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Ira Israel
Ira Israel is a Licensed Psychotherapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Yoga Therapist. He has graduate degrees in Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies and teaches mindfulness and yoga at the Esalen Institute and throughout the United States. For more information please visit
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Entries by Ira Israel

Esalen and the Guru of No Gurus

(3) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 11:07 AM

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 | 2:10 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 | 10:21 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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Post Traumatic Growth: How Amanda Mills "Amandafested" Amanda Mills Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 5:44 PM

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear...

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Golden Mean: Best Organic Vegan Cafe in Los Angeles

(9) Comments | Posted August 29, 2015 | 4:40 PM

The story of Golden Mean Vegan Cafe is an ironic story about the law of attraction.

We live in a world that is constantly dancing with extremes. Currently, the best example of this would be the simultaneous rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as political candidates. No matter where...

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Is Miley Cyrus the Joan Baez of Her Generation?

(8) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 11:23 AM

Although I am fairly certain that my great-grandmother thought the same of Bob Dylan as I think of Justin Bieber (not sure how one says "colossal twit" in yiddish), it appears as if Miley Cyrus could actually engender the consciousness raising social activism that Madonna's egregious raunchiness failed to.

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How to Earn an Honest Living as a Yoga Teacher

(13) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 6:58 AM

I find it fascinating that the yoga industry has come to mirror Wall Street more than provide it with a new compassionate, abundant business model to emulate. Like the scarcity consciousness of Wall Street, there is the 1% of yoga millionaires and...

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Book Review: "Aware Awake Alive" by Elliot Dacher, M.D.

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 12:08 AM

When we mistakenly think that pleasure innately resides in an experience, object, or person, we desire more of it. We grasp at it, crave it, and develop attachment and in certain instances an addiction to it. From this comes all of the afflictive and disturbing emotions that result in mental...
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Kyle Cease's Evolving Out Loud: Review

(3) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 11:46 AM

I'm not selling anything other than my connection to the moment. ~ Kyle Cease


Ironically, the day that Arianna Huffington wrote about my great writing I didn't have enough money to do the laundry, eat, or even think about having health...

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Changing Lives through Zero Waste

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 11:37 AM

I recently discovered an amazing therapeutic community for addicts, the chronically homeless, and parolees in downtown Los Angeles that helps them build their own farm to grow food.

The Amity Foundation is a non-profit founded over 40 years ago that has communities in Arizona, New Mexico, and...

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T-Mobile... Or How Will AT&T and Verizon Deal With the Revolutionary John Legere?

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 9:58 AM

I have a dream...

I have a dream that I am sitting in the boardroom of AT&T observing a gaggle of disgruntled old men grumbling "Goddamn socialist" under their breaths as they watch John Legere denigrate them in this video with ditties such as "AT&T, those greedy...

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Would You Rather Be Happy and Poor or Unhappy and Wealthy?

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 10:14 AM

Growing up, I'd always assumed that having money would bring happiness and peace of mind. At thirty, I found that I'd achieved my dream of money and success but I was still anxious and frustrated, and despite being married, having two wonderful children, and being surrounded by friends and business...
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Samata, the First Yoga Therapy Center in Los Angeles, Celebrating 35 Years!

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 1:26 AM

The founder of Samata Yoga, Larry Payne, has partnered with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D. of the Himalayan Institute to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Samata International with a gift that keeps on giving.

Here's how Larry explains it:

Larry asked 50 of the finest yoga teachers and healers in the world to share their pearls of wisdom and this is what Reverend Michael Beckwith had to share:

Here is what Carin Gorrell from Yoga Journal had to share:

Here is one of the many pearls of wisdom that I learned from studying with Larry:

And here is what my colleague Seane Corn had to share:

To see all of the pearls of wisdom please visit Samata International's Youtube page and for more information on upcoming "Prime of Life" retreats and events please visit Samata...

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"Best of Enemies:" Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 11:07 AM


The medium is the message. ~ Marshall McLuhan

Sigmund Freud famously withheld publishing "The Interpretation of Dreams " from 1899 to 1900 because he was so arrogant and/or prescient that he believed his work would shape the entire next century of...

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What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist, a Psychotherapist and a Counselor?

(7) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 5:08 PM

When looking for someone to help you overcome whatever is holding you back from leading a productive life full of positive, loving relationships, it is beneficial to understand the differences between Psychiatrists (M.D.s), Psychologists (Ph.D.s &, Psy.D.s), and Licensed Psychotherapists (LCSWs, LMFTs, & LPCCs).

Psychiatrists are the only therapists who...

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What is Yoga Therapy?

(3) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 2:40 PM

While millions of people around the world today use yoga as a form of physical exercise and countless others use it for spiritual liberation, the number of people using yoga as a therapy is perhaps its greatest area of growth.

Physicians are more frequently encouraging patients to try yoga...

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Jai Uttal: The King of Kirtan, Singing for the Last 50 Years As If His Life Depended on It

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 2:31 PM

Looking for work in order to be paid: in civilized countries today almost all men are at one in doing that. For all of them work is a means and not an end in itself. Hence they are not very refined in their choice of work, if only it pays...
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How to Make a Difference. Today.

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 2:11 PM

Last week I attended an awesome event called "The Shine" and was blown away by the community created by my old friend and fellow meditation teacher Light Watkins. For $25 there was a delicious communal meal from Beaming Cafes and then an inspirational variety...

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The New Film "PlantPure Nation" Examines Why We Spend Over $3.8 Trillion Dollars Annually in the United States on Healthcare

(3) Comments | Posted June 27, 2015 | 2:56 PM

I read "The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health" in 2007 and found its scientific conclusions staggering: if men want to avoid prostate cancer they should avoid eating meat and if women want...

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Big Thanks to GoPro's Customer Service Department!

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 9:41 PM

I bought a GoPro Hero 4 Silver in March so that I could shoot some meditation sequences for my new "A Beginner's Guide to Happiness" DVD on my April trip to Amsterdam and Paris - such as this clip I shot at the Palais Royal:

(I temporarily used Brian Eno's magnificent piece 2/1 from "Ambient 1 Music for Airports" as a scratch track to get the timing right on this clip)

Last week I was finishing up shooting some scenes for the DVD in Ojai and I started to get SD Card Error messages. I figured that I had formatted the 32g cards I had bought incorrectly so I just reformatted them a few ways from my computer. But still they wouldn't work. Same error message.

Monday I bought a new SD card and erased and reformatted it several different ways but still received the SD Card Error message so I figured I would call GoPro and see what they suggested. It took a minute to get someone on the line but Jaime quickly diagnosed the problem and within a few minutes offered to replace the camera free of charge. We exchanged emails while we continued to speak on the phone - I sent him a pdf file of the GoPro receipt from March and he sent me a repair order which I printed out and put into an envelope and brought to Federal Express after we hung up.

I received my new GoPro Hero 4 Silver video camera in the mail 4 days later.

That is the best customer service I have seen in many years. Jaime actually made me feel as if he cared about my DVD and making sure I had everything I needed as quickly as possible so that I could finish the project.

Huge thanks to Jaime and GoPro's Customer Service department! All of those companies that make you answer 20 questions by keypad, then keep you on hold for 20 minutes until you speak to a living human being, then give you a hassle instead of solving the problem could learn some great customer service lessons from you! Thanks for standing behind your product!

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