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Lesson 259 - Fear and Enlightenment (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
259.1 - Fear, AYP and
259.2 - Fear of a
Health Crisis (Audio)
Date: Tue Apr 5, 2005 11:58am
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: I have chronic persistent anxiety, fear and negative thought patterns. I
am doing a lot of meditations, chi gong and yoga. All of them have helped to
lessen it, but I am not able to get rid of it completely. I am trying the
meditation you have suggested. Are there any techniques in your lesson list
that are more beneficial than others to remedy this condition? I assume that
the meditation is the key here.
A lot of practices suggest constant remembrance, being in the now, placing
some consciousness on a part of the body, belly breathing etc., 24 hours. Is
there any similar practice in the AYP lessons that we can try to do all the
A: Cultivating inner silence over time will reduce our tendency to be ruled
by fear. So you are on the right track with deep meditation. But the
solution does not come overnight, as you are seeing. It takes some
persistence over time. Gradually adding additional practices from the
lessons (spinal breathing pranayama is next) will help deepen the flow of
pure bliss consciousness in our nervous system, and progressively reduce the
bite of fear. The idea is not to eliminate fear. Rather, we are to
systematically move our center of awareness beyond it.
What is fear anyway? It is a product of the deep-rooted perception that we
will lose something -- possessions, our health, our life. Can we ever get
rid of fear? No, I don't think so. It is a natural biological function that
actually serves a purpose -- it causes us to act in ways that are in the
interest of our preservation. Fear is one of nature's ways of preserving the
If we cannot get rid of fear, what is the best way to relate to it? The way
is to cultivate our ability to live beyond it in pure bliss consciousness.
Then we can use fear in a rational way. When the truck is coming straight at
us, we step out of the way. Like that. Will we sit around wringing our hands
because the bills are due and there is not enough money? Not if we are
steady in our inner silence. We will still feel fear, but we will act more
rationally to find solutions to our challenges. So fear will be a voice that
says, "Better do something about that." For example, I have some fear about
the AYP lessons disappearing from the web in a mishap. So what do I do? I
see about ways to back them up. That is a rational use of fear, yes?
Irrational fear is the product of a nervous system out of balance. We can be
born with it, or be cultivating it with our conduct in this life. Often it
is both -- one leads to the other in a cycle of causes and effects --
behaviors carried over from life to life. Yoga can break the cycle. In fact,
fear, like every emotion, can be converted into pure bhakti. Fear can become
a great friend on the spiritual path. We can modify our response so the more
fear we have, the more we will want to act to move forward toward
enlightenment. This is the highest use of fear. See lesson #67 for
more on the method of bhakti.
It has been said that a hero is a coward who has learned to use his fear to
inspire great acts. So, like everyone, you have that huge emotional energy
that can be converted into great things -- even into enlightenment. You are
doing that now with your practices, yes? Your fear is driving you to a very
As for doing practices all day, remembrance, etc., in AYP we go for a
balance between sitting practices and normal daily activity. This provides
for a deep merging with pure bliss consciousness and the rise of ecstatic
conductivity in our sittings, and then going out into our daily activity in
a spirit of doing good in the world, no matter what our job or station in
life may be. With inner silence cultivated in the morning, we don't have to
be thinking about it all day to integrate it into our nervous system. We
just go and be active. That is good enough.
Remembrance is something that will come up naturally as our perception
gradually changes over time. In the AYP approach, remembrance is an effect
more than a cause. It is an experience that rises naturally in our life of
doing our daily sitting practices, and then going out and being in the world
without pretense one way or the other. We just go into silence, let it go,
and go out and act according to our heart's desires. That's all. The rest is
automatic. The nervous system will be changed dramatically over time by that
cycle of going in and coming out. If we want to do more, the best thing to
do is work on building up our twice-daily sitting practices, applying the
principles of self-pacing as we do. Then our nervous system will be charged
with more and more inner silence and ecstatic bliss, and we will be
integrating those qualities in our normal daily activities. Our activity
will become worship of the divine within and all around us. It is not a
belabored practice, this worship. It is a joyful, natural outcome of deeply
cultivating the divine in our sitting practices every day.
Obviously, we make many decisions every day. Over time, our decisions become
colored by inner steadiness, ecstatic bliss and rising divine love. Even our
fears become colored by the divine, and we act accordingly. That is how
things change. So, be easy in your practices, and be easy in daily life. Be
tolerant of your negative emotions. Do not judge yourself too harshly. Just
gently turn your emotional energy toward cultivating your yoga practices.
Everything is going to be all right. Just stay the course with twice daily
practices, and the rest will come along naturally.
I wish you all success on your continuing spiritual journey. Enjoy!
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the
AYP Deep Meditation book.
For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book. Also see
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