The Fearful Mind – Episode 4

Today, I am happy to share with you all a precious insight by Adhyashanti on “Intimacy with Fear”.

The most important thing when it comes to emotional openness and vulnerability is a willingness to face our fears, because many of our fears, although they’re created in the mind and memory, are also deeply lodged into our emotional makeup.

They can’t just be swept away as if we’re sweeping dust off the sidewalk with a broom. There has to be a willingness to feel that fear again, feel the hesitation, feel the tendency to recoil—if it’s there—and to have the willingness to move into it, to actually become intimate with the fear itself.

Union with fear isn’t something that many of us consider when we think of intimacy and relationship. But when you are willing to be intimate with your resistance, closer than you imagine, then you will see that your fears are not your enemies; they are your allies. Most people have experienced fear in their life, and I often hear people say, “Well, I know I’m intimate with fear because I feel it so profoundly.”

Some people, when they begin to become intimate with another human being, become profoundly fearful. Deep terror can arise. In this case, someone might say, “well, I’m terrified! Of course I’m intimate with it!” But you can actually experience a deep level of emotional pain, turmoil, and fear even without being completely available and intimate with these experiences.

So then what does it mean to be intimate with fear, with anxiety, with some of these emotional barriers that hinder one’s direct experience of oneness? What does it mean to be intimate with the moment of fear?

Sometimes, as in this case, it’s best that you live with a question rather than search for an answer. What is it like to be intimate with fear? It’s the same as being intimate with a view of a sunset, or the leaf on a tree, or the smile in a child’s eyes. It’s different emotional content, of course—it may be much more intimidating—but really what it means to be intimate with fear is the same as what it means to be intimate with anything else: Instead of running away from it, trying to solve it, making it into your problem, you can actually get very close to it.

“Getting close” doesn’t mean you snuggle up to it.
Getting close simply means you stop running away.

You don’t have to run toward it. You just have to stop running away. Then you’ll feel an intimacy. You may also feel a resistance, but you can choose to stay right there.

Of course you don’t like it. Of course you recoil. That’s what you’re taught to do. That’s what our whole society told you that you needed to do. Even part of your brain has evolved such that when you experience fear, you feel compelled to flee.

If you’re out in the jungle and you feel fear because some animal is about to attack you, it’s wise that you feel this desire to run away quickly. It’s good that you don’t sit there with a willingness to feel intimate with your fear, because you might get caught and killed. But the truth is we’re not in the jungle, and usually, when we experience fear, especially the fear of being open and intimate, that kind of fear isn’t the same as the fear you have in the jungle. Interestingly, it feels the same, but the response that’s called for is something entirely different.

When you remind yourself that what you’re dealing with is fear within your own mind, you see that it’s a completely different kind of fear. It’s a fear that’s created within your own being, and you can’t outrun yourself.

Ultimately, we’re going to have to open our heart to the whole world, to everything that’s happening in it, and to everything that has ever happened. We’re going to have to open our heart to everything that could possibly happen. Why? Because we’re not separate from anything or anyone. Anything you consider separate from you can scare and can intimidate you.

But when you have the willingness to open your heart, to be intimate even with the things you don’t like, with the people and events that frighten you, with the state of the world that may intimidate you, then you’ll find a way in which the core of you has an avenue through which to express itself. You can express and manifest the very depth of yourself in the outside world, so that there’s no longer a division between inside and outside and there’s no longer a boundary for our love.

~ Adyashanti

The Fearful Mind – Episode 3

In my previous post, I shared with you a story of someone who struggles with anxieties of all sorts that one could imagine of.

At first, as I read it, it triggered me especially when she began to resist the treatment itself. Thankfully, it didn’t take much to regain compassion for her, though.

Well, it is quite normal when you come forward to help someone with anxieties or depression, they backfire at you. It is mostly because they still are trying to find the courage to look (deeply) at their own mental state. Therefore, as Krishna has rightly pointed out in the comments, a well-informed psychiatrist (and the companion) would try to build the trust, by the energy of Love and Compassion. Only then can they open for real healing.

Fear can also be seen as a symptom of “lack of Love”. It takes Courage to look at the fears in its source. Courage comes through Love.

Happy No Fear, everyone!

Dementia

This Ocean, my Friend,
Is my Home.

Do not be scared.
Do not think twice.

Oxygen is not the Source of Life.
Love is. Breathe into it.

You don’t have to swim.
Remain motionless.

Just for a while,
Leave everyone behind and
Dive into my Home
You’ll remember Everyone, again.


Sanskrit Times – Episode 4

Hi Readers,

Hope you’re doing well, wherever you’re in the world. Today I am going to share a couple of verses from one of the great works of an 8th century Indian Philosopher Sri Adi Shankaracharya – Bhaja Govindam. It is a song/poetry that reminds the sage’s followers to reflect on the Truth (so as to be free from illusions of the mind). It starts like this:

bhaja govindaṃ bhaja govindaṃ
govindaṃ bhaja mūḍhamate |
samprāpte sannihite kāle
nahi nahi rakśhati ḍukriṅkaraṇe

Sing the name of Govinda*, Repeat the name of Govinda,
Serve Govinda, oh deluded mind!
At the time of your death,
Rules of grammar will not save you.

bāla stāvat krīḍāsaktaḥ
taruṇa stāvat taruṇīsaktaḥ |
vṛddha stāvat-chintāmagnaḥ
parame brahmaṇi koapi na lagnaḥ
bhaja govindaṃ bhaja govindaṃ
govindaṃ bhaja mūḍhamate

Childhood flickers by in play;
in youth, one is attached to sense pleasures;
in old age, one is burdened with worry and anxiety.
Life slips by without one ever paying heed to the attainment
of Self-Knowledge, knowing Brahman**
Oh deluded mind, sing the name of Govinda,
Repeat the name of Govinda, serve Govinda.

*Govinda literally means cowherd. Historically, it refers to the God Personality – Krishna. (Replacing this name with Jesus or Buddha – wouldn’t alter the intention of the author).

**Brahman is the Ultimate Reality, commonly referred as “Self”. Advaita Vedanta (Non-duality) philosophy says our Soul is the Self – but this knowledge is hidden because of our identification with body, and mind (which are bound to pleasure and pain). Self-realization is possible through the practices of Yoga.

I hope you find this post useful. Thank you so much for reading.

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The Mirror – 2

Bountiful is your life, full and complete. Or so you think, until someone comes along and makes you realize what you have been missing all this time. Like a mirror that reflects what is absent rather than present, he shows you the void in your soul – the void you have resisted seeing. That person can be a lover, a friend, or a spiritual master. Sometimes it can be a child to look after. What matters is to find the soul that will complete yours. All the prophets have given the same advice: Find the one who will be your mirror! For me the mirror is Shams of Tabriz. Until he came and forced me to look deep into the crannies of my soul, I had not faced the fundamental truth about myself: that though successful and prosperous outside, I was lonely and unfulfilled inside.

From the novel ‘Forty Rules of Love’

These Words
Pre-written in my Heart – delivered as
A direct Message to the soul.

As I read the Message
Everything around me moves
I become a leaf – that remains static
In the windless space.

There is a Void
Yet, I am not hungry
Nor am I afraid,
I remain Empty.

Every time I read
I surrender to this Prophecy
I resurrect the broken Mirror in my Being
Thus spoke the complete Soul.