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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Anxiety, Usefulness, and Meditation - 7feb23


We perch upon our meditation cushions out of hunger for peace and bliss, NOT because we yearn for greater nervousness. But sometimes that is what we get. Shall we ignore the Buddha’s warning that aversion exacerbates stress and shove at anxiety with all our might? Or, like a pre-epiphany Martin Luther, flagellate ourselves with accusations of cowardice or contemplative incompetence? Could there be a better use of our fear?


Pacing, fidgeting, hyperventilation, as well as rapid heart rate demonstrate anxiety’s latent energy. Instead of striving to suppress or vent it we could put it to work. Nervousness could be the John Deere that we fasten to our contemplative ploughs of: stress, compassion, impermanence as well as selflessness with the hardware of well worded slogans and rhetorical questions. What a delicious irony that the anxiety that once distracted, could help us to meditate like a Jedi.


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