Friday, June 02, 2006

Overcoming fear

Here's a brief but inspiring passage from 1,001 Meditations by Mike George:
As the Russian novelist Dostoyevsky wrote, "Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most." If you find yourself in this position, quailing on the threshold of something new, take heart, for you are not alone in your fear. Be inspired by the knowledge that others have conquered fears before you. Venture bravely into the unknown.

If we are trained meditators, we know that we can treat fear as a thought - that is, we can notice it, accept it without judgment, let it go and then bring our mind back to the present moment. The fear might not instantly dissolve but it becomes manageable because now there is more to our consciousness than just the fear. There is also the part of us observing the fear and so our consciousness is now larger than the fear. This realization is very soothing and empowering.

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