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Don’t give fear a thought

A

Apotheosis

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When fearfulness infects you, neither avoid it nor let it recruit your mind. Don’t give it a thought.

Approach the infected areas with care. No antibiotic heroics, no psychosurgical wizardry, just ordinary everyday caring.

Touch the infection with undivided attention, while letting the raw reality of it touch you, penetrate you, shake you more awake. Make contact, intimate contact, allowing it to breathe, allowing to it vibrate, sound off, even grieve. Stop treating it like an adversary or disease.

When approached with sufficient care, fearfulness helps fuel our entry into a quality of openness wherein we cannot be threatened.

Fearfulness is our personified sense of separateness having a bad day. Being invested in making a self out of our apparent separateness guarantees fearfulness. Nevertheless, the arising of fearfulness, however compelling, does not mean that we are afraid, but rather only that fear is present, coexisting with varying degrees of awareness of it. When fearfulness does manage to infiltrate your mind, read its contents once-through as though they belonged to a supermarket tabloid, taking careful note of which headlines most easily snare your attention. Then immediately shift your attention, and shift it completely, to the physical correlates of your fearfulness, resisting the temptation to scoot back into your thinking mind. Tour the somatic nooks, crannies, and grottos of your fearfulness, paying close attention to its textures, tones, directionality, shapings, and other anatomical peculiarities. Note that it is not static, not a noun, not a something inhabiting you, but rather a verb, a process, always on the move, riddled with impermanence. Then ask yourself who or what it is that’s feeling fearful. Is it really you?
Find out. As you discover — and not just intellectually — that the awareness of fear is not itself at all afraid, then you can approach “your” fearfulness with a considerable degree of ease and spaciousness. When we are sufficiently uprooted to be standing our true ground, we are positioned to be awakened by all things, including fearfulness The teacher is everywhere. Every moment is a potential crucible for awakening. It’s all a setup — set up by all — for realizing, totally realizing, what we actually are, asking only for undreaming eyes.

Fearfulness not only disturbs our sleep, but also can scare us scriptless. At that point — which may last for only a few seconds — we are so divested of our usual dramatics that we are the very openness for which we have yearned. All we have to do is not flee to the surface — like a dreamer desperately trying to exit a nightmare — but remain where we are. Then, into the openness that we are will flood all that is needed. When we remain outside our fear, we remain trapped within it.

When we, however, consciously get inside our fear, it’s as if it turns inside out. Getting inside our fear with wakeful attention and compassion actually expands (or everts) our fear beyond itself. Once the contractedness that’s at the center of fear ceases to be fueled, fear unravels, dissipates, terminates its occupancy of us.

In entering our fear, we end our fear of it.

Through attending closely, caringly, and carefully to the particulars of our fearfulness, we decentralize it, so that its intentions and viewpoint can no longer govern us. When the light goes on in the grottos of dread, then fear is little more than Life-energy having a bad day. When we touch our fear with authentic caring, it de-tenses, decompresses, usually quite quickly becoming something other than fear, something unburdened by fearful agendas or headlines. Fear met with an open heart does not usually take long to dissolve.

The key is to actively and decisively disidentify with our fear. Don’t give fearfulness a thought. Instead, give it your full attention. Go to its core. Its dark heart is but the shell, the calcified chambering, of a love beyond imagination, a love that effortlessly dissolves all fear.
 
schiz01

schiz01

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Thanks for posting this Apo
I have been having very vivid and symbolic dreams of late (nightmares the last 2 nights) which were centered around fear.
I remember reading something along the lines of

By Identifying and confronting your inner fears they will evaporate like the fog/mist does in the sunlight.

Or something like that anyways:unsure:
 
MadEmma

MadEmma

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Fear is in every waking and sleeping thought

I wish it was as easy as you have posted. I live in fear constantly to the point i have now ended up in bed 24hr a day trying to sleep and get away from the fact that the fear is there waiting for me when I wake. I have seen the doctor, shrink and counsellors for years about fear and panics and nothing works I even went to the church for a healing. I have 3 lovely kids and a hubby who is very caring if i cant get anywhere with life soon i am going to lose everything, please let me know if anyone has this endless fear and if there is a miracle to end it and make my life worth living.
 
A

Apotheosis

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I wish it was as easy as you have posted.
Hi Emma. I think it's more the case of it being simple. That doesn't mean that it's easy. & I don't mean that these difficulties are simple either.

I could simply say that from now on I'm not going to react defensively with anyone, or react with any kind of aggression or anger - that would be very simple; but it would be so hard as to be impossible to do the whole time. Many things can be simple but hard & difficult to do.

Meditation can be very beneficial - just to sit is a chair for 10 minutes every morning & to concentrate on my breath - Simple! - Very hard for me to have the discipline to do, with any kind of regularity.

I try to practise certain principles; very simple principles that a child could understand; but the practising of them can often be very very hard.

I think that the article is like this too - it is describing a relatively simple method; but to put such a method into practise when you are experiencing high levels of fear is often not an easy thing to do.

To my mind the article is positing the same notion that 'what we resist persists', & that to deal with fear, or indeed any difficult emotion; then it needs to be approached with acceptance, embrace, care, awareness & consideration. To simply acknowledge the way we are feeling - to embrace the things we are experiencing; without reaction to them.
 
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calypso

calypso

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Thank you Apo, that is truly beautiful and so loving a passage. It reminds me a little of Frank Herbert's passage in Dune:

I must not fear
Fear is the mind-killer
Fear is the little death that brings obliteration
I will face my fear
I will permit it to pass over me, and through me
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path
Where the Fear has gone, there will be nothing
Only I will remain.

I had this written on a bookmark for years, but my daughter has commandeered it! xx
 
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