November 21, 2005 |
Inhale ... peace. Exhale ... world. Inhale ... p-e-e-e-a-c-e. This type of rhythmic breathing and mind-clearing exercise not only calms and relaxes, it also appears to produce structural changes in the brain -- even in over-scheduled Americans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1993 |
They might have been taken for Buddhists, this dozen men and women sitting on the floor of a candle-lit room, eyes closed, listening to the sound of their own breathing. But when they began to chant softly together, the word that flowed out of their meditative state was a clue to their common ground. These were not Buddhists but Jews. Among them was a Hasid, a Conservative rabbi, and several men and women with little knowledge of Judaism.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 1996 |
Ra Paulette can't stop digging. For almost two years now, he has scooped, sanded, brushed and swept away a huge outcropping of sandstone in northern New Mexico, creating a magical, swirling, echoing shrine he calls Windows in the Earth. "It's a living thing. I didn't know what it was going to be when I started. It's almost like being Dr. Frankenstein," he says. The ceilings stretch more than 20 feet high, and the intricate web of small niches and rooms could make up a small house.
December 15, 2003 |
Inside a church community room, beginning meditators close their eyes, straighten their spines in their folding metal chairs and try to rein in, for just 10 minutes, the thoughts that race like wild horses through their minds. A woman in the back row yawns. The woman next to her fidgets. Another student sneaks a peek. "My mind still wanders," Jeremy Morelock, 33, says of the Buddhist meditation class he has attended for three months in search of stress relief and spiritual growth.
August 7, 1995 |
The idea may seem silly, says the Rev. Lauren Artress of the Grace Cathedral, but here it is: Walk into the nave of the elegant Episcopal cathedral on Nob Hill, then step onto a lush wool carpet, its ancient labyrinth design woven in purple and gray across a 37-foot diameter. As you follow a winding path for 20 minutes or so, you might cry tears of grief or joy, solve the riddle of a messed-up family or work life, feel better about an illness, or gain spiritual insight.
June 5, 1995 |
Every afternoon, office manager Janet Atwood leaves her desk, walks into a quiet room, closes the door and spends 20 minutes meditating. Her boss, Encino physician Phil Lichtenfield, can't accuse her of nodding off on the job. He approved the rest break. At about the same time Atwood is closing the door, Montague Guild, founder of Guild Investment Management Inc.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2007 |
USC junior Geinel Johnson tells herself that Sunday is her one day to rest after a jam-packed week of classes, job duties and volunteer work. But, somehow, she finds herself still multi-tasking even on her day off. Johnson, 21, said her schedule is like that of most of her college peers. "We are always doing something," Johnson said this week, fresh off a final exam and on her way to her part-time job on campus. "We never take time to reflect on the day."
October 29, 2007 |
The 30 or so clinicians and researchers sat cross-legged on cushions or in chairs, their eyes closed, as their teacher led them through a guided meditation. Telling them to relax their bodies and concentrate on their breathing, author and meditation instructor Sharon Salzberg urged them to overcome distractions such as sounds, thoughts and emotions by coming back to the breath each time they found their minds wandering. The goal, she said, was to still the mind.
August 15, 1995 |
Imagine you're part of a scientific experiment. You've been asked to be part of a healing process--but not with chicken soup or get-well cards. Your job is to pray. Weird science? Just wait. The project director says the prayers are for fungus cultures. The object is to slow their growth, as if they were an unwelcome infection. In the end, the cultures that received the spiritual attention actually grew slower.
October 16, 1990 |
The hypnotic voice of qigong master Zhang Ruming floated through a hall packed wall-to-wall with 300 working-class Beijing residents. "The lotus flower endlessly grows," Zhang intoned. "The lotus flower envelops you. Think, 'I am the lotus flower. The lotus flower is me. . . . The lotus flower is all of nature.' " Everyone seemed lost in quiet meditation on the soothing words, rich in Buddhist imagery. But no one considered this a religious meeting, at least not openly.