Emotional Evocation

Controlling emotions

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.