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Give No Fear

In this time of unsettled turmoil, fear is arising in many so it's an opportunity to work on your own fear and resolve to give no fear in return. To be fearless, you must first face your fear directly and courageously. Where is the fear? Is it inside or outside? 

Can you touch your own fear? Sometimes it's a nervousness or anxiety. Fear is often related to feeling inadequate in some way. You feel that you can't rise to the occasion. If you feel overwhelmed, you may use drugs or alcohol or tranquilizers to suppress your fear. The fear is some kind of basic bewilderment and this arises from some mis-alignment of body, mind and heart. Fear continues in this way and grows stronger when you avoid facing it. 

You have to be very honest with yourself. You have to be willing to really look at your own confusion. Meditation can help you be with your fear. Meditation helps you be in sync with your body, mind and heart. This grounded, embodied awareness shines a light on the dark corners of fear. 

And you may be surprised to discover your fear is not so solid and large as you thought. When you cease to run away from your fear, it becomes increasingly transparent. Beneath the emotion of fear, there is some sanity within you. And this sanity can help you appreciate the unconditional, basic goodness within yourself and others. 

In the Buddhist tradition we speak of three kinds of giving. You can give material gifts. You can also give the gift of dharma. And finally, the best gift you can give is to give no fear. When other around you are beset by fear, sink down into your practice of mindfulness, and be present with fearlessness and courage. You have enormous resources within your own sanity to be uplifted, gentle and brave in the face of uncertainty, and in this way, you can be a beacon of light and warmth for others in the grip of fear and suffering. 

Compassion is a source of great strength within you. Trust your own wakefulness and give no fear. Plant seeds of kindness and water them as often as possible.

Roshi Robert Althouse

 

Robert Althouse

Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago, 38 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL, 60302