Befriending fear

I still have nights where experiences surface that’s difficult to befriend or welcome. Mostly, it’s a sense of strong wordless inner struggle along with a sense of everything dissolving – the image of a larvae in a pupa describes it. From the outside, I see there is nothing to fear here. It’s probably just part of the process. But from the inside, when it happens, a great deal of fear comes up.

When I get caught up in this, it’s easy to “forget” what may help, so I’ll go through it here as a reminder for myself.

Each of these is an entry into befriending what’s happening, and I find that using one and then bring attention to my breath, heart and sensations is often most helpful.

I can ask myself is it OK? Is this experience OK? Is this fear OK? That in itself brings in a shift.

How is it to say YES to this? Can I find where there is already an unconditional YES? How is it to find a wholehearted YES?

Another is to explore what’s happening in the sense fields. How does it appear in sensations? What happens when I bring attention to and stay with the sensations? And when it calms down, I can explore it a bit further. How does it appear in the mental field, as an overlay of images? What happens when sensations and images combine and the whole is taken as real, substantial, true? How is it when I recognize the overlay of images as just images, as innocent questions?

I give it all over to the divine, to God.

I can ask to be shown the core of what’s behind the struggle, the stress, and notice what image first appears.

I bring attention to my breath, and then the heart and sensations and stay with this.

I ask myself what does the fear say? What’s the belief behind it? What am I afraid would happen if I befriend/welcome the fear? If there is more than one belief, I get up and write them all down. Then I ask, is it true? What’s more true? And stay with it.

As I mentioned, often one or two is sufficient. My system is already overloaded so I don’t need to add stress through too many techniques. What most often happen is that I give it over to the divine, I ask myself is it OK?, and then bring attention to the heart and sensations.

I may also get up, eat a bit, perhaps talk with someone in a different time zone, and do some activities to help my body calm down – including shaking, neurogenic tremors.

Note: What’s this struggle about? I don’t really know. It must be related to some deep beliefs in my system, at odds with reality. At it’s core, it’s saying that something is wrong, and this comes to expression in more specific beliefs.


  • befriending fear
    • is it ok? what if it is completely ok?
    • how appears in sensations, what happens when add images/thoughts to it
    • give it over to the divine
    • ask to be shown the core of what’s behind the struggle, stress
    • attention to breath/heart, allow sensations to flow through
    • what does the fear say? what’s the belief(s) behind it? what am i afraid would happen if i befriend/welcome fear?
    • is it true?
    • ………


How does it appear in sensations? Can I find it anywhere else? How does it appear in the mental field? What images and stories are overlaid on what’s happening in sensations? How does it appear when sensations and images combine and are taken as solid, substantial and real? What happens when I recognize the images as images only, as innocent questions? What happens when I bring attention to sensations?

2 thoughts to “Befriending fear”

  1. Fear fears fear.

    A larva inside a pupa appropriately describes a fear of change. If talking with someone in a different time zone and other activities fail to instill calmness, then read. Chant and recite out loud especially an inspirational text.

    With and without befriending and welcoming, change happens as such is part of life. An imaginary fear with a capital “F” simply runs a circular course of fears in what turns out to be a quite ordinary fear with a lower case “f”. Without a focus and spinning along with such fears, Fear with a capital “F” appears quite scary superficially as representative of all such little “fears” encircling. When calm and stopping to spin along with such different disguises and fearful manifestations, a small ordinary “f”ear thus becomes apparent.

    Keep observing, as befriending and welcoming such Fear and fears can be pointless as even giving into divinity can still perpetuate such circular thoughts. As observational practice matures, strength develops to face directly and to allow all to run a course, pass, and leave. Embracing change can cause a clinging to an imaginary future while resentful of change is definitely clinging to illusory nostalgia. Consequently, plainly be present to do whatever currently requires.


  2. Thank you, that’s a good reminder. I used to be drawn to witnessing and now there is more an impulse to dive right into the middle of it and be it. Also, much of what I write about are stepping stones, they make it easier to notice that fear is already allowed, that I already am it etc.

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