minds when their reason is switched off – as in the classic engraving, the Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. The museum bookstore had an excellent selection Read more…

4 Comments

In my review of Sam Harris’ Waking Up two weeks ago, I wrote this sentence: “Spiritual experiences tell us something about the cosmos,…the experience of infinite loving-consciousness is a glimpse of the very ground of being, also sometimes called God, Brahman, Allah, the Logos, the Tao, the Buddha-realm.” This sentence seemed to surprise some people Read more…

14 Comments

I sent out a tweet last week asking to interview someone who’d found mindfulness useful for coping with depression. Mary got in touch and told me her story, which was fascinating. I thought I’d share it for this week’s newsletter. Mary is a 25-year-old ordinand-vicar, who uses mindfulness to cope with the Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder that developed Read more…

2 Comments

I  had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from 1995 until 2001. Seven years of fear, anxiety, depression and paranoia, which I feared would last forever. But I got better, thanks to a near-death experience. Your heart may sink when people start recounting near-death experiences. As a bishop once said to the Methodist John Wesley: ‘Pretending to special Read more…

11 Comments