May 25, 2014 |
People were talking about a little black-and-white Polish movie at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. People like Alfonso Cuarón , who would go on to win the Oscar for directing Gravity , and who couldn't say enough about Ida , the story of a quiet, sheltered 18-year-old preparing to become a nun. Cuarón called it the best thing he'd seen in years. At the Philadelphia Film Festival a month later, Alexander Payne , who came to town to premiere his not-yet-Oscar-nominated-best-picture Nebraska , likewise praised Ida to the skies.
March 17, 2014 |
For 15 minutes a day, Tim Frazier, Penn State's senior point guard, finds a quiet place, switches on a podcast, and meditates. Along with his teammates, Frazier, the team's all-time leader in assists, has found that practicing mindfulness meditation - focusing on the breath with his eyes closed and becoming aware of his thoughts without judging them - has amped up his performance on the court. "The game moves so fast, it's hard to focus on the here and now," said Frazier, who is pretty fleet of foot himself.
December 8, 2013 |
Walking into Arcadia University Art Gallery, one can almost feel a magnetic pull from the 34 contemporary Shiva linga paintings that line the gallery's three inner walls. And no wonder: The lovely, peculiar little painting with the ovoid - some might say lozenge - shape at its center has the centuries-old distinction of being the supreme meditation tool, capable of capturing a viewer's attention so completely that all other thoughts are temporarily banished from the mind. (Later, the viewer will be able to visualize the image at will.)
August 24, 2013 |
There are two pivotal moments in Fernando Trueba's lovely, elegiac The Artist and the Model , and they both have to do with the elderly gentleman played by Jean Rochefort, a sculptor and painter by the name of Marc Cros, imparting a bit of wisdom to his new, young Catalan model, Mercé (Aida Folch). In one, she finds a drawing in his studio. It is by Rembrandt, of a child learning to walk. Cros explains that the Dutch master probably knocked it off in a flash, like a snapshot, a captured moment.
December 12, 2012 |
Lisa Miliaresis feels a special sort of holiday spirit. After death, "our loved ones are still here," the Mount Laurel psychic, 53, declares. "I speak [their] language. I view myself as an interpreter. " I meet Miliaresis, a grandmother who works full-time as a benefits administrator, at an annual event called Spiritual Continuum for the Holidays. Her friends Janice Gilpin, a Reiki practitioner who lives in Medford, and Kimberly Friedman, a meditation instructor from Marlton, are the event's cohosts.
September 26, 2012 |
Among the greatest prayers of Judaism is the Amidah , a recitation of 19 blessings that devout Jews say three times a day. Jews all over the world will recite the Amidah Tuesday night and Wednesday as they mark Yom Kippur, the solemn day of atonement when God is said to decide who will live or die in the coming year. Many will bow deeply as they face Jerusalem. But as members and friends of Mishkan Shalom Synagogue in Manayunk gather Wednesday for this holiest of days, hundreds will recite the Amidah not by bowing, but lying still, on their backs, in the yoga position known as "the Corpse.
April 7, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court says you can be strip-searched even if you are arrested for not wearing a seat belt. Or you didn't leash your pooch. Or you forgot to use your turn signal. Or your muffler is too noisy. Seriously. It's enough to scare you straight. There are some chilling true-life tales tucked into the 40-plus pages that the high court published Monday after it ruled that strip searches may be necessary to ensure safety in jails across the land. Otherwise, the court said, people who are arrested and placed in the general jail population may smuggle in weapons or drugs.
March 30, 2012 |
Bruce Graham's fine new play, The Outgoing Tide, at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, is deeply moving and surprisingly funny, a straight-talking, unpretentious meditation on Alzheimer's and end-of-life suffering: "Quality of life. Kiss my ass. " Directed with invisible finesse and strength by James J. Christy, the excellent cast provides bedrock realism, refusing any of the topic's maudlin possibilities. The fact is, Gunner (Richard Poe), a tough guy who ran a trucking company and dealt with the Teamsters, is losing his memory and his mind; he still has enough left to plan his exit, refusing to settle for years of humiliating deterioration in a "home.
February 29, 2012 |
ST. LOUIS - Caroll Marlow, 71, said she has been rescued from clinical depression by researchers at Washington University who want to help people older than 60. After more than 40 years of living with depression, she said, experiences and feelings that are routine for most other people are new for her. She goes to lunch to laugh with her sisters; she's closer to her children and friends. She dates her husband. And she found a job. "I love it; I work a swing shift and I just love it," she said.
February 15, 2012 |
My friend Susan, having just relocated from New York, joined the school dance committee in order to meet new parents at her daughter's school. Eager to help, she made a suggestion about decorations at a meeting. What she got back from the parent sitting across from her was a roll of the eyes and a surly: "Um, aren't you new here?" "It felt like junior high all over again," Susan told me later. "I felt humiliated and angry, and yet it was over nothing. Part of me wanted to say: 'Are you kidding me?