Yearly Archives: 2017

No, Where…
Now, Here…

The art of stillness

By Siddhartha Roy

In an age characterized by aggressive haste and information overload, Pico Iyer’s talk on the art of stillness points us to “one of our greatest [and mostly forgotten] luxuries” — the empty space one arrives at by being still. This empty space, I believe, is partly the answer to THE grand challenge of our era: countering the growing assault on our attention and the consequent lack of mindfulness in work, relationships and, most importantly, our inner lives. If one is constantly distracted by pings, tweets and emails and only superficially engaged, we risk becoming cogs in the distraction economy, possibly even losing the capacity for compassion, contemplation and deep engagement.

Pico talks about taking a vacation “in time,” by “simply sitting still and going nowhere.” This should not be confused with discursive thought (or even passive rumination), which is often a primary source of human suffering. Instead, engaging in practices like mindfulness meditation, running or simply sitting still for long periods of time can offer us a refuge from the dizzying pace of our lives and help us reset our inner compass to what really matters. For example, when working 16+ hour days and facing a dearth of active reflection time at the height of uncovering the Flint Water Crisis, running on the streets of Blacksburg, Virginia at 2 a.m. was the only way I could stay sane. Or the ten days I spent on a meditation retreat in the Himalayas a few years ago that pointed me to a deep and messy inner world I could access after prolonged periods of externally-imposed stillness.

Pico shares a crucial insight: it’s only by going to a place of real quiet that we’ll have anything fresh or creative or joyful to share with the world. This also calls for mindful consumption of (and sometimes abstaining from) content, even though we may be drowning in emails and good television. In a time when every headline is screaming for us to lose our minds, the need for more of us to be calm and clear so as to think, reflect and act better cannot be exaggerated.

Pico’s talk is an amusing paradox — a travel writer extolling the virtues of “going nowhere.” Take a listen. And then, if you are so tempted, go. Go nowhere.



Here’s to the best reward a teacher can get…
From Maxime, a student of mine of years ago…
Feeling grateful and humbled…
(as seen on Facebook)

Pierre Geslin
Thank you Maxime!
You are too kind!
Hope you are happy and doing well…
And, if and when you have a spare moment, you are alway welcome on  and/or on !
Warm regards,



This is a Mind Map of the ENGLiSHCiRCLE territory…

Click the screen icon on the right of the green “Public Diagram” icon above to see it Full Screen!
Click the various items to discover all the FREE online English learning resources out there…


What explains the rise of humans?

Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we’ve spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here? Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a surprising reason for the rise of humanity.

List of 213 English Irregular Verbs’s Irregular Verbs List is one of the most comprehensive lists available. Below is our common English irregular verbs list which includes 213 verbs and shows the infinitive, the past simple and the past participle forms.


  • Alternate forms are separated by a / character.
  • Click on a verb to view the definition and extended information about it including the 3rd person singular and the present participle / gerund forms.
  • Our complete list of 623 irregular verbs provides 410 extra definitions and includes rare and antiquated forms. Sign up for free now!
  • Download the PDF version of our Common Irregular Verb List (64K) which is perfect to print and share.

Irregular Verb List (PDF)

Download the PDF version of our Common Irregular Verb List which is perfect to print and share.

Irregular Verb List PDFDownload Irregular Verb List (PDF)



Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English. He shares photos and spine-tingling audio of Chinese students rehearsing English — “the world’s second language” — by the thousands.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.