Using her background as a certified yoga therapist and her belief that “active conscious loving is the basis of the meditation practices,” Ms. Lee has written Breathing Love in order to help people overcome grief, depression, anxiety and stress.
Each chapter has a discussion of the chapter topic, a personal story which relates to the topic and then a section on daily practice which includes tuning in and a variety of other things. Lee is consistent in her organization and her presentation of her material.
Lee’s writing style is easy to read without being overly complex or too simplified. She relies on yoga terms and meditation terms to get her point across. Her writing style is conversational. She discusses her concepts without being preachy. At the same time, she makes logical arguments for a particular way of life. The tone of the writing is friendly, like friends discussing a healthy practice. She offers positive support to work through her techniques.
Daily practices are practical and achievable. One of the practices says to "attempt to be neutral rather than opinionated in most circumstances." Obviously not everyone is going to be able to react calmly and positively in a negative situation but Lee offers tools to work towards a balance.
The first half of the book is about clearing out. Lee takes on topics like desire, anger, fear, and vulnerability. It's all about clearing out the negative in order to be able to invite in the positive. She guides the reader through difficulties everyone can relate to and offers techniques to improve the way you respond to situations.
The second half of her book is about filling up, developing eyes of love, the evening meditation through devotion, recognizing yourself as love, letting go, and moving forward. At the end of the second part she offers 10 tenants of love. These read like affirmations or statements which summarize what she's been teaching throughout the whole book.
The last section of her book is meditations. In these meditations, she walks the reader through how to prepare for doing a meditation as well as doing a guided meditation with them. Someone who has never meditated before could pick these up and do them without feeling lost in the process. At the same time the person who is experienced at meditating isn’t going to find it tedious.
Regardless of spiritual beliefs, this book doesn’t preach a particular path or religion but offers spiritual guidance through meditation. The purpose of the book is to help the reader find a more positive and loving relationship with themselves. Lee offers a practical and useful system for addressing some of life’s moments that are more difficult or even a lifelong attitude. Her practices are gentle and well described. Reading this book is like taking a gentle yoga class, it stretches your mind and ideas while gently working on improving your life.
~review by Eileen Troemel
Author: Jennie Lee