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Fear

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran
hi all,

there is fear in me from many things like fear arising after finding a lizard crawling on the wall of my room, even fear arising from seeing a cockroach, fear arising after a thought that if a scorpion or a snake comes near to me, how much fear i may feel. these fears i thought about and found that they are fear that arises from seeing the harm these things can cause to my body, in a way ultimately leading to fear of death that due to the harm caused by these creatures i may die or i may become physically disabled to not able to support myself and my family.

then there are other fears like what if i lose my job tomorrow due to a sudden recession, what if my manager becomes angry with me due to any small activity and do not recommend my name for salary hike etc.

this is not the case that i am always feeling fear due to the above things, but sometimes when the thoughts about these things arise in my mind, then i feel fear inside me.

i think being mindful of present moment can help to remove the fear arising from the thought, as then the thought might cease. but if suppose a snake or a scorpion comes in front of me on a narrow road, then how to remove fear from inside me? any suggestions, please.

so just wanted to ask you all - do you feel fear of anything? how do you overcome your fear specially fear of death and fear of losing everything(which any how is bound to happen at death)? please suggest. thanks in advance.

Comments

  • how do you overcome your fear specially fear of death and fear of losing everything(which any how is bound to happen at death)?

    This is a deep question, but a simple answer is that fear of death is something to be accepted and understood, not something to be overcome.
    Dandelion
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    Is the fear afraid?
    Dandelionshadowleaver
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    genkaku said:

    Is the fear afraid?

    means? please explain in detail.
  • DandelionDandelion London Veteran
    I was born terrified! Seriously, as a child, I was petrified of everything. My teachers thought I was deaf because I wouldn't speak when spoken to, so they thought I couldn't hear them properly. I wasn't deaf, just too scared to spk. I was scared I was stupid, i would say the wrong thing, I would disappoint, terrified of dying which for a long time was my greatest fear, terrified of upsetting someone, terrified there were monsters in the closet that would attack me in my sleep, terrified of animals, including ants, terrified of food (I was so scared of food i was anorexic from the age of 8 till i was 12). But now, i'm not really that scared of much, and fears don't eat me alive like they used to.

    I couldn't wait till I was an adult, because I thought that adults always knew the right way to think and what to do, and how to do everything properly. Hahaha! What a disappointment that one was!

    But also, what a relief. It's really not just me that's not perfect. There is freedom in acceptance of imperfection: not getting a promotion, not being able to control the world around you so you never have to see another ant (!), or in your case a cockroach. Life will never be any other way, but you know that already, as I always really did, but I just never accepted it.

    As for death, I've seen two dead bodies, both my parents. Horrendous. But.... when you see, literally without your own eyes DEATH, there has to be acceptance, otherwise you'll end up going crazy.

    When my mum died, my sister went to the funeral home and painted our mum's fingernails and toe nails, ready for her funeral. The funeral director had already dressed her in an outfit we chose for her, and applied her expensive estee lauder make up (she was always very glam!), it was extremely cathartic for my sister to do that.. the act of doing that, and also seeing the body one last time. I'm not suggesting you go and paint the fingernails of the dead, god no, but would it be too weird to suggest a walking meditation through a cemetery? At one time, I looked into becoming a grave digger, I have a lot of respect for the 'dead', and to me, would be a very rewarding job. But it's quite technical these days, with chemicals and such, and there are no courses anywhere near where I live. And isn't it sad when you see cemetery's so unkept, so little respect for the dead at times.

    Have you watched the film, IKIRU?

    Death isn't something we can ever understand experientially, because the moment we die, the life and body we had, is gone. We can't come back and then say we know what it's like, unless of course you have an near death experience, but that's a whole different conversation. So all we really can have, potentially, is acceptance. You can have death acceptance, experientially. Just saying, 'accept it', or 'i accept death happens', isn't enough. It will haunt you till you go deeper. Do you fear death because you're scared about what happens afterwards to 'you', as you know 'you' to be? Do you fear not being able to do all the things you want to do before your body dies? Do you worry for your family, what will happen to them when you die? Is it something else?

    Beneath all of those fears, for me anyway, there has ALWAYS been a lust for life, and of course, a survival instinct. I tend to think, that our survival instincts get the better of us at times. We want so much to live, we begin to fear its alternative: death. We start to feel fear, and as @genkaku points out, our fears do indeed become afraid. We fear our own fear. We fear anything that might possibly terminate our current existence, real, or imagined. Then finally, we realise we may as well be dead. It can end there, or then we can realise we're living all of this in our minds.

    misecmisc1
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Is that what genkaku pointed out ?
  • DandelionDandelion London Veteran
    Hello @Citta
    Citta said:

    Is that what genkaku pointed out ?

    I personally interpreted as genkaku alluding to fears becoming afraid. If I misunderstood, @genkaku is most welcome to correct me.

    Regardless, I do believe our fears DO become afraid. Sometimes, they're afraid we won't let them live in our head anymore, sometimes they're afraid that what we're imagining will become reality.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    You see your fears as having an autonomous life of their own ?
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    9:02AM Flag

    genkaku said:

    Is the fear afraid?

    means? please explain in detail.
    I don't know how to say anything more than what I said. God knows, we all have fears of one sort or another, but are the fears themselves afraid? My guess is no, they are not -- they are content and assured and in every way at peace. And if this is so, what is the groundwork of that peace?
    Dandelionmisecmisc1
  • DandelionDandelion London Veteran
    Citta said:

    You see your fears as having an autonomous life of their own ?

    Lol, how did I know that was coming!

    Sometimes, it feels like fears have a life of their own. Sometimes, I think a lot of us feel unable to control our fears. Part of us knows it's wrong to have the fears we have, they're imagined, and they just won't bugger off! We fight with them, like it's them and the other part of 'us' that is more rational, logical. Sometimes, maybe we have a dialogue with them, like with another person.

    But no, I don't personally see fears as having an autonomous life of their own in reality, because in reality, they are 'us', we are our thoughts, we are products of our thoughts, it's all connected, so not autonomous.





  • DandelionDandelion London Veteran
    genkaku said:

    9:02AM Flag

    genkaku said:

    Is the fear afraid?

    means? please explain in detail.
    I don't know how to say anything more than what I said. God knows, we all have fears of one sort or another, but are the fears themselves afraid? My guess is no, they are not -- they are content and assured and in every way at peace. And if this is so, what is the groundwork of that peace?

    Are they assured? Don't they always want more assurance.. fear can escalate very easily, it's often hungry, rarely satisified. Having said that, it leads me to think this... if the very nature of fear, being the anthisis of peace, is to create as big a hell in the mind as possible, then maybe what determines when fear is afraid of itself is when it does actually back off. So, it works in the opposite fashion to how i initially thought. Sorry @Citta for talking about fear like an autonomous being again, it's the best way I can explain what I mean that's all.

    Ive given myself a headache lol
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    @citta -- You're right, of course, nothing is "autonomous," including fear ... a reason, I suspect why anyone might dearly love the fears they claimed to hate. But I guess I would maintain that fear can be so consuming as to feel "right" and "true" and "inescapable" and and "edgeless" and hence a big, bad and seemingly autonomous bear. And that bear in his/her time is assured and not afraid of anything.
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    hi all,

    there is fear in me from many things like fear arising after finding a lizard crawling on the wall of my room, even fear arising from seeing a cockroach, fear arising after a thought that if a scorpion or a snake comes near to me, how much fear i may feel. these fears i thought about and found that they are fear that arises from seeing the harm these things can cause to my body, in a way ultimately leading to fear of death that due to the harm caused by these creatures i may die or i may become physically disabled to not able to support myself and my family.

    then there are other fears like what if i lose my job tomorrow due to a sudden recession, what if my manager becomes angry with me due to any small activity and do not recommend my name for salary hike etc.

    this is not the case that i am always feeling fear due to the above things, but sometimes when the thoughts about these things arise in my mind, then i feel fear inside me.

    i think being mindful of present moment can help to remove the fear arising from the thought, as then the thought might cease. but if suppose a snake or a scorpion comes in front of me on a narrow road, then how to remove fear from inside me? any suggestions, please.

    so just wanted to ask you all - do you feel fear of anything? how do you overcome your fear specially fear of death and fear of losing everything(which any how is bound to happen at death)? please suggest. thanks in advance.

    This might sound like some corky line out of some spaced out movie (which it actually happens to be...), but it does have the key to an answer it it.

    Danger is real. Fear is a choice.

    Respect the danger for what it really is and then it will be easier to skip the fear part.
    Try it! It works for me.

    /Victor
  • Secular book recommendation: How to Stop Worrying And Start Living, by Dale Carnegie

    Buddhist recommendation. Turn towards your fear. Whether you worry or not if a snake gets you you can't do anything about that. Let all arisings be. They are just ripples in the pool. Stop with the storylines and just feel the energy of the fear. Take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This is where rebirth can help you have less fear.
    AllbuddhaBound
  • howhow Veteran

    Fear is the teacher saying " this is the best subject of this moment of practice".
    It is always showing me exactly what I am unable to accept or let go off.
    In formal meditation I have learned that surrendering to it completely, allowing it to be itself without me attempting to fiddle with it in any way, dissipates my suffering in it's presence.
    What needs to accompany such a practice with fear though is a realistic threat assessment to first eliminate the possible realistic need for action to what ever has brought the fear up.
    ( eg. Am I going to be hit by that bus?)

    misecmisc1AllbuddhaBound
  • The key to happiness is to count on nothing.
    misecmisc1pegembarawrathfuldeity
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    I've enjoyed TNH's books on fear, in particular "Reconciliation" because for me the fears I have go way back to my very young childhood. I still deal with them, but the practice sin the book have helped me to not lose myself in them. I'm honestly not afraid of death, or even pain for myself. I am afraid of what would happen to my children (who already lost their father) and for their pain and suffering, both if something were to happen to them, or to me. I've had an irrational fear of things since I was very young, including natural disasters that in no way could happen where I live. Funny about that, I dated a storm chaser for a time and got very interested in the weather, and my fear of natural disaster disappeared. My fear of someone randomly breaking in and murdering my family though, that's still there. When I was a young kid, I used to be afraid of sleeping by the door in a hotel because I didn't want my parents to see me get murdered. It's an extremely visual fear for me, so I go crazy with the images I manage to bring up for no reason at all. I live in an extremely small town with a crazy low crime rate, and almost all the people who live around me are family members. So, I don't know where the fear comes from really.

    When I was a young kid, about 6 or 7, someone tried to kidnap me and my friend. Of course, I have since learned that that was probably simply my perception and the guy was probably a local who was offering a ride to 2 kids on a cold winter night, but it was terrifying, and that's the only thing I can look back to to have caused my anxiety about related issues. My parents reaction to how scared I was was less than stellar, in my young opinion. At the time I wasn't even sure my best friend made it home ok, because we were separated while running through the snow through the woods. I still cannot walk that road (we live in the same place I grew up) in the dark without wanting to sprint the couple of blocks. It has no street lights and is just creepy for me.

    But I had a lot of fears as a child, too, that I have worked through. Ways I prepare myself for things coming up in my life, and ways I probably over-prepare my children. For the most part, most of the fears have disappeared but they had (and still have) an impact on how I run my life. The only one that really remains is the fear or a bloody, murderous death, and like I said that is more about my kids at this point, and when I was a kid, it was more fear for my parents than myself. Very strange.

    Anyhow, like I said, TNH's books were a pretty good help to me, and now when I can't sleep at night because I'm afraid the noise I heard was someone coming to murder my family, I can get over it much faster.

    I"ll hand the couch over to someone else now, :crazy:
    karmabluesmisecmisc1
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited August 2013

    Danger is real. Fear is a choice.
    /Victor

    I'm not sure. Soldiers for example can be trained to manage their fear, but isn't the fear still there? Isn't the fear a hard-wired biological response, like the fight or flight reaction?
    Likewise practising mindfulness can provide some "detachment" from unpleasant feeling, but it doesn't atually remove the unpleasant feeling.
    vinlynAllbuddhaBound
  • hi all,

    there is fear in me from many things like fear arising after finding a lizard crawling on the wall of my room, even fear arising from seeing a cockroach, fear arising after a thought that if a scorpion or a snake comes near to me, how much fear i may feel. these fears i thought about and found that they are fear that arises from seeing the harm these things can cause to my body, in a way ultimately leading to fear of death that due to the harm caused by these creatures i may die or i may become physically disabled to not able to support myself and my family.

    then there are other fears like what if i lose my job tomorrow due to a sudden recession, what if my manager becomes angry with me due to any small activity and do not recommend my name for salary hike etc.

    this is not the case that i am always feeling fear due to the above things, but sometimes when the thoughts about these things arise in my mind, then i feel fear inside me.

    i think being mindful of present moment can help to remove the fear arising from the thought, as then the thought might cease. but if suppose a snake or a scorpion comes in front of me on a narrow road, then how to remove fear from inside me? any suggestions, please.

    so just wanted to ask you all - do you feel fear of anything? how do you overcome your fear specially fear of death and fear of losing everything(which any how is bound to happen at death)? please suggest. thanks in advance.

    hi all,

    Probably, fear is just a mechanism to survive. There probably are many types of fear, too. Some fear could be real and some could be imaginary. Fear of snake is understandable. If we get bitten by snakes, we'd probably die. Fear for death is futile. One of my teachers said, when we are born, we are actually signing a death warrant. A person born is destined to die. So, live right and let live. Walk the middle path and let go when there is a need to. If you live right and there is a paradise or Hell to go to, you'd know for certain where you would end up in future unless, the keepers of the said places are not being fair. People who are not fair would end up in Hell anyway and that's their problem.

  • so just wanted to ask you all - do you feel fear of anything? how do you overcome your fear specially fear of death and fear of losing everything(which any how is bound to happen at death)? please suggest. thanks in advance.
    :hair:
    I hope my answer won't scare you too much . . .

    I invite demons from the hell realms (or my own mind - which ever is nearer) to come feed on the fear. I often bow down to my fears, angers and imaginary virtues as great Buddhas and teachers.

    The Buddha is a lizard. David Icke will be pleased.
  • lobster said:


    I invite demons from the hell realms (or my own mind - which ever is nearer) to come feed on the fear.

    So how does that work?
  • For me it works well. Demons, no idea . . . hope they are happy . . . :)
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited August 2013

    hi all,

    i think being mindful of present moment can help to remove the fear arising from the thought, as then the thought might cease. but if suppose a snake or a scorpion comes in front of me on a narrow road, then how to remove fear from inside me? any suggestions, please.

    so just wanted to ask you all - do you feel fear of anything? how do you overcome your fear specially fear of death and fear of losing everything(which any how is bound to happen at death)? please suggest. thanks in advance.

    1. A certain degree of fear is necessary to maintain the integrity of this body. You don't want to deliberately walk in front of a snake or scorpion. It is the useless fears(eg. will the plane crash) that should be abandoned.

    2. Realising that nothing is really yours helps allay the fear of loss. You come into this world with nothing. So don't expect things to be any different when you leave. Things are only yours by convention.

    Bottom line is to accept things as they are. If you can do something about it, there is no need to fear. If you can't, what then is the use of fear.
    misecmisc1MaryAnneAllbuddhaBound
  • Generally speaking fear is not a thing by itself, it's the need to avoid something you associate with a sensation/feeling/event you don't like.

    We tend to forget that associations are subjective and that they can have many different kinds of sensations, which aren't exclusive to either positive or negative.

    For instance when I was a kid and it was christmas morning and I would see the gifts under the tree my heart would start racing, I would get excited, my breathing would go faster.

    If I'm having a panic attack, the exact same sensations arise, except, I'm interpreting this as panic. People all have the same feelings, bodily sensations and breathing patterns, it's how you approach them and what you do with them that will decide if they empower you or consume you.

    Coming from someone who is 100% recovered from a pretty serious anxiety/panic disorder I've been around the block when it comes to dealing with fear :) It's all about APPROACHING it rather then avoiding it and looking those emotions and feelings straight in the eye, this, in time will render it powerless.
    Jeffreymisecmisc1
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited September 2013
    fear arise because of the thought that 'we' are going to lose something belongs to 'us'

    material things
    relations
    we, ourselves

    in other words, attachment to those things brings the fear

    so how can we get rid of such fear?

    reduce the attachment

    how can we reduce the attachment?

    contemplate that everything anicca, dukka and anatta

    contemplate on body parts like hair, nails, teeth, skin etc. (asuba until you see there are only bones in everybody including me
    or
    all body parts are earth, fire, water and air in this space)

    contemplate on death (everybody die and i too die)

    by gradually our attachment would reduce
    at the same time
    our fear for losing things and people including ourselves would reduce

    by degrees fear factor would reduce
    bringing calmness into mind and giving a strongness into mind
    misecmisc1
  • lobster said:


    I invite demons from the hell realms (or my own mind - which ever is nearer) to come feed on the fear.

    So how does that work?
    Might be time to give some methods:

    Fear demons are just arisings, with physical sensations that you can experience, explore and learn to love.

    It helps to have a bit of mind control, meditational practice behind you . . .
    Identify your 'fear demon'. Write your fear down.
    Now call up a mild form of it. For example let us say you are scared of being punched on the nose. Bring up the sensations. Is it the pain? Is it the conflict? The humiliation? Observe, feel, hear the nose being hit. Offer the sensational arising to any passing thoughts or hell passers by. Don't get carried away, the mind can carry you all the way to hell and back . . .
    Told you a bit of mind control required :)
    There you have raised a nose bashing emptiness, explored its emptiness, fed it's being. With your new red nose . . . you could be a clown . . .

    Before you know it, you will be a Jedi Skywalker . . .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakini
    http://m.wikihow.com/Overcome-Phobia

    May the Force Be With You
    OM YA HA HUM
  • wrathfuldeitywrathfuldeity Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Woah93 said:

    It's all about APPROACHING it rather then avoiding it and looking those emotions and feelings straight in the eye, this, in time will render it powerless.

    Agreed. It sounds like OP has "anticipatory" fear which is not based on actual real at the moment danger but on "imagined danger". The problem is that the mind/body reaction system does not distinguish between imagined and real danger. It tends to act as if it were real danger....which in turns mobilizes the body's response of the 3 F's (freeze, fight or flight)...that is the mind/body dumps abunch of adrenalin and stress hormones, the pulse and blood pressure rises, muscles tense....all in the preparatory reaction to run or fight or it freeze....the body end of it. The mind part of it...is what is the expectancy set....which is often based on past events/experiences...but can also be trained or reset via investigating and examination...which is the "approach," e.g., meditating on death, or becoming trained as a "firefighter"...which involves respect for the fire and managing the fear. A lot of changing the expectancy set is about educating yourself about the real danger and learning to manage the fear (i.e., mindfulness).

    So in the example of fear of scorpions....learn about them, which are the most deadly, what are their behaviors, what do they like to eat, where do they hide, what does they look like when they are ready to stike....then by way of this knowledge, perhaps the demon scorpion can be handled...even petted and become a friendly little critter that comes around to be fed.
    Anyway my 2 cents on dealing with fear, danger and demons
    misecmisc1
  • Positive thoughts would help. Don't think or speculate too much also helps. Leave no room for negative thoughts and uncalled for speculation. Live and just live. If we fear death, death still come. So, just live life. Walk the middle path.
  • AllbuddhaBoundAllbuddhaBound Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Fear is not something we want to "get rid of". We actually get sick from trying to get rid of our fears. Consider a phobic for example. They are afraid of feeling fear, and so they hide from it. This reaction actually becomes the sickness.

    Then, the raging lunatic, tries to get their rage or fear of being out of control, out of them, by dumping it on someone else. Someone who rages at someone else is surely sick, and it is because they are fearful of a feeling (be it anger or fear).

    Fear of being alone, or not good enough can be suppressed to the point where a person becomes depressed. And when you suppress it enough, you become fearful it will come back or you will never get rid of it so the depression becomes deeper.

    Shame is a good example of a fear we try to avoid. We feel that by hiding from it like when we are embarrassed or when we isolate ourselves, it will go away. And then this can turn into very deep self harm (suicide) or even self-hatred where we feel so worthless, we feel so much resentment, that we feel justified hurting or even killing.

    Fear isn't the sickness. Our reaction to it is.
    EvenThird
  • What causes fear?

    Not getting what we want and getting what we don't want. In short fear is caused by clinging to things that we take to be ours when in reality this is far from the truth.

    How much fear do we really need?
    Just enough to protect the integrity of the physical body.
    EvenThirdmisecmisc1
  • The question is, and should be; does the fear control you, or do you control the fear? Your goal should be to rule the fear, because fear when tempered, is our best alley.
  • HHHMMMM

    Fight or flight is a common fear response. Would you call that a clinging to life?

    I have not always found fear to be synonymous with suffering.

    Fear (like pain) is just information saying it is in need of immediate attention. While clinging to something related to that information will create suffering, true equanimity can allow that info to remain in its virginal presuffering state.

    As others have said...how we relate to that info determines whether it creates suffering or not.
    EvenThird
  • I think we need to deal with fear, not necessarily overcome it. To deal with fear is to understand it- not as much intellectually but viscerally, with one's gut as it were.

    The first step is to move out of my thoughts and try to find something else to place focus on, such as the breath or a mantra. Fear is rarely quite what I think it is so getting out of the thinking mind and finding stability elsewhere is a must. It is positively impossible for me to think my way out of being scared as the whirlpool of confused thoughts gets out of control and further clouds the issue.

    Then I try to find the fear in the body. Usually it feels like a knot or congestion in the chest or stomach. Feel that sensation and ask "what is this?" without trying to answer with the head but rather asking repeatedly and observing the bodily sensation and whatever arises in connection with the asking. Let the bodily energy do it's thing but be aware and quiet in the process. Do not grab and do not push away.

    What often happens is that the fear changes and presents itself as something quite different. It is like holding a piece of ice- it melts and drips away. Or the correct action may present itself: "oh, crap, I'd better do so and so quick". It is really marvellous to see the monster mutate into something that is no problem anymore. I suppose that is what they mean by emptiness. Often a feeling of compassion springs up too.

    This is hard, takes much practice and does not always bring a resolution. Sometimes we are just going to lose it and have a dreadful time. But I keep trying. Not much else I can do, is there?
    AllbuddhaBoundmisecmisc1
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