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

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

On Art as Therapy

On Art As Therapy1) At the end of his life, Timothy Leary apologized for having written so many books. The book, he said, is out of date, old technology, and therefore only adds to the pollution of the world.

2) Writing as a Spiritual Practice was the name of a workshop I once attended. The leader was a Zen nun with a severe grey crewcut and three-hour-a-day habit which she executed whether she felt like it or not, unlike me. When you write about painful material from the past, Read More

You Might Prefer an Active Meditation

Active MeditationWhen most people hear the word “meditation,” they envision a serenely calm person sitting blissfully, probably with their legs crossed in the lotus position. What is going on inside that meditator’s head, however, may be a different story. Their mind is most likely struggling and overwhelmed with its many dramas, anxieties, and infatuations. Many people can’t stick with a meditation practice because it is just too darn uncomfortable.

The benefits of meditation have been well documented: reduced stress, better health, concentration, spontaneity and creativity. There are purported psychological and spiritual benefits, such as Read More