Recently, as I was driving across town to volunteer at a homeless shelter (and running late), I realized traffic was moving even slower than usual for LA. It turns out that streets were blocked and cops out in full force because there was a protest going on outside the Turkish Consulate. I was driving right into and through the middle of it.Read More
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the biggest problems we face today. With hundreds of thousands of soldiers returning home from two brutal wars (not to mention all the covert/secret wars going on) -- plus the unceasing number of school shootings, terrorist attacks, sexual assaults, violent crimes, accidents, and all the plain awful things that happen to individuals on a daily basis -- learning how to treat people with PTSD is more important than ever.Read More
The Boston Marathon bombings have once again brought the specter of terrorism front and center into our lives. Because these events provoke an often jumbled range of thoughts and emotions, it's helpful to take just a few minutes to get our inner selves in order and see if we can better understand the challenges and best responses to these barbarous acts.Read More
Lance Armstrong has been in the news--in a very bad way--lately. USADA just released a 200 page report detailing Armstrong's elaborate, multi-year cheating effort, covering all of his Tour de France wins. He has now stepped down as Chairman from his own Livestrong Foundation and even Nike--hardly a paragon of virtue that tends to stick by even its most controversial athletes--just dumped him, as have most of his other corporate sponsors.Read More
Like many people, I love watching the Olympics (which just set a ratings record for a non-US-based games). I regularly tune into both the summer and winter games. And just like so many of us, I'm a sucker for the carefully crafted story lines of hardship and triumph (and sometimes despair) that NBC feeds us. And like most everyone, once the games are over, I quickly forget about them (and most of the athletes) until next time.Read More
There's an oft-repeated adage, you can't con a con man. The idea is that a dishonest person, because of their vast experience at being dishonest, can spot the dishonesty in others. There's also the implication that the con artist is wise in a world-weary sense: perhaps a bit cynical and pessimist but also less gullible and more grounded and realistic.Read More
For the past couple of months, I've been touring the country, doing speaking engagements, book signings, and media appearances for The Bliss Experiment. (As an aside, I apologize for the gap in adding new posts and responses to this site, not only have I been on tour but I've also been occupied writing articles for other media outlets including CBS News, Huffington Post, and Ask Men--but now I'm back and will be participating up a storm on theblissexperiment.com!)Read More
Have you heard about the story of Brian Banks? He was a top high school football player and prospect for major colleges in 2002, when he was 16, but falsely convicted of kidnapping and raping a girl in Long Beach, CA. There was never any evidence--DNA, eye witness, or anything else--linking him to the crime but his attorney convinced him to take a plea deal for five years of prison anyway because if he pleaded not guilty and was convicted by a jury, he could go to jail for most of his life.Read More
Is it possible that our beliefs--even "good" ones for the right reasons--make us unhappy and the world a worse place?
A new study, titled "Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Pro-social Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments" and published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science indicates just that. (Read here for a layperson's description of the findings.)
The new Avengers film was just released this weekend and has been setting box office records in the US and across the world. Which isn't unusual or unexpected. Superhero movies are consistently among the top grossing films in cinematic history.
Out of all the genres of movies, I think there's a reason that superhero films resonate so widely, with people of every age, gender, and background: they subtly remind us of our own heroic quest.
This past weekend, I went with some friends to see the Dalai Lama speak in Long Beach.
Outside the Long Beach Convention Center was a small group of protesters railing against the Dalai Lama, claiming he is a hypocrite for simultaneously preaching compassion while eating meat. The protestors were all vegetarian (possibly vegan, it wasn't clear) and are upset that the Dalai Lama isn't.
While few of us enjoy feeling stressed, you might have told yourself that it's not big deal, you can handle it. Or maybe you've convinced yourself that although it'smaking you unhappy, there's no real consequence to stress other than a little personal discomfort. You can handle it. Maybe you even think that people who care about stress are too weak, soft, or self-centered.Read More
Obviously, these are vast and weighty questions. They can't be fully addressed in a simple blog post. Still, I'd like to sketch out some general ideas and directions for your contemplation. This is only intended as a starting place for the conversation and to stimulate our thought processes.Read More
This past weekend, we saw movie The Hunger Games, which is now setting box office records. Though I haven't read the books, the film raised some interesting themes worth considering. The Hunger Games depicts a post-apocalyptic dystopian society, though exactly what transpired--apparently decades ago--is never explained. What we do learn is that there were 12 or 13 districts that once rebelled against the central government.Read More
Normally, I prefer to write about just one or two recent scientific studies and their meaning and implications. Recently, however, there's been a flood of interesting studies published, too many to cover on an individual basis. Instead, here's 5 brand-new scientific research that either demonstrates the truth of universal spiritual principals or offers an interesting insight the can be applied to the spiritual path.Read More
Whitney Houston's death is sad. Any time great talent and creativity is lost from our world, it's a loss for us all. But what's more sad is the woman and life herself. Though it was immediately speculated upon at the time of her death, we now have the official coroners verdict: Whitney Houston did indeed have drugs in her system at the time of her death and they played a clear role in her unintentional drowning.Read More
Normally, I try not to wade into partisan politics. Spirituality is above and beyond the mundane world of party affiliations. One can be a Democrat or Republican, capitalist or socialist, left-winger or right-winger and still discover bliss and spiritual truth.
Recently, however, Rush Limbaugh has ignited a firestorm of controversy over his ridiculous, disgusting comments that unfortunately have also sparked some equally awful responses. Today's article on CNN by Gloria Steinem (whom I deeply admire) and Jane Fonda calling for Rush to be banned from the airwaves is exactly the wrong way to address Rush's hatred and intolerance.