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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Stress Reduction Archives

Set Aside Greed and Distress with Reference to the World

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha encouraged his monks to be “ardent, alert, & mindful” and to put “aside greed and distress in reference to the world.” I’ve been thinking a lot about these recommendation lately. What does it mean to set aside greed […]

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The Train’s Eye View of the Landscape

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am sitting on a train riding from Essex Junction, Vermont to Hartford Connecticut where I will be teaching my workshop at the Copper Beech Institute. I haven’t been on an Amtrak train since I was in graduate school over […]

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Mindfulness in Corporate America

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Two recent articles in two major publications–The New York Times and The Atlantic–focused on the rising trend of mindfulness in corporate settings and both articles feature the recently published book by David Gelles: Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business […]

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The Three C’s of Self-Forgiveness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Imagine a situation where you “lose it.” You get angry, your blood boils, you may yell at the person who has occasioned this anger or you may throw something or swear in vain. This feeling is no stranger to me. […]

Find Your GPS for Success

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

GPS has become part of our lives. We find it in our cars, our phones, and even in watches (I got one as a gift over the holidays). In any moment, we can know where we are and also communicate […]

Getting Past the Tyranny of Should: A Timely Message for the Holiday Season

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There are many things we “should” be doing around the holidays. We should be happy, merry, and jolly. We should be with family. We should be the consummate hosts. In the course of the day, we might impose expectations, rules, […]

Mindfulness with a Capital “M”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent Telegraph column asked if mindfulness lives up to its hype. The author, Polly Vernon, predicts that “mindfulness” will be the OED’s (Oxford English Dictionary) word of the year. That would not surprise me. She goes on to give a […]

The Mindful Revolution Comes of Age: Cover Story in Time Magazine

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness made the cover of Time Magazine this week in an article entitled: The Mindful Revolution: The science of finding focus in a stressed-out, multitasking culture. This is not the first time meditation has graced the cover of time. For […]

The Anatomy of Letting Go

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On Friday, I was challenged with a disappointment. I wanted something and it did not happen. The strong emotions that accompanied this “loss” illustrate the factors that give rise to attachment and the ways in which we can let go. […]

Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am listening to the album by Tomasz Bednarczyk entitled: “Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow.” This strikes me as a very dharmic statement, something the Buddha might have encouraged. This bit of wisdom recognizes that mistakes are happening all the […]

Fall Foliage: Invitation to Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Vermont is famous for its fall foliage. Given that the mountains are covered with trees, it can be rather spectacular. I’ve had a particular interest in the changing colors this season because of my new mode of transportation. I can […]

Rethinking Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Kelly McGonigal tells us how to make stress our friend in her TED talk. As a health psychologist, she talks about how she made stress the enemy to her students and how she has now changed her mind. She points […]

McMindfulness Revisited

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have read Ron Purser and David Loy’s Huffington Post blog entry, Beyond McMindfulness. They write a thoughtful indictment of the popularization of all things mindfulness, especially in the corporate context. There are many important points made in this essay: […]

Clarifying Attachment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The notion of non-attachment is often misunderstood. Non-attachment is not non-caring. Confusion arises because we have two meanings for non-attachment. There is the biological meaning: attachment is the process that bonds mothers (and to a lesser degree, fathers) to their […]

Perfectionism and Hypocrisy: Two Obstacles to Living an Awakened and Happy Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

When it comes to spiritual development we tend to be perfectionists and also hypocrites. I will address perfectionism in this post and hypocrisy in another. I’ve read a lot of books on Buddhism and mindfulness over the past thirty years. […]

Mindfulness A–Z: Liberating Regret, Stuckness, and Perfectionism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

From Sunday August 4 to Friday August 9, I will be presenting this special workshop at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. If you are not familiar, Kripalu is a wonderful place. Nestled in the Berkshire Mountains, it is […]

Participate in Your Own Rescue

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

One of my students shared a story. A friend of hers was on a whitewater rafting trip in Colorado. During the trip, one of the people in the raft fell out into the river. He floundered around passively while the […]

Free the Mind: A New Documentary on Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the great pleasure of reviewing the new film by Danish filmmaker, Phie Ambo: Free the Mind. It’s a beautiful and compelling film about how mindfulness can help us to overcome fear and heal from trauma. It features of […]

Military Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The following is a guest blog post by one of the current students in my Mindfulness in Health Care course at the University of Vermont, Melinda Rouille. She is a therapist at a local veteran’s clinic. Something that we all […]

Mindfulness Revolution Ongoing in the New York Times

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On 22 March 2013 The Business Day, Your Money section of the New York Times published an article by Alina Tugend, “In Mindfulness, a Method to Sharpen Focus and Open Minds.” Score another little victory for the Mindfulness Revolution. She recognizes […]

An Innovative Approach to Reducing Stress and Burnout and Fostering Student Self-care and Professionalism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Committee for the Program in Integrative Health (PIH) recently had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Avaid Haramati from Georgetown Medical School. Adi, as he was affectionately called, talked about the course he has […]

Mindfulness for Winter Blues

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s full on winter in Northern Vermont. It has snowed over five feet on the mountain in the past couple of weeks. There is snow in the valley and today saw a strong wind and temps in the teens. Winter […]

Quietude Lost

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Tim Krieder wrote an opinion in a recent New York Times Sunday Review (17 November 2012) called the Quiet Ones about the Quiet Car on Amtrack. His observations are prescient. We have lost quiet in our world and we have […]

Science Trumps Pseudoscience: The Hidden Wonder of Connective Tissue

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was delighted to see four my of my colleagues from the University of Vermont College of Medicine Program on Integrative Health featured in this Vermont Public Television documentary on connective tissue and acupuncture. Featured are Helene Langevin, Robert Davis, […]

“The Cure Is .. Transform Your Health”: Another Dangerous Pseudoscience Film

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently sent a preview of the film, The Cure Is … . Watching the trailer, brought to mind the pseudoscientific and therefore dangerous films, The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know. Perhaps you have received an invitation to view this film […]

PostSecret Project: A Precursor to Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The PostSecret Project started when Frank Warren printed 3,000 blank postcards with instructions and his address on the front. He distributed them randomly in the streets of Washington DC. He asked people to present an artful secret. The process went […]

Mindfulness in the Workplace: A Natural Fit

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Wall Street Journal gave a recent shout-out to the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace. The article states: “One of the most effective stress-beaters, research shows, is a training program called “mindfulness-based stress reduction,” developed years ago at […]

Mindfulness, Psychotherapy, and Prescription Drugs

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch part one of my interview with Dr. Tyler Nelson on the overuse of prescription drugs in this country. We talk about alternative treatments, such as mindfulness and how they may play a role in offsetting prescription drug use.   […]

Mindfulness for Common Problems: Seven Things to Know About Anxiety

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The first in this series focused on stress. Anxiety and stress are closely related. Anxiety is central to our threat detection system and stress helps us to mount responses to potential threats. Like stress, anxiety gets a bad rap. Our […]

Mindfulness for Common Problems: Seven Things to Know About Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, I will introduce a new series of posts with practical, mindfulness-based advise for dealing with common problems. These problems include stress, anxiety, depressed mood, pain, overeating, sleep difficulties, and more. Each post will provide principles and techniques for handling […]

What’s On Your Mind?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Having just written about the obstacles to practice, I would like to invite you, dear readers, to submit questions that are arising in your practice. My favorite way of teaching is responding to questions. The challenge of mindfulness is not […]

Obstacles to Practice: The Five Hindrances: Restlessness and Worry

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the penultimate installment of the final set of reflections on obstacles to practice focusing on the Buddha’s five hindrances (well not his hindrances, but the five that he set out as obstacles to meditation). The Five are a laundry list […]

Fear of Missing Out: Are You a Slave to FOMO? in Women’s Health

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Hello readers. More to come soon, I promise. Meanwhile, read this article on FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) that I was consulted for. It appears in Women’s Health on the ABC News site. Fear of Missing Out: Are You a Slave to FOMO? by Sarah […]

Hot Buddha Sweats 2012 Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We are in the midst of another heat wave. It’s in the 90s and that is unusual for Northern Vermont. It’s dangerously hot and humid. It’s easy not to like this weather and because of this ready aversion the heat […]

A Mindful Nation: The Revolution Has a Voice in Congressman Tim Ryan

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The eleventh district of Ohio has a remarkable representative to congress–Tim Ryan. In 2005, of all the members of House of Representatives who received a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s magnum opus–Coming to Our Senses–apparently Congressman Ryan is the only one […]

Obstacles to Practice: The Five Hindrances–Sloth and Torpor

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I don’t feel like writing a post. I didn’t feel like exercising either. I don’t feel like sitting, too. Fortunately, I am hosting a group sit later this afternoon, so this will help me to overcome my sloth and torpor. […]

Under the Knife: More Security than TSA

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

“Are you Arnold Kozak?” “Yes.” “Date of birth?” “Really?” Do you really think someone came into this hospital room and replaced me since the last time someone asked me these questions?” (which was about five minutes ago). Pre-op has more […]

Natural Antidepressant: Mindfulness on Mansfield

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In 2007 the CDC reported that antidepressants had become the most frequently prescribed drug, eclipsing drugs for high blood pressure. 118 Million scripts were written in 2005. This number continues to grow. I wonder what would happen if more people […]

Cold Buddha Shivers

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Winter has been relatively mild here in Northern Vermont, yet winter nonetheless. It’s cold. Often below freezing. The pond near my home supports ice fishing. The mountains are snow covered. When it is cold we may shiver. Simple as that. […]

Teaching Doctors to be Mindful

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There is a basic irony in our health care system (well, probably more than one!). Our doctors, nurses, and physician assistants are some of the most stressed professionals. Medical resident training only recently instituted a rule limiting the number of […]

Another Look at Forgiveness: Not What You Might Think

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If we are holding onto a grievance towards others or ourselves, this can be damaging to our sense of wellbeing and even our health. The grievance story is like poison, it festers, fulminates, and preoccupies. Meanwhile, our stress response systems […]

Stress Reduction Sunday now Thrive Friday

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s been a a while since I’ve linked to my weekly posts on Connecticut Watchdog website. These columns, DESTRESS, focused on how to apply mindfulness to everyday stressful circumstances. I’m changing the emphasis from DESTRESS to THRIVE to include a […]

“If You are in the Present, the Next Moment Takes Care of Itself”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This axiom of wisdom comes from Jo, the author of “Kensho: Or What I did on My Christmas Vacation.” It’s disarming in it simplicity; obvious in its importance. It speaks to the futility of worry and reminds us that when […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: DESTRESS: Savor Each Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

                It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week:   DESTRESS: Savor Each Moment         If you […]

TED Tuesday :: Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What does a live well lived look like? Nigel Marsh opines on the critical issue of work-life balance. He muses wryly that we “work long hours at jobs we hate to make money to buy things we don’t need to […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: If You Hadn’t Noticed, Things Change

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This may be stating the obvious, but things change and they often change in ways that we’d prefer they not. It’s raining today instead of snowing. I’d prefer snow, or at least not rain. Too bad. This is what we’ve […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Finding Gracefulness in Unexpected Places Grace is not the first word that comes to mind contemplating a turkey. I’m not sure […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Navigating Valentine’s Day and Other Capitalistic Tyrannies

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Navigating Valentine’s Day and Other Capitalistic Tyrannies What do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day have in common? They are holidays that […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Hot Buddha Sweats; Cold Buddha Shivers: Enjoying the Conditions of Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Hot Buddha Sweats; Cold Buddha Shivers: Enjoying the Conditions of Now It’s cold outside. Here in Northern Vermont the temperatures […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: How To Evolve From Our Worst To Our Best

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: How To Evolve From Our Worst To Our Best In the beginning we were reptiles with one mandate — survival. […]

The Mindfulness Revolution Takes a Big Step Forward

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The insurance giant, Aetna, has announced in a recent press release its commitment to bringing mindfulness to its membership. Aetna, in conjunction with eMindful, Duke Integrative Medicine, and the Viniyoga Institute have been conducting a randomized controlled trial of two […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Diligent Joy: Cultivating the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Diligent Joy: Cultivating the Present Moment In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about “diligent joy,” suggesting that joy is an […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: After the Novelty: Finding Peace in the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: After the Novelty: Finding Peace in the Present Moment OK. Now it’s 2 January and it’s time to get to […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Keep Calm and Carry On” :: Timeless Wisdom from Wartime Propaganda

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: “Keep Calm and Carry On” :: Timeless Wisdom from Wartime Propaganda I’I was walking down Church Street in Burlington, Vermont […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Mindful Eating Through the Holidays; Inviting Silence to Quiet Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from the past few weeks: Mindful Eating Through the Holidays: The Antidote to Gluttony: I’m willing to be that we all over did […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Surviving the Holidays with Poise: Mindfulness Put to the Test

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Surviving the Holidays with Poise: Mindfulness Put to the Test It’s the holiday season, and this can be a challenging time of year. When we discussed […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Mindfulness and Yoga: A Potent Combination for Combatting Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Mindfulness and Yoga: A Potent Combination for Combatting Stress Today there are 20 million practitioners of yoga in the United States today. My hometown of Burlington, Vermont sports […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Strategies To Deal With Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Strategies To Deal With Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People What Does Mindfulness Have to Offer? Part Two There are a variety of scenarios we might […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Dealing with Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Dealing with Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People.  Relationships can be our greatest source of both consternation and joy. Humans are social creatures and social support has […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Working Ourselves to Death :: Mindfulness May Save Your Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Working Ourselves to Death :: Mindfulness May Save Your Life ABC News did a recent feature on workplace stress and the increased mortality associated with chronic job […]

Freeform Friday :: Talking to Yourself

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Welcome the new technological age! Today, I’d like to discuss some on our relationship to technology.  Having spent many years working in mental hospitals, I am accustomed to people talking to themselves. Not long ago, if you overheard someone talking to […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 2

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 2 In last week’s entry, we started talking about “sleep hygiene.” We’ll continue with some general and specific guidance on getting […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 1

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 1 In last week’s entry, we touched on the dangers of sleep-deprivation. Today we’ll begin to focus on how to […]

Mindfulness Revolution at Home

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness has been taught, practiced, and lived in medical settings for over 30 years now. Jon Kabat-Zinn started the revolution and now his students and colleagues Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein are taking the revolution to your living room. While Mindfulness-Based Stress […]

TED Tuesday :: Martin Seligman on positive psychology

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Martin Seligman is one of the biggest names in the field of psychology. He did the original research ont he concept of learned helplessness and has now helped to found the field of positive psychology with concepts like learned optimism. […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Sleep-Deprived Society :: The Critical Importance of Sleep for Managing Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Sleep-Deprived Society :: The Critical Importance for Sleep in Managing Stress In previous entries we’ve explored the nature of stress and how paying attention to the […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: How To Interupt Cycles Of Stress Overload

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness :: How To Interrupt Cycles of Stress Overload In previous entries we’ve explored the nature of stress and how paying attention to the present moment through […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness :: Human Being Versus Doing

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness :: Human Being Versus Doing In my last entry, Mindfulness :: Becoming and Dissolving as an Antidote to Stress, I discussed the practical value of focusing on […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness :: Becoming and Dissolving as an Antidote to Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness :: Becoming and Dissolving as an Antidote to Stress In my last entry, Mindfulness: The Art of Living in the Present, I discussed how to start […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness: The Art of Being in the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, The Art of Being in the Present Moment: In my last entry, Mindfulness: An Ancient Remedy for a Modern Problem, I discussed the importance of mindfulness and gave […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness: An Ancient Remedy for a Modern Problem

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness: An Ancient Remedy for a Modern Problem: Mindfulness is an ancient technology that has relevance to today’s problem of chronic stress overload. Part of the […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Know Your “Stress Signatures” and other Tips for Managing Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings everyone. With the start of my weekly column on Connecticut Watchdog, Sundays will be “Stress Reduction Sundays.” Read my posts on how to manage stress effectively in your life. Here is my initial post: The first principle to handling stress […]

Stress Reduction Blog on CT Watchdog

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings everyone. With the start of my weekly column on Connecticut Watchdog, Sundays will be “Stress Reduction Sundays.” Read my posts on how to manage stress effectively in your life. Here is my initial post: Stress seems to be a […]

Previous Posts

Introverts and Extroverts at the Neuronal Level
Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I have a thing for metaphors. Those of you who have been to my workshops know that I have a thing for the brain. I have been delighted to read Giorgio Ascoli's book, Trees of the Brain, Roots ...

posted 12:11:28pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Set Aside Greed and Distress with Reference to the World
The Buddha encouraged his monks to be "ardent, alert, & mindful" and to put "aside greed and distress in reference to the ...

posted 2:29:24pm Jun. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Tame Your Sabotaging Self-Talk Part 2
The second part of my interview with Self-Promotion for Introverts author, Nancy Ancowitz, is now available on her Psychology Today blog or ...

posted 7:34:40am Jun. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Laughter and Awakening
A recent column in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review discussed laughter. It was written by Bodhipaksa and debunks the quote that is attributed to the ...

posted 7:29:06am Jun. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Letting Go of Hopeful Remnants
A friend of mine who is 70-years-old and very fit, talented, and successful has male pattern baldness--the hair line recedes until there is only a ring of hair left around the bottom of the head. One of my professors in graduate school had it ...

posted 2:07:07pm May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

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