It was not too long ago that strident voices filled the air with talk about depression at sea. The hubbub now seems to have subsided. The problem that was said to plague many seafarers, driving some to commit suicide, is no longer a hot topic for discussion.
Wonder of Qigong: Chinese exercises for body and mind
You can drive off to the gym and build up your muscles to impress both men and women. Weather permitting, you can also go jogging, biking or swimming. Such activities help prolong your life.
Or you can go for qigong. This ancient Chinese exercise regimen is based on the Taoist concept of qi or the life force which permeates the universe. It does not require any equipment; can be performed indoors or outdoors; relieves stress; calms your mind; and helps you achieve vitality and overall health by managing your qi.
Are you a narcissist? Self test for maritime & other folks
Everyone has a bit of the narcissist in himself or herself. Why else was the mirror invented? In a 1914 paper entitled ‘On Narcissism: An Introduction’, Sigmund Freud postulated that narcissism starts in infancy as part of the development of the ego and libido.
Some people outgrow this stage . Others don’t. They become obsessed with their self–image like Narcissus of Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection in the waters of a spring, pined away, and died to be transformed into a flower that bears his name.
A great Japanese exercise seafarers should try
I recently learned a Japanese exercise from a programme shown on NHK World-Japan. It is called radio callisthenics or rajio taiso (literally, “radio gymnastics”) — so named because it was originally broadcast to music on public radio. I think it is ideal for seafarers and other maritime folks who don’t have all the time in the world to exercise.
The many ways the sea and the beach can heal
Beaches have been turned into no-go zones because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this seems necessary to help stop the virus, it is a real damper. It not only curtails people’s freedom to enjoy sun and sea; it is depriving them of a major source of healing.
The maritime upside of the coronavirus pandemic
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you,” according to an old saying. The coronavirus may have cast a long shadow, and the crisis may be far from over. But for those who look at the brighter side, there is an upside to the COVID-19 pandemic even for the hard-hit shipping sector.
A cat’s offbeat views on the coronavirus pandemic
My friend Frankie the Sage Cat is smarter than some pundits who appear on television to give their two cents’ worth. But he’ll never be invited to guest on any show. You see, Frankie’s views can be a bit far-out even when it comes to the shipping industry. He’s an iconoclast at heart, always ready to criticise institutions and people’s cherished beliefs. This was evident once again during Marine Café Blog’s latest conversation with the fellow.
Five maritime truths the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted
There is plenty to learn from the coronavirus pandemic beyond its medical aspect. How individuals and nations have been responding to the crisis speaks volumes about 21st century politics, the global economic order and human nature in general. In the shipping world, COVID-19 has highlighted some basic truths which many have probably taken granted.
Coronavirus conundrum: Islands in a ‘globalised’ world
It is not only the fragility of life that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted. It is also the fragility of the thing called “globalisation“. Borders have been sealed off. Nations have barred the entry of ships and planes. The flow of tourists and migrants is put on hold. Suddenly, the global village Canadian futurist Herbert Marshall McLuhan wrote about in the 1960s seems to have exploded and scattered into self-contained little islands.
Baduanjin: A beautiful Chinese exercise (by the sea)
Many years ago, I learned about Baduanjin (also known as Eight Pieces of Brocade), a Chinese qigong exercise whose origins go back to the 11th century, during the Song Dynasty. The term qigong consists of the characters “qi” (vital energy or spirit) and “gong” (cultivation or mastery). Baduanjin is easy to learn. Probably the best place for performing the exercise is by the sea, but it can done anywhere that is quiet and comfortable.
A great Chinese exercise for everyone, on land or at sea
Several years ago, my interest in Chinese philosophy and healing led me to pingshuai, a simple hand-swinging exercise (pictured above being demonstrated by Yao Huai-Ying on the far left). This basic form of qigong was developed by Master Lee Feng-San Sifu of the...