Insight From Fear

Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

Insight From Fear

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Today I had plans to work through jhanas 1-4 and then do some rapid noting of sensations. However, the dharma had a different plan. I was not able do single-pointed concentration at all. 

I accepted this about 15 minutes into my sit and decided to do open awareness and simply observe what is. About 30 minutes in I experienced imagery accompanied by fear. I could feel the fear very strongly throughout my body. It started to dissipate quickly. Bizarrely, the fear was satisfying. So, I conjured up some imagery of things that I am fearful of to induce more. I took it only so far as I didn't want to be overtaken with it. When it became too much to bear I backed off to my happy place. 

This gave me an idea that I got from a book called Dream Yoga. Maybe I should be doing this practice more often to work through some of my deep-seated phobias. Perhaps this will further me down the path, I'm not sure. Again, there was something oddly satisfying with working with the fear.

Thanks for reading this!

-Kelly
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Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Insight From Fear

Posts: 54 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Hi Kelly, there are stages of the path where we are innevitably drawn into deeply feeling fear or other upleasant emotions. Sounds like you hit one of these spots. Deeply, thoroughly feeling these emotions in the body where they come as they come is generally the way forward. They tend to be satisfaying in the sense that we have been avoiding them all our life and now that we have the capacity to deeply feel into them, they are given their right proportional space, and they tend to resolve. If there is fear - okay, there is fear, let's feel deeply into that and see what happens. If there is anger, okay, let's deeply feel into that and see what happens.

If you feel drawn to "imaginal practices", you can use these as well. I personally did a lot of that - meditation on the death, meditation on losing my loved ones, medtiations on social anxiety and shame etc.

Mental stories from the past, archetypal imagery, etc. tend to come up on their own as well, even if we are not deliberately chasing them. So in one way more "imaginal" or "psychological" practice is more or less unavoidable for many (most/all?) people.

Shargrol's compilation of posts contains some really excellent advice on this more psychological/emotional side of practice:
https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Insight From Fear

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for this Kaloyan! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Insight From Fear

Posts: 5870 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sounds like good practice. And that Shargrol compilation is probably something I should go back to at this point as well, so thank's for that timely reminder! Emotional stuff really does emerge in its own timing. It's awesome that your fear came up in the practice in a way that wasn't only managable but also pleasant. Great attunement with the process there! 
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Insight From Fear

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Thanks Polly!

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