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Being free from fears

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

I once heard Osho say, all fears are a reflection of the fear of death. If we accept that death is the great threshold to a new form of incarnation, a rebirth either on a spiritual plane or on a physical one. Then in effect fears disappear... what remains? Maiming? That is a subtle form of being beholden to the ego, the body is impermanent, if it gets maimed in an arm one can still dance... Pain? Again impermanence, in is unpleasant but not so common in our world.

So is it possible to live free from fears, to resolve all the fears one has? Is it wise to do so? Should one always remain cautious of some fears like pain, defeat, maiming and loss of honour?

Vastmindeggsavior

Comments

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I'm not sure if I believe that all fears are a reflection of the fear of death but perhaps I'm looking at it too literally. Public speaking, for example, has no risk of death and yet it is one of people's biggest fears. Again, maybe I'm over thinking that.

    IMO, I don't think it's possible to eliminate fear altogether although it would be good to do so and maybe part of the path we're on. Some will say that you need fear so that you don't dash out in front of vehicles or run across a highway but I don't think fear is the answer there - I think wisdom and common sense are. It would be nice to live without fear but I don't think I will ever be 100% there myself.

    lobster
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited March 31

    I always found this saying kinda freeing...

    You don't have to be fearless, only courageous.

    I don't think all fears can be let go of on the front end (human experience/nature/survival instincts)...but can be put down after courageously walking/sitting through them.

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    for me its not about being free from fear but being at peace with my fear. I have paranoid schizophrenia (I lean more towards paranoia than delusion). Although I am stable I still get paranoid thoughts but I just let them rise and pass with a smile. Even to desire not to desire is still to be caught on the wheel.

    KeromeDhammaDragon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Fear has a biological place in our life, it allows us to not unnecessarily put ourselves in danger. But a lot of our negative emotions are born out of fear. Most anger is fear.

    I guess I prefer the way Trungpa talked about it. I think there is a lot of fear that can come down to fear of death. But I think it's more broad in a sense of it's a fear of us having to dealing with death and not always a fear of dying. Trungpa said that fear is the result of our lack of confidence to deal with any given situation. For myself at least, I find that to be very true. When I am fearful and I stop to ask why, i almost always arrive at the conclusion that I am afraid i cannot deal with what I think might result. I worry we could have a car accident. But my fear is really how would we ever deal with something like that? Who would take care of our diabetic kid? how would we manage long term transportation to a major hospital that is hours away? How would we manage if our only wage earner couldn't work? It's all a fear of not knowing how to deal with those things rather than an actual fear of a car accident. I've found it to be the same with most things.

    I don't fear death myself. I fear suffering. I fear how I will handle my family crying durin that time. I fear the possible pain. I fear feeling useless. I fear being unable to do the things I love so much. so that is all fear in being able to deal with all of that. I fear one of my children dying. Not because they will have lost the ability to lead their lives-they don't know any better anymore if they are gone. But rather my fear to deal with those moments as they come and the unfairness of a child who didn't get to graduate or get married etc etc. our worst fears are rarely realized. But understanding that we tend to have what we need when we need it does help. I always feared what I'd do if one of my kids got seriously ill. Well, it happened. And we dealt with it. you go through it, because you have to, and you find what you need within yourself and others to be able to do so. Being afraid that you won't have it is pointless, because you always do. Whatever way you go through any situation is the right way in that moment so being afraid of how you will handle the unknown just doesn't make sense. Doesn't stop us, though, lol.

    Vastmindsatcittananda
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I like what @Lonely_Traveller said. The fear you describe is independent of death. @SpinyNorman and others have talked about locating the fear in the body. What does it feel or how does it breath? So this can be where we make peace with fear.

    For example donny trumples the well known wall builder, used to make me fear for the people he would encourage in his frightened agenda. Then I felt anger. Increasingly I feel softness towards his ignorance. Death and fear for me is hard, stiff, rigid. When I relax, it dissolves ...

    @Vastmind I would suggest courage can be confrontational. However the acceptance or allowing is the key. It is OK to be scared (as you say) ... there there ...

    Vastmind
  • satcittanandasatcittananda UK Veteran

    @lobster for a time I feared 'Donny Trumples' (love the warm and comforting derisory allusion!) rise to power, but now I realise he's just a person like you and me, and don't have the same sense of fear. I don't like everyone, and know that not all of them like me - despite me trying to be nice and fwendly.

    I think the worlds population has become sufficiently educated to the point that we cant be told to go to war any more... So I respect the peoples intellect to stand up to fear.

    I, of course, have no fear!

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited March 31

    @lobster said:

    @Vastmind I would suggest courage can be confrontational. However the acceptance or allowing is the key.

    Confrontational?......Meh. Probably semantics. The word courage is wide. ;)

    The ability, awareness, and diligence it takes for practice to learn how to accept is the shit that takes some kind of courage to do.

    lobster
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited March 31

    It could also be argued that all fears are a reflection of the fear of losing control. To let go of the illusion of self, then, would also be to let go of fear.

    To completely, totally let go of the idea of self is pretty difficult, but so long as any echo of self remains, an echo of fear will remain also. No need to let it bother us.

    lobsterVastmindKeromeDhammaDragon
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    @Vastmind raises a very valid point though. It takes guts to sit in meditation and face your darkest heart, your predjudices, your fears and your animal self. The ego doesn't want to believe its that way.

    VastmindDhammaDragon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Well said @Fosdick
    That is where I find most of my fear, anxiety, disquiet etc arising. Trying to control what is not in my power or capacity to control.
    @Vastminds 'my little pony images' sum up the Buddhist solution: Focus/will/courage and metta/party time/letting go.

    We can describe this in so many ways. Coagualate and dissolve (alchemy). Yang and Yin (Taoism). God and Goddess (Paganism). 'Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.' (Mathew 10:16). Yab-yum in Tantra.

    VastmindKerome
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Being free from fears

    Who is it that 'feels' the fear.... if not 'fear' itself....

    I'm reminded of when a novice monk asked a Zen master " How much ego should one have ?" and the Master replied "Just enough to stop one from stepping in the way of a moving bus !"

    I guess this could also be said for the function of fear ... just enough to motivate/stimulate a reaction that will help counter what could be an unwholesome experience ie, something negative...

    It's been said "There's nothing 'to' fear.... but fear itself"

    For the most part (but not always) fear is....

    False Evidence Appearing Real

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 1

    @lobster ..... I swear you've been to at least 1000 of the 84,000 doors, haha.

    On the same note....... I'm scared/fearful about tomorrow. Been here 20 years in Memphis and have never been to the Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine hotel. The kids were to little to see such graphic images up until now.. They are old enough now. They grew up knowing the what and who and when and of course where bec they are 1/2 Ghanaian, but I'm scared of talking about the why. It will be an emotional day for me.
    Three generations of the slave trade....6 of us.... and then me.....I'm White.
    3 African men...2 brown children...and me.

    I'm fearful inside about my emotions tomorrow. :cry:
    I'm fearful of the car ride home. :silenced: :heartbreak:

    http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/

    karastilobster
  • techietechie India Veteran
    edited April 1

    @Tigger said:
    I'm not sure if I believe that all fears are a reflection of the fear of death but perhaps I'm looking at it too literally. Public speaking, for example, has no risk of death and yet it is one of people's biggest fears. Again, maybe I'm over thinking that.

    IMO, I don't think it's possible to eliminate fear altogether although it would be good to do so and maybe part of the path we're on. Some will say that you need fear so that you don't dash out in front of vehicles or run across a highway but I don't think fear is the answer there - I think wisdom and common sense are. It would be nice to live without fear but I don't think I will ever be 100% there myself.

    Fear of death is essentially the fear of losing oneself, one's identity. Why do we fear public speaking? Because there is a chance we might 'lose' respect if we fumble, if we make a mess. Fear of losing something or the other (which we consider part of us, which we think defines us) is what fear of death is all about. In this broader sense, all fear is basically fear of death.

    Vastmind
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Vastmind

    I'm fearful inside about my emotions tomorrow. :cry:

    We have a tendency to paint a picture in out mind of what could happen, however it has not happened and may never happen ...In other words we fear the illusion (that which does not exist)...

    ~Michel de Montaigne~ once said

    "S/he who fears s/he shall suffer, already suffers what s/he fears"

    And Sadhguru has this to say on fear......

    Vastmindlobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 1

    @Shoshin said:

    Being free from fears

    Who is it that 'feels' the fear.... if not 'fear' itself....

    I'm reminded of when a novice monk asked a Zen master " How much ego should one have ?" and the Master replied "Just enough to stop one from stepping in the way of a moving bus !"

    I guess this could also be said for the function of fear ... just enough to motivate/stimulate a reaction that will help counter what could be an unwholesome experience ie, something negative...

    It's been said "There's nothing 'to' fear.... but fear itself"

    For the most part (but not always) fear is....

    False Evidence Appearing Real

    Speaking of FEAR and how demolishing those shadows eliminates fear.

    'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

    "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

    "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

    "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

    "Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

    "In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

    "You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for feeling.

    "You should smash, scatter, & demolish perception, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for perception.

    "You should smash, scatter, & demolish fabrications, and make them unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for fabrications.

    "You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of craving, Radha, is Unbinding."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn23/sn23.002.than.html

    Shoshin
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    My own greatest fear is that I will be unable to fulfill my responsibilities - that I will croak off, become incapacitated, or go flat, stony broke while there are still those who depend on me.

    In recent years, I have been completely free of this fear only once - when I went into the hospital for heart surgery and they split me open like a watermelon. It was all out of my control then, and I could relax.

    Fear of death? Pah, it did not exist. Fear of death arises only when you think there is something you can do to avoid it.

    lobsterVastmindShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 1

    Good teaching @SpinyNorman - thanks for link <3

    So is it possible to live free from fears, to resolve all the fears one has? Is it wise to do so? Should one always remain cautious of some fears like pain, defeat, maiming and loss of honour?

    Tee Hee. Honour? Can do without that fruit bat ... Defeat, mmm .... I surrender ( defeat - done ;) )

    Some people are in pain/mental anguish/dukkha that is hard to bear. I feel we need every dharma trick available including:

    • Distraction, focussing on mantra, elsewhere
    • Sadhana/puja/blessing
    • Softening/relaxing/accepting
    • Exposure, I feel this is quite advanced but with sufficient effort ...
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Vastmind didn't know which emoji to select, went with the heart even though awesome doesn't quite fit :wink:
    Despite the emotional upheaval, I think it's wonderful that you are going. I think it's important and I'm sure the kids will be glad you are there. I can't imagine the difficulty. You will handle it with grace, I have no doubt!

    VastmindShoshinlobster
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited April 1

    @Fosdick said:
    It could also be argued that all fears are a reflection of the fear of losing control. To let go of the illusion of self, then, would also be to let go of fear.

    To completely, totally let go of the idea of self is pretty difficult, but so long as any echo of self remains, an echo of fear will remain also. No need to let it bother us.

    Of all the wise answers, this speaks to me the most. That it largely comes down to a fear of losing control and self identity. These things are hard to let go of. But thank you all for the wise words.

    Although I think also losing touch with humanity and family and friends are a big one for me personally. Less abstract but not less powerful.

    I've been going through a tough time of late, my doctor says it's a mental health issue. I'm currently chemically assisted by large doses of lorazepam. Spontaneous arising of these troubles at my age is rare but not unheard of. We shall have to see.

    DhammaDragonShoshinlobster
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    All I can say about my personal fears, is that I deal with them as they drift within the range of my consciousness.
    And no fear has been too strong to paralyze me from doing whatever I needed to do.

    As to the fear of death, I was to a Mexican birthday yesterday, and I have to say I admire their ability to transform death into a fiesta...

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Bravo @DhammaDragon
    ... putting tequila and skulls on our shrine (yep it can be a tantrika trick) does not make us death eaters or alcoholics (that would be unskilful)

    This is where the courage, the meaning in the being/experience/our choice comes in.

    I've been going through a tough time of late ...

    :cry: Be kind to yourself. Stay grounded. I will dedicate my morning practice to your well being <3

    KeromeDhammaDragon
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited April 3

    @Kerome

    I've been going through a tough time of late, my doctor says it's a mental health issue. I'm currently chemically assisted by large doses of lorazepam. Spontaneous arising of these troubles at my age is rare but not unheard of. We shall have to see.

    I had a very miserable time with anxiety and depression a few years ago when I was close to 70. Felt like I was carrying a ball of molten iron in my gut and thought that death was looking more attractive all the time - these symptoms went on ceaselessly for months, including when I was trying - largely without success - to sleep.

    I emerged from this sorry state only after I began to look into (self-administered) energy healing as a possible solution. I began doing some exercises from that discipline - both physical and mental - and saw a significant improvement in symptoms within a week, culminating in reasonably good control of the problem inside of two months or so. After that, I pretty much quit the energy healing stuff and went back to the more Buddhist style practice that I had laid aside while I was doing the energy healing.

    I have no idea if your experience is anything like mine, and I am certainly no expert on energy healing - I only mention this because it worked so well for me once.

    If you want to check this out, I recommend the book Energy Healing - Essentials of Self-Care, by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD. I think she may have a couple of videos on YouTube that illustrate her approach.

    Some of the practices I found most useful in my situation were toe-tapping, circular breathing, and anything that served to remove excess energy from the head area and relocate it to the hara/lower dan tiens/second chakra area. Every practice in the book is useful, but there are rather a lot of them to get through.

    lobsterKeromeSpinyNorman
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited April 3

    I was introduced to Ativan (lorazepam) a long time ago, and only used as needed and it seemed great at first. But like many other prescription medicine, it can probably more often than not boomerang and cause the symptoms (anxiety eg) it's supposed to help. That seemed to be the case for me, anyway (who knows).

    I'm giving this link for general info about it, but the very last paragraph is important for anyone on it to remember. http://www.benzo.org.uk/ashloraz.htm

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    All I can say about my personal fears, is that I deal with them as they drift within the range of my consciousness.
    And no fear has been too strong to paralyze me from doing whatever I needed to do.

    This is the capacity we all idealise. Courage, focus, mind taming can come from genetics, will, character etc.
    ... but for us jelly wobbles (a technical term for those of who have known fear as an unwanted companion) it takes stronger measures ...
    Medical intervention is a valid and skilful response. Dharma is an additional possibility to the excellent experiential possibility @Fosdick mentions.
    I am a great believer in a range of anti-fear/anti-anxiety pre-emptive actions.

    For me they include:

    • activity, exercise
    • working on the mind through the body, martial movements, chi kung and yoga
    • hypnosis - using Youtube vids
    • mantra, for me Guru Rinpoche makes me braver
    • herbal medicine, for example chamomile is very calming

    As to the fear of death, I was to a Mexican birthday yesterday, and I have to say I admire their ability to transform death into a fiesta...

    Tee Hee! Ay caramba! Iz Fiesta!

    DhammaDragon
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    Some of the practices I found most useful in my situation were toe-tapping, circular breathing, and anything that served to remove excess energy from the head area and relocate it to the hara/lower dan tiens/second chakra area. Every practice in the book is useful, but there are rather a lot of them to get through.

    Could you briefly explain what toe-tapping and circular breathing involve? I find that re-establishing mindfulness of the body at regular intervals has a grounding effect, meaning I am less "in my head".

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    @Kerome

    I've been going through a tough time of late, my doctor says it's a mental health issue. I'm currently chemically assisted by large doses of lorazepam. Spontaneous arising of these troubles at my age is rare but not unheard of. We shall have to see.

    If you want to check this out, I recommend the book Energy Healing - Essentials of Self-Care, by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD. I think she may have a couple of videos on YouTube that illustrate her approach.

    Thanks ive checked out the book and have ordered a Kindle copy, which I am about to start reading.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @SpinyNorman

    Could you briefly explain what toe-tapping and circular breathing involve? I find that re-establishing mindfulness of the body at regular intervals has a grounding effect, meaning I am less "in my head".

    Most perceptive. I haven't thought about this in quite a while, but I think that energy healing in general has a great deal to do with body awareness. It is maybe somewhat unique in that the practices are or can be targeted to deal with specific problems, which are generally conceived as being interruptions or blockages of normal energy flow in the body. Just the suggestion that a given practice is going to help with a particular problem is helpful in and of itself.

    Toe tapping involves lying on your back and tapping the toes together fairly rapidly, using rotation of the hip joints to do it, not the ankles. I used to do this for 20 minutes a session, once or twice a day. More of a workout than it sounds like, though it is also rather relaxing - you're flopped out on your back after all. Assists to restore normal energy flow, targeted at anxiety, depression, lack of energy, among other things.

    Circular breathing is mindfulness of the breath extended to involve more of the body - inhaled breath is visualized, pulled downward from lower abdomen, through first chakra area to sacrum, up the spine to back of head, top of skull, and then to forehead. Exhaling, breath moves back down the front of body to lower abdomen again.

    Damn, I'm starting to get interested in doing this stuff again.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited April 4

    @Kerome

    Thanks ive checked out the book and have ordered a Kindle copy, which I am about to start reading.

    Hah, great. I hope you get as much good out of it as I did. I favor paper copies myself, because it is possible to flip pages and scan rapidly, stopping where something inexplicably calls out to be read.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    This might be of interest:

    Even though Buddha did not mention chakras directly, his various mindfulness practices are essentially chakra exercises. Specifically, kayagata-sati (mindfulness rooted in the body) involves paying constant attention to feelings around throat, chest, solar plexus, lower abdomen, and feet. Similarly, anapana-sati (mindfulness of breathing) involves paying attention to the diaphragm, esp. the sensations experienced around the moment when the breath reverses its direction.
    http://buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/2338/are-the-chakras-present-in-the-original-buddhas-teachings

    Some of us have worked with these centres of attention and found them very helpful.
    The warrior aspect of Dharma can be helpful to those confronting fear on a daily basis ...
    http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practice/the-buddha-as-warrior

    Is cushion squashing right for everyone? Not necessarily ...
    http://flowingzen.com/2203/why-sitting-meditation-isnt-for-you/

    Fosdick
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @Fosdick said:
    @Kerome

    I've been going through a tough time of late, my doctor says it's a mental health issue. I'm currently chemically assisted by large doses of lorazepam. Spontaneous arising of these troubles at my age is rare but not unheard of. We shall have to see.

    If you want to check this out, I recommend the book Energy Healing - Essentials of Self-Care, by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD. I think she may have a couple of videos on YouTube that illustrate her approach.

    Thanks ive checked out the book and have ordered a Kindle copy, which I am about to start reading.

    I'm finding the book to have some interesting interactions with meditation. Especially my first "full connection" exercise. Some of the mental symptoms I was experiencing went away, but suddenly I'm finding entry into vipassana meditation a lot more difficult. I suspect it may have to do with improved stability of the subtle body.

    Somehow I like that explanation more than the biomedical one.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @Kerome
    Yeah, I've come to view energy healing in general as a synthesis of meditation and massage/physical exercise oriented toward dealing with specific problems. An over-simplification, no doubt. I like books by people with some actual medical background largely because those lacking such a background sometimes have a tendency to get a bit carried away or overly hyperbolic.

  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    As with animality, anger, hunger, we gain control of and are not controlled by fear..
    .

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran
    edited June 25

    For me, when I breath and watch my fear, I'll oftentimes achieve a sense of detachment...

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 26

    Exactly so @Will_Baker B)

    “When we become mindful of fearful thoughts, we see that fear is just a story accompanied by dramatic feelings”
    Jack Kornfield

    Intense emotion, including fear, aversion, attachment, intense stimulation in general is

    a distraction

    It is why meditation, life simplification sangha-style is so important for those using this practice. Are we attracted to negative and positive emotional intensity? Are we life cycle junkies. :3

    Solution: Introspection. Better solution? Do it! Freedom from fear awaits ... o:)

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