CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1999 |
Vita Barron stepped carefully on the labyrinth's narrow path, at times teetering on the turns, at other times gliding smoothly as if on Easy Street. A labyrinth is a lot like life, she said. Dating back at least to 1800 BC, labyrinths are an ancient meditation tool.
January 11, 1999 |
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.
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.
February 5, 1994 |
Twilight is falling. More than 3,000 barefoot, mostly Western and 30-something followers of Osho Rajneesh have padded into a lofty tent christened "Buddha Hall" to again hear the master's words. The guru's white armchair, complete with a cushion to ease his chronic back pain, is reverently borne in and placed on a marble platform. A screen lowers to the amplified twang of a sitar. The projector lights up and purrs.
September 14, 2013 |
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 17, 2000 |
When Joannie Parker developed breast cancer, her doctors eradicated the disease with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But the rigors of battling cancer left the 66-year-old Westwood woman feeling as many patients do: stressed out. To deal with her anxiety, Parker enrolled in an eight-week meditation class at UCLA's Rhonda Fleming Mann Resource Center for Women with Cancer.
April 5, 1996 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2010 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2009 |
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.