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7 Extreme Summer Activities To Remind You That You’re Alive

7 Extreme Summer Activities To Remind You That You’re Alive

There’s nothing like a little adrenaline rush to bring perspective to your life! Here are 7 things (ok, technically way more than 7) you can do this summer if you’re feeling adventurous, extreme, or just plain out of your mind.

1. I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed!

Whether you’re like Ricky Bobby and just want to go fast, or if you’ve ever wanted to be a race-car driver for a day and try out a high performance Formula One car, there are plenty of driving experience facilities and schools where you can push Porsche, Ferrari, and BMW automobiles to the red line. Of course, if you’re already the proud owner of an exceptionally speedy vehicle, you might try taking it down to the Mojave Mile and push 200 mph in the desert.

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    2. Extreme Distance Under Extreme Circumstance

    Nothing says extreme like running the equivalent of five and a half marathons through a 100 degree desert over a 6 day time span. The Marathon Des Sables in Morocco is one such foot race. It requires competitors to train for years to compete, lest they become casualties in the Sahara heat.

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      For those who aren’t quite as keen on the life-and-death aspect of racing, there’s always the Sopelana Naturist Race in Spain, where you can run a nude 5k at whatever pace you like.

      3. Sharks, Bulls, and Crocodiles, Oh My!

      For those that really want to get extreme with animals, riding an eight-second bull is always a thrill, but running from them instead is even scarier. This is what thousands of people do in Pamplona, Spain every year from the 6th to 14th of July.

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        If The Running of the Bulls isn’t your cup of tea, maybe fishing for bulls is – bull sharks that is. It will sate your appetite for large animal encounters. While there’s nothing quite like shark fishing to make you really appreciate the power of these animals, only the most extreme will swim in a cage with them in the open ocean. Shark-powered surfing would be at the top of the list, if it weren’t fake.

        What’s not fake is the 16 foot long crocodile that you can get face to face with when you enter the Cage of Death in Australia. If you can handle 15 minutes with nothing but a couple of inches of glass between you and these prehistoric beasts, you’ll survive the once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’re too afraid, well, just don’t let them see your crocodile tears.

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          4. Bugs, Blood, Poison, and Devil’s Water

          Maybe live animal experiences aren’t your thing. Perhaps you prefer them dead and on a plate in front of you. Japanese wasp-filled crackers are just one delicacy to try this summer. While you’re in Asia you might also check out balut, a half-developed bird (usually duck), that is boiled and slurped out of the shell.

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            If you’re feeling really extreme, find somebody that knows how to prepare the dangerous pufferfish, Fugu, considered a dangerous delicacy. You have to have a license to serve this fish, and the only way to obtain it is to prepare and eat it yourself. If you survive, you get your license. If you find yourself fixated with poisonous delicacies, you might try a cobra blood and heart shooter, which is exactly what it sounds like. Because the heart is served still beating, certain animal rights groups deem the practice inhumane.

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              If animals are out of the question for your extreme summer dining experiences, then maybe the world’s spiciest tequila will do the trick for you? Devil’s Water is a seven pepper tequila infusion that includes the spicy habanero pepper. This drink will make you cry if you’re not prepared for it, so make sure to pick out a tequila you enjoy and stock up on tissues to wipe your nose and eyes with.

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                5. There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

                What’s more extreme that conquering a mountain by climbing to its summit? Climbing five in a row, of course. The Mt. Huashan peaks rise up 7000 feet above the Shaanxi Province in China. They are littered with Taoist temples, and are only accessible by treacherously narrow planks and stairs carved into the cliff face. If you can get over the heights, the range is a beauty to behold.

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                  While you might expect to see Everest on this list, climbing mountains is tough work. Why trek up to the summit when instead you can just skydive past it? Forget expending the effort climbing up and down, just let an airplane and gravity do all the work.

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                    Speaking of gravity, those that prefer keeping their feet firmly planted might want to try Nicaragua’s hottest new activity, volcano surfing (pun absolutely intended). Cerro Negro is an active volcano outside of Leon, Nicaragua. Somehow, that doesn’t stop visitors from hiking and boarding down its slopes!

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                      6. Going Crazy in City Limits

                      The outdoors might not be for everybody trying to get their thrill seeking fix. For those that find comfort among the glass, asphalt, and metal of city skyscrapers, the Edge Walk in Toronto might just be the ticket for a good time. The CN Tower stands 116 storeys above the ground. Participants are encouraged to push their limits and lean back, allowing nothing but the tether to keep them from falling to the street below.

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                        While many enjoy going to the intense Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Las Vegas every summer, few will have the guts to hang suspended off the side of the stratosphere while they spin around for the Insanity Ride. While you get a full view of the Las Vegas lights, the sounds of your own screaming may be slightly distracting.

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                          7. Cool Off In the Ocean

                          There’s nothing like catching a little sun by the pool during the summer, unless that pool is a deep dark tunnel that extends roughly 666 feet into the ocean. Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest known seawater tunnel. The world’s unassisted freediving record holder, William Trubridge, conquered 100 meters of it in 2011.

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                            For those just trying to beat the summer heat, a quick kayaking trip to Antarctica may be in order. Paddling through frigid waters and floating ice might seem like a chore at first, but the unique sights of glaciers and marine life like seals and whales make this experience worth it.

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                              Just Remember…

                              While living life on the edge can be exhilarating and produce unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, nobody wants to begin a summer that they won’t come back from. Even those who plan on a relatively mundane season would do well to brush up on and observe summer safety protocols now and again.

                              That said, don’t let anything stop you from going out and having the summer of your life. Sometimes getting your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing in the sunshine are just what the doctor ordered to remind you what it is to be alive!

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                              Andrew Heikkila

                              Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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                              Last Updated on August 13, 2020

                              12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                              12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                              As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                              1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                              I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                              Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                              Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                              2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                              The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                              It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                              Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                              In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                              You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                              This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                              The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                              Less Physical, More Psychological

                              Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                              This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                              The First Benefit of Meditation

                              The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                              1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                              2. Relaxation of the body

                              Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                              Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                              That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                              When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                              When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                              Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                              Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                              This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                              Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                              Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                              This benefit takes you to the second one.

                              The Second Benefit of Meditation

                              While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                              1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                              2. Observance
                              3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                              4. Patience

                              Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                              You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                              This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                              1. Energy

                              Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                              2. Observance

                              The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                              3. Peacefulness

                              Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                              4. Patience

                              The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                              The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                              Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                              Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                              The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                              • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                              • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                              • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                              • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                              • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                              • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                              These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                              Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                              Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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                              Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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