Video Games for Mindfulness?

There are a multitude of ways to meditate and/or practice mindfulness. I gave an overview of a bunch of them on my Patreon (shameless plug for my Patreon). However, it never occurred to me to include playing videos games. Apparently it did to Alyssa Celatti over at

She looked at a few studies and found, “that eight out of 10 (79%) gamers state that gaming provides relaxation and stress relief, with well over half of c-suite executives taking daily gaming breaks and benefiting from meditation techniques and hits of dopamine.” With that in mind, they surveyed their online community asked them to “list the games that made them feel the most mindful and in a state of ‘flow’.”

For the physical element of the study, 100 participants from a range of backgrounds, locations, gender, sexual orientations and ages (ranging between 18 and 72) were asked to test the games that were mentioned most often during the survey.

Participants were asked to game in two-hour stints, alone, using whatever consoles and peripherals that they would usually use to game but with the addition of them wearing a simple heart rate monitor to ensure that it didn’t raise significantly to suggest stress or over-excitement. They were also asked to record via a questionnaire of how their mood shifted before, during and after gaming to highlight emotions, stress levels and how mindful they felt.

Obviously, this isn’t a definitive study, and I would also argue that what players are experiencing is relaxation, not necessarily a state of mindfulness. That said, let’s not undersell the importance of relaxation. Particularly in these ever more stress inducing times.

Ready for the top ten most “mindful” games from this study?

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Katamari Damacy
3. Tetris
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
5. Minecraft
6. No Man’s Sky
7. Euro Truck Simulator
8. House Flipper
9. Firewatch
10. Flower

You can get all the details of the survey and scientific journals used here.

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Strategies to Manifest Mindfulness in the New Year

By Dr. Patrick Porter

People across the globe are determined to make 2021 better than its predecessor. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s the importance of our health and wellbeing. The pandemic brought “mindfulness” to the masses as it created a rare opportunity for us all to breathe, reflect, and focus on the most important aspects of life. Many people (who would otherwise not engage in mindfulness activities) started journaling, meditating, and other practices to ease anxiety and cope with the chaos. The traumatic events of last year forced people to make their mental health a priority. It comes as no surprise that “mindfulness” is at the top of many New Year’s resolutions lists.

Practicing mindfulness is one of the best things you can do not only for your brain but also your body. Mindfulness activities have been proven to help people reduce stress, prevent burnout, boost productivity, and so much more.

As a Neuroscience expert, I am frequently asked about the subject of “mindfulness.” Here are some of my top strategies to manifest mindfulness and incorporate it into your daily routine:

1. Train Your Brain to Achieve Your Goals
Keeping our brain active by creating new pathways is called neuroplasticity, and it’s a key aspect in achieving our goals. This is what keeps us creative, resilient, upbeat and engaged in life, which sparks our imagination and helps us visualize our accomplishments. Setting goals is important, but you will be unable to achieve them if you don’t know the steps to get there. The more you imagine your goals as being achieved, the better you will be able to focus on them. You can visualize your future and work to manifest and realize the goals you set. Think of it as getting something from your room: if you can see the object you’re going for before the lights are turned off, you are better able to find it in the dark. If you walk into the dark without any light prior, you’ll stumble much more along the way. This is the power of focusing on your goals and visualizing yourself achieving them. Focusing on your goals allows you to accomplish smaller tasks related to the goal which gives you more energy to continue to work at it. Focus and energy are important characteristics in achieving your goals.

2. Lean into the Available Mindfulness Resources & Find One that Works for You:
Because the idea of “mindfulness” has risen in popularity, there are many tools and resources available to facilitate and enhance mindfulness practices. With the rise of technology, we have more access to tools and resources to help us learn how to better practice from mindfulness. Participating in mindfulness even once a day in the middle of your day has been proven to provide great benefits. Studies show that you can reclaim up to 80 percent of the energy you had in the morning by having a mindfulness practice, like BrainTap. BrainTap is a resource that facilitates brain waves that help bring your mind to a state of healing, rest, and relaxation, such as found in deep sleep.

3. Be Mindful of Screen Time:
How much of your day do you spend looking at a screen? Often, we go from looking at a little screen (our phones) to looking at a medium screen (our computers) to looking at a big screen (our televisions) to looking back at the little screen before bed. All these screens and harmful blue lights are depriving the brain of much-needed downtime. Though technology has given us great resources to improve mindfulness, we must be cautious to use this technology wisely. People today are being constantly stimulated, which makes impactful mindfulness impossible. The brain needs periods of rest because this is when it solidifies information and stores memories, which cannot happen when the brain is constantly stimulated.

These brain-boosting tips can help anyone, regardless of the stage of life they are in. It’s crucial that we remember to take care of our brain, strengthening it, nourishing it, and resting it, like we do with the rest of our body. As you practice these exercises, you will recognize a difference in the way your brain functions and remembers throughout the day—and your life.

About Patrick K. Porter:
Patrick K. Porter, Ph.D., is an award-winning author and speaker who has devoted his career to neuroscience and studying the brain. As the creator of BrainTap®, Dr. Porter has emerged as a leader in the digital health and wellness field. BrainTap’s digital tools and apps bring mindfulness and meditation practices to the next level and have made tremendous advances in helping mental, physical, and emotional health issues. BrainTap has been praised for helping people relieve symptoms associated with stress, insomnia, pain, and much more.

For more information visit:

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How the Church Fostered Science and Technology

I like to think of my readers as a rather well-informed, open-minded bunch, so I feel it’s fair to share that Christianity once being a main propeller of scientific discovery isn’t a shock to you. Yes, the church that we now associate with rejection of science was one of the driving forces for science in the past. The latest issue of Christian History Magazine explores this with “Science & Technology – How the church fostered science and technology”.

According to Christian History, this issue “features a collection of in-depth articles chronicling how the Scientific Revolution, that unfolded in Europe between 1550-1700 in Christians founded universities, laid the groundwork for modern science. Over the past twenty centuries, followers of Christ pursued scientific and technological innovation with Christian motives and understandings, that were both productive and controversial.”

The articles included are:

Divine power, wisdom, and goodness by James Hannam
The medieval flourishing of natural philosophy in Christianity

Natural adversaries by David Lindberg
Has Christianity always warred with science?

The condemnations of 1277 by James Hannam
Debates over Aristotle’s role in scientific exploration

To make whole by Glenn Myers
Hildegard of Bingen, naturalist and apothecary

What is so great about Albert? by Michael W. Tkacz
The preserver of scientific riches

Understanding God through light and tides by Nicholas Jacobson

Faithful friar or scientific sorcerer? by Richard Oosterhoff
Roger Bacon on experimental science

Christian History Timeline: Faith and Science by the editors
A few of the highlights of Christian exploration of science that we touch on in this issue

The clergy behind science as we know it by Jennifer Powell McNutt
Enlightenment-era pastors didn’t oppose modern science. They helped advance it

Science vs. religion by James Ungureanu
What is really at war here?

A world of love and light by Edward B. Davis
Christian theology shaped modern science through the work of Johannes Kepler and Robert Boyle

The “religion of geology” by Edward Hitchcock & Edward B. Davis

Drinking from a fount on Sunday by Geoffrey Cantor
Michael Faraday’s experiments advanced the study of electricity

Freedom from dualism, by Tom Topel
On several occasions Maxwell indicated his view on the relationship between his faith and physics

“I know that my Redeemer liveth” by Jennifer Woodruff Tait
George Washington Carver sought to understand God’s creation and develop its benefits for others

God made it, God loves it, God keeps it by the editors and interviewees
We talked to four scientists who are believers—three with distinguished careers and one embarking on the journey.

Interested? Christian History Magazine is free to view online! You can explore all of this and their past issues too!

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Crystal Basics

Say hello to truly the only book on crystals you’ll ever need, “Crystal Basics: The Energetic, Healing & Spiritual Power of 200 Gemstones” by Nicholas Pearson. At this point Pearson has already established himself as THE crystal expert. His past books, such as “Crystals for Karmic Healing”, “Crystal Healing for the Heart”, and “Stones of the Goddess” all explored a specific facet (no pun intended) of crystals. Long has his fan base (which includes myself) clamored for the crystal basics book that Pearson himself wasn’t sure he was ever going to write.

But it is here, in all its glory. Pearson’s “Crystal Basics” is a constant reminder that working with crystals is an art, and a science. If you want to learn about crystals, and I mean really learn, like geology class learn, this is for you. How are crystals formed? What are they made of? How are they classified? There is also a decent chunk of text dedicated to exploring the possibilities of how crystals work. A well thought out, well written exploration that includes an examination of the human energy field.

How to start a collection of crystals, including ethical sourcing, is covered, along with their care and upkeep. There are so many ways to use crystals to aid yourself and help others, and you find it all in here. You’ll learn how to create crystal grids and elixirs, ways to cleanse with crystals, their abilities to help with grounding, and just so much more. Better still, there’s a section dedicated to 200 crystals and stones for healing. And why yes, the whole book is full color.

“Crystal Basics” by Nicholas Pearson is destined to be a classic. I can’t imagine what crystal mountain is left for Pearson to climb, but I cannot wait to find out.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore<--- This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates!

The Greater & Lesser Worlds of Robert Fludd

Get yourself a cold shower ready, because today we are talking about some seriously sexy book porn. We’re talking about the 250-page, illustration packed, “The Greater & Lesser Worlds of Robert Fludd: Macrocosm, Microcosm & Medicine” by Joscelyn Godwin. This gorgeous book is hardcover with a built-in ribbon bookmark.

Robert Fludd was an interesting man. Godwin describes him as a Renaissance man, and he is correct. Fludd was a doctor who was heavily influenced by the Christian theology of the time. You would recover if it was the Lord’s will. And yet, he was a man of science, conducting experiments that we would describe as alchemy. Along with this, he was a supporter of the Rosicrucians, an inventor, and with his fascination of how the Earth operates he would link music and math, and study astrology. For being a man who I feel allowed his religious beliefs to limit his scope, he truly was a man deeply involved in all of the proto sciences of what we regard as science today. Robert Fludd created the encyclopedias of his day.

What truly set Robert Fludd’s work apart from others was his extensive use of illustrations. He understood the value of an image, and if Godwin is to be believed (which I think he is), the illustrations are much easier to understand than Fludd’s writing. Surprisingly, Fludd didn’t do these himself, however, some of the best of the era created them for his writings.

“The Greater & Lesser Worlds of Robert Fludd” has 201 GORGEOUS illustrations, each with thoughtful commentary from Godwin.

Joscelyn Godwin and Inner Traditions have put together a truly covet worthy work.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

EWG Tap Water Database

I’m a skincare nerd. If you follow me on social media (particularly my personal Twitter and/or Instagram) you already know this. AND, if you’re that kind of nerd, like me, you’ve probably found yourself at the Environmental Working Group website. Why? For their Skin Deep Database (which analyzes the ingredients in skincare and cosmetics). And that’s how I became familiar with the EWG.

They recently released/updated a tool that I thought many of you would be interested in, a tap water database. After the danger with Flint, Michigan’s water supply captured international attention (and then disappeared from the headlines) we all became frighteningly aware that what we don’t know about our tap water can hurt us.

The Environmental Working Group analyzed 32 million water records from across the country to make an easy to use database. This short video discusses all of this.

By going to you can just type in your zip code and see the results. Better still, the EWG site discusses different types of water filtration methods you can use to help improve your water quality.

Flamsteed’s Atlas Coelestis

As most of you are aware, I started selling merchandise a few months back. Everything I created has different phrases and sentiments that I like and thought you might enjoy. However, in the back of my mind there was something else I wanted to do too.

Hiding in the public domain are many beautiful works just waiting to be rediscovered and shared. I happened across several by John Flamsteed. (By the way, if you support me on Patreon this is all old news to you.) Flamsteed (1646-1719) was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. He catalogued over 3000 stars and was responsible for several of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus, which he mistook for a star. After his death his widow helped get his work published as “Atlas Coelestis”. Flamsteed’s work was updated and republished several times, the last being in 1795.

Although the work he did was for science, the images he created are art. And I want to share it! That’s why I used several of his charts to make a line of greeting cards and postcards!

You can see them all in my online store! You’ll want to click in on the images to see what they truly look like, CafePress treats home screen edits more like suggestions than directions. If you like what you see, don’t wait to purchase, these are only going to be available until May 31, 2019!

Strange Frequencies

Can you build a golem such as the ones found in Jewish folklore? That’s the question that launches Peter Bebergal’s new book “Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural”.

“Strange Frequencies” follows Bebergal as he travels to Seattle to learn about and build automatons. He spends time in Cambridge to discuss stage magic with actor/magician Nate Dendy who plays Ariel in the American Repertory Theater’s production of “The Tempest”. He attends a traditional Spiritualist séance in Lily Dale, NY with photographer Shannon Taggart. Bebergal explores EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and experiences machines designed to facilitate enlightenment. Throughout these adventures Bebergal explores the origins of the DIY/Maker movement and the effect it has had on the exploration of the spiritual.

“Strange Frequencies” is an amazing exploration of the technological influencing the spiritual and the spiritual inspiring the technological. This is a must read.

You can learn more here.

Calling All Earthlings

You guys. I don’t even know where to begin. I was given the opportunity to watch the documentary “Calling All Earthlings”, a film by Jonathan Berman. This movie has it all, aliens, Howard Hughes, free energy, the FBI, Tesla, the military, and a death…or possibly murder.

“Calling All Earthlings” explores a mid-century UFO cult led by one-time Howard Hughes confidante, George Van Tassel. Van Tassel claimed to have combined alien guidance with the writings of inventor/physicist Nikola Tesla, and other controversial science, to build an electromagnetic time machine he dubbed “The Integratron.” Was he insane? Or could the dome really break through the boundaries of space, time, and energy? FBI agents worked against Van Tassel and the alternative community that formed out of his work. Would he finish the Integratron before the government finished him?

The film examines the roots of the Peace Movement, Burning Man, and even the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program. The verité tale of Van Tassel and his dome is told by relatives, neighbors, skeptics, believers, scientists, healers, artists, and historians. The film features the “stewards” and owners of the Integratron, the Karl sisters; Dr. Kevin Starr, the preeminent historian of California; Eric Burdon, Singer for The Animals and War; and the legendary Drs. J.J. and Desiree Hurtak.

I say this in all seriousness, why hasn’t this story been made into an actual movie as opposed to documentary? The story of George Van Tassel has all the makings for a fantastic Christopher Nolan film! Here’s the trailer:

Interested? “Calling All Earthlings” is available on Video on Demand in the following platforms: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, AT&T U-verse, DirecTV, Dish Network/Sling TV, Hoopla, Sony Playstation, Swank, Vudu, Xbox, Youtube Movies, In Demand (Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, etc.) and Vubiquity (Frontier, Verizon Fios, etc.). Hopefully it will be available on one of the streaming services like Netflix or Hulu in future!

Geek Month in Review: September 2015

By JB Sanders

You know, Fall’s coming…

A Record Player, with Lasers
Stop making Dr. Evil gestures! It’s a real record player, vinyl disks of grooves, only instead of crude needle jolting through the channels, it uses lasers. No damage to the original at all. Plus if the record is already dinged up, it’ll compensate.

Lost Tunnels of Liverpool
So, there are these tunnels underneath the city of Liverpool — which is not exactly odd, except that no one knows who made them, or why. They’re over 200 years old, too, so it’s a mystery with some dust on it.

Archaeologists Reconstruct Doggerland
Remember that island off the east coast of England? No? It so totally used to be there, about 8000 years ago. Then the sea levels rose.

Recover Sound from Silent Video — and More!
This is some straight-up science fiction, here, only now it’s science fact.

Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel
DARPA researchers have created a prosthetic hand that can actually send a sense of touch to the wearer’s brain.

That’s Not Slow Motion, This is Slow Motion
Scientists have developed a camera that takes a trillion pictures a second. Yeah, you read that right. A trillion, with a “t”. It slows things down so much, they can observe light moving across an object.

Touch Screen That Grows Buttons
Those crafty folks at MIT are working on a screen that creates real buttons when you need them, right on the screen.

Blindsight and Human Consciousness
There’s more to human perception, and to human consciousness, then … er … meets the eye. It starts with a guy who is blind in one eye, but in repeated tests can still somehow perceive out of it. It gets stranger from there.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983