The Monastery of the Angels

pumpkin bread

“I think that’s the monastery Katy Perry is buying,” Russ said as he pulled the flat iron through my hair. (Russ Hart is a genius hair stylist and can be contacted at

I quickly Googled to find out that yes, Katy Perry was fighting developers to buy her own monastery, and yes, the nuns were being “relocated.” I decided I’d better head down ASAP in case closure was imminent, and I forever missed tasting Read More

But I Don’t Want to be Normal!

I Don't Want to Be NormalJustin is a creative person struggling with the evidence that his life is not working. He has no regular source of income, no girlfriend, and nothing to show for his years in LA. He has so many talents he can’t figure out his direction so he keeps starting over, creating plenty of drama. When I suggest that he may need to get a regular job to stabilize his life, his response is Read More

A Strategy for Compassion

A Strategy for CompassionBack when I was studying for my NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) Certification, we were taught that if one person can do something well, anyone can figure out their strategy and replicate it for themselves. NLP’ers were busy systematizing all kinds of strategies for excellence: better golf swings, improved eyesight, weight loss, and successful business applications. All fine and good, I thought, but why aren’t we codifying something important, like how to increase levels of compassion? Read More

Spiritual Emergency

Spiritual EmergencyI got a call earlier this week from a couple trying to get help for a beloved friend who was unable to get off the couch due to experiencing visions, flashes of color and light, sensations of energy coming out of her body, and ecstatic trance states. She also believes that the Messiah has returned, and it is she.

The couple had found me through Google as a ‘transpersonal’ therapist, or one who has had training in assessing and treating what is called “spiritual emergency.” For although their friend has a history of severe mental illness, many of her symptoms are the same or similar as those of spiritual awakening.

She was also experiencing evidence of a broader spiritual understanding, of increased compassion, of expansiveness, of the knowledge that everything is made of swirling energy, and that she has an important role to play on earth. Unfortunately, Read More

Spiritual Bypass: How Not Working on your Stuff can Stunt your Spiritual Growth

Spiritual BypassThroughout yoga class, Jennifer feels fat. She’s obsessed with the other women’s bodies – how much thinner, limber, and more beautiful they are. Afterwards, at Whole Foods she buys a package of Organic Fig Bars and a pint of Carob Almond Rice Dream, goes home, eats it all, and throws up. Self-hatred quickly follows.

Kyle is late on his rent again, and can’t be sure he’s not overdrawn. It’s always this chaos, every month. That reservation he made for the weeklong meditation retreat was more than he could afford – but maybe Read More