When fear arises

When fear arises, name it softly and experience what it does to the breath, to the body, how it affects the heart. Notice the sensations and ideas that accompany it, the scary stories it tells. When we work with the fearful mind, we will initially become afraid. However, at some point, if we open our eyes and our heart to the fearful mind and gently name it, “fear, fear, fear,” experiencing its energy as it moves through us, the whole sense of fear will shift and eventually become recognition: “Oh, fear, here you are again. I know you. How interesting that you’ve come.” Make friends with your fear. From this foundation of loving awareness and acceptance we learn that it is okay to feel fear. Practicing meditation with patience and courage, we can gradually learn how to feel the floods of strong emotions and to allow them to slowly release with mindfulness. We learn to see the endless mental stories that repeat over and over, and with the resources of mindfulness and compassion, to let them go, to steady the mind and return to the present. Befriending fear becomes a gateway to freedom, an invitation to live more fully

– Jack Kornfield

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