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The Other Person Is You

Can one find clarity at a Kundalini Yoga retreat? A first-person account from the Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration:

"Japji was written sometime in the 16th century by Guru Nanak, the first of the ten Sikh gurus. It was written in Gurmukhi. It takes about twenty minutes to recite and what it mostly says is A. it is good to chant God’s name and B. you can’t comprehend how great God is so you need to chant his name and C. doing so is the only way you will really make any headway in life, so don’t bother trying to figure life out, really, it’s too complicated, so you should just chant God’s name.

"I don’t believe in God, really, or maybe I do. Either way, metaphorically, that all makes a lot of sense to me."
SOURCE:The Awl
PUBLISHED: July 10, 2013
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4637 words)

Brad And Angie Go To Meet The African Pee Generator Girls

[Fiction] A celebrity couple's ill-fated trip to Lagos:

"She put her pen down and thoughtfully chewed the silky inside of her left cheek. She stared hard at the photo on her iPod of those beautiful, strong young African women who had just invented this amazing generator that made electricity out of human urine. She shook her head. It was amazing the things that people did in the face of adversity. She continued shaking her head, trying to comprehend the humanity of humanity.

"'Be careful shaking your head,' said her son Maddox, who was sitting on the other side of the enormous bed, watching 'Homeland' on his iPad. 'A shard of your beauty just hit me in the face.' She barely heard him. She let her eye cast around the room for a moment. All her children were here, Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh, Pax, each with his or her iPad. Maddox was next to her on the bed, Zahara was stretched out along the foot. Pax was on one corner of a pink velvet couch, Shiloh on the other. All four were staring at their iPads. In the bedroom foyer, Knox and Vivienne were making a cat out of wooden blocks."
SOURCE:The Awl
PUBLISHED: Nov. 17, 2012
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2100 words)

How to Bully Children

A writer visits a fifth grade classroom at a northern California elementary school, where she observes the class's anti-bullying curriculum:

"'Stop it, you are bullying me,' he says. Then he lets his body go slack. He bows, then sits down.

"'You labeled it, you said "stop," you stood up straight,' Linda says, 'Good job.'

"'Very good,' Efrain asks. 'Any questions?'

"'Yeah,' someone shouts. 'What do you do if someone calls you a hobo?'

"'Is that a serious question?'

"'Yes, I want to know what to do if someone calls me a hobo.' A pause as Efrain looks very mildly annoyed. 'Okay. It’s not a serious question.'

"'Hobo,' someone shouts."
SOURCE:The Awl
PUBLISHED: March 13, 2012
LENGTH: 16 minutes (4247 words)

Dressing Up My Boyfriend As Marc Anthony In His Terrible Kohl's Clothes

"When I read last fall that Marc and J.Lo were designing clothing line at Kohl’s, I thought, well, now they can’t break up. Who else besides each other could they really expect to weather the shame? I mean, J.Lo is an international superstar. Marc Anthony is a gross international superstar. Kohl’s is the place that everyone thinks is Mervyns and already closed."
SOURCE:The Awl
PUBLISHED: Sept. 13, 2011
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1500 words)