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You're on a team with a colleague you consider an incompetent boor. She leaves her half-empty coffee cups around until mold starts to form and lets her paperwork slop over onto your desk. Because of her disorganization, a report you both worked on was late, tarnishing your image as well as hers. You feel your chest tightening and your rage swelling. There are two options, right? You can confront her directly and run the risk of an ugly scene. Or you can simmer in a stew of resentment, grumbling to co-workers or being obsessed about what you should have said to her face and run the risk of poisoning your job and compromising your work.
January 8, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Of all fields of medicine, psychology seems especially prone to fads. Freudian dream analysis, recovered memory therapy, eye movement desensitization for trauma ? lots of once-hot psychological theories and treatments eventually fizzled. Now along comes mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga that's taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the country. "Mindfulness has become a buzzword, especially with younger therapists," said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.
Deborah Barrett's life is startlingly simple. And startlingly complex. She is a Zen monk, a Catholic nun, a lawyer and a psychologist. In her sparely furnished office there is a futon and a computer. There are books on religion, Zen and psychology, a poster of Catholic scholar St. Teresa of Avila and wood block prints of a Zen garden, a church and Janice Joplin. All the pieces exist separately and--somehow--together, much like the seemingly disparate experiences in Barrett's life.
September 14, 2013 | By Lily Dayton
Walking into one of the studios at Hot 8 Yoga in Santa Monica, I feel like I've crossed into a different latitude. The temperature is 100 degrees, and the moisture in the air is palpable - think tropical rain forest or Southern bayou. Everyone is lying on mats, eyes closed. The instructor, Carmen Guerrero, a striking woman with floral tattoos that curl up her arm, encourages us to feel our breath throughout our bodies, preparing us to "awaken the fire within. " Though I've practiced yoga for several years, this is my first foray into a heated studio.
April 25, 2014 | Mary MacVean
Workouts don't always have to be sweaty, and my mind and spirit needed some attention after a recent long week. We can all meditate or downward our dogs at home, but sometimes it helps to have a little guidance. Reset: 8254 Melrose Ave., Aura: Seems like miles from the hullabaloo just outside; dimmed lights, electric candles and cushiony mats. Effort: Laid-back, for sure. But there's no payoff if you just drop off and don't try to follow the teacher.
October 2, 2010 | By Nomi Morris, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Molecular biologist and author Jon Kabat-Zinn was a pioneer in applying the Buddhist concept of mindfulness to Western medicine and secular society. But he doesn't consider himself a Buddhist. "Mindfulness, the heart of Buddhist meditation, is at the core of being able to live life as if it really matters. It has nothing to do with Buddhism. It has to do with freedom," Kabat-Zinn said in a telephone interview from Lexington, Mass. "Mindfulness is so powerful that the fact that it comes out of Buddhism is irrelevant.
August 10, 2009 | Duke Helfand
As the lights dimmed over a hotel ballroom in downtown Los Angeles, 2,000 people closed their eyes and commenced their morning kirtan, or devotional chanting. "Oh, God beautiful, at thy feet, oh I do bow," they sang as monks played tiny cymbals and other instruments. "To the yogi, thou art bliss." The visitors were attempting to establish a spiritual tone for the weeklong world convocation of the Self-Realization Fellowship, a religious and spiritual organization whose devotees practice yoga and meditation while honoring underlying principles of truth in the world's great religions.
May 22, 2003 | Anne-Marie O'Connor, Times Staff Writer
Lynda Guber's days sizzled with stress. Her husband, Peter, ran Sony Pictures. Everyone wanted favors. She had to change her life. Her first step: "I decided I would drop everything that didn't serve my dharma." When a yogi anointed her with the name of a Buddhist goddess, Tara, she took it as her own. Empowered by this beloved and compassionate deity, Tara Guber began to move down the spiritual path that led to the creation of her personal refuge, "a place to get away to serve the spirit."
March 17, 2012 | Jeannine Stein
We know filmmaker David Lynch for the dark surrealism of "Eraserhead," "Blue Velvet," "Inland Empire" and "Twin Peaks," as well as for his deep, abiding love of coffee. Lynch is also passionate about transcendental meditation, which he first took up "on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning" in 1973. That passion spawned a book, "Catching the Big Fish," and the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. Lynch spoke about what TM means for him and why others should try it too. Catch the longer podcast at
September 22, 1997 | ROCHELLE O'GORMAN FLYNN
A Meditation to Help You With Weight Loss By Belleruth Naparstek; Time Warner AudioBooks One cassette One hour; $12 Time Warner AudioBooks has added three titles to a beneficial and masterfully produced meditation series by psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek. Naparstek, who has a soothing, deep voice, leads the guided meditation on the first half of "A Meditation to Help You With Weight Loss" and the affirmations on the other half.
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