iraisrael

About Ira Israel

Licensed Counselor & Licensed Psychotherapist

“Circle of Poison:” Film Review

“Circle of Poison” is one of the most well-made and compelling documentaries I have ever seen. According to the film, no chemical pesticides existed before World War II. When the war ended, the corporations that had been making poison gases during the war turned their efforts towards making pesticides. Thereafter followed a mushrooming of [...]

2017-05-20T11:17:50+00:00 December 1st, 2016|Film Reviews|Comments Off on “Circle of Poison:” Film Review

Mindful Holidays

If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family! ~ Ram Dass Although Americans enjoy more privileges and freedoms than people in many other countries, growing up in such a highly competitive society where children are constantly pushed to get good grades and “achieve” various goals on daily, weekly, monthly, and [...]

2016-11-21T15:18:19+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Mindfulness|Comments Off on Mindful Holidays

“Manchester by the Sea:” Film Review

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem resembles a nail." ~ Abraham Maslow Writer/Director Kenneth Lonergan is a tremendous explorer of psychological terrains seldom traversed due to their complexity. Played by Casey Affleck, the character Lee Chandler is an average American Joe who does not have the tools necessary to [...]

2017-04-29T17:57:05+00:00 November 12th, 2016|Film Reviews|Comments Off on “Manchester by the Sea:” Film Review

Lessons Learned From Teaching at the Esalen Benefit Weekend

The Esalen Institute is home to a truly unique, magical, loving, authentic community of highly intelligent, well-educated and exceptionally talented thought-leaders committed to positive global transformation. I was extremely honored to be invited to teach alongside some of my favorite teachers such as Sally Kempton, Terry Hunt, Chip Conley and so many others, but when [...]

2016-11-13T21:36:34+00:00 October 23rd, 2016|Miscellaneous|Comments Off on Lessons Learned From Teaching at the Esalen Benefit Weekend

“Clearing Emotional Clutter” by Donald Altman: Book Review

“Meditation is the act of meditation.” ~ Sogyal Rimpoche Yesterday a friend told me how disappointed she was with the local “Self-Compassion” mindfulness meditation class in which she was enrolled. She noticed that attendance had declined from ten people down to four people after a few weeks. It was readily apparent that the teacher [...]

2017-04-29T17:57:34+00:00 October 22nd, 2016|Book Reviews|Comments Off on “Clearing Emotional Clutter” by Donald Altman: Book Review

Chris Brown’s “Superior”: Best Song Never Heard In America

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the creator, there is no poverty. ~ Rilke Patti Smith, Curtis Mayfield, Morrissey, Ani DiFranco, Van Morrison, Daniel Lanois, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Joan Armatrading, Lloyd Cole, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, [...]

2016-10-13T10:23:17+00:00 August 26th, 2016|Music & Art Reviews|Comments Off on Chris Brown’s “Superior”: Best Song Never Heard In America

What Women Really Say When They’re Alone: Therese Barbato’s ‘That’s What She Said’ Podcast

Heartbreak, open relationships, bisexuality, celebrity crushes... much more than I ever expected from an evening of Shakespeare. Los Angeles is not known for its exceptional theater, but on Saturday evening I attended the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’ performance of “Twelfth Night“ and found the directing, staging, and all of the performances to be stellar, [...]

2016-10-13T10:23:17+00:00 August 13th, 2016|Music & Art Reviews|Comments Off on What Women Really Say When They’re Alone: Therese Barbato’s ‘That’s What She Said’ Podcast

The Psychology Of An Epic Guitar Solo

“Go wrong strong.” ~ Miles Davis “New ears for new music.” ~ Nietzsche For the last 50 years, a seminal part of Western popular music has been the guitar solo. What makes an epic guitar solo and how does it interact with and add to a song? As a psychotherapist, my theory regarding popular music [...]

2016-10-13T10:23:17+00:00 July 20th, 2016|Music & Art Reviews|Comments Off on The Psychology Of An Epic Guitar Solo

The Genius of Cindy Sherman

There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; ~ T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. ~ Nietzsche Cindy Sherman's "Imitation of Life" is one of the [...]

2016-10-13T10:23:19+00:00 July 17th, 2016|Music & Art Reviews|Comments Off on The Genius of Cindy Sherman

David Brooks: Racist, Homophobe, Ignoramus

Gandhi was asked, “What do you think of Western civilization?” “I think it would be a good idea,” he replied. ~ CBS News Special, “The Italians” “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” ~ Lord Acton I have been a registered Democrat for 31 years and not once have I heard a fellow [...]

2016-10-13T10:23:19+00:00 July 3rd, 2016|Miscellaneous|Comments Off on David Brooks: Racist, Homophobe, Ignoramus