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Mountains, Beaches and Hippies

A guest post by Anike Marberg Unbeknown by many people, Portugal has long been a destination for hippies, misfits and those that want to live a different life than the one so often found in many “Western” societies. During the 1970s and 80s, many hippies from Northern Europe, disillusioned by the political and cultural systems and the decline of their movement came to seek an alternative to joining the rat race in their home countries. Almost secretly, this often overlooked country on the edge of Europe became the new hideaway for those seeking a different life. Inspired by the beautiful […]

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Day 12: The basics of Meditation

Today we are moving on from mindfulness, that is to say bringing our mind to the here and now and to observe the present, to more actively engaging the mind in the way we want the mind to do. This is a subtle difference. Previously I said: Meditation is a silent, stationary activity with a purpose (often focusing on training the mind to do something). This means to actively engage the mind to examine a chosen object (feeling, emotion, sensation…), or the “meditation object”. This can be something very similar to mindfulness, for example when focusing the mind on the […]

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Day 6: Daily life as mindfulness practice

Yesterday you started to focus your mind by using your breath as a way to stop the mind from wandering. You can repeat the exercise every day, especially when you have a quiet space and are able to come inside you. Today, however, we add a little extra to the same exercise, by integrating additional, easy mindfulness training into every day life. Think about how much time you spend during the day just being idle: waiting for a train for example. Waiting for your coffee. Waiting at the supermarket check-out. There are many times in a day you are likely […]

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Day 4: Mindfulness

After all the preparatory things we are now starting in earnest the bootcamp… with a day dedicated to discovering mindfulness, why it is useful – and what is the difference between the “normal” state of mind, where we are not mindful, and a mindful moment. To try the difference between a mindful and “normal moment” out, just try this simple exercise: Set a timer for three minutes. Now sit down for these three minutes in a quiet room. Just sit quietly. Don’t talk. Keep your eyes open or closed, whatever you feel comfortable with. Simply stop reading now – and […]

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Day 3: The Urbangay Manifesto

As said yesterday… today we will talk about some basic rules to make the bootcamp work – and some more overarching principles for the urbangay lifestyle. To start off, here are the three simple rules for the next few days. The rules are not there to make things complicated – and I don’t think they are overly complicated. Instead, they are designed to be easy, simple and to help you get the most out of the bootcamp experience, for you and for everyone else who is ‘bootcamping’. 1) You can only fail if you give up. This is hopefully pretty […]

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Day 1: Welcome

First a big welcome! It is great that you’re joining me on this month long bootcamp! Over the next weeks, you’ll get a daily bootcamp activity, helping you focus on the most important person in the world: you! Less stress, better sex, more fitness… and even a completely new life are all on offer. All it will take is a small activity each day – to focus on you, yourself and your life. But you don’t need to have big goals to take part: the program will still help you to enjoy your life more, get more out of the […]

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urbangay bootcamp: Day by Day

With just a week away, here is a look at the day to day program of the urbangay bootcamp, which starts on the 1. March.  As you can see, the bootcamp is divided into two parts: Part 1 is the “skills” section: in this part, daily activities and material will cover the basic skills of mindfulness and meditation in a no-nonsense and easy to follow way. Part 2 is the “application” section: here the skills from part 1 are the essential tools to take a break, have a look at life and love – and discover a bit more about […]

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What’s the bootcamp?

I’m really excited: you probably have seen the stuff about the “bootcamp” around the blog. The bootcamp is something I have been working on – and I hope you’ll join when it starts in March. In this post, I’ll explain a bit about the bootcamp – and in the next post I’ll say a bit more how it came about. In a nutshell, the bootcamp is a month long “program” that brings together bits of mindfulness, meditation and tantra specifically for gay men (although you don’t have to be gay, of course!). I’m a bit hesitant to use the word […]

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7 Tips for kickstarting the Best Year …ever – even if you gave up on your resolutions

So how has your start of the year been? Mine has been a bit rocky – and new year resolutions are awesome… but often turn out hard to keep (and some may turn out to be quite a stupid idea to begin with). However, there are a few things that can really make this year a happier, healthier and more fun year for you. So here are a few tips (mostly based on the urbangay happiness challenge). Learn a new language. Many language courses start in February (for example at many universities). That is an ideal way to rewire your […]

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First Week in Lisbon

Yes… Today marks exactly one week since I arrived in Lisbon. The first week went seriously fast… I imagined it to be quite slow, and I would have lots of time to do things … but things didn’t work out quite that way. I spent the first week volunteering at a film festival, which was exciting in some ways and interesting in others. It was fun to meet different people, including some who moved here from abroad and made Lisbon their home – and to hear what tips they had for settling in and their impressions. What struck me was […]

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