Advertising
Advertising

Five Rad Festivals for Your 2017 Bucket List

Five Rad Festivals for Your 2017 Bucket List

Are you feeling the pressure of the holidays? Well, one might suggest it’s time for you to look ahead to 2017 and start planning your next bucket list adventure. Where do you want to go? Why do you want to experience _________? What if there were a way to not only visit ______, but also experience a once-in-a-lifetime event while there? In a way you’ll be getting more bang for your traveling buck along with better stories for the office break room. We’re going to highlight what we believe to be five unforgettable, bucket-list worthy festivals to add to your Wanderlist- er, lust.

1. Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival: 1/5/2017 – 2/25/2017

The cheapest flights are usually offered in January. I’m sure you can surmise why. Post-holidays, people have already traveled for the year and pocketbooks are slim. This festival is in one of the most remote places in the world, but lasts long enough that you won’t have to be restricted to just one week to get there! The Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival in China showcases not just a few pretty ice statues. Think more on the scale of castle-sized. Over 10,000 people carve sculptures for several weeks leading up the the opening. Bundle up. An extra suitcase of layers might be worth it. Details:

EVENT LOCATION

Songbei and Zhaolin Park, Sun Island, and Harbin Ice and Snow World
Heilongjiang, 150036
Harbin

EVENT PRICE

Free! There are options to purchase professional tours.

MAIN AIRPORT

Advertising

Taiping International – HRB (CN)

2. Coachella: 4/14/17 – 4/23/17 (two weekends)

Coachella (which has gotten a bad rap due to non-authentic music lovers and way too many flower crowns) is still worth your time, money, and hard-earned time off. Why? Because when this many top artists come together in such a short amount of time, you get the best bang for your buck, festivalwise. Don’t forget your bandana to help filter your inhale when the dust storms kick up; but regardless you’ll have many photos to look back on and an experience that will make you want to come back again the next year. If you can still find tickets, here’s what else you need to know:

EVENT LOCATION

Empire Polo Club
81-800 Avenue 51
Indio, CA 92201

EVENT PRICE

$375 plus additional for camping or overnight parking

MAIN AIRPORT

Advertising

Palm Springs or LAX

3. Brighton Festival: 5/6/2017-5/28/2017

Art. Dance. Music. Immersive theater. Literature. Artist open houses. Beachside installations. With over 150 arts, music, theater, and culture events to choose from, the Brighton Festival continues to captivate the hearts of visitors in the “city on the edge”  in England. This festival which is known to “make connections with the real world” offers an ambitious and daring program for three weeks each May.

EVENT LOCATION

Brighton Dome areas and other venues throughout the city
Church Street, BN1 1UE
Brighton

EVENT PRICE

Varies per event. Some events are free! £10 for a Festival Standby ticket.

MAIN AIRPORT

Advertising

Heathrow – LHR (GB)

4. Edge of the Lake: 6/30-7/2

This festival originally attracted German, Swiss, and French electronic fans from the surrounding regions of Sierre, Switzerland to its beautiful location – the alpine paradise of Lake Géronde. Now, it has reached over 5,000 festival-goers from all over the world, who come to hear more than 40 live bands, DJs, and performers getting the groove on with house, funk, electro, jazzy hip-hop, soul, and blues tunes.

EVENT LOCATION

Lake Géronde
3960
Sierre (Switzerland)

EVENT PRICE

Varies. See website Single day passes available. Camping packages available.

MAIN AIRPORT

Advertising

Belp – BRN (CH)

5. La Tomatina: July or August 2017 – TBD

If drinking sangria from the time you wake up and having the mother of all food fights sounds like a good time, this festival in Spain is for you. You won’t wear those clothes again (guys go shirtless), and you’ll be ankle-deep in tomatoes, but hey, you can say you took part in a festival that attracts upwards of 30,000 people a year. Chances are you’ll take the train or bus from Madrid or Valencia to get to this festival, but it will be so worth it!

EVENT LOCATION

Plaza del Pueblo
46360
Buñol, Valencia

EVENT PRICE

10 Euros – check website for 2017

MAIN AIRPORT

Manises – VLC (ES) or Madrid

Hopefully these five events give you some gusto to get through the holidays and start planning your 2017 travel. Whether you desire to travel solo, with a friend, or bring along the family, this list should get you started. Remember to always compare fares before you purchase and set a travel alert so that you can book your trip for the lowest price.

More by this author

Five Rad Festivals for Your 2017 Bucket List 4 Steps To Find Really Cheap Flights To Europe Back Road to Hana 9 Tips For Navigating the Road to Hāna 10 Things You Need for Your Next Flight Cuba Travel Guide: How To Travel There Now

Trending in Culture

1 18 Dating Ideas with Breathtaking Scenery in the East of England 2 18 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Your First Tattoo 3 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 4 30 Free Dating Ideas For Landscape-Lovers In Ireland 5 5 Vital Steps to Starve the Ego and Feed the Soul

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

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?

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More on Meditation

Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

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

Read Next