Friday, December 30, 2011

Learning To Breathe by Priscilla Warner

Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life
Like Priscilla's first book, this book also made me think.  I found the book to be well-written, interesting, funny in parts, sad in parts and open and real.  Priscilla shares her story of her yearlong quest to find tranquility and a cure to the panic attacks that she has suffered from all of her life.  She shares her experiences with meditation, yoga, different therapies, massage, Buddhist teachings,and getting to see the Dali Lama.  I find it encouraging that she was able to use these various techniques to overcome her anxiety and become a calmer person.  I think that other people may find it encouraging too.  It sounds like her quest lead Priscilla to meet some fascinating people and to have some interesting and memorable experiences.  I like the acronym for the word "sigh" meaning "Sitting in God's Hands" that her therapist shared with her.  When I was in college, I took a philosophy class and I learned that Buddha's great enlightenment was that "all is suffering" and I just thought "duh - of course everything is suffering - but where does acknowledging that get us and how on earth does that help anything?" As I have grown older, I have realized even more that everyone and everything is suffering - even though we may not see their suffering.  We all want to find calm and peace from our anxiety. Priscilla explored and shared many ways that she has found to find a sense of calm.  It reminds me of some of my favorite Bible verses - "Philippians 4:6,7 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses every man's understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."   I love those verses because it does not say to pray and God will give you stuff.  It says to pray with thanksgiving, and that God will guard our hearts and our thoughts and will be our peace. We are all on a journey to find peace.  I am glad that Priscilla shared hers.

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