Dream: Befriending fear

I see clearly how I perceive everything as a threat, sank into it, and my relationship to it changed completely. I befriended it, and it became sweet and blissful.

For the last several days, I have been more acutely aware of how I perceive everything as a threat (at a certain level). I have explored the sensation part of it, as well as looked at some related images (dark overlay over everything) and words (“dread”). In the dream, I could see this more clearly, something gave in me so it was completely allowed and I sank into it, and something shifted. The dream gave me (another) taste of how it can be, and it’s as always an ongoing exploration.

What are my fears of allowing these fears? What’s the worst that can happen? And the worst that can happen if that happens?

How would it be to allow it as it is? How would it be to sink into it?

How does my mind create the sense of threat? What sensations, images, and words make it up?

How does my mind create a sense of someone threatened? What are the sensations, images, and words making it up?

How is to isolate out the sensations and feel these as sensations? Resting with it? Staying with it? Noticing associated images and words, but not paying them too much attention until later?

How is to feel the sensations of the fear of the fear? The resistance to feeling and allowing the fear more fully?

Demystifying our experience

Inquiry is, at least partly, about demystifying our experience.

We may have a recurrent stressful thought or feeling, and don’t know what it’s really about, where it comes from, or what we can do about it.

Inquiry can help us see how it’s created by our mind at a more basic level.

I have had a vague sense of dread come up. When I look at it, I see that it’s made up by a set of mental images out in front of me with fuzzy dark shapes and textures. These are connected to words such as “it’s a disaster” and “something is terribly wrong”. And these images and words are associated with certain sensations in my body.

As I look at each of these, I see how the experience is created. By asking simple questions of each image and set of words, and the sensations, I get to see that none is a threat. I also see that the images are images, the words are words, and the sensations are sensations. I can also more easily feel the sensations as sensations, and rest with them. All of this releases the reality and solidity that seemed to be there.

My experience of the vague threat and dread is, in a sense, demystified, although I know there may be more there. I am OK with more coming up, since I know I can look more intentionally at that too.

Some aspects of the experience are demystified. And that doesn’t mean there isn’t mystery here too. It’s all a mystery, even if I see – to some extent – how my mind creates a certain experience. It’s amazing that something is here at all. It’s amazing that these experiences are here visiting. It’s amazing there is awareness to experience what’s here.

Why is there ambivalence in identifications?

Why is there often ambivalence in how we relate to our identifications?

Identification here means identification with a story. The story is held as real and true. And we identify with its view on ourselves and the world. When it’s activated, we take it as who and what we are.

From my own experience, it seems that identifications are held in place in two ways. There is a perceived threat (a) in not holding onto it, and (b) in holding onto it. We fear what may happen if it’s not there, and are also uncomfortable with what happens when it’s there.

There is a perceived benefit in having it, and also a threat in not having it. And when the identification is here, it’s often apparently enjoyable since it fulfills those needs. And it’s also uncomfortable, since identifications are inherently stressful and at odds with reality.

That ambivalence is partly what distracts us so we don’t see what’s really going on.

That’s why it’s good to look at both sides to how we relate to our identifications. To slow it down, and look more systematically at first one side, then the other.

As mentioned in a previous post, I (may) feel compelled to eat sugar, and also feel ashamed about it. I feel I am unlovable, and experience a threat in not having that identity while it’s also painful when it’s here. I want recognition and approval by many, while also experiencing it as a threat. I identify with a story of the world as a threat, and it’s also threatening to imagine that belief not being here.