The mind creates a lot of the dramas in our lives, often making them more frightening than they actually are.
Most of us, in some way, struggle with fear — instinctually tensing against it or becoming overwhelmed by it. Shifting our relationship with fear is central to the evolution of consciousness. While fear is a natural, intelligent emotion, when it goes into overdrive, we are in a trance that contracts our body, heart and mind. Our resistance to fear sustains this trance and perpetuates our suffering. As we learn to attend to fear with mindfulness and care, its grip loosens, and we reconnect with our full aliveness, wisdom and love.
Our awareness of our depth of being is fleeting. Yet just because we close our eyes doesn’t mean the sun has disappeared. And just because we can’t keep the unquestionable fact of being alive in view doesn’t mean that the inherent vitality of life has disappeared. We are more than what happens to us. We are more than what we think or fear. The turbulence we encounter is very real, but underneath what happens to us is the inherent, unwavering fact of life filling us from within.
Mark Nepo, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart
There is something, prior to heaven and earth,
Without form, without sound, all alone by itself.
It has the power to control all the changing things;
Yet it does not change itself through the course of the four seasons.
Fu Ta-shih, c 497 AD
There is a Tibetan saying: ‘When things are difficult, then let yourself be happy.’ Otherwise, if happiness is relying on others or the environment or your surroundings, it’s not possible. Like an ocean, the waves always go like that but underneath, it always remains calm. So we have that ability as well. On an intellectual level, we may see things as desperate, difficult. But underneath, at the emotional level, you can keep calm.
The Dalai Lama.
Just as a snake sheds its skin,
so we should shed our past, over and over again
Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
If I can let you go as trees let go
Their leaves, so casually, one by one;
If I can come to know what they do know,
That fall is the release, the consummation,
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
Would not distemper the great lucid skies
This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.
If I can take the dark with open eyes
And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange
(For love itself may need a time of sleep),
And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,
The strong root still alive under the snow,
Love will endure – if I can let you go.
May Sarton, Autumn Sonnets