Empty Your Mind: Here's How

Do you want to be more effective and attract desired outcomes? The ancient Chinese did, too. They devoted themselves to understanding wu wei—effortless action, or spontaneity. They saw it as one of the highest spiritual achievements.

In this 5-part Big Think Mentor workshop, Chinese thought expert Edward Slingerland and the author of the critically acclaimed Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity, teaches you how to understand and work towards a state of wu wei.

For a limited time, Big Think is giving away access to one of his workshops: “Forget About It: The Wu-Wei of Zhuangzi.” Subscribe to Big Think Mentor today for a free 14-day trial to gain access to other exclusive workshops with leading thinkers. Learn a variety of skills and new insights.

For instance, we hear a great deal about the health benefits of meditation. But how does one apply meditation to business situations and when facing challenges? As a cognitive scientist, Slingerland answers these questions in his Big Think Mentor workshop by taking you through the neuroscience of ancient Chinese philosophies. You’ll learn what it means to empty one’s mind, even in the fiercely competitive world of business.

In the wu-wei of the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, Slingerland explains how he believed that our learned culture separates us from perceiving the world correctly. Therefore, we must learn to forget and not see through the lens of our biases. As Slingerland explains, “Making yourself empty and receptive to the other person or the situation you’re engaged in is actually the most effective way to move through the world.”

Sign up for a free 14-day trial to Big Think Mentor today.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Apple, Amazon, and Uber are moving in on health care. Will it help?

Big tech is making its opening moves into the health care scene, but its focus on tech-savvy millennials may miss the mark.

Apple COO Jeff Williams discusses Apple Watch Series 4 during an event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, California. The watch lets users take electrocardiogram readings. (Photo: NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have been busy investing in health care companies, developing new apps, and hiring health professionals for new business ventures.
  • Their current focus appears to be on tech-savvy millennials, but the bulk of health care expenditures goes to the elderly.
  • Big tech should look to integrating its most promising health care devise, the smartphone, more thoroughly into health care.
Keep reading Show less

The culprit of increased depression among teens? Smartphones, new research suggests.

A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.

A teenager eyes her smartphone as people enjoy a warm day on the day of silence, one day prior to the presidential elections, when candidates and political parties are not allowed to voice their political meaning on April 14, 2018 in Kotor, Montenegro. Citizens from Montenegro, the youngest NATO member, will vote for a new president on Sunday 15 2018. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
  • The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
  • Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
Keep reading Show less

The colossal problem with universal basic income

Here's why universal basic income will hurt the 99%, and make the 1% even richer.

  • Universal basic income is a band-aid solution that will not solve wealth inequality, says Rushkoff.
  • Funneling money to the 99% perpetuates their roles as consumers, pumping money straight back up to the 1% at the top of the pyramid.
  • Rushkoff suggests universal basic assets instead, so that the people at the bottom of the pyramid can own some means of production and participate in the profits of mega-rich companies.
Keep reading Show less