Mindful Monday: Working with fear

"We have our conscious day-to-day fears—of a close call, an accident, a bad health diagnosis. But then there is an undercurrent of fear, which is very relevant to practitioners. This undercurrent of fear lurks behind a lot of our habits. It is why it is so hard to just sit still or stand still or stand in line...without feeling nervous and fidgety. We have a fear of being still.

"Why do we spin out so many thoughts all the time? We sit and try to quiet the mind but it just rumbles on and on, churning out masses of thought... It’s because of this undercurrent of fear. It’s as though we have to keep things moving. We have to keep ourselves distracted at some fundamental level. We have to keep our momentum going, because it’s pretty scary to think of it stopping...

"[...] it helps to see things as they arise—before they become full-blown and you are caught in their sway, at which point you can’t do much about them. In meditation practice you slow things down, and that allows you to see the subtle arisings. By slowing things down, you can interrupt the tossing of the match into the pile of leaves. You can say, 'I don’t need to go there. I see what’s coming.' You catch things when they’re manageable. Understanding, examining, knowing, slowing down—those are the first steps in working with fear, the beginning of the path to fearlessness."

--Judy Lief

What are you noticing about your ability to be still in body and mind?

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for Mindful Monday

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Source: "Fear and Fearlessness: What the Buddhists Teach." Lion's Roar, May 21, 2017.
Photo credit: "Match," Chris Heald, 2008.

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