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LEARNING TO BREATHE by Priscilla Warner


My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life

by Priscilla Warner

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4391-8107-2
Publisher: Free Press

An investigation into popular relaxation methods, packaged as chick lit.

A longtime panic-attack sufferer and the co-author of The Faith Club, Warner decided that she wanted to acquire the relaxed brain of a Tibetan monk. This decision set her on a journey to exploring myriad techniques to help her chill out beyond the temporary fix of Klonopin. Among the alternatives: psychotherapy; a Buddhist meditation course; guided imagery with Belleruth Naparstek; walking meditation; a Jewish mikvah bath; Trager therapy; Somatic Experience therapy; EMDR; and a Windhorse meditation retreat with Pema Chodron. With these new techniques in hand, Warner dealt with real-life issues like visiting her ailing mother in an Alzheimer’s unit and the death of her beloved dog. She explains each healing process with enthusiasm and includes conversations with master teachers/doctors with whom she seems immediately familiar. Warner’s personal stories add emotion and help readers comprehend the effects of the more abstract methods of relaxation. The author also took up thangka painting with a Lama from Tibet, spending countless hours drawing the perfectly symmetrical face of the Buddha as she absorbed lessons of peace and compassion. After she continued to complain about her ailing mother’s pain, Lama Tsondru brought her down to earth with the sage advice, ”Look at all the other mothers in the world who are suffering; make yourself a Bodhisattva, with compassion for others.”

Ditch the drugs and learn to relax naturally.