March 5, 2009 |
"Sometimes the only way out," says Jenny Phillips, "is in. " That's the jailhouse mantra at the Donaldson Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Bessemer, Ala. The barbed-wire-wreathed bunker resembles the cheerless pen in The Shawshank Redemption except that at Donaldson, murderers serving life terms don't break out. At least not physically. Mentally though, through a Vipassana meditation program introduced by Phillips in 2002, some Donaldson inmates are breaking the cycles of anger and revenge that got them there in the first place.
February 16, 2009 |
It could have been a rock concert for the laid-back set. On stage at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theater Feb. 6, Jon Kabat-Zinn played to a rapturous sellout crowd, there to absorb, even be transformed by, his prescription of hope for a troubled world. Kabat-Zinn, 64, is the country's meditator-in-chief, the molecular biologist who introduced mindful meditation to traditional medicine back in 1979 and who, through the next three decades, ushered it into the medical mainstream.
January 23, 2009 |
Wearing a blue hoodie, pants cut off at the knee and tan sneakers, Wendy Carroll is on the run from her own sad life. In her 20s and alone, she pulls into a drizzly Oregon town, has car problems, gets into trouble with the law, and then loses her dog, Lucy. That's about the sum of what happens in Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy , except to say that somehow, thanks to an extraordinary performance from Michelle Williams and an exceptionally deft hand from her director, this low-budget and loping little film is a genuine heartbreaker.
January 11, 2009 |
Peta Raabe, 56, of Society Hill, a founding partner of Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects, who designed the Wellness Community of Philadelphia's cancer meditation garden in Fairmount Park and other green spaces that beautify the city, died of breast cancer Wednesday at Pennsylvania Hospital. In the last 20 years, she and her partners designed several major open-space projects in Philadelphia, including the expansion and renovation of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Aviator Park at Logan Square, the slope at JFK Boulevard near 30th Street Station, playgrounds at Clark Park and Shot Tower, a master plan for Old City, and landscape guidelines for the Parkway.
December 22, 2008 |
Michelle Gossett has ovarian cancer that has metastasized to her liver, colon, bladder and uterus. She had just had a punishing chemotherapy treatment that will make her feel intensely ill in a day or so. But on this night she is participating in a session on mindful meditation, one in a series of eight led by Michael Baime, a physician who has just been named director of mind-body medicine at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania....
July 20, 2008 |
Sarah Elliott always had trouble meditating. The psychic benefits of yoga also left her cold. But the lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mother struck spiritual gold when she walked her first labyrinth. "It really hooked me early on," said Elliott, who chairs the Labyrinth Project at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Fort Washington. Labyrinths are not mazes intended to confuse the walker, she says, but a single path that leads to the center and back out again. The Rev. Marek P. Zabriskie, rector at St. Thomas, hopes to have an outdoor labyrinth at the church by spring.
May 25, 2007 |
The students stand silently, arms arcing up and out like a blossom unfolding in the sun. It's a particularly apt metaphor here in the East Conservatory at Longwood Gardens. In warm weather, Linda Welti Piotrowski's tai chi class practices outside on the patio overlooking the gardens' famous fountains. But gathering on cooler days inside this soaring glass house, with its tropical palms and rushing water, is a gift unto itself. "There's always so much beauty here," says student Lyn Johnson, a retired merchandise coordinator who lives down the road.
April 6, 2007 |
A sitcom by Lars von Trier? A funny film by the same man whose Breaking the Waves transformed Emily Watson from a na?f into a mystical prophet-cum-prostitute chosen by God for sacrifice by a band of vicious thugs? The Danish auteur already has directed the comedy The Idiots, a savage satire about a group of clueless anarchists. But The Boss of It All, about an actor hired by the secret owner of an IT company to dissemble plans to sell the business, is just so frothy and slight.
March 30, 2007 |
Though their work mainly suggests otherwise, Guariglia and Chen do not come through the fine-art channels. Not so long ago, Justin Guariglia was a documentary photographer; Zoe Chen is a fashion designer who has worked for Issey Miyake. Together, the two have created a seamless, quasi-conceptual collaborative art that borrows its look from the worlds of fine art, advertising, commercial photography and Buddhism (that their work was recently selected for a two-year Nokia print and TV ad campaign and will also be the subject of a book published by the Aperture Foundation tells you something about its broad appeal)
January 14, 2007 |
When an Exton physician departs for South Africa on Feb. 15, she will be bringing with her more than what she learned at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. There will be plush toys. Quilts. And a meditation technique. Susan Ward, 52, will be one of four meditation teachers from the U.S., three from France and one from Scotland who will be visiting orphans afflicted with AIDS. It is Ward's third trip since May 2004 to such children in Johannesburg and in towns in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.