Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Fearlessnes Readings for August 21th NVMG Meeting
This week I thought it would be interesting to look at some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writing on the topic of overcoming fear. The reading comes from the first chapter of his book entitled, “Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through the Storm.” You can download a copy by clicking on the link below:
Please print out a copy and bring it with you to the meditation group.
Enlightenment is sometimes defined as living in a state of fearlessness. Unfortunately, we can’t get to a such a state by ignoring our fear. According to Buddhist philosophy, the only way to ease our fear and be truly happy is to acknowledge it and look deeply at its source.
Fear can have countless faces: from the fear of failure to worries about everyday life, form financial and environmental uncertainties to the universal despair we all experience when faced by the loss of a friend or loved one.
Thich Nhat Hanh says, Fearlessness in not only possible, it is the ultimate joy - but it takes practice for us to realize this for ourselves. If we make a habit of mindfulness practice, when difficulties arise, we will already know what to do.”
Like other aspects of Buddhist practice, much of the work we are doing by looking at our fear is to invite it into our awareness without judgment. Holding our fear with compassion can bring a lot of relief. Once it has calmed down we can begin to look deeply at its root causes.
I believe that the more we understand the origins of our anxieties and fears the more we are able to let them go. Perhaps you have also found this to be true. Or perhaps you've had a different experience. See if you would be willing to share you experiences dealing with fear with the group, and how your meditation practice has or has not help you.