LESLIE DAVENPORT is the founding director of Marin General Hospital's Institute for Health and Healing. She runs a busy private psychotherapy practice and trains interns in guided imagery at the California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco. She lives in San Anselmo, California. THE AUTHOR SCOOP What has been your most unusual experience teaching imagery or meditation?I was conducting a guided meditation group in the menrsquo;s unit of a county jail. We had permission to use candles on a makeshift altar in the dining hall, and the men were taking turns lighting candles to honor their faith, tradition, or to say a silent prayer. It was quite moving. When the candle was passed to one of the men, he turned to me with a gleam in his eye, and said, ldquo;Irsquo;m in for arson.rdquo; It was a jaw-dropping moment for me, and humorous in retrospect. While I didnrsquo;t have the opportunity to explore what this experience was like for him, I can only hope that using fire in this way was transformative for him! Have any good pet stories? Irsquo;ve always had cats, and I credit them as being my first teachers of visualization. As a child, I was fascinated with the way my cat would stare intently on a spot on a ledge in absolute stillness. The focus was so intense I could trace a straight line through the air. A moment later, she would effortlessly spring onto the ledge. She taught me something about the power of seeing where you want to go. Whatrsquo;s the furthest yoursquo;ve ever traveled? It was a trip that took me to India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, and a gypsy camp in what was, at the time, Yugoslavia. That is, of course, if you exclude trips of the imaginationhellip; Were you an imaginative child? Irsquo;m pretty sure my mother would say so. One of my favorite pastimes as a child was to walk around the house looking into a mirror that reflected the ceiling, and imagine that I was walking upside down. What are you working on now? Irsquo;m very interested in perception, and how beliefs become lenses through which we view life. Those lenses then color our core experiences. While our perspectives are fluid, we often have a predominant belief system that impacts our life. Irsquo;m working on a book that describes the benefits and drawbacks of common collective lenses. In simple terms, examples would be: Life ishellip;hellip;a classroom ndash; every experience is here to teach us something.hellip;a party ndash; wersquo;re here to enjoy.hellip;a vale of tears ndash; itrsquo;s all about suffering and letting go.