March 23rd, 2020
We have suddenly been thrust into a global pandemic. Seemingly overnight, our lives have changed. Many of us are on lockdown, prohibited from leaving our homes except to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the doctor. We must now maintain “social distance” to prevent infection, staying at least six feet from others.
There were already signs, back in December 2019, of a strange viral disease originating in the filthy live animal markets of China’s Wuhan province. Then it was seen in South Korea, and Japan. Somehow it jumped to Italy, and spread throughout Europe. All the while, from our “distant” perch–despite alarms being sounded by infectious disease and public health experts–our leaders looked on, and did nothing.Read the rest of this entry »
October 12th, 2014
The Middle East is imploding. Israel has “mowed the lawn” in Gaza, wreaking havoc on the Palestinian population. Hamas, aggressively or defensively, has launched hundreds of rockets, their goal to terrify the Israelis. Assad has slaughtered over 100,000 Syrians. ISIS pushes to establish a modern Caliphate, killing its way to the very gates of the ancient capital of Babylon. At the same time Afghanistan is collapsing, Libya has become a failed state, Egypt is under martial control once again, and the Arab Spring has given way to a cold, uncertain winter.
One major effect of these conflicts has been the worldwide rise of Islamophobia. Read the rest of this entry »
October 28th, 2013
My good friend and colleague, Paul, strongly disagreed with my last blog. In that article I described what I believed to be a paradigm shift taking place in health care: a cultural movement away from allopathic medicine, now our dominant mode of healing, to a medicine that is more inclusive and integrative.Read the rest of this entry »
January 14th, 2013
People are talking about mindfulness as if it’s the latest fashion trend: mindful eating, mindful communication, mindful movement, even mindful business management. The explosion of books, CD’s and videos on the subject now includes weekend seminars and lengthy meditation retreats. Leaders of this new field articulate the merging of mindfulness, technology, and ancient wisdom traditions to rapt audiences. Academies are dedicated to its study. An industry has been born.
But what exactly is mindfulness?Read the rest of this entry »
November 26th, 2012
With seemingly clear boundaries between our bodies and the world through which we move, it’s easy to feel separated from everything outside our skin. But as physical, chemical, emotional, and energetic beings, this perception belies our true nature.Read the rest of this entry »
April 13th, 2011
I first traveled to Burma in 1996, co-leading an educational tour with a group of eighteen students from New College of California. Burma had just opened to the west after thirty years and Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected president, who had been under house arrest by the military regime since her election in 1988, had just been released.Read the rest of this entry »
January 7th, 2011
I relaxed at Philz, my local cafe, sinking into a soft leather couch, taking in a fine selection of indie rock, and enjoying some very strong coffee. As I sipped on a tall Tesora, I daydreamed about the trip I’d soon be taking to Peru. I was excited, but at the same time troubled by a pain I was feeling. I knew its source. A deep wound inflicted by someone whom I thought was a friend. He had stolen something from me, something real and material, but also something more…vital. It felt as if this “friend” had made off with a piece of my heart. But knowing this did nothing to relieve the ache. I wrote furiously in my journal about the injury of betrayal and about my need for some kind of healing and that maybe I’d find it in Peru. I didn’t really understand why I thought this might be so.Read the rest of this entry »
November 14th, 2010
Flying out of San Francisco, I imagined that all of my worries would simply disappear when I took off for the “mystical” land of Peru. I had recently been through a few travails, including an emotional business divorce and looked forward to some relief. But instead, I became aware that they traveled with me, like close friends who would not say goodbye. With this distressing realization, coupled with the frustration of having my plane ticket canceled for the flight out of Lima, I finally arrived in Cusco, irritated and exhausted.Read the rest of this entry »