So here we have the beginning of our third talk, on fear. And yesterday, they talked about holding the fear carefully. So that the fear feel safe. And another way of maybe talking about that is to have the ability to be present for fear, and offer our attention to fear, without reacting to it without being for it or against it without being impacted and influenced by it acting, being pushed around by the fear, to just learn to learn the ability to be present the capacity to be present, and be in a certain way, comfortable, certain way at peace, with being afraid. And these two who you know, can be uncomfortable, or being at peace with fear as possible. And what that does, begins to change our relationships through fear, and gives us a chance to look at it more deeply. It also allows the chance for the fear to do its own process. The dharma in us, the heart in US has, has a way of healing has a way of moving towards health, if we can get out of the way enough, while at the same time, being attentive being present. And that's the wonderful ingredients of this practice is to have the capacity to be present to be attentive to something without interfering with it without fixing it, changing it judging it. But make it almost like the attention gives a room for something, to unfold, to unwind to evolve the way it needs to evolve. So some of that happens with fear. But fear also is a great subject for study, to look at in respect. It's helpful to think of fear as a message. And the question is, what is it a message of? And to ask that question, what is this message? What it what is this fear? Trying to tell me? What's it about? Is a very profound question that that is supported by this capacity to be present. Because if you don't know how to be present, kind of in a relaxed, open kind of accepting way, then the chances are that when we're attending to fear, we're bringing with us our fear of fear, or a version of fear our stories about fear. And rather than just seeing it in a very much simpler, more direct way. And so what is the message of fear? Now, sometimes here is a very good message that something is dangerous. And when the fear has to do with something in the moment, like we have a really clear since right now, there's something not right here, something is off, that maybe should really get us to stop and pause and take a look at the situation. You know, our minds, our hearts no more than what we consciously know, our mental processing is quite complex, involved whole involves much more than what we see on the surface of the mind, the conscious mind. And so we're taking in a lot of information from the environment that we don't really conscious process really consciously. And so, if there is a fear about something is off, it might be something to pay attention to. I've done that in situations in, in cities and in San Francisco, and there was a clear you know, I suddenly this, this, this situation is not safe. This person who is following me is not safe. And I would then change what I was doing. Remember, once I that this is not good. And and I didn't know what it was but something about that told me this is not safe. And so I walked into a grocery store. And, and, and I think it was a really wise choice. So there's all kinds of things that come up. And so this idea that sometimes fear is a good message that there's danger.
Sometimes fear has no immediate danger. Sometimes we call them fear, that kind of fear anxiety, but there's fear about something that we're imagining, it might be coming in the future. And there might be there also, there might be some deep understanding that maybe there really is something to be afraid of, and where we're going, what we're doing. And, and so to stop and feel the fear, take it as a message and tried to study it to what's he, what's this about? Can you in fact, understand more about it? If there's an opportunity to reflect on it, think about it. And, and there's two very, I think, useful directions for investigation around fear. One is, what are we threatened by? And then more profoundly, maybe something that really meditators can ask in a deep way? What is threatened? In this? With a sphere? What inside of me? What What about me? What, what, what, what is being threatened by the danger? So what is being? What is the threat? is what's really the thing that seems dangerous here? And is it in fact, a mountain lion about to pounce? Or is it fear, that of rejection, that if I go into that social situation, I certainly will be rejected? And that those people are not going to like me for whatever reason? And, and that might be I mean, it happens sometimes. But if we every social situation would go in, and there's a fear of rejection. And, and that's, that's the threat is that people will reject me. And it's always that's a concern, then maybe what's interesting is to look at what is being threatened here. What is it that keeps what's the common denominator that I bring with me to all these different social situations? What is it that is in danger in me? And, and sometimes we can find very interesting things there. The you know, I had a fear of rejection when I was young. And as I looked at it more and more deeply at what is being threatened here. I saw because I had started being a meditator, it wasn't so much that I saw what was being threatened. Though, I saw it to be a lot of my ideas, my imaginations of what would happen and what the consequences of that if I was rejected, then something else would happen, it'd be a cascade domino effect that in my imagination of things, but when I looked what is being what is really being threatened here, inside of me, and in this present moment, and I found that there was nothing, that there was nothing that there was a place inside of, of, of well-being that was untouchable. By whether or not people rejected me or not. And that made a huge difference, start to shift something in me about this fear that I had, it no longer carried much force on me, or I didn't invest a lot of importance in it. And it was still there. But it was like, I could just shrug it as a boy just shrug it off. Okay, there it is, again, my old friend. And because I knew I kind of confidence in a sense of well being that I could protect, or I could stay close to. And I knew that that doesn't have to be threatened by what other people do. In fact, I learned that the real threat and this is the question is first question, what is what is where's the threat? Where's the danger? Is that one is in some many situations. The real danger is not what happens in the world. But my own mind and what I do about it, and this fear of rejection, I could see that the real danger was the fear itself. The real danger was the contraction, I had they resistance, I had the the freeze, sometimes freezing sometimes the collapse that I had in myself, the attachment that I had around something. And that was the real danger, to come to that place to see that the real danger was in my own mind, not out there, around this fear of rejection. That was powerful for me.
And because then I could practice with myself. I wouldn't have to try to find everyone get everyone to like me or stop rejecting me. I could practice with my own mind. And it came to a point well, if they reject me, it was okay if they don't reject For me, that's okay. Because I work through my own reactivity around this whole issue. And I found this place inside of peace of well being, that I didn't want to Solly I didn't want to, I felt that this is important to protect from myself. And so the whole Buddhist practice that was then learning how to work with this mind of mine, letting go of the attachments, letting go of what what I was holding on to there in my mind, letting go the reactivity, the the that I had there. So to ask the question, what is being? What is the threat? What is the threat really? To understand that, then there's many, many answers to that. But to ask that question, but don't don't settle for the first answer. You can ask him out when? Yes, yes, I'm threatened by that people reject me. But what's really the threat? What's the really the danger? If they do that? What is really the danger? What's the danger here? What am I afraid of? And maybe there's layers of answers to that question. And sometimes you do go through layers, and you'll find that the real threat is in your own mind. Surprisingly, sometimes you'll see the real threat is out in the world. And because you really got to see it well and understood it that that's where the danger is. Maybe you're better positioned to address that danger out there. But they keep asking also the question, what is being threatened? That's a profound question. And sometimes, even when there's real threats out there in the world that need to be addressed and taken care of, or be protected from. At the same time, there might be aspects of what's being threatened inside, that is the domain of practice, that might show you something very profound about what you're doing extra, what is not needed, in the heart during the mind, the very thing that we're holding on to our attachments, what we are trying to protect, or how we're trying to prove ourselves, or how we're trying to get other people to see us or how we're trying to protect our a certain kind of inner story about ourselves that we have. And we start seeing that that's being threatened. My desire for security, my desire to be seen as a particular way, my desire to, to, you know, all kinds of things. So the, what is being threatened? So what is it what is really the threat and spend time and what is being threatened? And, and to repeat what I said at the beginning, that investigation is a lot easier. When we've learned how to hold the fear carefully and mindfully helping the fear feel safe, then we're in a better position to ask these questions in a good way. So you might try that today. The next 24 hours, is looking at things that you're anxious about to look at things that you're afraid of, and, and take some quality time reflecting on what is really the threat. And maybe it should be plural. What are the threats? What is what is the threats? Where's the threats coming from? What is really the what's really the danger for you in this thing? And then what is being threatened in you? What what what is what is the what is being threatened? What is the thing that you feel is afraid will happen to you? Or to your life? What is that become clear about that? And maybe there are two there's layers of understanding what is being threatened. And I'm confident that whatever you discover in that, that it'll bring you greater wisdom to understand how to navigate your fear and live with your fear. So I hope you have just the right fear today, just enough to be able to do this exploration, and then we'll continue tomorrow. Thank you