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Using Fear

By | 11/23/2022

All people feel fear.
Even the Buddha, before his enlightenment, had to struggle.
He said:
I used to live in the jungle, surrounded by feelings of anxiety. Wild animals would approach, or the wind would shake the trees.
Every time a branch fell I shuddered.
I thought to myself, why do I live constantly expecting bad things to happen?
It was true, that while I walked in the jungle worry and foreboding followed me;
when I stood still
worry and foreboding surrounded me like a cloud; when I lay down
worry and foreboding covered me, and when I sat down to meditate,
worry and foreboding hovered like mist.


We are told that due to his fear,
the Buddha became determined to arouse tireless energy in unremitting effort
to gain insight into his suffering.
He concentrated his mind, he established mindfulness, and slowly, and with great effort,
his mind became purified, bright, under his control,
malleable, like properly heated gold, wieldy, like the sword he used to carry, steady and imperturbable like a Buddha.
The first true knowledge he attained was the realization of equanimity.
It was his fear that goaded him towards liberation.



from In the Spirit of the Buddha

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