สวัสดีครับ How are you doing today ?
There is a Chinese proverb says that : You Must Enter the Tiger’s Den to Catch His Cubs. Then let us
study this proverb ? Won't you ?
Realizing that both his mission and he himself were in danger, Ban Chao devised a desperate plan: they would launch a surprise attack on the Xiongnu encampment at night, beating gongs and setting fire to the tents. When the Xiongnu rushed out in a panic, they would slay them. When his men expressed alarm at such a perilous undertaking, Ban Chao said, “How can you catch tiger cubs without first entering the tiger’s den?”
So they carried out the plan, annihilated the Xiongnu’s tents and won the king of Shanshan’s allegiance to the Han emperor.
Later, the saying, “You must enter the tiger’s den to catch his cubs” came to be used to indicate that no great enterprise can be successful without some risk being taken.
Source: The Stories Behind 100 Chinese Idioms by He Zeren & Zhou Lingzhong
Did you understand that proverb ?
Many thanks once again to Google Translate today.
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Meditation May Reduce Stress, Increase Focus
1 hour ago
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014, file photo, students meditate during Mindful Studies class at Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File)
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
A mind filled with fear and bad thoughts is an unquiet mind. When you are worried, it can be hard to direct your attention on even a minor problem.
For some people, this can interfere with work, sleep and other activities. In others, it could lead to a serious mental disorder. People who suffer from anxiety, a nervous disorder, have unreasonable thoughts and fears about the future. Often they are unable to control these thoughts. They are also less able to deal with stress.
Two recent studies found that doing mindful meditation exercises can reduce signs of stress in people suffering from anxiety and make them more productive. The studies also showed that mindful meditation can lower a person’s stress levels.
What is mindful meditation?
Meditation is a simple, low-cost way to help calm an unquiet brain. We can define mindful meditation as thinking quietly about what is going on in the present. You don't think about the past or the future. You think only about your own breathing and what you sense around you.
Should you start thinking about a future task or a past mistake, you simply tell your mind to stop and return to the here and now. Another part of mindful meditation is to let yourself experience any thoughts and feelings without judgment.
Around the world, the number of people reporting stress and anxiety is increasing.
The World Health Organization says that between 1990 and 2013, the number of people suffering from depression and/or anxiety rose by nearly 50%. The WHO’s website says this increased the number from 416 million to 615 million people.
This is not just a health issue, but also an economic one. WHO experts estimate that depression and anxiety disorders cost the world economy US$1 trillion each year. Stressed and anxious workers who can't stay focused are not productive.
University of Waterloo study
In one recent study, Canadian researchers wanted to see how well anxious, stressed people completed an activity.
The researchers found that meditating for 10 minutes a day may help keep people's minds from becoming unfocused. So, mindful meditation may help people stay on task.
Mengran Xu is a clinical psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He and his colleagues studied with people who showed signs of anxiety.
“We know that anxious people in general, if you ask them to stay on task, it is hard for them. They tend to wander. They tend to worry. But those people who practiced mindfulness didn’t. They were able to stay on task."
In this study, 82 people suffering from anxiety were asked to perform a computer task that required high levels of focus. Then researchers interrupted them as they performed the work. The researchers studied their ability to stay focused.
Then the 82 individuals were divided into two groups. One group listened to an audio book. The other group did mindful meditation for about 10 minutes.
Finally, researchers asked all the subjects to go back to their computers.
Xu says that those who meditated performed much better on the task.
"The anxious people who listened to the audio books, they performed much worse over time, while the anxious people who practiced mindfulness meditation, they were able to in a way improve and maintain their performance on the task."
The researchers published their findings in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.
FILE - A patient recovering from hip replacement surgery holds a leaf from an orchid to her face as she practices meditation to deal with her pain.
Georgetown University study
The other study is from the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.
For this study, researchers looked at 89 patients who have an anxiety disorder.
The researchers divided the patients into two groups. One group took a mindfulness meditation training program for eight weeks. The other group -- the control group – took a class on Stress Management Education for eight weeks.
People from both groups were asked to do something stressful. They had to give a short speech in front of a crowd -- not once but twice, both before and after their training.
During each speech, researchers measured levels of hormones and proteins that the body releases when a person is feeling stressed.
The control group, researchers said, showed small increases in stress on the second speech compared to the first. This suggests their stress and anxiety levels increased when they had to give the speech again.
However, when making the second speech, those who used mindful meditation produced fewer stress hormones and proteins. This suggests that meditation worked to reduce stress.
Elizabeth A. Hoge is a doctor and works in the medical center's Department of Psychiatry. She says people who used mindfulness meditation had "sharply reduced stress-hormone" levels and other biological responses to a stressful situation. And those who took the stress management training had poor responses.
Hoge and her colleagues reported their findings in the journal Psychiatry Research.
And that’s the Health & Lifestyle report. I’m Anna Matteo.
Jessica Berman reported on the Canadian study for VOANews.com. Matt Hillburn reported on the Georgetown University study for VOA. Anna Matteo adapted the stories for Learning English with additional reporting from several sources.
Now, test your understanding with this short quiz.
Words in This Story
focus – n. a subject that is being discussed or studied : the subject on which people's attention is focused
anxiety – n. fear or nervousness about what might happen
stress – n. a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.
on task – adj. concentrating or focusing on what is to be done
tend – v. to exhibit an inclination
wander – v. to go away from a path, course, etc. often used figuratively
interrupt – v. to stop or hinder by breaking in
consciousness – n. the condition of being conscious : the normal state of being awake and able to understand what is happening around you : a person's mind and thoughts
cognition – n. conscious mental activities : the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering
management – n. the act or process of controlling and dealing with something
hormone – n. a natural substance that is produced in the body and that influences the way the body grows or develops
Everyday Grammar: Oxford Comma
July 16, 2017
The Day in Photos
Monday 17 July 2017
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Jack Ma, the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, and The Nation co-founder Suthichai Yoon, show the Thai way of greeting with a ‘wai’ during the latter’s visit to Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou last week.
‘We want to upgrade ties with Thailand’
business July 18, 2017 01:00
By SUTHICHAI YOON
We need speed, we need execution, we need results, says Alibaba founder Jack ma as he looks to expand relationships.
ALIBABA GROUP founder Jack Ma has urged Thailand to “move much faster” to implement digital projects.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation in his office at Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou last week, he said he plans to visit Thailand later this year to “upgrade our partnership” in all major digital fields covering e-commerce, logistics, finance, payments and travel.
“I am heading a big delegation, including our CEO and our teams including Alipay, logistics, e-commerce, and cloud computing – the whole package from Alibaba Group,” he said.
Ma, who is also executive chairman of the group, said that compared to Malaysia, Thailand is moving slowly in implementing digital projects and had to “move much faster”.
“Honestly, we were shocked by Malaysia’s speed,” said Ma.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak surprised him after a visit to Alibaba Group headquarters with his “very quick action” in making that country the first e-WTP (World Trade Platform) hub in the region, he said.
“The prime minister said, ‘In three months, we will make this thing happen’,” Ma recalled. “We thought it was almost impossible to make that happen in three months. It was a huge project, but they made it on time. They set up a great, strong team to follow up on the project. They opened up a customs office, inspection offices and made available the land that was required.
“So, I think Thailand should move more speedily. This is something we expect. But we understand, of course, that the process was probably disrupted by the passing away of His Majesty the King.”
Looking ahead, he said: “When we go to Thailand this time, we will discuss that because in a business like ours, we need speed, we need execution and we need results. I believe Thailand can do that, too, because you have great talents and you have a government that can move quickly. So, this time, when we can agree on the projects, we will move ahead and get things done.”
Based on the initial agreements signed on his first trip to Thailand last year, Ma said he would expand business relationships with Thailand with an eye to using it as a springboard to neighbouring countries.
“I still remember the very warm welcome we received from Prime Minister Prayut (Chan-o-cha) and all the Cabinet members concerned during my last visit – and also the engagement I had with the young people there.”
He says he wants to help Thailand in its goal to be an entry-point for accessing nearby nations. “What I would like to do is to work out how to help Thailand to be better connected with other Southeast Asian markets and to be more connected with the China market … in the five major areas: global buy, global sale, global delivery, global financing and global travel.”
Alibaba Group can help SMEs and young people succeed in the five areas and that would enable Thailand to connect with other countries, especially China. Thailand, he said, is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that has the five functions in place.
“So, we pay very special attention to Thailand. Our research team is still working hard on how to help Thailand function in better ways,” he said.
“My CEO (Daniel Zhang) and I have been thinking about how to help Thailand become more globalised. So many Chinese travel to Thailand. They love Thailand, the Thai food and the Thai people.”
The Alibaba founder said Thailand could benefit from selling to the 300 million middle-class Chinese with growing purchasing power.
“My wife likes Thai durian a lot. I believe China should import more fresh fruits and vegetables from Thailand and other countries in the region,” he said.
In addition to Malaysia, he cited Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia as Asian countries on his group’s special attention list to become e-WTP centres.
He said that his plan to turn China into a cashless society in five years will help change the face of the digital payments system in the near future.
“With the new digital money system, Chinese tourists going to Thailand will not have to bring cash,” he said. “You could go to any bar, any restaurant, any shop and just use our mobile payments service,” he said, adding that in the future you may not even need to carry a passport.
Ma confirmed that Lazada, a regional e-commerce company in which the Alibaba Group now holds about 83 per cent equity, has drawn up a proposal to set up a major e-commerce park in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor.
July 18, 2017