Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Within each one of us there is a treasure box full of the bliss bestowing jewels of paradise. But we don’t want to open this box. Why?  As one of my teachers, Charlotte Joko Beck said we live in the “if onlys”  If only I had  _____ , I would be happy. If only my spouse would love me, if only I had a better job, etc, etc. We keep looking outside of ourselves for something only we (or God) can give us But the treasure box doesn’t lie outside of us. That is the mistake we continually make.
Each day I work with my therapy clients to help them open their treasure boxes which lie deep within them right down amongst their pain.  Of course, being with these difficult feelings is exactly what we don’t want to do. But that is exactly where our treasure boxes often lie: right in the midst of our anger, sadness, longing, hurt, and loneliness.  And we open them with radical acceptance and loving awareness. These are the keys to our treasure boxes and with them we gradually open our hearts as wide as the world with all its joys and sorrows. Our open hearts ARE the treasure box! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Free Sunday Evening Mindfulness Meditation in Pasadena 6-7:30PM

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am now doing a regular free Sunday evening mindfulness meditation offering at East Village Yoga in NE Pasadena at East Village Yoga Pasadena 
1720 E. Washington Blvd. Suite 204  Pasadena, ca 91104. This occurs every third Sunday from 6-7:30PM. There is plenty of parking in the rear of the building off Sinaloa Ave. 
I am concentrating on somatic connection (body awareness) right now as this is critical for our physical, mental, and spiritual healing and growth. Below is a description of the class for this Sunday. Please drop in and check it out. Also, Jenny Buchanan who runs the yoga studio is a personal long time friend and colleague.
More info:
Best Wishes, Robert Cornell LMFT

 There is a wonderful way to stay centered  and connected with our inner divinity even when we are upset. When we are triggered into some difficult emotion, we are tempted to pull back from our experience, to try to avoid or to control our emotion. This puts us into conflict with our experience and often makes our suffering worse. And it does not to lead to healing.
 When we encounter a difficult emotion, one excellent way to engage with and heal it is to put one of our hands on our heart space and the other on our belly. Our hands have the most nerve endings of any part of our body. When we put our hands on our heart and gut, we are connecting directly with our bodily experience. And by doing so it is if to say to our vulnerable hurting selves, “ I am here for you.”
 This practice of loving presence brings healing to our inner hurting selves. This practice can be one of the most effective and loving things we can do for ourselves.As we do this practice we are re connecting  with ourselves. And this connection is the healing.

Monday, February 9, 2015


 Very often when someone triggers our anger, there is a strong impulse for us to say something hurtful or spiteful in return. This is practically a reflex action and if we do this, we are acting on automatic pilot. It might feel good at first, letting it all hang out, telling them what we think of them, but often we regret it later for the damage it causes to our relationship with the other person.

 What would be the alternative? We work with our anger like any other challenging emotion. First we hold it  compassionately in our awareness (not suppressing it), watching for and refraining  from any impulses to act out. This is one of the reasons why some kind of contemplative practice is so valuable for daily living. Mindfulness practice in particular gives us the ability to have this perspective on our strong emotions.
 It is important that we not judge ourselves or blame others for our anger. Instead when we are away from the triggering event we can start to inquire as to what the anger is about.

 We can listen compassionately to our inner dialogue of anger and ask ourselves: does it seem familiar, like an old story we have experienced over and over? Does it require us to do something that might be different than the way we have usually reacted before? Gradually as we work with our anger the patterns and meaning becomes clearer to us and we can act with more intelligence.