Reflections: Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Cycle 3 at UCLA

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 04:43 Written by nicole Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:49

3590414135 a2c5cced7a Reflections: Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Cycle 3 at UCLABY GILLIAN CILIBRASI

“Imagine a healthcare system where the patient is treated, not just the disease. Imagine a system where eastern healing techniques, yoga therapy, essential oil therapy, nutrition and contemplative care are used in combination with western medicine in a holistic approach to patient care.”

In 2009 I was drawn to the UZIT Program as a practitioner and especially drawn to the notion that drove the program… to imagine. I love being a part of something new, something innovative. Donna Karan’s words inspired me to join a movement to revamp patient-care as we know it- especially since we will all likely be patients at one point in our lives.

Some time ago, I heard someone say that the word imagination means image in action. These words are especially resonant now with the work we are doing in the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program. As I sit here watching the 50 trainees in the current training at the UCLA Health System move through the integration of the UZIT modalities I realize that we know no longer have to imagine, we have acted. We are in this new paradigm of blending east and west. At UCLA Health they call it “East Meets Best”, signifying the arrival of the UZIT eastern modalities into the finest medical institution on the west coast. These trainees are telling me of the profound experience they are having- simply by being able to offer their patients a body scan or propping them in a more comfortable and efficient position for healing- drugless offerings that allow their patients to relax without having to administer additional medication. 

While observing these practitioners, I visualize a pebble being thrown into a pond- concentric circles radiating outward to encompass all of their patients, loved ones, and the staff that they will touch with this newfound knowledge. Many of them are just beginning their journey using the UZIT modalities of yoga therapy, Reiki, essential oil therapy, contemplative care and nutrition for self-care. For this, all of the patients at UCLA are blessed with the opportunity for an enhanced care plan and an invitation to become an active participant in their own healing. I am honored and grateful to be here to witness the realization of Donna’s vision.


In gratitude,

Gillian Cilibrasi

Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program Director

Keep up with UZITs in training here.

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Women, Creation and Production: A Haitian Celebration

Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 02:16 Written by Urban Zen Friday, 10 May 2013 02:15

DSC 9034 copy Women, Creation and Production: A Haitian Celebration

This week, our Founder Donna Karan is off to Haiti. Among many exciting events and happenings, Donna will be participating in the Annual Women, Creation and Production Trade show, which is organized by “Voix Essencielle” -Femmes en Democratie, a Haitian nonprofit organization. This international trade show promotes Haiti’s creativity by offering a platform for Haitian women entrepreneurs and artisans to showcase their talents and stunning artistry. The experience brings together a community inspired by innovative, handmade, fair trade products.

With Mother’s Day on all of our hearts and minds this weekend, we wanted to take a moment to especially honor these soulful, creative women of Haiti and their entrepreneurial ventures – a truly symbolic way to celebrate women, mothers and the rebirth of Haiti.

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Thinking about Motherhood

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 01:56 Written by Donna Karan Friday, 10 May 2013 01:56








I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood and what it means to be a mother… it is a subject that I’ve shared my heart and soul on many times. I am a mother and grandmother and my maternal instincts have fueled not only my familial relationships, but also my desire to bring mind, body and soul into my life as a businesswoman and philanthropist.

This spectrum of motherhood spans across so many things and, in my opinion, highlights what’s most important. This week, I was an extra proud mama. I had the extraordinary pleasure of witnessing my daughter, Gabby, being honored at the Solving Kids Cancer’s Annual Gala. I was bursting with pride watching Gabby receive the “Wings of Hope” award for her tireless support of such a necessary and important issue. And, I’m delighted to share that evening was a fantastic success bringing in over $440,000 to fund new treatment options for kids.

As I write this, I am back in Haiti, a place where I tune into my maternal intuition constantly. As women, we are creators and the desire to give birth is woven into the essence of who we are – whether we birth babies, businesses or ideas is entirely up to us – but our ability to create is an amazing offering; an offering that the world needs.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I want to encourage each and every one of you to reach into your inner reserves of creativity. Tap into your unique talents and offer the world your own, authentic, brilliant, illuminated creativity.         

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