Anxiety, Peace, and Meditation
I’m not gonna say Jeremy was anxious, but he made Deputy Barney Fife seem mellow. Jeremy described his dilemma, and how it undermined his meditation, to the Lama.
“I will NOT insult your intellect by reminding you to get enough sleep, eat a whole-food vegan diet, daily exercise in the sun shine and fresh air, or see a plant-based-psychiatrist (who you could find on the PCRM web site).” Lama reassured Jeremy. “Instead I’ll tell you of one of my teachers. Rinpoche attended flight school, and in time flew with his instructor, side by side.
There came the inevitable day, when his airplane stalled. He pulled backward on the yoke, desperately willing his plane to gain altitude; but that just hastened his decent (involuntary and perilous). ‘Push the yoke forward!’ explained the instructor (whose job it was to remedy this scenario). Doing as he was told Rinpoche dropped the nose of craft forward.
As the all too solid earth raced up at him his instructor commanded ‘SLOWLY pull back!’ Just as he used gravity-induced-momentum to restore lift, we could use our anxiety to fuel our contemplations.
Coordinate these rhetorical questions
with your breathing:
BEGIN WITH RENUNCIATION
‘Hate of fear… how stressful?’
‘Craving fear… how stressful?’
‘Cling to fear… how stressful?’
CONTINUE WITH COMPASSION
‘Why soothe fear… for all beings?’
CONCLUDE WITH WISDOM
‘How is fear… dependent?’
‘How could fear… always change?’
‘How could fear… not be me?’
You could play with each exercise for four rounds, performing circuit after circuit, until your mind grows weary. Then you could rest it with the words ‘Notice this… relaxing!’ ”
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