My fear

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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Sw Anand Devagni.
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:16 am

Re: My fear

Post by Sw Anand Devagni. » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:33 pm

OK - this might help.

Take your fear/anxiety (give it a specific name as one or the other - whichever it feels more like).

Now, take several minutes to describe this fear/anxiety in 3rd person terms, i.e. in 'it' language. It feels like this...it is located...in my body, it is distressing, etc.

Take a few minutes to do that. Then, take a breath and, again writing, address the fear in 2nd person language, i.e. have a dialogue with it. Write it down. Steve - Hi, Fear. Fear - Hi Steve. Steve - How are you today?, etc. Write this down.

Again, take a breath when you're finished and, finally become the fear. Write about yourself as the fear. Use 'I' language. I am fear, I am this, I am that, etc.

OK? That should help.

Love,

Dan

mikel
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Location: ireland

Re: My fear

Post by mikel » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:46 pm

Here is what I have tried and it has been very helpful. Be completly naked and open in the moment with your fear, sit with it and watch it, this is the only way you can meet it and truly see what it is and who is that is experiencing it. To truly transcend something you have to try something and go somewhere you have never gone before... if you try this you will begin to make these places safe within you. Be gentle with yourself, and trust yourself because you have strenght and dept that you may not be aware of... when faced with the brunt of the fear keep sitting with it and watching it tenderly, it cannot last forever, it may last for minutes or hours but eventually it will begin to subside and what you are left with is the clear understanding that in times of turmoil you no longer have to avoid, run away or distract because you have the strenght to meet and be with anything that comes your way.

very important to note is that when the fear becomes very intense, try not to make a story out of it eg. a past story, a future one or a me story... if this happens acknowledge that you are telling a story and quickly let it go and go back to just watching nakedly the nature of the fear itself as it is now... be determined to truly once and for all have clear insight into these black clouds which hangs over you.

you may experience panic, increased heart rate, adrenilan rush, catastrophic thoughts, acknowledge all this but do not get involved or entangled with it or worry too much. I have tried this on about four different occasions in the past few months and has been extremly helpful to my general well being. Over time black clouds dissipate more and more and a sense of innerconnectness is found somewhere deep within...

Larryfroot
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Re: My fear

Post by Larryfroot » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:53 pm

Hi Stevie,

facing fear...fear can be a regressive thing...like holding two mirrors opposite each other. The one reflection is reflected and reflected and reflected ad infinitum...we see the reflections as regressing infinitely if we look at the mirrors from the right angle. As it is with many negative states, including fear. We fear fear. And when we see that fearing fear is a fearful state we learn to fear fearing fear. And so on...

What do you feel like when the fear has taken hold again? Is there a profoundly self critical voice that judges you more harshly than anyone else in your life ever could?

The advice from Tolle in the Power of Now is that observing the fear, and also the judgemental reactions to the fear is enough, over time, to begin to see that these feelings and thoughts have nothing to do with who and what you are. But there is a way to deepen this practice, and it has as its basis one simple principle. That it is impossible to have love and compassion towards a thought...or a chain of thought...or a pattern of thought and for the thought to remain as it was. The thought processes, no matter how self-hating they seem become transformed into the very love and compassion you bring to them.

Obviously this might be too much of an ask during a major fear episode...but you can apply it to the 'stinking thinking' that the fear seems wrapped up in and related to. But how can we love something as essentially unlovely as that harsh inner critic? By understanding it. We respond to our share of the pain in so many ways. We buy a plasma screen telly and six pack and say hello to the waistline. We get a girlfriend and hope they save us. We dig our way into the foxhole of addiction. We read self help books to try and change the bloody thing. But none of them are nearly so effective at changing the ways in which we think as understanding the voice in the head.

The fear is a wound...or one manifestation of a wound that we all carry in our own way and to different degrees. I have responded to my share of the wound (called painbody) with profound and debilitating sorrow and depression. Some get angry, some get resentful (I know that one as well), some get fearful.

So you are not alone in this. The fear is not there because you are wierd, or bad, or wrong, or weak. The fear - your response to the painbody - is there because you are human. This is what humans have. As Tolle said, we suffer from a species insanity. Ok you don't often see that many people having panic attacks, but the only question here is not do people have painbodies, but to what degree do they have them?

So on that point you can relax a bit. Its not personal...it has nothing against you per se. The painbody is an equal opportunities employer. We all get a ride.

To understand our vilest thoughts we first have to recognise that they come from a deeply wounded part of our psyches. Thoughts of a wounded mind are wounds in and of themselves. How do we tell the difference between healthy skin tissue and wounded skin tissue (apart from sight of course)? We can tell because an open wound is incredibly sensitive to anything that brushes against it. So what do we do to ourselves in the light of living with this wound, this pain? We judge ourselves...we criticise ourselves to such a degree that it becomes a part of the overall pain, all over again. We beat ourselves up...Stevie, if we treated other people like we treat our minds we would be up in court on charges of cruelty. Here we have a mind afflicted by the painbody and all we do is beat it up more. We look for friendship, compassion and understanding in such desperation because we are starving ourselves of it in our own individual experiences.

The greatest love, the greatest compassion we can ever experience is that which we can give to our minds. Our fallible, resentful, frightened, angry, screwed up minds. The mind we love to hate. We hate hatred, but its still hatred. We resent resentment, but it is still resentment. We fear fear, but it is still fear.

There is a self-perpetuating war going on, and we simply fight it at the front door whilst throwing fuel at it from upstairs. All the things I wished to eradicate from my mind I brought against my mind. This is the chain. These are the manacles. The mind is a mirror. What you show to it is what it becomes. So when you feel or hear that voice again, don't resent it. Don't be angry, or hurtful, or hopeless or whatever it is that you do. Because now you can choose to break the chain and tear the manacles apart by doing something new...(well, the definition of insanity is to carry on doing the same old thing and expect a different result each time).

Give that stinking thinking love. Remember, it carries a wound called 'the human condition' ...it is not inherently bad or evil or weak or wrong. In fact it suffers as much as you suffer with it. And year after year it has carried this horrific burden with only criticism and resentment as our contribution to its plight. All this has done is fanned the flames and perpetuated the situation. Now, by understanding how much pain the mind itself carries...how, somehow or other it is still available to be our friend when we are ready to stop applying pressure on it in the same old way and instead offer it the olive branch instead. Have some sense of your mind as an entity in its own right. One that has been treated badly (and no guilt trips - remember, you have not been bad, only ill) yet still wants to be friends with you. Just quietly and gently reflect on this. The mind, its wounds, the treatment it has received from us. And when you get a sense of this...make it clear that you forgive it as you forgive yourself. Offer it love and compassion, understanding and space. Because what you will give to your mind will become your mind. And no amount of compassion or love or understanding will ever be so meaningful for your mind as that which you bring to it yourself.

There is an end to suffering, Stevie...pain and obstacles, they come and go. But the way we relate to our minds, the relationship we have with our own thoughts determine the quality of our experience, irregardless of the situation we find ourselves in at any given moment. At least in the Power of Now you can see an alternative not just to your own pain, but to the pain and suffering of human society itself. We can relate to ourselves as problematic, addictive, depressive, fearful and often we do from cradle to grave. But we can also relate to the highest and the best in ourselves. We can trust our own sincerity and our own good wishes for others. In fact compassion is not sympathy. Sympathy is a hierarchy, but compassion - the highest and the best in you seeking to connect with the highest and the best in your own mind - as well as the highest and the best in others - compassion is a deal between equals.

It seems such a long way away does peace. But d'you know, we are only ever one single thought away from peace? And I find that to be so encouraging. For myself, I and I know all other members of this forum wish you all the very best in the world...and you can give that to your mind as well! Think of it as the cherry on the cake. We are here for you, and wish you every happiness.
Many a mickle muches a markle.

shappy
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Re: My fear

Post by shappy » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:51 am

Hi Stevie1987,

What I have written may sound a bit uncouth - please don't take offense (though I doubt you will). Anyway...

The real you doesn't care about all this. It doesn't care if you're afraid. It doesn't care if you're happy either. Because these emotions are not real. The real you sees right through these fake emotions. Emotions that you were taught. Your mind has fabricated them and your mind is experiencing them. The real you is completely removed. It's watching this as it happens. It simply doesn't care what it sees. It doesn't judge. It doesn't know what judgment is. It allows your mind to experience it though. It allows your mind and your body to experience anything and everything. Isn't that beautiful? Isn't that freedom?

Despite how you may feel now, you're at a very good place. An important place. Because you are getting sick of the fakeness. You're getting sick of the pain and suffering. Allow this moment to be raw and pure. Be careful not to simply dwindle it down to something that will make you feel better... a quick fix gift-wrapped by your mind. This is the time when truth is opening itself to you. Allow it to open. You've been fighting truth long enough... you can't win. Truth is one bad MF. It has no mercy... it doesn't even know what mercy is.

Take the time to explore the nature of your thoughts. I highly recommend Byron Katie and her 4 questions. Watch some of her videos on YouTube to get an idea of what she's about if you're not familiar. All this is your choice and decision. You decide what road you're going to take - not your father or your teacher or your boss or your partner, etc.

Oh, and don't make this into a project... something to "take care of". This is your life. Remember, truth won't back down. That's a good thing.

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astaroth
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Re: My fear

Post by astaroth » Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:07 pm

Larryfroot, that was maybe one of the most helpful posts to me I've ever read.

It was not from a too high spiritual perspective, but very close to "real life" everyone knows inside itself and so that post can maybe open a new door... well... for me, at least. My mind loves this ultra-spiritual stuff to sing itself calming songs but I have to work with what is now the right thing for me.

I think, what Larryfrot said is very important to remember when you are a spiritual newbie like me. Because spirituality tells you "you are not your mind" or "the truth can't be found on the level of mind". May sound like the mind is the obstacle between your present state and enlightenment, what can send you on a "spiritual way" more controlled by the ego than ever before. Yesterday I read the signature of one of our membes. It was "THE MIND IS THE SLAYER OF THE TRUTH - SLAY THE SLAYER!" or something like this. And I thought... oh my god... this is not the way, my friend... ;)

Thanx for sharing this beautiful words, Larryfroot!
...you might remember me from such educational films as "Zen for couch-potatoes - The wisdom of never doing anything" or "Buddha from da hood - Was he a brother?"

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