All you need to know about Transcendental Meditation

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Meditation has grown in its popularity as the world we live in becomes more and more stressful and even depressing. Lately, people have been talking more about Transcendental meditation, and we are wondering what it is all about.

Unlike other types of meditation, which may require movement or chanting, transcendental meditation, which originates from India is effortless and simply calls on practitioners to think of a mantra and focus on nothing else.


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The idea is that regularly practising this kind of meditation will allow someone to enter a psychophysiological state of restful alertness, which experts claim can help treat a number of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

What is it?

Transcendental meditation (TM) is a form of meditating whereby someone silently thinks of a mantra but without contemplation or concentration, the idea being that it is entirely effortless.

The mantra can be decided by the individual, though it is traditionally determined by a TM teacher and could be based on anything from a particular goal someone is striving towards to a fear they’re trying to overcome.

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Typically, it’s practised for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day, with the practitioner sat down with their eyes closed; most teachers advise doing it first thing in the morning.

It can be practised by anyone of any age.

Where does it come from?


According to reports TM was founded by the spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who developed the technique in the mid-1950s.

He soon attracted a worldwide following and is alleged to have been a spiritual advisor to the Beatles in the late 1960s.

Now, TM is practised by a number of celebrities, with Ellen Degeneres, Mia Farrow and Michael J Fox all thought to be major supporters.


What are the benefits?

To date, studies have linked TM to reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

According to TM expert Bob Roth, who has taught Oprah, Katy Perry and Stella McCartney how to practise the technique, it can also improves memory, focus and creativity.

Roth is CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, the global charitable organisation that provides TM teaching to veterans struggling from post traumatic stress disorder and women who are survivors of domestic abuse.

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Founded by Lynch, the renowned filmmaker known for classic hits such as Mulholland Driveand Blue Velvet and began practising TM himself in 1973. On the charity’s website, he claims that the technique has given him “access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within,” something he refers to as “pure consciousness”.

Some researchers have also linked TM to boosting cardiovascular health, while others have claimed it might help patients with ADHD and those who are on the autism spectrum.

However, the majority of these studies have either been uncontrolled or been conducted with small numbers, highlighting the need for more research in order for these benefits to be sufficiently supported by science.

The Independent 

Ayanda Thabethe confirms that she is single

Ayanda Thabethe with Zulu Mkhathini. (c) Instagram

Television personality, entrepreneur and model, Ayanda Thabethe, revealed during a Q&A session with her followers on Instagram that she is now single. 

The beauty had been dating former Dreamteam member, Zulu Mkhathini for a while. 

The two frequently posted pictures of each other on social media until a few months ago. There were reports claiming the couple had split but none of them had confirmed the split until now. 

During an Instagram stories Q&A, a fan asked Thabethe if she was still dating Zulu Mkhathini to which she responded, “I’m single again. I’ll always think the world of him.”


(c) Instagram

When another follower asked if she was dating anyone she responded, “Queening on my own right now.” 

Breakups are hard, especially for celebrities who are always in the public eye but there is no doubt that Thabethe and Mkhathini are going to be just fine. Thabethe and Mkhathini’s careers continue to grow exceptionally. 

After the success of Mkhathini’s single, Uniform, the musician and TV host released yet another single titled Nga2, which received rave reviews from fans.

Even though they have gone their separate ways, we can’t deny that they made a really cute couple.

(c) Instagram

6 Places In Italy That Every Foodie Has To Visit

Italy is one of the world’s most celebrated culinary destinations, but not all Italian food is the same; with such diverse landscapes and influences throughout history, each region has developed its own distinct culinary identity.


Travel to these six gastronomically rich regions of Italy – from its mountainous north to the sunny southern coast- to taste the best of the country’s regional Italian cooking.

NORTHERN ITALY

Veneto

This north-eastern Italian region, bordered by the snow-capped Dolomites on one side and Adriatic Sea on the other, is a vast expanse of hills and valleys, with the iconic city of Venice as its capital. 

Polenta, rice, cod and beans are considered the region’s key ingredients, resulting in a wide variety of delicate risottos, and regional specialities that are determined by their locale; in the mountains, expect more game, and tuck into seafood by the coast. 

Finish with one of Veneto’s most famous signature dishes, the sweet ‘pick-me-up’ Tiramisu.

Try: Risotto

Seared Jumbo Scallops & Parmesan Cauliflower Risotto
Photo credit: Instagram/ @drdavinahs


This Venetian staple is often cooked with seafood, but for a classic risotto go for risi e bisi, with butter, parmesan, prosciutto and peas, or risotto nero with squid ink for something a little more adventurous.

Emilia-Romagna

Many Italians regard Emilia-Romagna as the country’s greatest culinary region, largely due to the rich produce this north-central area has to offer. 

Sant’Agata Feltria, Rimini
Photo credit: Instagram/ @lordbacio


The cured meat prosciutto originates from Parma, with chestnuts and porcini mushrooms to stake a claim to as well.

As in each region of Italy, dishes are led by these seasonal ingredients, but in Emilia-Romagna, where the climate is cooler, dishes are that little bit richer. 

The city of Bologna is especially famous for its homemade pasta dishes with hearty meat sauces.

Try: Polpette alla Bolognese

This classic Bologna dish comprises meatballs of veal, Bologna’s sausage Mortadella, and Parmigiano, cooked in a tomato sauce.

CENTRAL ITALY

Tuscany

From Tuscany’s famously scenic landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves comes seasonal produce that’s used to cook up simple Italian dishes. 

Pasta is typically prepared with meat sauces – and served with Tuscan bread to dip in the local olive oil – and game also plays a dominant role, with a richness of wild boar, hare and pheasant on Tuscan menus. 

And while Tuscany’s capital, Florence, is celebrated for its Renaissance arts, it’s equally considered a gastronomic hub, showcasing the humble Italian fare of this region.

Try: Ribollita

Ribollita
Source: Instagram/ @chefantoniopaolino


The signature Tuscan dish, Ribollita, combines the region’s cannellini beans and fresh vegetables in a hearty soup with crusty bread and olive oil.

Lazio

The cuisine in Lazio and the city of Rome encompasses the ingredients sourced from the surrounding land, where Buffalo mozzarella, ricotta and Pecorino cheese are locally made and artichokes and fava beans grow alongside chestnuts and strawberries. 

Meat such as beef, pork and lamb is reared, and features alongside game such as rabbit, as well as offal. But it’s the region’s everyday hearty pasta dishes that have become known across the world, including classic Italian dishes like spaghetti alla carbonara.

Try: Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana
Source: Instagram/ @soniaperonaci


What makes the gnocchi in Rome so unique is the use of Semolina flour instead of potato. 

These are then cooked with butter and topped with cheese, and perhaps served with a meat and tomato sauce.

SOUTHERN ITALY

Campania

This southwest region is often thought of for its rugged stretch of coast where idyllic towns sit within the rocks, but inland the region’s fertile volcanic soil allows an abundance of sun-ripened produce to grow. 

Mozzarella is made by hand, and pork is cured to make Prosciutto and salami. The coastal setting, meanwhile, provides abundant fish and seafood, including octopus, anchovies, sardines and clams. 

Naples is situated here on the coast, enticing visitors in for its striking setting by Mount Vesuvius, prosperous arts, and world-famous cuisine, which despite Naples’ claim as the birthplace of pizza, is held in highest regard for its pasta.

Try: Calzone

Calzone
Source: Instagram/ @pizzeria_daenzo


Neapolitan pizza is Naples’ most famous dish, with a simple topping of tomato, mozzarella and basil, but another Naples specialty is Calzone, the over-baked, folded pizza filled with mozzarella and locally cured meat.

Sicily

Influenced by the various peoples who have inhabited the island throughout history, and prepared with produce farmed in nutrient-rich volcanic soil, the food in Sicily is unlike anywhere else. Grapes, olives, pistachios, figs and lemons all grow in profusion, as do grains like rice and wheat. 

Pasta has been made on the island since the 11th century, and seafood plays a dominant role in local cooking, with swordfish, sea bass and tuna caught off the coast. 

Cakes and pastries are also popular in Sicily; look out for Cassata, a sweet rice cake made in Palermo.

Try: Arancini

Arancini
Source: Instagram/ @marksinla


Originating in Sicily, these fried balls of risotto are a part of the island’s street food culture, and most typically filled with a meat sauce or prosciutto and mozzarella. 
Palermo’s vibrant festival, Saint Lucia, is the best time to try them, when each variation can be found in one place.

9 battle-ready tips to bag the best #BlackFriday deals

Consumers queue inside Checkers Somerset West on Black Friday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane
The Black Friday sales weekend starts on 23 November and runs for up to five days for some retailers, offering off-the-charts savings across all retail categories. 

For shoppers, this is a highly competitive time – bagging the best deals requires forethought and a military-style strategy!

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA


Tip 1: If you are shopping online, set your alarm for 11:30 pm on Thursday 22 November:

Most sales start as the clock strikes 12  –  so make sure you have data and your Wi-Fi isn’t past its cap. 

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ ANA


Get into bed early and set a few alarms. By the time the rest of the world wakes up you have done your shopping and be catching some restful winks before heading to work.

We recommend lots of coffee, vitamin B or Redbull (sometimes – unhealthily – all three because it gets REAL) because you need to be awake before Black Friday even starts and just keep refreshing your page until 12.01 am hits. 

Tip 2: Teamwork makes the dreamwork                                   

For Bukelwa, “I formed a WhatsApp group with my friends. Whoever gets online first already has a list of what everyone wants so they buy for everyone. Then we just pay that person back.

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ ANA

 
Zuhaa says, “Make sure you have a shopping buddy or two or three… Each person should be dedicated to one site. For example, last year my mom was on Takealot and she got everything we all needed, I was on Superbalist and my sister did Spree. #Teamwork!”

Bianca says, “When I was a student, my friends and I used to do Black Friday ‘World of Warcraft’ multiplayer gamer-style. They’d come to my apartment with laptops and dongles. We’d all have a list of what everyone wants. My roommate and I would move our mattresses into the living room to make one big bed and camp out until 12 am, refreshing our browsers. That way, one of us was bound to make it onto the site first and buy the things we all needed.”

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ ANA


Tip 3: Create a wishlist so you can checkout ASAP on the day

The prices may change on goods for Black Friday, but the goods will already be there. Go online, create your wishlist in advance and then, when the sale starts, quickly go to your list, see which items are marked down enough and press ‘checkout’ to beat your shopping competitors to the bargain!

Zuhaa says, “Make a wishlist or put it in your basket a few days before. Log into your account, stock your basket up and by the time the sale hits, your products will update with the sale prices at checkout (most online sites do this in my experience).”

Klyne Maharaj, Head of Brand at Superbalist.com, says a wishlist is your battle strategy for the big day. “Line up the pieces you like best, and prepare to take them right to checkout when the time comes. Build your wishlist now so you’re prepared on the day. It’s going to be carnage so you don’t want to be browsing when half of SA is also online and trying to cart-jack you. Build that cart and move on!”

Tip 4: Do your homework

Get your hands on as many newsletters and flyers as you can. Like the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of all your beloved retailers. Monitor their bargains closely. 

From early November, retailers will start to release their Black Friday weekend specials. Start your plotting and planning as early as possible and draw up a plan of action.

Tip 5: Have a plan of action on Black Friday

Some of your purchases may be in the real world and some in cyberspace. A good plan is to start with cyberspace early and then head off to the physical shops once you’ve done the calm and peaceful online shopping. 

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ ANA


Chances are, once you’ve been involved in a three-person scrum over the last Christmas turkey in the supermarket, you may only be capable of heading home and lying down…

Tip 6: Make sure your details are up-to-date

If you are shopping online, you won’t want to be messing around updating details as everyone around you is checking out what should have been your goods… 

It is worth logging into the sites you love before Black Friday and checking your delivery and payment details are 100% accurate.

Tip 7: Get the app

Download the app for your favourite online retailers early. This will allow you to browse much faster and they’ll also send you push notifications of the big discounts to look out for.  Plus some etailers offer app-only deals.

Tip 8: Check in advance if you can return your purchases

Most outlets, both online and physical, will accept returns for Black Friday purchases, but this is not a guarantee. It is worth checking terms and conditions in advance to make sure that any purchases made ‘in the moment’ can be returned.

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ ANA


Tip 9: Set a budget

Decide ahead of time what you plan to spend on the Black Friday sales and stick to it. You could quickly find yourself shopping for Christmas 2018, 19 and 20 if you are not careful. 

Be responsible and remember that the expensive festive season is coming up, so you’ll need a bit left over for this!

Bukelwa, “It is always good to draw up a list to make sure you get what you NEED so that you avoid overspending.”

Klyne Maharaj encourages shoppers to dare to waitlist. “Missed out on your size? Is the piece you’ve been eyeing in someone else’s cart? Hope’s not lost – this is just where the Waitlist function comes in. 

Waitlist that baby and keep your eye on the prize: when that notification slides into your inbox to let you know that you’re first in line again, you’ve only got a few minutes to make it yours.”

A few Takealot tips:

●        Load gift vouchers ahead of time so you can check out quickly

●        If you are buying a TV, you’ll need an up-to-date TV license account number on hand for the transaction to go through

●        If you plan to buy a big ticket item such as a TV, or fridge and need credit to do this, apply for Mobi Cred ahead of time as there is a waiting period before approval

– Adapted from Takealot press release

BUSTED: Ivanka Trump used private email account for White House work

Source: Reuters-Photostream/ LEAH MILLIS
Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.

Source: Ap-Photostream/ Andrew Harnik


White House ethics officials learned of Trump’s repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. 

That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner.


The discovery alarmed some advisers to President Trump, who feared that his daughter’s practices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign.

(c) Instagram

 

Trump attacked his Democratic challenger as untrustworthy and dubbed her “Crooked Hillary” for using a personal email account as secretary of state.

Some aides were startled by the volume of Ivanka Trump’s personal emails – and taken aback by her response when questioned about the practice. 


Trump said she was not familiar with some details of the rules, according to people with knowledge of her reaction.

The White House referred requests for comment to Ivanka Trump’s attorney and ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell.

In a statement, Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Lowell, acknowledged that the president’s daughter occasionally used her private email before she was briefed on the rules, but he said none of her messages contained classified information.

“While transitioning into government, after she was given an official account but until the White House provided her the same guidance they had given others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” he said in a statement.


Mirijanian said Ivanka Trump turned over all her government-related emails months ago so they could be stored permanently with other White House records.

(c) Instagram


And he stressed that her email use was different than that of Clinton, who had a private email server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York. At one point, an archive of thousands of Clinton’s emails was deleted by a computer specialist amid a congressional investigation.

“Ms. Trump did not create a private server in her house or office, no classified information was ever included, the account was never transferred at Trump Organization, and no emails were ever deleted,” Mirijanian said.

Like Trump, Clinton also said she was unaware of or misunderstood the rules. However, Clinton relied solely on a private email system as secretary of state, bypassing government servers entirely.

The Washington Post

Kim Porter’s death is still unexplained

(c) Instagram
Kim Porter’s death is still unexplained.

The 47-year-old model was found dead at her Los Angeles home last week, after suffering from “flu-like” symptoms for weeks, and the police subsequently confirmed there was “no foul play” surrounding her passing.

(c) Instagram


Now a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has confirmed Kim’s body has been released after an autopsy was carried out on Friday (16.11.18), but they still need to undertake further tests to determine the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Kim’s ex-boyfriend Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs recently remembered his late ex-partner with a brunch at his Beverly Hills home.

(c) Instagram


The hip-hop superstar dated Kim on-and-off over 13 years, and he invited many of their friends, including Jay Z, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and Chris Rock, to his abode for a celebration in her honour.

They were also joined by Quincy Jones, Pharrell Willliams, Rashida Jones and Kimora Lee Simmons.

A source said: “They all brought their children. It was a big family affair.”

It’s said that Minister Michael Beckwith prayed with the group, and Diddy did all the talking throughout the brunch.

(c) Instagram


The ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ hitmaker – who had Christian, 20, and 11-year-old twins Jessie and D’Lila with Kim – has been living a “nightmare” since the death of his ex.

Alongside a video of himself cradling Kim while she was pregnant, he wrote on Instagram: “For the last three days I’ve been trying to wake up out of this nightmare. But I haven’t.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without you baby. I miss you so much. Today I’m going to pay tribute to you, I’m going to try and find the words to explain our unexplainable relationship.

(c) Instagram


“We were more than best friends, we were more than soulmates. WE WERE SOME OTHER S**T!! And I miss you so much. Super Black Love [love heart emoji] (sic)”


Bang Showbiz

#Momentum faces major online backlash

Infographic created by TYI
Life insurer Momentum stuck to its guns over a rejected life cover insurance payout to a client who had not disclosed a pre-existing condition despite it not being related to his death.

The insurer said it would open a big can of worms and prejudice existing clients if it were to pay the claim.

This comes as Momentum declined an application for a R2.4 million life insurance payout for Durban resident, Nathan Ganas, who was killed in a hail of bullets trying to protect his wife, Denise, during a hijacking in the driveway of their Shallcross home last March. 

Ganas’ claim was declined by the insurer on the grounds he had not disclosed that he was diagnosed with raised blood sugar levels which may have occurred before he completed his application for the policy in 2014. 

This past weekend, Momentum contended on social media with users expressing their disappointment over the insurer’s rejection to pay the life cover: 








In a lengthy statement, Momentum said it was truly sorry for Ganas’ tragic death and also had sympathy for the views that the cause of death was not related to the non-disclosure. 

But the insurer said that paying the claim would result in an increase in claims which would ultimately increase the premiums for all other clients just because “a client has not acted in good faith”.

“The rejection of the claim was referred to the Ombudsman for Long Term Insurance, who determined that Momentum’s decision was the correct one under the circumstances. In this instance, had the information been known to us, no cover would have been issued in the first place, and no claim would have been paid, regardless of the cause of death,” Momentum said.

“The insurance industry has an obligation to existing clients to act on a consistent basis to manage the shared pool of risk. In spite of the fact that we have absolute sympathy with the widow, it is important to treat non-disclosure in a consistent way and not prejudice the benefits of clients who act in good faith by making concessions to accommodate claims where important information was withheld.”

Momentum said it unfortunately, had to make this decision in order to protect the integrity of its business, in the interest of all their clients who complete their applications with full disclosure.

The insurer has reportedly also asked Ganas’ wife to repay R50,000, which was an instant cash benefit from the policy and which the family used to pay for the funeral.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Catherine Rice

The Most Sickening Teenage Trend Yet

Infographic created by TYI
Teenagers are a confounding species. Without reason at all, they’ve engaged in the most ridiculous, and most dangerous activities the world has ever witnessed. 

We’re talking about cactus eating, car surfing, the eraser challenge, game of 72 and the condom challenge! 

The most sickening of all ‘challenges’ however has to be the latest sanitary pads challenge:

Police on the Indonesian island of Java have arrested several teenagers who admitted that they got high by boiling sanitary towels – often ones that have been used – and drinking the liquid. According to the Pos Belitung (PB) website disposal nappies have also been used.  

Infographic created by TYI


A 14-year-old boy from Belitung told PB that the sanitary towels are boiled in water for an hour. The high comes from the “gels” inside the sanitary towel. Once the liquid is strained it is ready to drink. 

AKBP Suprinarto, the head of Central Java’s  Brantas National Narcotics Agency (BNN), told Jawa Pos that the high cost of narcotics has resulted in drug users getting creative with cow dung and mosquito coils. The sanitary pad trend, however, is relatively recent, according to Suprinarto but is catching on among kids as young as 12.

“So, the used sanitary napkins are soaked. The boiled water is drunk. The one that makes the fly is the content in the sanitary napkins used to absorb water (menstruation),” he said.


– IOL

Twitter Reacts | The most #HorrificBeverages to Drink

Blergh. Kale Juice! Source: Instagram/ @vaimomatskuu

With Summer around the corner, everyone is trying to decide what their drink of choice will be especially during the festive season. Don’t stress yourself out though, Twitter already shared the drinks we need to avoid… 

Nasty C celebrates six year anniversary with bae

(c) Instagram
Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, popularly known by his stage name, Nasty C has had one of the sweetest come-ups. 

In a short space of time, Nasty C has quickly cemented his place as one of the best South African rappers on the scene. 

Celebrating Nasty C’s rise to stardom, American rapper T.I. sent the songwriter and record producer a message complimenting his album!


Over the weekend, the award-winning star and his high school sweetheart, Sammie Heavens celebrated their 6th year anniversary. 

The pair posted pictures of a bed strewn with roses in celebration of their anniversary.  

(c) Instagram


“You watched me struggle w this caption for a good 15 minutes… I was tryna come up w something that’ll tell you how much I love & appreciate you.. I couldn’t find the words so I’ll show you instead 💕💕 Happy 6th Anniversary babe,” Nasty C captioned the picture of them. 

Sammie Heavens also posted her own picture with her high school sweetheart reminiscing on how people used to say she was too young to know what love is at the age of 15. 


Nasty C who’s brought us the hit track, Hell Naw, opened up about why he delayed announcing his relationship on social media.

“Before I didn’t wanna do none of that because she was still in high school and in matric too. I didn’t want to do that to her, you know distract her. Plus I was still kind of blowing up and it was hard for me to adjust, so I wanted to give her time,” he related in a recent interview with TshisaLive.

– TYI

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