December 7, 2012 |
Meditation this week won the scientific stamp of approval from a federal panel as a means of reducing the severity of chronic and acute pain. The influential committee also concluded the practice of mindfulness has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety, but it found the scientific evidence for that claim weaker and more inconsistent. As a therapy to promote positive feelings, induce weight loss and improve attention and sleep, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was less impressed with meditation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 2012 |
ENCINITAS, Calif. - Parents in this seaside town are in a twist over yoga, saying that adding the ancient practice of meditative exercise to the school curriculum is tantamount to religious indoctrination into Hinduism. School officials never thought that yoga, practiced by roughly 22 million Americans, would be controversial when they accepted a $533,000 grant from a local yoga studio to include Ashtanga yoga in a program where students also learn about healthy eating and cultivate small gardens.
November 6, 2012 |
Actress Sharon Stone has sold a compound in the Beverly Crest area for $6.575 million. Surrounded by walls and gated, the Mediterranean-style estate sits on five acres with pathways, bridges, waterfalls, fruit trees, a meditation garden, a swimming pool and a tennis court with viewing pavilion. The main house, built in 1991, includes a paneled library, a wet bar in the living room and a master suite with dual bathrooms, dual dressing rooms and a terrace. The guest house contains a media room, a gym and two bedrooms, for a total of seven bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms and four fireplaces.
October 28, 2012 |
Building Stories Chris Ware Pantheon: Boxed, unpaged, $50 Chris Ware has been asking us to rethink comics for a long time, since his early days drawing for Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly's RAW. He's best known for the 2000 graphic novel "Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth," a multilayered narrative that won several awards, as well as his ongoing comic book series the "Acme Novelty Library. " Still, it's no stretch to suggest that with his new work, "Building Stories," he has upped the ante, pushing comics in a new direction while paying tribute to their history.
October 10, 2012 |
TORONTO - Martin McDonagh is no stranger to movie violence. The British playwright-filmmaker's debut feature, 2008's hit-man tale "In Bruges," had no shortage of blood, and McDonagh's new movie, Friday's R-rated crime drama "Seven Psychopaths," is hardly a musical comedy. The writer-director won't have to wait for critics and audiences to comment on the surging body count - "Seven Psychopaths" is as much a commentary on screen violence as a story overflowing with it. At various points throughout the film, McDonagh points out the real-life consequences of aggression and stages some scenes with so much over-the-top mayhem that it's clear he's poking fun at how movies typically, and casually, glorify bloodshed.
September 30, 2012 |
The Polish Boxer Eduardo Halfon Translated from the Spanish by Daniel Hahn, Ollie Brock, Lisa Dillman, Thomas Bunstead and Anne McLean Bellevue Literary Press: 188 pp., $14.95 paper In the closing pages of "The Polish Boxer," a book that willfully and delightfully blurs the boundaries among novel, memoir and meditation, Guatemalan writer Eduardo Halfon exposes what he, what any author, is up against. "Literature," he explains, "is no more than a good trick a magician or a witch might perform, making reality appear whole, creating the illusion that reality is a single unified thing.
September 29, 2012 |
Every Thursday at lunchtime at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, several dozen people turn off their cellphones and take seats in the bright pink chairs of the Billy Wilder Theater. They come to spend half an hour with Diana Winston, a former Buddhist nun and one of the nation's best-known teachers of mindfulness meditation. The lights go down, and Winston takes a seat in an office chair and speaks quietly into a microphone. Occasionally she is accompanied by Michael Perricone playing about 20 Tibetan bells, the haunting, wave-like sounds enhancing her voice, which is so soothing it's as if she were born to the work.
July 21, 2012 |
When it's time to meditate, sit comfortably, focus your attention … and reach for your smartphone? More and more people are doing just that, ifApple's iPhoneApp Store is any indication - a search for "meditation" results in more than 1,000 possible downloads. But isn't the point to unplug? The guidance offered in these apps "allows you just to let go and stop worrying about whether you're doing it right," says Stephan Bodian, a psychotherapist in Tucson and the developer of the Mindfulness Meditation app. "You can just relax and let yourself be led. " Plugging in to a meditation app - having turned off the phone's ringer and other functions, of course - could have a host of benefits.
July 2, 2012 |
Russell Brand, how do you stay so happy-go-lucky? "I meditate often," he told the Ministry of Gossip on Saturday. "It connects you to a source of energy that's more powerful than the material world in which we primarily dwell. It helps you relax and unwind. " That's something clearly needed by the comic and actor, who has been percolating on a publicity tour for “Rock of Ages,” shooting his FX comedy show “Brand X” and navigating a media firestorm linked to his divorce from Katy Perry, whose new documentary “Part of Me” includes personal footage from their marriage. Hardly relaxing stuff.
June 27, 2012 |
At what point does creative freedom collide with moral accountability? Sheila Callaghan's bleakly sardonic “Roadkill Confidential” at Son of Semele Theater poses the question in uniquely unsettling terms. Ethical considerations don't deter megalomaniacal artist-provocateur Trevor Pratt (Melissa Randel) from knowingly constructing her latest work out of furry accident carcasses infected with a strain of tularemia that's lethal to anyone who touches them. Her dangerous project incurs the invasive surveillance of a sinister one-eyed FBI Man (Daniel Getzoff)