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Accept F.E.A.R.

When I was a teenager, I was noted for my cool and calm demeanor. It seemed, to other people, that nothing bothered or upset me. And, in my mind, I made special efforts to be non-emotional and purely logical. In fact, I was repressing my emotions because I was afraid of them. Or, more exactly, I was afraid of other people's reactions, if I ever expressed my emotions, which were mostly anger and frustration.

Starting in my mid-twenties, I began to work at expressing my emotions. This was in the Viet-Nam era and I had completed my military experiences and knew that I was a danger to myself and others, unless I learnd to express and release. Recreational drugs were not the solution. I did not know how or what to do but decided that I needed to practice expressing my emotions in private, before I would be able to express my emotions in public.

The Los Angeles freeways became my therapist's office and my automobile became the therapist's couch. I suppose what I did then would be called a mild form of road rage, now. Whenever another motorist made the slightest traffic infraction, I would scream, shout, honk my horn and generally vent my anger, as much as I dared. Of course, the windows were shut and nobody could hear me. I actually felt better after those events.

Gradually, I became more comfortable with expressing my emotions and after a few years could safely express my feelings to some degree, in public. My wife claims that I am expert at expressing my anger but she thinks I have not paid enough attention to expressing love. These days, I feel that I love her more and more each day. Perhaps I should tell her someday.:>}

When I found myself living and studying with Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, I once asked him why I should study with him. He was a physical wreck, having had a brain stroke, which left him half-paralysed and semi-speechless and blind, as well as having had several myocardial infarctions. I asked, if his physical condition was what I had to look forward to by studying his concepts of yoga, why would I want to do such a thing to myself. He answered that we all were here to learn our individual lessons and I was witnessing his lesson. He was born into a traditional Brahmin family and all Brahmins are taught to always appear stoic and never express emotions. His physical condition was a result of that lifetime practice of repressing emotions and he envied my ability to express immediately, drop it and go about my business without the slightest guilt.

So, a Chevy pick-up truck on the Los Angeles freeways may be a crude but effective therapy but over the years I have learned some better techniques.

Try this following simple visualization to let go of f.e.a.r. and anxiety.

Recall that f.e.a.r. is false expectaions appearing real.

Sitting in a comfortable position for meditation, with a straight back, close your eyes and breathe naturally through your nose. Then, spend a little time identifying what it is you are currently afraid of. Identify deluded, unhealthy fears, such as the fear of dying, the fear of loss, the fear of failure, and so forth. Understand that all these fears, and all dangers, arise because of your deluded mind and negative actions. Accept these f.e..a.r.s; allow them into your mind, look at them and see them for what they are.

Then visualize these fears together with their actual causes (negative minds and actions) in the form of dense thick smoke, and breathe it out. This smoke leaves your nostrils and disappears to the furthest reaches of space, where it completely disappears, never to return. As youinhale, imagine you are breathing in all the pure, inspiring energy and fearlessness of all holy beings in the form of blissful white light, which fills your body and mind. After meditating like this for a while, Feel that your body and mind are now completely pure and that you have received the blessings and protection of all holy beings. Your body feels light and supple, and your mind is clear, peaceful, and fearless.

Do not do this while driving, especially on the L.A. freeways.

Any questions??