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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 leads "Cultivating Meaning and Happiness through Mindfulness and Yoga" workshops at the Esalen Institute and throughout the United States. He is the author of Mindfulness for Anxiety, Mindfulness for Depression, and Yoga for Depression and Anxiety. For more information about Ira please visit Optimum Integral Wellness.
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Entries by Ira Israel

Mindful Friends

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 4:03 PM

Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be too famous too young.
Duke Ellington

I was meeting an old friend who I had not seen in many years and I was looking forward to catching up with her over a long dinner. I arrived at...

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Mindful Teaching

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Although I greatly admire Benjamin Bratton's provocative anti-TED TEDx Talk and remain surprised that some disgruntled blogger has not yet posted a coequal anti-blog such as "How Blogging Is Tantamount To Slavery," I do not entirely agree with Professor Bratton who derides TED Talks stating that "the key...

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Mindful Therapy

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 2:52 PM

When working with psychotherapy clients in my private practice, I usually try to discern and track two major themes:

1. What is the corrective emotional experience that the client is subconsciously yearning for?

2. Who am I showing up as subconsciously for the client? Or, what dynamic or pattern from...

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Mindful Dating

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:27 PM

"Man's greatest labor so far has been to reach agreement about very many things and to submit to a law of agreement - regardless of whether these things are true or false."

Nietzsche, "The Gay Science," section 76

In our "crazybusy" adult lives, dating...

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Mindful Medicine

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 1:29 PM

During my mindfulness workshops I often ask three sets of rhetorical questions to raise consciousness about the tacit paradigm behind Western medicine. The dialogue I have aloud with myself goes something as follows:

"What does it mean when you have a fever?"
"It means that there are...

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Why I Will Not Buy Another Honda

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 7:43 PM

I bought my first Honda in 1984. It was a white 5-speed Civic with 60,000 miles on it and I loved it and drove it for many years without any problems. In 2007, after leasing several cars, I was on my way to the Toyota dealer to buy a de...

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"Tim's Vermeer:" An Adventure Film for Culturally Astute People

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 11:52 AM

Even before Michael Moore appeared on the scene with "Roger and Me," the documentary genre had been corrupted. Most of the documentaries I have seen since "Hoop Dreams" have been some form of propaganda where the filmmaker has an obvious agenda and circumstances "serendipitously" manifest or...

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Mindful Sex

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 5:39 PM

The journey is the destination.
Dan Eldon

In his book "Constructing the Sexual Crucible: An Integration of Sexual and Marital Therapy," David Schnarch posits that sexual intercourse in America has become akin to mutual masturbation, that the way we approach recreational sex is too goal oriented, too focused...

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Mindful Eating

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 10:27 AM

Last Friday I attended an ad hoc colloquium with Dennis Kucinich, Elizabeth Kucinich, and John Robbins organized by Independent Congressional Candidate Marianne Williamson. Congressman Kucinich has been fighting for many years to get Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) properly labeled so that consumers can make informed choices...

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Mindful Politics

(9) Comments | Posted February 23, 2014 | 10:38 AM

We have seen a huge transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthiest one percent. In the late 1970s the top one percent accounted for 9 percent of real income in the country. Today, they account for 24 percent. The vast majority of Americans are working harder and...

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Why I Will Vote for Marianne Williamson for Any Office For Which She Runs

(2) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 9:34 AM

Imagine you are President of the World and receive the following offer from aliens: "Supreme Leader, a sustainable gross world product is $10 trillion a year. We would like to make you an offer: $600 trillion for the entire earth. True, we plan to extract all of its resources, destroy...

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American Hustle

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 11:08 AM

About twelve years ago I was exiting a restaurant in West Hollywood when I recognized the French actor Saïd Taghmaoui walking towards me.

"Je vous ai beaucoup aimé dans Three Kings. Je croyais que c'était l'un des meilleurs filmes de l'année," I told him.

"You should tell the director," he...

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10 Seeds to Plant this Holiday Season for a Gorgeous 2014!

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 8:54 AM

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

Everything we learn from popular culture - that sex, drugs, money, "bling," power, marriage, employment...

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What It Means to Be a Gentleman

(2) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 3:35 PM

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

I cannot even begin to try to explain how difficult it is for men...

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"Don Jon": The Masterpiece Most People Will Probably Not See

(18) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 11:36 AM

Maybe you will catch an interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and be moderately intrigued. Maybe you will read a post on Facebook stating that "Don Jon" is funny or cute. Maybe you will hear that it is too smart and honest for its own good.

But there's something uniquely dis-appealing...

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Dear Friends and Future Lover(s)

(10) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 2:25 AM

I apologize in advance. I could be wrong. I could be making a mistake. I've made mistakes before...

Maybe it's my fault. Maybe it's me. Maybe I am reading too much into it. Maybe I am misguided. Maybe I don't understand. Maybe I just don't get it....

In the...

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The Beautiful and the Brave: Cameron Russell's Astonishing TED Talk

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 6:31 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post.

Kudos to the extraordinarily brave Cameron Russell whose TEDTalk is the paramount of authenticity and a remarkable deconstruction of one of the myths upon which the empire named after...

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Affordable Care Act

(5) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 6:49 PM

Please forgive me, but before I can describe what happened at the UCLA Medical Center doctor's office last week, I need to give you what is commonly referred to in Hollyjungle as "The Backstory."

Following a car accident in 1985 I saw enough doctors to literally last a life time....

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10 Amazing Pop Songs & Ballads You May Have Missed

(8) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 1:20 PM

"Without music, life would be a mistake." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Musical taste is wildly subjective. I like all genres of music as long as the music conveys extraordinary emotions. If you are familiar with my psychotherapy work and DVDs you know that I believe that our society tolerates...

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Ceci n'est ni un Blog ni une Blague (This Is Neither a Blog Nor a Joke)

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 10:46 AM

Last night I watched a video on YouTube that was mindblowingly provocative. "RSA Animate - First as Tragedy, Then as Farce" utilizes Slavoj Zizek's scathing rebuke of charity, displaying that consumer capitalism now encompasses its opposite within itself in an attempt to be mildly ethical; consumers can "buy...

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