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My friend Luis Diaz has written a fantastic book called Memory in the Cells. He has kindly asked me to write the foreword, and here it is. I will be interviewing him on Thursday, September 23rd at 6pm PST.

To begin, I must confess that the way I am writing this foreword to Luis’s Diaz’s book involves a kind of cheating,  Usually the foreword is written just on the merit of the book alone. In this case I have access to background information that gives me an unfair handicap.  I have know the author quite well for many years. We have been  in a mens’ group together, we swim in the South Yuba river, we eat food together, we take walks here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

I’ve met so many people over the years who have written great books, with great methods, but the question alway’s arises, “How much is what they are writing about reflected in the way they live?”

Someone could, for example, write a book about emotional freedom, but how do they actually respond when they are insulted by somebody? Somebody else could write a book about success and trust, but how much much is that reflected in the way that they deal with life’s little dissapointments?  That is always the question when it comes to a book. It all sounds good, but how much is it lived? And this is where my cheating can be helpful, to me and to you, the reader, as well, because this book is not just a theory of releasing memory from the cells. This book is written by somebody who is palpably living in a released way. Just in the way that he chooses to spend his time, or just how he is with a waitress in the restaurant, or with his kids, being with Luis you can feel that this is a book written not only from a theory, but it’s written from a different way of perceiving life.

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This is a practice from my book Leap Before You Look.

At any time of the day,
Evening or night,
Make yawning into a conscious practice.
No need to wait until you feel like it:
Yawn anyway.
Open your jaw wide and stretch it.
Make it a big yawn.
Take a deep breath,
Into the lower part of the belly.
With the exhale, make a sound: “Aaaaah!”
Do it again.
In less than a minute, the body will respond:
You will continue to yawn naturally.
Notice a change in your breathing rhythm,
And a natural release of the diaphragm.
Do this for about five minutes, three or four time a day.

This simple practice will change everything in just a few minutes. The key is to yawn consciously—not to wait until the body yawns on its own—and to yawn totally, generously, with maximum stretch and sound. If you can, take a short nap after using this practice; if your body needs rest in that moment, it will naturally take what it needs after some conscious yawning.

The benefits of conscious yawning are too many to list here. You will discover just how much this supports presence very quickly on your own. So, here is just a short summary. (more…)

This is a practice from my latest book: Leap Before You Look.” This practice is chosen from the section “Intimate Relationship Practices.”

argue1

When you find yourself caught in a disagreement
With your partner or a close friend,
When you are arguing,
Trying to be convincing that your point of view is more correct,
Stop and exchange points of view.
If you have been sitting together and talking,
Stand up and change seats.
For five minutes you will represent the point of view of the other,
Vehemently, passionately, fully trying to convince.
Do this with totality, give it everything.
Make sure you include (as the other)
How you feel, what you’re resentful about,
What you want and why,
And what you are afraid of.
After doing this exercise for five minutes
Move back to your original position
Take the point of view that was originally yours,
And see what remains of your dispute.
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This is a practice from my latest book: Leap Before You Look.” This practice is chosen from the section “The Daily Grind.”

office-depot

Take some time to discard what is no longer needed.

You could start with your clothes.

Be honest: if you have not worn it for a year,

Put it in a bag for the thrift store.

Look through your books: how many will you ever read again?

Go through your music, your movies, your knick-knacks.

If it is just taking up storage space, get it out of your life.

Take the things you can let go of to the garbage or the thrift store.

Then, sit quietly for a few minutes and

Feel the space you have created in your life.

Feel the space that has also been opened

Inside yourself.

Do this practice often,

Until all clutter is gone,

And you can enjoy simplicity.

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