An intermediate method of controlling emotion involves neutralizing an emotion by evoking it's opposite. It consists of controllingone's breathing, combined with visualization and sometimes the use of special gestures. When one emotes, one's breathing, posture, facial expression and musculature all follow fairly predictable patterns.
Actors use this knowledge to evoke specific emotions and enhance their performance. We can use this knowledge to control the reactions from inappropriate emotional response. This technique will not eliminate emotion all together. At first, one still feels the emotion, but it no longer has control over the body and one's actions. Later in the practice, one can dispel an emotion with just a gesture or thought.
One begins to control emotional reactions in this way by breathing in a certain manner, depending on the reaction you wish to control, while evoking appropriate memories of past emotion, and possibly the forming of a special symbol with the hands.
The use of a hand gesture allow one to associate it with the emotional state one wishes to evoke via classical conditioning. After long practice, while using this method in regular meditation, the desired reaction will become so associated with the forming of the symbol with the hands, that doing that alone will bring about the desired reaction. In the beginning one should continue the breathing cycle until the emotional reactions cease.
When one feels excited, nervous, or any other highly discordant emotional state, breath thusly: deeply inhale to the count of 8 heart beats, then without pause exhale fully to the count of 8 heart beats. While breathing in this manner call to mind past events when you have felt in control of yourself, full of strength and purpose.
You may form the hand symbol for this and the following breathing patterns thusly:
1. Place your hands together, palm to palm. 2. Next slightly separate them, while still allowing all the finger tips to touch. 3. Let the pinkie finger and thumb, of the left hand, reach toward each other and touch, to form a ring. 4. Then, let the pinkie finger and thumb of the right hand reach thru the ring formed by your left to touch, forming another ring. 5. You should now have two interlocking rings formed by the pinkie finger and thumb of each hand.
When feeling sorrowful, in pain, obsessive or any rigid/unyielding emotional state, breath in this manner: inhale slowly and deeply for a count of 8 heart beats, pause for 3 heart beats, then quickly exhale fully, then pause 3 heart beats before inhaling again. Concurrently bring into mind, those events when one's actions truly flowed with the nature of c'thia; your response always seemed appropriate, and you always felt a calm sensitivity to events around you. Form a hand symbol using the third finger and thumb similar to the symbol above.
When feeling easily manipulated, timid, fearful, tired or any inactive, withdrawing emotion, breath like this: quickly and deeply inhale, and without pausing quickly and fully exhale. As above, while breathing you must focus your mind on events when you felt powerful, full of energy, active, decisive. Form the hand symbol with the second finger and the thumb.
When feeling selfish, jealous, patronizing, clutching or any narcissistic emotion, breath in this way: deeply and quickly inhale, then pause for 3 heart beats, next slowly fully exhale to a count of 10 heart beats, and pause 3 heart beats before beginning again. Concentrate on events where you felt benevolent, accepting, and truly realized the value of t'triahve (the concept of IDIC). Form the hand symbol with the index finger and thumb.
Copyright 1997, by Robert L. Zook II, all rights reserved.