42 Things I Love About Santa Monica

Almost three months ago I was on a very rough flight from Boston to LA. There was turbulence, there was horrid pain in my ears and there was fear that this time the plane may not make it to LA. To my big surprise we landed. I saw my friend but couldn’t hear her. She picked me up and drove me to her home in Santa Monica. I instantly felt warmth both of her presence and warm air of LA. No more cold of Boston winter. I saw light-minded palm trees instead of trees with no leaves. It felt as [...]

Kabbalah Love (Class One)

Several weeks ago when I was in LA, I went to the introduction lecture on Kabbalah. When I returned to Boston, they emailed me about an upcoming 4-week course that takes place in Cambridge. I decided to enroll to get more familiar with this school of thought. What I liked the most about it is that it is open to all no matter what race, religion or gender. I also like the concept of giving before you are able to receive, which totally resonates with me. So I signed up for the course in Cambridge called “To Love – an [...]

Philosophy Works (Class Ten)

Last Saturday was my last class at Philosophy Works. I felt sad that it was time to say good byes to the group and our instructor. We shared so much with each other, learned together and hopefully became a little wiser. I distributed the Problem and Suffering Table to all in class, as my views were shaped by our discussions and Mita gave me great feedback on the original version of the slide. We all received a book as a present from the school, it is a small orange pocket book called Philosophy works, new light on life. It consists [...]

What’s Up With Men?

Last Saturday I attended “What’s up with men?” session at the Boston Book Festival. I was sitting next to the young man and asked him why he was in this session: “As a woman, I want to understand men, but as a man, don’t you understand yourself?” He said he came to understand other men. “From metrosexuals and bromances to Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger–the BBF asks, what’s going on with men these days? We’ve asked some representative men from the world of words to help us get a read on it. Andre Dubus III, whose memoir Townie reveals his struggles with [...]

Philosophy Works (Class One)

Today I learned about Philosophy Works organization. Here is what their website says: “Throughout history schools have arisen to make the eternal wisdom available to those seeking the ultimate truth about themselves, the creation, and the Creator. Whatever the outer form, the core philosophical tenets are the same: discover the ultimate divinity of the human soul; appreciate the ‘unity in diversity’ and recognize that self-knowledge is the ultimate purpose of a human life. Schools in this tradition include that of Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Plato’s Academy in Athens, Marsilio Ficino’s Renaissance Academy in Florence and the American transcendental movement [...]

A Butterfly’s Lesson

”One day, a small opening appeared in a cocoon; a man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then, it seems to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further. So the man decided to help the butterfly: he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch because he expected that, at [...]

The Happy Movie Review

Another highlight of the 119th American Psychology Convention in Washington, DC was the “Happy” movie. It was full of lessons, cutting edge findings and real life examples. Some things I already knew but to see them again as a confirmation of my knowledge on this topic was very uplifting. There were a lot of quotes from happiness studies and at the same time it was engaging and moving. And yes, I was taking notes, wiping off my tears during the most sad parts and savoring every moment of “Happy”. Several books on happiness and their authors were mentioned, including Happiness [...]

Forgiveness Class (Part Five)

Last Class. As I was walking to the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center last Thursday, I felt it was about time to wrap it up. The week before I went to the American Psychologists Conference in Washington, DC, where I saw movie “Happy” and several other movies about healing techniques used by psychologists and about human mind. That trip reconfirmed that relationships are the most important thing in our life. Overall I felt overwhelmed with all experiences and wanted some rest. With all that I walked in and sat down to meditate with no expectations whatsoever. We did the same meditation [...]

My Mail Stop is 42

This is my 42nd post and I want to dedicate it to the girl I met 10 years ago. In the summer of 2001 three of us were staying in the loft on the second floor of a moving company building in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. One of my roommates was Lena, funny, clever, sincere and charming. That summer she came to the States to work and travel for three months, and was planning to go back to Estonia and continue her studies. Lena was very artistic; she played guitar, sang and composed poetry. Three of us had summer jobs [...]

Movie Called Happy

The Greater Good – The Science of a Meaningful Life posted an interview with the director of movie Happy: “When Roko Belic was 18 years old, he traveled to Africa, prepared to see unspeakable suffering. He was delivering money and supplies to refugees of Mozambique’s civil war, a group that he knew had been “completely brutalized”; some had had their arms, lips, or noses cut off in the conflict. Roko Belic, director of Happy, a documentary beginning its theatrical run today. But when he arrived, he was astonished by what he found. “I saw people who were happy,” he says. [...]