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Switzerland

Yogic Flyers On A Mission In Switzerland

The Swiss federal government is developing the criteria for certification of practitioners of alternative medicine. To do so, they’ve mandated an association with a board member who is a yogic flyer.

Meditation in the Swiss Alps (Evan Lovely)
Meditation in the Swiss Alps (Evan Lovely)
Daniel Foppa

ZURICH -- "The flying isn't just spiritual; you really lift off," says Franz Rutz, 59, a "yogic flyer" and practitioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM). Followers of TM believe they can fly: "with a lot of practice and discipline, advanced practitioners can master yogic flying," Rutz told local paper Zürichsee Zeitung in January. However, anyone who has watched the flying arts of the yogis on YouTube might be more inclined to describe it as broad jumping in a lotus position.

Rutz is convinced that yogic flyers influence society. "Scientific research shows that crime is reduced in cities where 1% of the population practices Transcendental Meditation." These studies are published (in German) online on websites like unbesiegbareschweiz.ch. Translated, one excerpt reads: "From 1979 to 1988, economic trends in the United States improved every single time the coherence group at Maharishi International University (Iowa) went over the threshold mark. The Misery Index fell by 36.1%." Put another way: the more yogis in Iowa jumped, the better it was for the U.S. economy.

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Coronavirus

In Shanghai, A Brewing Expat Exodus As COVID Crackdown Shows "Real" China

Not only strict rules of freedom of movement as part of Zero-COVID policy but also an increase in censorship has raised many questions for the expat population in the megacity of 26 million that had long enjoyed a kind of special status in China as a place of freedom and openness. A recent survey of foreigners in the Chinese megacity found that 48% of respondents said they would leave Shanghai within the next year.

People walk in Tianzifang, located in Huangpu District, a well-known tourist attraction in Shanghai.

Lili Bai

SHANGHAI — On the seventh day of the lockdown, Félix, a French expat who has worked in Shanghai for four years, texted his boss: I want to "run,' mais je sais pas quand (but I don’t know when). A minute later, he received a reply: moi aussi (me too).

Félix had recently learned the new Mandarin word 润 (run) from social network postings of his local friends. Because its pinyin “rùn” is the same as the English word “run,” Chinese youth had begun to use it to express their wish to escape reality, either to “be freed from mundane life”, or to “run toward your future.”

For foreigners like Félix, by associating the expression “run” with the feeling of the current lockdown in Shanghai, “everything makes sense.” Félix recalled how at the end of March, the government denied rumors of an impending lockdown: “My Chinese colleagues all said, Shanghai is China’s top city, there would be no lockdown no matter what.”

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