Yogi Warrior: Being with Fear

Acknowledging fear is not a cause for concern or worry. Very easily said, but not so easily practiced. It may help to know that since we have such fear we also have the capacity, or potential, for fearlessness. Not the ‘throwing’ out of fear or turning away from it so as not to be judged, but actually going beyond it – seeing it for what it really is.

If we are honest – when fear arises we spend quite a lot of effort trying to get away.

From pretending we are ‘fine’ to activating habits that we know do not serve us, like overdrinking, eating, becoming negative and withdrawn, and even overworking.

Perhaps we can turn towards. We cannot simply say that ‘today I will try and be without fear’. There is the understanding and overcoming of fear by being with the experience of it. For fearlessness, there is the coming face to face with the experience of fear.

There are many kinds of fear. A most commonly denied one is the fear of dying. We try and escape through many ridiculous means in our daily lives, not knowing that this is what is actually happening. It is inevitable. We find it difficult that things may not last and be the way we want them to be – like our health, enjoyment and physical looks.

Sometimes it is not the obvious death of our physical body that causes fear but the death of this ‘character’ we assume ourselves to be. We become afraid of facing the world as who we actually are rather than who want others to see. The death of this character won’t come easily, and fear is thrown out as an automatic response to any perceived danger.

Sometimes our fear expresses itself as feelings of being overwhelmed by the world – we start to feel inadequate, we become anxious and depressed and feel we have no direction.

In our current culture there is much fear in our need to keep going, to keep moving, to look as though we are so busy all the time, to look as though we are doing something meaningful, more meaningful than the next person, meaningful to the entire world – just incase no one remembers or notices us.

We have all kinds of distractions to our restlessness and fear. (Doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them) TV, reading, sports, eating, working, organizing – and should we start to get in touch with our selves when we have nothing to do – we feel anxious and afraid. So we reach out for anything that helps us cope, forget, and avoid our feelings at the root of our discomfort – at the root of our fear.

Take a reflection and see if you are trying to escape any fear that lurks beneath in your daily life. What is happening in those moments where you are just being, with nothing to do? What arises in your body and mind and disturbs the stillness?

The fieldwork for our fear is in our daily activities. How we talk to people and what we say. How we conduct ourselves in all our moments and interactions will reveal to us how our fear expresses itself in the everyday. Fidgeting with our hair, pockets, tapping our fingers, walking quickly when we don’t need to, idle chatter etc.. You will do anything to occupy your mind rather than just be with things. Even reading outdated magazines at the dentist or the hairdressers. Or reading the milk carton. Don’t give in to entertaining your boredom. Just be, and leave yourself and everything else alone just for a few moments. Be ok with the feeling of vulnerability and the sense of rawness of being just as you are without adding anything to it – without filling up that space.

Don’t mind the gap.

Happy practice to all practitioners everywhere.