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2 Cousins Productions presents

The Joy of Sox:
'Weird Science'
and the Power of Attention

Dr. Eric Leskowitz's provocative Op-Ed in the Boston Globe has jumpstarted the production of the documentary film, "The Joy of Sox: 'Weird Science' and the Power of Attention." The film will touch all the bases from Western science to Eastern metaphysics -- Dr. Leskowitz will explore the physics of the home field advantage, the power of Red Sox Nation's attention from a distance, and the phenomenon of "conditioned spaces," that is, Fenway Park.

Visit the Joy of Sox Movie website for more information.

The "Joy of Sox" documentary illuminates the overlap between the seemingly separate worlds of subtle energy science and baseball fandom. Several esoteric scientific concepts – intercessory prayer, the power of attention, and the memory of water – are made real by focusing on their applications to the sports phenomenon of the “home field advantage”.

Using the story of the Boston Red Sox as an example, the Joy of Sox combines interviews with leading-edge scientists, noted baseball commentators, fans, and the players themselves to show how the interactions between fan and player are far more subtle, and far more profound, than we’d ever imagined.

In production now: Having shot one day at Fenway, we are planning additional shooting throughout the winter, during spring training and on Opening Day. We've obtained tentative commitments
from Dr. Larry Dossey, author of "Healing Words"; William Tiller PhD, Emertus Professor at Stanford University and commentator on "What the Bleep?", Rollin McCraty PhD, HeartMath Institute and Peter Gammons from ESPN.

2 Cousins Productions is comprised of, yes, two cousins. Cousin Eric, of Needham, MA, and cousin Joey, originally from Bethany CT, took very different routes to finally merging their talents in the making The Joy of Sox movie. Eric traveled the path of medicine and branched into alternative medicine, while Joey dived in the deep end by transcending daily living in an Indian ashram, and then returning to build a successful video production company.

Cousin Eric Leskowitz, MD,
is a board certified psychiatrist with the Pain Management Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. He has an appointment with the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School, directs the hospital’s Integrative Medicine Task Force, and has organized several conferences on the topic of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Rehabilitation. He edited a recent text of the same name (Churchill Livingstone, 2003), and has written and lectured widely on the field of energy medicine.

Cousin Joel Leskowitz is an award-winning producer who's worked with Al Gore, Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Joe Namath, and many other authors, athletes and healers. His work has appeared on PBS, the major networks and cable stations. He has produced shows ranging from "Ayur Veda: The Science of Life," and "Gandharva Veda: The Traditional Music of India," to "Poets Against the War," “On Creating Health,” and "SMILE!," a customer service training program for Fortune 1000 companies. Before embarking on his career in film and video, Joel traveled the world as a teacher of meditation. More about Joel at his website.

Here's the Op-Ed that spurred our documentary production.

The Boston Globe
Can 'weird science' save the Sox?
By Eric Leskowitz | September 26, 2005

DESPERATE TIMES call for desperate measures, and with this year's Red Sox season in real danger of unraveling, it's time to get help from previously unrecognized sources. We can use some arcane research to pull this one out of the hat by utilizing the latest findings in the ''weird science" of subtle energy medicine and nonlocal phenomena. In fact, there's good scientific data to show that last year's World Series MVP was not Manny Ramirez, but Red Sox Nation and the magic of Fenway Park. It all comes down to the home field advantage and how you, the couch potato reader, can use science to maximize that edge.

Statistics show that the home field advantage is real but small, averaging 1.3 points in the NFL, and a 54 percent winning percentage in baseball (rising up to 58 percent in the World Series). But it's not just friendly faces or lack of jet lag. There's a well-developed science of intangibles that involves concepts like distant intentionality, the memory of water, intercessory prayer, and conditioned spaces. Let's look at these phenomena, and see how they might translate from the laboratory onto the playing field.

That odd feeling of being stared at? It's not a coincidence -- lab studies of remote attention show that the human nervous system reacts when someone is looking at you (even if you're blindfolded). That's why most of us freeze in front of a crowd. We can't handle all that energy unless we're named Curt and can actually feed off negativity. The flip side is that when positive thoughts are directed at the lab subject, his EEG brain waves become more coherent and balanced. Maybe that's what 35,000 Fenway fans do for the Sox's brain waves.

Then there's Dr. Wasaru Emoto's studies in Japan. His photographs document that the crystalline structure of water molecules can be changed by the directed positive thoughts of people nearby. It sounds corny, I know, but data are data (see the movie ''What the Bleep Do We Know?" for details). Remember that the human body is 65 percent water, and think again about the impact of fans' good wishes and fervent hopes on all of those Soxian water molecules on the field.

As for those ''fans," it's fitting that the word is short for ''fanatic," which comes from a Latin word meaning ''possessed by a demon or a deity."

So why not harness this untapped energy? That's where the research on distant prayer comes in. If so-called intercessory prayer from people hundreds of miles from the hospital can help cardiac patients recover (as at least one controlled study has shown), then what happens when the members of Red Sox Nation begin to pray at their local branch of the Church of the Carmine Hose? Maybe players' physiologies are affected as much as heart patients'; maybe batting averages are enhanced as much as electrocardiograms.

The last set of studies helps to explain the specialness of Fenway Park itself. Stanford physicist William Tiller showed that certain chemical reactions -- the rate at which salt crystals precipitate out from saturated solutions -- are altered if the experiment is done in a room where people have recently, and frequently, been meditating (even when temperature, humidity, and the like are controlled ). He calls this the phenomenon of ''conditioned spaces": physical settings (yes, like Fenway) can somehow carry the imprint of past events and prior human experiences. Tiller's quantum physics explanations leave me in the dust, but the idea that certain places carry a special quality is intuitively appealing, especially if you've ever felt the rocking energy of Fenway during a big game.

So whenever the Sox get on a roll, something unusual's going on. I think these revelations from the new field of energy medicine have to be invoked to explain these mysteries. So, skeptics, go Google these studies and then get off your duffs. Join the rest of Red Sox Nation this week as we focus our heart-felt attention and pray our prayers for our boys. We need to change their biochemistry and activate their water molecules like we did last year. Weird science can help the Sox win again in 2005.

Dr. Eric Leskowitz is a psychiatrist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where he directs the Integrative Medicine Project.
© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Dr. Leskowitz is available for workshops, lectures and consultations to clinicians and organizations about these issues.

Eric and Joel

with Dan Shaughnessy

with Jerry Remy

Recent shoots:

Dr. Larry Dossey
author of Healing Words

William Tiller, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Stanford University and commentator on "What the Bleep?"

Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.
HeartMath Institute

Rupert Sheldrake , Ph.D.
"The Sense of Being Stared At"

If you'd like to help with the production or distribution of The Joy of Sox, please email us your ideas. Thank you!

Contact the producers:
Dr. Leskowitz

Joel Leskowitz


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