Saturday, January 19, 2013

From ‘Fear. Essential Wisdom for getting through the storm’ by Thich Nhat Hanh

If we don’t acknowledge and look deeply at our own fears, we can draw dangers and accidents to us…….
The first part of looking at our fear is just inviting it into our awareness without judgement. We just acknowledge gently that it is there. This brings a lot of relief already. Then, once our fear has calmed down, we can embrace it tenderly and look deeply into its roots, its sources.

If I am ever in an airplane and the pilot announces that the plane is about to crash, I will practice mindful breathing. If you receive bad news, I hope you will do the same.

One of the first things we can do to soothe our fear is to talk to it. You can sit down with that fearful child inside and be gentle with him or her. …. That is why its very important to take the time to go back, to recognize the presence of the wounded child in us, to talk to him and try to help him heal……. Put down two cushions. First sit on one cushion and pretend you are the helpless, vulnerable child. You express yourself …..Allow the helpless child enough time to express herself fully. This is very important…..
After she has finished, move to the other cushion to play the role of the adult self.

Many of us often find ourselves thinking of things that stir up feelings of fear and sorrow ….. But if we revisit these memories without mindfulness or awareness, every time we watch those images we suffer again.

When we recognize that we have a habit of replaying old events and reacting to new events as if they were the old ones, we can begin to notice when that habit energy comes up. We can then gently remind ourselves that we have another choice. ….. If you are truly present and know how to take care of the present moment as best as you can, you are doing your best for the future already.

When you are a small boy or girl, you are very fragile, very vulnerable. Just a stern look from your father can create a little wound in your heart…. Do you think that little child is no longer there? The little boy or girl in you is still alive, and maybe still deeply wounded. … So when you breathe in and see yourself as a small child who is fragile like that, compassion is born in your heart. And when you breathe out, you smile to him or her, and that is already a smile of understanding, of compassion.

Zen master Linji said, “The miracle is not to walk on water or fire. The miracle is to walk on the earth.”

When animals in the forest get wounded, they find a place to lie down, and they rest completely for many days. They don’t think about food or anything else. They just rest, and they are able to heal themselves quite naturally.

The French poet Rene Char said, “If you can dwell in one moment, you will discover eternity.”

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