A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation; the concept can be seen in many religions and in philosophy. In the Greek language the term can apply to women, but in modern English it is in use for men; the word nun is used for female monastics. Although the term monachos is of Christian origin, in the English language monk tends to be used loosely for both male and female ascetics from other religious or philosophical backgrounds. However, being generic, it is not interchangeable with terms that denote particular kinds of monk, such as cenobite, anchorite, hesychast, or solitary. In Eastern Orthodoxy monasticism holds a special and important place: "Angels are a light for monks, monks are a light for laymen".

Orthodox monastics separate themselves from the world. They do not, in general, have as their primary purpose the running of social services, but instead are concerned with attaining theosis, or union with God. However, care for the poor and needy has always been an obligation of monasticism, so not all monasteries are "cloistered"; the level of contact will vary from community to community. Hermits, on the other hand, have little or no contact with the outside world. Orthodox monasticism does not have religious orders as are found in the West, nor do they have Rules in the same sense as the Rule of St. Benedict. Rather, Eastern monastics study and draw inspiration from the writings of the Desert Fathers as well as other Church Fathers. Hesychasm is of primary importance in the ascetical theology of the Orthodox Church. Most communities are self-supporting, the monastic’s daily life is divided into three parts: communal worship in the catholicon. Meals are taken in common in a sizable dining hall known as a trapeza, at elongated refectory tables.

Food is simple and is eaten in silence while one of the brethren reads aloud from the spiritual writings of the Holy Fathers. The monastic lifestyle takes a great deal of serious commitment. Within the cenobitic community, all monks conform to a common way of living based on the traditions of that particular monastery. In struggling to attain this conformity, the monastic comes to realize his own shortcomings and is guided by his spiritual father in how to deal with them. For this same reason, bishops are always chosen from the ranks of monks. Eastern monasticism is found in three distinct forms: anchoritic and the "middle way" between the two, known as the skete. One enters a cenobitic community first, only after testing and spiritual growth would one go on to the skete or, for the most advanced, become a solitary anchorite. However, one is not expected to join a skete or become a solitary. In general, Orthodox monastics have little or no contact with the outside world, including their own families.

The purpose of the monastic life is union with God, the means is through leaving the world. After tonsure, Orthodox monks and nuns are never permitted to cut their hair; the hair of the head and the beard remain uncut as a symbol of the vows they have taken, reminiscent of the Nazarites from the Old Testament. The tonsure of monks is the token of a consecrated life, symbolizes the cutting off of their self-will; the process of becoming a monk is intentionally slow, as the vows taken are considered to entail a lifelong commitment to God, are not to be entered into lightly. In Orthodox monasticism after completing the novitiate, there are three ranks of monasticism. There is only one monastic habit in the Eastern Church, it is the same for both monks and nuns; each successive grade is given a portion of the habit, the full habit being worn only by those in the highest grade, known for that reason as the "Great Schema", or "Great Habit". The various profession rites are performed by the Abbot, but if the abbot has not been ordained a priest, or if the monastic community is a convent, a hieromonk will perform the service.

The abbot or hieromonk who performs a tonsure must be of at least the rank. In other words, only a hieromonk, tonsured into the Great Schema may himself tonsure a Schemamonk. A bishop, may tonsure into any rank, regardless of his own. Novice, lit. "one under obedience"—Those wishing to join a monastery begin their lives as novices. After coming to the monastery and living as a guest for not less than three days, the revered abbot or abbess may bless the candidate to become a novice. There is no formal ceremony for the clothing of a novice, he or she receive


Slacklining refers to the act of walking, running or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing, tensioned between two anchors. Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking. Slacklines differ from tightwires and tightropes in the type of material used and the amount of tension applied during use. Slacklines are tensioned less than tightropes or tightwires in order to create a dynamic line which will stretch and bounce like a long and narrow trampoline. Tension can be adjusted to suit the user, different webbing may be used in various circumstances. Urbanlining or urban slacklining combines all the different styles of slacklining, it is practiced for example in city parks and on the streets. Most urban slackliners prefer wide 2-inch lines for tricklining on the streets, but some may use narrow lines for longline purposes or for waterlining. See the other sections of slackline styles below. One type of urbanlining is timelining, where one tries to stay on a slackline for as long as possible without falling down.

This takes tremendous concentration and focus of will, is a great endurance training for postural muscles. Another type of urbanlining is streetlining, which combines street workout power moves with the slackline's dynamic, bouncy feeling; the main focus are static handstands, super splits—hands and feet together, front lever, back lever, one arm handstand and other interesting extreme moves that are evolving in street workout culture. Tricklining has become the most common form of slacklining because of the easy setup of 2-inch slackline kits. Tricklining is done low to the ground but can be done on highlines as well. A great number of tricks can be done on the line, because the sport is new, there is plenty of room for new tricks; some of the basic tricks done today are walking, walking backwards, drop knee and jumping onto the slackline to start walking, bounce walking. Some intermediate tricks include: Buddha sit, sitting down, lying down, cross-legged knee drop, surfing forward, surfing sideways, jump turns, or "180s".

Some of the advanced tricks are: jumps, tree plants, jumping from line-to-line, 360s, butt bounces, chest bounces. With advancements in webbing technology & tensioning systems, the limits for what can be done on a slackline are being pushed constantly, it is not uncommon to see expert slackliners incorporating flips and twists into slackline trick combinations. Highlining is slacklining at elevation above the water. Many slackliners consider highlining to be the pinnacle of the sport. Highlines are set up in locations that have been used or are still used for Tyrolean traverse; when rigging highlines, experienced slackers take measures to ensure that solid and equalized anchors are used to secure the line into position. Modern highline rigging entails a mainline of webbing, backup webbing, either climbing rope or amsteel rope for redundancy. However, many highlines are rigged with a mainline and backup only if the highline is low tension, or rigged with high quality webbing like Type 18 or MKII Spider Silk.

It is common to pad all areas of the rigging which might come in contact with abrasive surfaces. To ensure safety, most highliners wear a climbing harness or swami belt with a leash attached to the slackline itself. Leash-less, or "free-solo" slacklining – a term loosely taken from rockclimbing – is not unheard of, with proponents such as Dean Potter and Andy Lewis. Slackline yoga takes traditional yoga moves them to the slackline, it has been described as "distilling the art of yogic concentration". To balance on a 1-inch piece of webbing tensioned between two trees is not easy, doing yoga poses on it is more challenging; the practice develops focus, dynamic balance, breath, core integration and confidence. Using standing postures, sitting postures, arm balances, kneeling postures and unique vinyasa, a skilled slackline yogi is able to create a flowing yoga practice without falling from the line. Slackline yoga has been covered in Yoga Journal and Climbing Magazine. Rodeo slacklining is the art and practice of cultivating balance on a piece of rope or webbing draped slack between two anchor points about 15 to 30 feet apart and 2 to 3 feet off the ground in the center.

This type of "slack" slackline provides a wide array of opportunities for both swinging and static maneuvers. A rodeo line has no tension in it, while tightropes are tensioned; this slackness in the rope or webbing allows it to swing at large amplitudes and adds a different dynamic. This form of slacklining first came into popularity in 1999, through a group of students from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, it was first written about on a website called the "Vultures Peak Center for Freestyle and Rodeo Slackline Research" in 2004. The article "Old Revolution—New Recognition - 3-10-04" describes these early developments in detail. Windlining is a practice of slacklining performed in windy conditions. Depending on the intensity of the wind, it can be difficult to remain on the line without being blown off; the sensation one experiences is like flying as the slacker must angle his body and arms in an aerodynamic manner to maintain balance. While rope walking has been around in one manner or another for thousands of years, the origins of modern-day slacklining is attributed to a young rock climber named Adam Grosowsky from southern I

Tommaso Pincio

Tommaso Pincio is the pseudonym of Marco Colapietro, an Italian author of five novels, including Love-shaped story. "Tommaso Pincio" is an Italian rendering of Thomas Pynchon's name but this is not the sole reference for the pseudonym. "Pincio" is a hill in the center of Rome whose name comes from one of the families that occupied it in the 4th century AD, the Pincii. He claimed. I stole its name because I love the sound of it". If he is not as reclusive as his American namesake few things are known about Tommaso Pincio as a person, he was graduated in Visual Arts. He wanted to become a painter but dropped that ambition quite soon. During the 1980s he was an assistant of various artists while working as a cartoonist. In 1991, he moved to New York City. Going back to Italy, he became the director of a well known and respected contemporary art gallery, he started to think about writing novels during his stay in the United States, getting in touch with the works of Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick who influenced him strongly.

His first novel, M. was published in 1999. At present, Tommaso Pincio is based in Bangkok, he contributes for the Italian edition of Rolling Stone and several leading newspapers including La Repubblica. Il dono di saper vivere, Roma: Giulio Einaudi Editore 2018 Scrissi d'Arte, Roma: L'Orma Editore 2015 Panorama, Milano: NN Editore 2015 Acque Chete, Ascoli Piceno: Mirror Editore 2014 Pulp Roma, Milan: Il Saggiatore Editore 2012 Hotel a zero stelle, literary memoir, Bari: Laterza Editore 2011 Cinacittà, Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore 2008 Gli Alieni: come e perché sono giunti fra noi, historical essay, Rome: Fazi Editore 2006 La ragazza che non era lei, Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore 2005 Un amore dell'altro mondo, Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore 2002 Lo spazio sfinito, Rome: Fanucci Editore, 2000 M. novel, Naples: Cronopio Editore, 1999 Official website Aliens don't suck!, a web-magazine run by Tommaso Pincio