March 30, 2013 |
On the third day of silence and meditation, I said just 14 words, all of them in the course of chopping vegetables for dinner. Days two, four and five were not much different. I'm not the quiet type. But this was my idea. So earlier this year, I drove most of a day to reach Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County to immerse myself in the practice of mindful meditation. To be still, clear of worry over career, my teenage sons' futures, the renovations of our old house. To see whether I could stop -- just stop -- for five days and perhaps for a little bit each day afterward.
March 30, 2013 |
Day 1 My anxiety grows as I get to Larkspur, several hours into my drive to Spirit Rock. I stop for a snack, worried the food will be hippie-style brown rice casseroles. When I pull into the parking lot, I'm told I can carry my bags up the hill or put them in a pickup. I heft them, worried it's too indulgent to do otherwise. Later, walking to dinner, people talk tentatively; it's our last chance to speak to one another, and rather than motivating a full-on chat stream, that makes me pretty uninterested in small talk.
March 28, 2013 |
Violence is the trigger in "The Place Beyond the Pines," Derek Cianfrance's latest love letter to bad breaks. But it's the ripple effect of responsibility, regret, limited resources and guilt that makes "Pines" particularly relevant in a time when so many struggle from paycheck to paycheck. Starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta and Dane DeHaan, the movie is intimate in its telling, sweeping in its issues and stumbles only occasionally. The idiosyncratic Cianfrance tends to gravitate toward the economically challenged who live lives of desperation.
February 23, 2013 |
As business classes get underway at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, MBA students open their laptops and professors fire up PowerPoint presentations in many classrooms. In the Executive Mind class, however, professor Jeremy Hunter pulls out decidedly different tools: a brass singing bowl and leather-wrapped mallet. The chimes from three strikes on the bowl quiet the dozen or so students, who have put away smartphones and other devices. They close their eyes.
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.