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Ira Israel
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Ira Israel is a Licensed Counselor, a Licensed Psychotherapist, and a Certified Yoga Therapist. He has graduate degrees in Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies and teaches at the Esalen Institute and throughout the U.S. For more information please visit www.IraIsrael.com
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Entries by Ira Israel

The ABCs of Mindful Living: Authenticity, Balance & Compassion

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 11:14 AM

It is so heartwarming to witness the proliferation of mindful living! 2015-03-03-1425414211-5923442-_WithTimRyan.JPG
Last Sunday on the cover of the New York Times Business Section, David Gelles the author of "Mindful Work" extolled Aetna's CEO Mark Bertolini for embracing...

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Don't Miss The Extraordinary New Movie "An Honest Liar: Truth and Deception in the Life of James 'The Amazing' Randi"!

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 9:20 AM

This is what it means to be an honest liar: it's the difference between using deception to conceal the truth and using deception to reveal the truth. ~ Jamy Ian Swiss

On the first morning of my Esalen mindfulness retreats, in order to demonstrate the inaccuracy of...

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Mindful Speech (or What You Can Learn About Buddhism from the Mafia)

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 10:47 PM

In Los Angeles there is a certain elasticity to the concept known elsewhere as "truth." Ever since the Gold Rush people show up late to most meetings, shrug their shoulders in ersatz disbelief, and say, "Traffic."

"Traffic, can you believe it??? I mean, who woulda thunk... in a city of...

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Why Your Next Retreat Should Be at the Esalen Institute

(2) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 10:17 PM

You could read the Esalen catalog forwards and backwards one hundred times and still only get the faintest glimpse of the magic that occurs there.

Imagine a place where people can shed all of the pretenses of the everyday hustle and peacefully rejuvenate.

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Mindful Money

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 3:46 PM

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." ~ Bob Dylan

At various times during my life I've been relatively wealthy and relatively impoverished and neither one has particularly...

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How Tony Robbins' "Money: Master The Game" Represents Exactly What Is Destroying America

(111) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 8:48 AM

On page 27 of the best-selling book "Money: Master the Game," Tony Robbins writes that "As I was writing this book, Congress slashed $8.7 billion from the food stamp budget. I witnessed firsthand the devastating impact this had on the volunteers and nonprofit organizations that work in the fight against...

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A Triumph of the Spirit, a Triumph of the Will: Don't Miss "Monk With A Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland"

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 5:34 PM

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"Monk With A Camera" chronicles Nicholas Vreeland's astonishing journey from privileged playboy to revered monk to acclaimed artist and philanthropist.

Nicholas Vreeland's grandmother was the legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, who procured Nicky...

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Reese Witherspoon, From Legally Blonde to Visionary, Genius Producer

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 2:06 PM

On this perfect day when everything is ripening and not only the grapes are becoming brown, a ray of sunshine has fallen on my life: I looked behind me, I looked before me, never have I seen so many and such good things together.  Not in vain have I buried my...
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Does Social Media Foment Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

(2) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 12:12 PM

What happened to truth in advertising?

Imagine if a law were enacted that declared that people could only call themselves on the Internet by the same monikers inscribed in the "Occupation" boxes of their tax returns. How many of the 80,000 Huffington Post bloggers would write the following...

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Why Alejandro Iñárritu's "Birdman" Will Sweep The Golden Globe Awards And Academy Awards

(2) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 6:52 PM

There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper. ~ Camille Paglia

...for man is, if I may say so, "the sterile animal." ~ Nietzsche

Alejandro Iñárritu's "Birdman" is a ballet cum emotional and visual rollercoaster. If you enjoy sitting at the edge of your seat...

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Mindful Happiness: 10 Remedies For Subtle Incessant Dissatisfaction

(2) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 5:01 PM

"Happiness cannot be pursued. You do not find happiness; happiness finds you. It is not an end in itself, but a by-product of other activities, often arriving when it is least expected." ~ Mick Brown

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."...

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Lili Haydn's Exquisitely Brilliant New CD "Lililand:" A Journey For Your Heart, Soul And Mind As Well As Your Ears

(2) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 4:16 PM

The medium is the message ~ Marshall McLuhan

I was in my neighborhood post office in Paris in 1993 when I noticed a beautiful woman standing in front of me wearing black jeans, a black turtleneck, and long black coat. I looked over her shoulder and saw that she was...

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Why Milo and Olive is the Best Restaurant in Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 12:58 PM

When I am not busy teaching mindfulness, I am busy ruminating over important philosophical questions such as "What is the meaning of soup?"

Personally I equate soup with living in abundance.

I think of foragers before the agricultural revolution going out into the wild and finding TOO MUCH...

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Can You Have Great Sex in a Healthy Adult Relationship?

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 5:42 PM

Youth is wasted on the young.
George Bernard Shaw

Legend has it that when Elvis Costello received the first R.E.M. cassette he walked around flipping it over and over in his Walkman (remember those?) listening to it continuously for days. Years later when asked what he thought of...

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Ira Israel

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 10:24 AM

Spin spin whisky and gin, I suffer for my art
Bartender I've got wild mushrooms growing in my yard
Fix me a quart of petrol, clams on the half shell
Feels like prohibition, baby, give me the hard sell
More, give me more, give me more...

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10 Things You Should Know Before Your First Ayahuasca Ceremony

(5) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 2:21 PM

"Life down here is just a strange illusion."
Iron Maiden, "Hallowed Be Thy Name"

Hats off to Bob Morris for his ruthlessly whitebread, antiseptic article in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times!

Glamorizing ayahuasca with celebrity quotes and citing the LA Weekly in calling it "exceedingly trendy"...

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How to Find the Right Mindfulness Teacher for You

(7) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 10:34 AM

"Step right up... Everyone's a winner, bargains galore... That's right, you too can be the proud owner... Act now and receive as our gift... one size fits all... No muss, no fuss, no spills... Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man... That's right, it filets, it chops,...
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10 Reasons Not To Vote For Marianne Williamson

(12) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 1:01 PM

Here are 10 reasons not to vote for Marianne Williamson:

10. Because you believe that having a black person as president means that racism isn't alive and well in America. It doesn't bother you that one out of three black men will spend some time of his life in...

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"Chinese Puzzle," "Venus in Fur," and "Me, Myself and Mom" at the COLCOA Film Festival

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 10:22 AM

For those who do not already know about it, the City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) Film Festival is one of the great treasures of Los Angeles. Including seventeen U.S. premieres this year, COLCOA is an eclectic array of French movies highlighting the finest talents in French cinema. With...

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Lorde and Hiromi in Concert

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 4:51 PM

You don't want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware I'm tearing you asunder.
There is thunder in our hearts.
Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don't we?

Kate Bush, "Running...

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