The Story of Bottled Water

Living as a River is a book about our interconnectedness with all things. It’s not primarily an environmental book, but a perspective of valuing the natural world does tend to crop up!

Here’s an interesting video on our relation to the water element…

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The preciousness of water

Book extract: Although our world is drenched in water, we rarely appreciate just how little water there actually is. As we look at a globe and see 71 percent of the world’s surface covered in water, we rarely consider that it is spread in an incredibly thin film over the planet’s surface, less than a

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Coming March 22, The Story of Bottled Water

The people who brought you “The Story of Stuff” have a new feature coming soon on the bottled water industry. The video above is a trailer. “The Story of Bottled Water” looks like it’ll be really fascinating.

Your body is younger than you are

“You may think of your body as a fairly permanent structure, but most of it is in a state of constant flux as old cells are discarded and new ones are generated.”

Even your bones, which you may think of as static and non-living, are full of cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts that are

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Change blindness tests

It’s remarkably difficult for us to perceive change, because of the relative poverty of the brain’s processing power compared to the sheer volume of information is has to deal with. This causes a failure to notice changes that we might think would be obvious, and so we consistently over-estimate our ability to detect change.


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The inner zombie

Extracts from Chapter 13: The Consciousness Element

I’m driving along New Hampshire’s long, winding, and rather monotonous Route 4, on my way to teach a class at the men’s prison in Concord. It’s easy to space out, and as usual I’m trying to make the act of driving into a mindfulness practice. The radio

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Body swapping

Extract from Chapter 12: The Space Element

Andrew, an American student who has volunteered to participate in a psychology study, walks into Dr. Henrik Ehrsson’s laboratory in the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and stands opposite a plastic mannequin. Ehrsson’s colleague, doctoral student Valeria Petkova, attaches electrodes to the middle and index fingers of

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Reflecting on the Fire Element

Extract from Chapter 10: The Fire Element

In the context of the meditation practice, we become aware of any heat and movement in the body. When I’m sitting, I notice the warmth of the body, which is most obvious under my clothing and where different parts of the body are in contact with each other.

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The self as a river

Extract from Chapter 9: The Water Element

The most striking thing about the Water Element is its quality of flowing. It’s because of this characteristic that I too think of Water as being the archetype of all the other elements. The Earth element does flow, to be sure. It flows in a literal sense, as

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In the beginning...

Extract from Chapter 8: The Earth Element

Where did this body begin, and was there anything at the beginning that I could call me or mine?

There’s no mention of conception in the traditional outlines of the practice, but since the body begins there, that’s where I tend to start my reflections. In my meditation

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