Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this website, my book, and the Community Education course I teach at the College of Marin, is to teach people how to live a vibrant, meaningful life through the cultivation of self-empowerment and self-efficacy. In this weekly Q&A column, I post questions from students and from people who attend my presentations along with my answers.

Here is this week’s question:

QUESTION: Would you please share the specifics of the self-empowerment practice you teach?

ANSWER: The self-empowerment method I teach is a type of mindfulness practice without necessarily including formal sitting meditation. The foundation of this method encompasses a particular breathing technique, walking tall and from your center, standing tall and grounded, sitting tall, full attunement to your immediate environment, consciously tuning in and letting go of all unnecessary bodily tension, and objective observation of thoughts and feelings. The breathing consists of consciously pushing out the air on the exhalations and then relaxing the abdomen, so that the inhalations happen naturally without any effort. Also, the exhalations are twice as long as the inhalations. One more thing—feelings are to be both observed as well as felt.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

If you would like to ask me something, you can type your question in the comment box below. An answer to your specific question may not necessarily appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.