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Crazy Like U.S. January 28, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Mind,Medical Ethics? — aprasek @ 1:00 pm

I posted about the NYTs article The Americanization of Mental Illness not long ago. Fascinating read BTW. The article was adapted from Ethan Watters book, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. The book is now out in stores and is on my spring break reading list. If you check it out before then, let us know your thoughts.

Watters was on the Daily Show last night to discuss his book. Check out the video below for some entertaining discussion on the issues. In my opinion, Watters is right on (and Stewart). Our narrow mental health perspective and care [AKA pharmaceutical profit plan] are already damaging our own citizens. Why spread the destruction to others?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Ethan Watters
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Mayo Clinic Meditation App January 27, 2010

Filed under: Complementary Therapies,Healthy Mind,Spiritual Wellness — aprasek @ 9:21 pm

The Mayo Clinic released their Meditation App for the iPhone and iPod Touch… and the reviews that I’ve heard haven’t been so hot. Some of the complaints are that the App is overpriced and too simplistic. The expensive complaint I get, but let’s be serious, how complex should something be if its purpose is to calm the mind?

I think the idea of a meditation App is fantastic– likely great for short breaks at the office, long waits for a doc appointment or while taking the bus home from work. But for a relaxing home practice, I would prefer to escape from technology.

You can get the App here. If you have the opportunity to try it, let us know your thoughts. Or if you’ve used other healthy Apps, please tell us about those 🙂

Here is a video of the Mayo App in action:


Beyond our Differences January 21, 2010

Filed under: Spiritual Wellness — aprasek @ 11:33 am

I think we often make this life overly-complicated and destructive (I know I do). In effect, we invite more suffering into our own everyday existence and that of others.

The clips below are from the documentary Beyond our Differences. I think the film addresses the repercussions of our destructive thoughts and actions very well and also touches on our true purpose on this earth and our innate [divine] nature as humans.

Visit the film’s website for more.







The Americanization of Mental Illness January 15, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Mind — aprasek @ 12:49 pm

FASCINATING article from the NYTs: The Americanization of Mental Illness.

If you read it, please comment back here. I would love to hear more opinions on this one…


Yoga Inc. January 12, 2010

A continuation from yesterday’s post

I watched the doco Yoga Inc. last night and found it to be pretty fascinating. The amount of money being thrown at yoga is enough to throw anyone into a back bend (no joke, I dropped way too much money on some yoga clothes just last month). Watch out WalMart… Yoga Inc. is comin for ya.

Click here to watch the doco (Free!).

Thanks to Wendy Rahn, founder of Survivors’ Training, for telling us about the doco (BTW, be sure to check out the Survivors’ Training website— it’s an amazing organization that aims to empower cancer survivors).


Yoga Rules? January 11, 2010

Great lines from the documentary Enlighten Up!:

Nick:  “When I’m twisting myself into a pretzel in the yoga studio, I’m thinking, ‘What the hell is the connection between this and enlightenment?'”

Norman Allen:  “Nothin. Absolutely nothin.”

Check out these clips:



I found these clips really fascinating and liberating. They both reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about lately…

I think we are too often told that practices like yoga SHOULD do this or that for our lives. We’re told how to act, where we should go and what we should achieve through these practices with a universal explanation. Thankfully, we are all so amazingly different that universal explanations don’t work.

It probably took me a good 3 years of practicing to finally realize that it was ok for me to just BE ME during yoga. I didn’t need to attain some level of heightened awareness, I didn’t need to eat only raw foods to fit in, I didn’t need to speak in life metaphors referencing botanicals or metaphysical elements… I realized that there wasn’t a “right” way or reason to practice yoga. We can all practice for different reasons and get wonderful benefits. And we can also not practice yoga and receive those same benefits from other healthy activities.

Your thoughts? And if you’ve found benefits through other types of practices, please share 🙂


“Rethinking Happiness” January 7, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Mind — aprasek @ 11:59 pm

The last decade of January 7’s have not been so hot for me. But this January 7 was really different. Today’s date marks the 10 year anniversary of my dad’s death. It was a long road for me to move past his death and finally discover happiness in my life. But, all that screwing around, silly mistakes, self-destruction and the like have brought so many amazing learning opportunities to my life. I’m really thankful for the struggles and sour times, because the happiness is so much sweeter for it.

I’m thankful for the wisdom I now have to approach struggle differently. I’m thankful that it no longer consumes me, identifies me or enslaves me. I’m thankful that happiness is something that I can now experience and that I can share at any moment. It’s a choice for me, not always easy, but still a choice. And that’s what I want to do in this life; Be Happy and Give Happy.

It was quite fitting then, that a friend told me today about “Rethinking Happiness.” Rethinking Happiness is one of three episodes in a PBS special called Our Emotional Lives. This episode explores the experiences of happiness. It’s a bit long, but worth it. The other episodes are “Facing Our Fears” and “Family, Friends & Lovers.” My weekend plans include watching the other two episodes. Let me know how they are if you’ve already watched them 🙂

BTW, If you don’t want to watch the whole Happiness episode, at least watch the last 30 or 40 minutes (which I think is the best).

The Happiness episode also highlights MBSR (here’s a great video to try out MBSR) and some of Dr. Richard Davidson’s work (remember the Thukdam post?). There’s also some great footage of Dharamsala, India. Here are some of my pics from my trip to Delhi and Dharamsala.

Click here to watch the video and please share your thoughts on the episodes if you check ’em out.

Most of all, let’s all gossip a lot about happiness this weekend. Chat about it at the water cooler, signal it to the treadmill runner at the gym and even send it to that A-hole who just cut you off on an already icy highway (he/she really needs it too).

Wishing you much love, blessings and happiness,