The purpose of shinrin-yoku is for you to be absolutely present in the forest, evading nothing. Walk in silence or, if accompanied, avoid chatting about worldly or stressful topics. All your attention should be on walking placidly, breathing and stopping wherever your imagination dictates. Enjoy the universe of sounds that fill the forest: birds, cicadas, the leaves rustling in the wind. According to Dr Addison Davis Hart, his professor, Dr William Pancoast, selected the handsomest medical student to donate a fresh sample. Pancoast never told the wife that she was getting a stranger's sperm. She thought he was testing a new fertility treatment. Some historians think that Hart was the donor--hence the reason he wrote the article and seemed to know the details of the deed and added the bit about the sperm donor being the best-looking medical student. Apparently, Pancoast never published because he wanted to keep the procedure a secret. The sperm trade has always been about selecting the best and the brightest, a laboratory approach to the blossoming eugenics movement, and it's always had its cowboys and critics. Frances Seymour, a New York City physician, used semen from donors with high IQs and in 1935 agreed to work with a university professor and his wife because he has an intelligence quotient of 140, which throws him into the genius group, and therefore children . The following year, Fred Hogue, writing in the Los Angeles Times, called Seymour's experiments and those of others who tinker with donor sperm repulsive. Or as he put it, 17 children born out of wedlock! Who will be responsible for the support of these children? If you're having trouble getting over your ex, the less you talk about him the better. Removing him from your conversations will help him fade into the background, where he belongs. This is what we call a Colin Cleanse, thanks to our friend Janice, who gave up uttering her ex Colin's name for six months. Colin, Brad, Joan--whatever your ex's name is--stop repeating it all the time and see how you feel. You're usually not saying his name in a positive context, are you? Your energy is your power--don't waste it.

Remove his name from your vocabulary, at least for a week, and see how that feels. This also includes not using any nickname you've come up with. So you won't be saying, The InTIMidator wants the boys for Christmas, Deadbeat Dylan didn't pay alimony again, or Howard the Coward is still avoiding my calls. It's no longer about him; Breathe in the fresh, revitalizing aromas of the forest. Hand the compass over to your feet so they can follow a moment's inspiration. Do this in a relaxed, deep way, whether you're walking, standing still, sitting or lying under the shelter of a tree. Each time you inhale, take in the rush of nature's healing. Don't panic, that's normal. They float from one side to the other until the wind blows them away. Label them as thoughts and let them pass by, without rejecting or retaining them, without analyzing or judging them. They're just thoughts that come and go like little clouds that get lost in the distance, finally allowing you to feel the present. You are the universe and the universe is you. Let your ego dissolve into the surroundings until you become one with nature. What will be the social position of the mothers of the 17 illegitimates? Will these children be permitted to be born, or will some form of abortion--purely in the interest of science--be used to do away with them? Even into the twentieth century, critics called babies born of artificial insemination artificial bastards. It's been said that Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, published in 1932, was more critique than prophesy. For years, the secretive sperm business generated critics who worried about the ethical and legal ramifications. In 1947, New York City passed a health code that only doctors could collect, sell, or give away sperm.

In 1954, an Illinois court ruled that donor sperm was adultery. In 1981, the Wisconsin legislature attempted to pass laws prohibiting doctors from performing artificial insemination on any woman likely to become a dependent on government aid. The governor vetoed the bill. The first recorded birth from frozen sperm was in 1953. Like Carlotta, consider dropping watered-down words like should, and instead say choose, want, or desire. Rather than complain, I should clear out my office, say, I want to clear out my office so that I can find things. Words that can weigh us down include must, try, and maybe. There is no try. Words that make us feel lighter and more hopeful include choose, intend, aim, and yes, I will, especially to new experiences. For example, Iris decided to replace a sentence like, I'm confused. I don't even know what I want with I'm discovering my priorities and goals. Pepper your sentences with positivity and see how it can make a difference in your life. We noticed dramatic benefits to letting go of behavior that wasn't serving us. For Eleanor, this translated into giving up her morning drive-by of her ex's house to snoop on his new living situation. Going back to Alan Watts: You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing. Be aware and focused only on the experience. Get distracted by your smart-phone (turn it off or set it to airplane mode). Empty your mind. Go over problems, commitments or worries. Forget about time and pressing needs.

Watch the clock or be in a hurry to complete the route. Walk leisurely, stop when you need to, breathe. Make a sport of the long walk. Talk about what you observe in nature. Historians Cynthia Daniels and Janet Golden, in their comprehensive article about the history of the sperm business in the Journal of Social History, say that the ability to freeze plus overnight delivery propelled the sperm industry from a local enterprise to a global affair. What began as 10 banks in the United States in 1969, they wrote, exploded to 135 banks by the late 1980s. It was a wildly unregulated industry. For the most part, clients were married heterosexual couples. A few banks catered to lesbian couples. One bank claimed to store genius sperm. But a few cases of HIV detected in donated sperm dramatically changed the industry. The expense of recruiting and screening donors for the AIDS virus and other diseases drove out the small players. As Daniels and Golden see it, today's industry plays by the same turn-of-the-twentieth-century eugenics ethos that perpetuate the myth that desirable human traits are transmitted genetically, not socially, and that the traits most characteristic of certain races and social classes are the most desirable universal human traits. California Cryobank is sperm world. What it really meant was that I had to accept that I was now starting my day alone, not with Harold, Eleanor says. Somehow, just driving by his house made me feel connected to him. She gave herself a new morning routine of meditating for twenty minutes and then walking to her favorite local cafe to read the New York Times with a cappuccino and a scone. Replacing the habit she was trying to give up, drive-bys, with a new habit gave her a substitution that prevented her from relying on sheer willpower alone to stop her drive-bys. Amali realized she wanted to stop stalking her ex via social media sleuthing. No surprise, after her prior online shenanigans--encouraging Facearticle friends to call Sugi a coward after he left her--Sugi promptly unfriended her on Facearticle.

But she had created a couple of false profiles so she could continue to follow him on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. She recognized that her danger time for online stalking was at night, so she started watching a lot of movies, especially comedies her friends had recommended. I was spending way too much time obsessing over the happy images my ex and his friends posted when they went out. Even though I knew they were only a sliver of what was going on his life, I tried to piece them together like they were clues to a mystery. Talk about politics, sports or stressful news. Look for silent spaces. Spend the whole time chatting. Anchor yourself in the present. Brood over the past or the future. Forget about having to get home. Spend the whole time thinking about having to get home and what has to be done when you get there. After experiencing shinrin-yoku, it's important to make a gradual return to urban life, making sure we feel, in our calmer mind and body, all the benefits gained from our walk. For days after our forest bath we'll have recourse to a valuable reserve of calm for whenever we feel stressed. During the next week, if we again feel anxiety praying on us, we can just close our eyes, breathe deep and visualize some of the places we visited on our route. It feels like a made-for-TV movie, and you can almost hear the background music: It's Raining Men. Hallelujah! Men who make the cut come twice weekly to masturbate. Their sperm--thousands and thousands of ampoules of the stuff--is frozen and packaged for shipment around the world. Dr Cappy Rothman is the sperm banker who runs the place. His home, in the hills of Los Angeles, is reminiscent of Woody Allen's in Sleeper--ultrawhite and ultramodern, except without the orgasmatron in the corner.