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Meditation, fear and anxiety

edited August 2009 in Meditation
Can meditation help us overcom fears and anxiety?

Thank you

Comments

  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited July 2009
    Depends what you mean by overcome. The fear will still be there, but the relationship to it can change. Imagine taking a drug which causes anxiety. There will be an experience of anxiety, but perhaps it will have less impact, because there is no identification with what is causing it. Or imagine there is a machine which can exactly duplicate one person's experience within the experience of another; all their sensations, emotions and thoughts. Imagine you use this machine to experience another person's anxiety. Although the experience will be almost exactly the same as most experiences of anxiety, it will again have less impact, for roughly the same reasons as with the drug. In fact, if it's the first time using the machine, the experience might be quite exciting. There might be an opening to and a resting in the experience. Very roughly speaking, this is analogous to the relationship to anxiety which evolves from Buddhist practice. That's not to say that you dissociate from yourself, or convince yourself your anxiety is not yours, or anything fancy like that. I'm just trying to point to the opening and the resting and put it in a plausible context.

    Describing how to learn to do this is tricky, because strictly speaking, you don't have to do anything, or more precisely what you have to do is already happening without any effort. The practice is more about learning not to try to manipulate experience. Just return to what's experienced, and rest in that. I found these talks helpful, but the approach they describe is perhaps not for everyone.
  • jinzangjinzang Veteran
    edited July 2009
    It will help some, but it won't eliminate them.
  • Floating_AbuFloating_Abu Veteran
    edited July 2009
    jinzang wrote: »
    It will help some, but it won't eliminate them.

    I would have thought significant clarification ?
  • edited July 2009
    You noob,
    there IS NO FEAR
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited July 2009
    There is no TheFound. :)
  • edited July 2009
    how does ur comment rate on the useless scale?
  • edited July 2009
    I dont mean to sound aggressive or anything, but you are right there is no THEfound, etc etc but can u maybe say something useful about it, my point was clear, it didnt need an addition.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited July 2009
    Sorry this interaction resulted in anger, TheFound. My point was actually that your comment calling the OP a noob was useless. Simply asserting the existence or nonexistence of something is pointless.
  • edited July 2009
    ...because the person in question still experiences said fear. I think fear and anxiety becomes troublesome because we judge it.

    All experience, when being judged, becomes either good or bad. And then, if it is bad, we are troubled by it. I don't think meditation will cause the anxiety to stop, but it can help you to see it for what it really is: not good. Not bad.
  • edited July 2009
    Fear is part of our human condition, it drives us, notice it, notice it, and continue, its not right or wrong, good or bad it just is and every living being suffers with. Thats just the way I understand it.
  • edited August 2009
    To add some evolutionary pseudo-science to this; we need fear - it's pre-programmed to help with our physical survival. There's a chemical/biological element to it - if we feared nothing then we'd probably not make it through childhood. What we don't need is for our concious (or unconcious) minds to add to this through irrational responses to things or through unhelpful ways of thinking.

    It may help if you clarified (to yourself) what the nature of your fears are. IE is it something specific or just a general sense of low-level anxiety. Once you've got an idea of who your enemy is then you can set about addressing it.
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