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Fundamentals of the Dharma: Fear

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2012-11-06
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Fear is the dominating emotion controlling the world of formations and forms the edge between the ideas that hold us together as a formed entity and the ever-present universe of mystery and wonder.  Inevitably consciousness will be confronted by the fears it harbors. Fear is fear of something and that something has been conditioned into our minds as a threat. The threat is held within a narrative and the narrative warns us that if we do not contract back on ourselves a tragedy will occur.  We take this narrative as a literal truth and find ourselves avoiding the feared event. All of this maneuvering keeps us formed as a person and separated from all internal and external objects that are potential threats. By avoiding the threats we never grow beyond ourselves as a formed entity, and thus we perpetuate fear.


Reflect on the nature of fear.  How does fear project its own reality? Fear says if you continue in the way you are going something tragic will occur. It is always future oriented and has no reality other than the narrative that holds the feared event?  How much of your activity is built around avoiding this narrative? This week whenever a psychological fear arises remain steadfast and ask yourself, "What would I do now, if I were not afraid?" Asking this question will allow clarity to intervene where fear usually rules. Remaining steadfast means not being persuaded by the thought messages of fear, not changing course or altering your intended purpose, but following through the activity without flinching.


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