Friday, March 2, 2012

The Year of Living Consciously Part 3

For the last two months, we've explored watching your thoughts and your breath. These are practices can be done with detachment and are usually not combustible.

This month, we'll study the emotions. Going back to the first installment, I mentioned that as we learn language, we learn to attach a condition to words and whole thoughts - "good" or "bad", "right" or "wrong", "pleasant" or "painful". With these conditional attachments come emotions. For example, I'm sitting in my morning meditation and my mind slithers off to some previous conversation and I begin to rehash the whole situation (this type of distraction is sticky and can really catch me in its web); as soon as I notice what I've done, my thoughts turn to judgment about my slithering away. My judgment turns to a shortening of my breath, a wince across my brow and a protective shrug in my shoulders. My entire being is now stuck in the reaction to my mental slip. If I am paying attention, I may notice these outward signs in my breath and body... but if I'm watching the emotions, I can nip all of this in the bud. Watch that your mind has patterns, and those patterns can be associated with emotions, and those feed the breath and body systems. Try using your sharpened mind and breath awareness to catch yourself at the beginning of these conditional responses and watch the emotions without being caught in them. If that isn't yet possible, try turning your focus on things that evoke positive and then neutral feelings. This will help to discharge the emotion and disconnect you from the pattern of judging your emotional response.


updates and special events; please see Special Events page for more details...

  • THIS SUNDAY! March 4 1:00-3:30pm: Serenity Yoga, a Gentle and Restorative Yoga Workshop at Willow Glen Yoga. Please join us for subtle movements, deep breathing and supportive restorative postures. Spaces still available, please register at
  • Beginning March 6: FREE Yoga for Cancer Survivorship class Tuesdays noon-12:45pm at Breathe Los Gatos. Contact Lorien for more info.
  • April 8: Annual OM for Peace Chant 3:00-4:00pm at Breathe Los Gatos; come join our voices in this annual FREE event as we chant OM for 1 hour at our own rate and pitch. See Special Events for more info.
  • April 27-29, 2012 Weekend Retreat with Lorien and Marti Foster at Mayacamas Ranch in Calistoga. See Special Events for more info.