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Watch: The Power of Vulnerability

Is vulnerability the same as weakness? “In our culture,” argues Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions that we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on, with over 15 million views.


Read: In Praise of Shadows


Maria Popova compiles the wonderful brain pickings blog. Here she introduces us to Junichiro Tanizaki’s book In Praise of Shadows.

At least since Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, we’ve seen shadows as a metaphor for the illusory and wicked aspects of life, for that which we must eradicate in order to illuminate the truth and inherent goodness of existence.

And yet we forget that the darkness they cast evidences the light — palpable proof without which we might not appreciate or even notice the radiance itself.

In the 1933 gem In Praise of Shadows Japanese literary titan Junichiro Tanizaki (July 24, 1886–July 30, 1965) writes “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty”.


Listen: Mindfulness Meditation

Ernie Ray iPlayer

BBC Radio 4 presenter Ernie Rea and guests discuss mindfulness meditation. It has its roots in religious practice, but can it be adapted to a secular environment?

With Chris Cullen, co-Founders of the Mindfulness in Schools Project, Rebecca Crane, who directs the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University, and  Christopher Titmuss who is co-founder of the Buddhist retreat center Gaia House who says “mindfulness gives us a sense of connection with everyday tasks from the washing of the dishes to the sweeping of the floor”.

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