Wednesday, July 11, 2012

There Is Fear

Sitting this morning, I got surprised by the presence and the amount of fear, right here in this body. Had I not sat, I would not have even known . . .

From Ajahn Sumedho:
Many things that we are frightened of are really our best friends -- like fear itself. We are afraid of the unknown, but the unknown is the way to enlightenment. Not-knowing is what brings terror into people's lives. Many people spend much of their life just trying to find security in some form or another, because of fear. Fear drives them to become this, or get hold of that, to save up a lot of money, to seek pleasure or a safe place to live, or to find some ideal person they hope will make them happy forever. That is fear of being alone, fear of the unknown -- of that we cannot know. In meditation, when one is mindful, that very fear -- seeing it as it really is -- leads us into the deathless, the silence. Yet fear is something that we react to very strongly.
I could feel the terror emanating out of my core, coursing through my veins, almost paralyzing if not for the breath. No real thoughts to explain the fear away, but rather a vague sense of dread, about what could happen . . . to 'me'. And of course, not liking the whole experience. Noticing the wishing away. Mind trying a bit of loving kindness, a bit of focusing away, on to the feet. In the end, surrendering to the evidence of the moment. Fear from powerful undercurrents in the mind.
Just speaking from my own experience, I could very much see the first noble truth. It was not that I wanted a more depressing ideology to accept. I recognised that there was fear, uncertainty and uneasiness in myself. Yet the first noble truth is not a doctrine. It is not saying 'life is suffering', but rather it is just saying, 'there is this'. It comes and goes. It arises (the second noble truth), it ceases (the third noble truth), and from that understanding comes the eight-fold path (the fourth noble truth), which is the clear vision into the transcendence of it all -- through mindfulness. The eight-fold path is just being mindful in daily life. 
No 'I', no fear about the future . . . Right there, the source of the problem.

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