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Spiritual Surf: Forbes, Fritz Perls, prayer & sexual misconduct

Spiritual Surf: Forbes, Fritz Perls, prayer & sexual misconduct

Forbes.com recommends yoga in the conference room as one of its 10 ways to reduce stress at work. (picture from Forbes.com)

Newsweek reviews “Away From Her” a movie about losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s.

The Phoenix Center blog offers five tips for “Getting your act together.” My favorite is Number 5: “Go out of your mind, and come to your senses.” The idea is from Fritz Perls, one of the founders of Gestalt Therapy.

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Anti depression: Using grief for a chiropractic adjustment

There’s a song by that un-sexy trendsetter Johnny Rotten — maybe you heard it — where he rants a refrain, Anger is an energy.

The track is called Rise, and it was done by Rotten’s post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd.

Anger’s an energy? Ya, we get it. From the World Trade Center to Oklahoma City, it can obliterate buildings. Far more of a reach is to grok how depression is equally an energy, maybe even moreso. As strange as it sounds, depression from a loss, a death, a break-up, bankruptcy or divorce has been tapped by people to propel themselves forward with the same force that others use anger.

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A comedian, of all people, executes the suicide option

A comedian, of all people, executes the suicide option

The historical roots of the comedian is the court jester, the fool who is able to stealthily sway the ears of the wealthy and the powerful. Richard Jeni never had access to the powerful but he delighted his Baby Boomer fans by modeling his humor on gestalt psychology and parodying mystical practices. He paced his skits with eastern meditation poses and mantras.

Yesterday, Jeni committed suicide. And today, his surviving family revealed a diagnosis from a doctor that said, “psychotic paranoid and clinical depression.” Jeni joins a litany of counter-culture celebs like Hunter S. Thompson, Abbie Hoffman, Spalding Gray, Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway who took the same way of escape. May their souls be sanctified.

For those of us who remain in corporeal being, do you realize how many in your midst have contemplated the same exit strategy? The National Mental Health Association estimates that more than half a million Americans attempt suicide each year — and 30,000 are successful. “Completed suicides are more likely to be men over 45 who are depressed or alcoholic.”

Jeni was 49, and had a self-publicized history of heavy drinking and random violence. Ironically, he doubled as a motivational speaker about his liberation from those afflictions.

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Byron Katie, “A Thousand Names for Joy” and blowing the spell of 9/11

Byron Katie is a post-modern mystic = someone who has realized an elevated state, and done so in the maelstrom of contemporary American society — incubated totally outside of organized religion, essentially by spontaneous combustion.

With the release of her third book, A Thousand Names for Joy, Katie receives standing ovations usually reserved for rock stars as she tours U.S. cities. But this isn’t an Oprah-ego personality cult. This material is challenging stuff — not feel-good, ratings-boosting melodrama.

An excerpt from the new book: Here is Katie’s way for un-plugging from the pain of 9/11, an American drama that lives in us with the power of a group induction or spell:

I read an interview with a well-known Buddhist teacher in which he described how appalled and devastated he felt while watching the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. While this reaction is very popular, it is not the reaction of an open mind and heart. It has nothing to do with compassion.

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9 Ways to Deal With Loss

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