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Ira Israel
Ira Israel is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and holds graduate degrees in Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Ira is the creator of the "Meditation Made Easy" app as well as the DVDs “A Beginner’s Guide to Happiness,” “A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Meditation,” “Mindfulness for Anxiety,” and “Mindfulness for Depression.” Ira leads "Cultivating Meaning and Happiness through Mindfulness and Yoga" workshops at the Esalen Institute and throughout the United States. For more information please visit
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Entries by Ira Israel

Why The DEN Is The Best Meditation Studio In Los Angeles

(2) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 4:22 PM

Don't just do something. Sit there! ~ Sylvia Boorstein
I saw a guy today at Starbucks. He had no smartphone, tablet or laptop. He just sat there drinking his coffee. Like a psychopath. ~ Twitter


Before computers and mobile telephones I spent...

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Is Teaching Meditation The New Bartending?

(3) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 9:47 AM

...there may actually be puritanical fanatics of conscience who even prefer to lie down and die on a certain nothing than an uncertain something. ~ Nietzsche
...every artist first attains the supreme pinnacle of his greatness when he can look down into himself and his art, when he can laugh...
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Tania Dibbs' "We Were Here" Exhibition at the De Re Gallery: Review

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 6:46 PM

Last Thursday the De Re Gallery debuted the "We Were Here" exhibition by artist Tania Dibbs and it reminded me the some of the great openings I attended in Soho when I lived in NYC in the 1980s and 1990s. Fellow artists, collectors, environmentalists, musicians, and thespians were all...

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Huge Congrats To The Santa Monica Symphony For Winning A Prestigious National Endowment For The Arts Award!

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 6:03 PM

When people think of Santa Monica they probably think of the beach, the sun, the promenade... it is doubtful that many people think of its hidden gem, the Santa Monica Symphony, the crown jewel of Southern California's community orchestras. 


Founded in...

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Where Is the Best Place in Los Angeles to Gaslight the Mother of Your Children?

(2) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 1:20 PM

Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house. ~ Rod Stewart

Here in sunny California, marriages of ten years or more are considered marriages of "long duration" and if divorce occurs thereafter the court is NOT allowed to...

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How To Live An Empowered Life

(2) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 11:55 AM

Photo by Lesa Amoore

Tracee Stanley has developed an innovative practice to help people gain clarity, inspiration, and positive momentum in their lives. Tracee's "Empowered Life Activation Kit" includes 72 inquiry cards and 6 guided meditations that lead people on...

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Why So Many People Think That Uber And Lyft Can Rot In Hell After Their New Year's Eve Price Surges

(6) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 11:53 AM

In 500 years when deregulated, highly competitive capitalism is next to feudalism and communism in the dustbin of history, professors will argue how the Amazon business model decimated our society.

Many years ago there was a joke flying around that went like this: "Amazon is losing money on every sale....

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The Opposite of War Is Not Peace; The Opposite of War Is Art

(0) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 12:25 AM

We possess art lest we perish of the truth. ~ Nietzsche

I think that by all measures and standards I would be considered a hack as a jazz guitarist. That does not detract from the enjoyment I receive through being creative.

People such as Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery,...

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How To Crush And Destroy The Mother (or Father) Of Your Children

(1) Comments | Posted December 26, 2015 | 11:06 AM

Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house. ~ Rod Stewart

Here in sunny California, marriages of ten years or more are considered marriages of "long duration" and if divorce occurs thereafter the court is NOT allowed to...

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Got Insomnia? Trade Your Cappuccino in for a Macaccino and Get a Good Night's Sleep

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2015 | 9:13 PM

According to Harvard Medical School people who get insufficient sleep place themselves at risk for major health issues including heart disease, obesity, compromised immune systems and early mortality.

As Arianna Huffington describes in her best-selling book, "Thrive," restorative sleep is essential to overall well-being and...

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Starving for Wisdom

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 10:40 AM

"We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom." E.O. Wilson
We have all of the information that has ever existed in all of the libraries in the world at our fingertips twenty-fours hours a day. In my workshops I often say, "With my three graduate degrees...
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10 Things You Need to Know About Meditation

(1) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 4:30 PM

10. Paradoxically, meditation is the most difficult and most simple activity you will ever partake in.


9. There are infinite "anchors" (phenomena on which to focus your attention) and you need to find one or several that work for you.

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Is It Vulgar For Yoga Teachers To Use The "C" Word?

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 9:50 PM

The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Yeats, "The Second Coming"
And as we wind on down the road, Our shadows taller than our souls... Robert Plant, "Stairway to Heaven"


Most people floating around my orbit are...

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The Problem With "Steve Jobs"

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 2:44 PM

" opinion is that it's certainly best to separate an artist far enough from his work, so that one does not take him with the same seriousness as one does his work. In the final analysis, he is only the precondition for his work, its maternal womb, the soil...
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Don't Miss the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, October 28th - November 19th

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2015 | 12:11 PM


For almost 30 years, the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles has presented over 900 feature films, documentaries, television dramas and short films to nearly a million filmgoers and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art.


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Why Is There a White House Council on Women and Girls, But Not a White House Council on Men and Boys?

(6) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 12:23 PM

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results - a category that I fall neatly into. For whenever I teach at Esalen, I consistently forget to review the catalogue to see who my fellow workshop facilitators are. Thus, at every initial meeting,...

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"East LA Interchange": Film Review

(3) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 8:00 PM

The shift from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age only a few hundred years ago was accompanied by the rise of modern cities. However, one thing that did not shift so much was humans' desire to live in tribes, to live with people from their own heritage, who spoke...

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Esalen and the Guru of No Gurus

(5) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 12:07 PM

We teach best what we most need to learn. ~ Richard Bach

If you meet the Buddha, kill him. ~ Zen Master Linji

There is no spiritual bypass. ~ John Wellwood

In his lyrical masterpiece "Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion," Jeffrey Kripal traces the confluence...

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The Whispers From Children's Hearts Foundation

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 3:10 AM

Leaving a legacy is a vital archetype in our culture. 

When we think of the men and woman who have changed the course of history by living their highest purposes, it is their legacies that we are recalling.

Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa inspire us...

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Follow Your Dreams, Follow Your Heart: Annmarie Soul's "Back to the Garden" CD Review

(3) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 11:21 PM

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" ~ Seneca

I have often heard that good things happen in threes and I think that Annmarie Soul would agree.

1. One day actress Jami Gertz heard Annmarie sing and knew that the world had to hear this voice....

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