“Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear.” Pema Chödrön
“In a healthy response to pain and fear, we establish awareness before it becomes anger. We can train ourselves to notice the gap between the moments of sense experience and the subsequent response. Because of the particle-like nature of consciousness, we can enter the space between instinct and action, between impulse and reaction. To do so we must learn to tolerate our pain and fear. This is not easy. As James Baldwin put it, “Most people discover that when hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with their own pain.” That’s why we start by paying attention to the small things, small pains and disappointments. When I start to get into an argument with my wife, if I pay attention I notice that I usually feel hurt or afraid. If I speak to her angrily, she will become defensive and the argument will grow. But if I’m mindful, I can talk about the hurt or fears instead of being lost in anger and blame. Then my wife becomes interested and concerned. Out of this a different and more honest conversation occurs.” Jack Kornfield
Someone ever tell you to let something go that was in the past, and yet … you can’t?
Past experiences that stay with us, the ones we remember, have an emotional charge to them. There is a hook that keeps pulling us back. That hook can be a pleasant one where we experience joy or happiness as we think about them, or they can be painful.
Life has a great way of protecting us from things we are incapable of, or unwilling, to face – it allows us to bury them for a period of time. We can suppress them to the point of not remembering them, or we can just Polly-Anne them to the bottom of our to-do list. But eventually our barriers are broken down and we end up with the item sitting in the middle of our life, insisting we deal with it. Dealing with it involves finally acknowledging, experiencing, and processing the emotions. Continue reading
“Fear is the memory of pain. Addiction is the memory of pleasure. Freedom is beyond both.” Deepak Chopra
“The world of suffering and freedom has a lot to do with how we choose to respond to what is given to us, to the present moment itself. What is given may not be to our liking. But, even so, through mindfulness practice we can awaken to the creative potential of choice in how we respond. To choose to respond with aversion, anger, fear, or clinging continues the creation of suffering. To respond with more attention, or without reference to our egoistic attachments, interrupts the cycles of suffering. Creative freedom is not possible if choice is rooted in egoism.” Gil Fronsda
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life… fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do, and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change…” Eckhart Tolle