Saturday, May 23, 2009
To practice loving-kindness is to embrace everything that is, just as it is, and to detect within this "is-ness" a spark of something sweet and tender. It's easy to use this practice as a way to avoid the truth of our emotional reality, and this can be very dangerous. Right underneath a calm surface there can be unacknowledged turmoil, waiting for a chance to manifest itself. Embracing fear and anxiety is not easy, but is an essential step in learning how to feel the sense of safety and peace that is subtly waiting to be revealed, once we stop fighting our fear. Is fear present right now? How do you know this? Is the awareness of fear afraid? Is there a sense of fear in the body? Are there fearful thoughts present? This exploration is a powerful practice -- to turn towards any fearful thoughts or sensations, and simply know that they are present, without trying to get rid of them. Pay attention to what arises in the presence of this loving curiosity and openness to what is here, temporarily manifesting as fear. Notice if and how it transforms.