Fear can create sickness and death. Fear creates a narrow state of awareness and can create the world you think exists. Focusing on the bad bricks in the wall instead of the good bricks can lead to irrational thoughts and behaviors. Our minds can create sickness, death, and fear. Fear can be dangerous. To overcome fear, we need to focus on the good, the positive, and the rational. When you’re afraid, that’s what happens. The same technique to children who are doing exams is to look at it as a game. When you put fun and happiness into what you’re doing, it brings up energy, which helps you do well. Fear exaggerates reality, cramps our mind, and makes us achieve what we’re afraid of. So the first step in overcoming fear is recognising that fearful thoughts is all that is happening. And the second step is knowing how to breathe and relax so that fear doesn’t have the control. So that we can be free from fear.
How to be free from fear begins with paying attention.When we pay attention, when we become aware, we see what’s really happening. And then we can respond in a way which isn’t based on fear. Breathing and relaxation is one way to do that. When we breathe and relax, we release the fear. We also release the thoughts which are based on fear. And as we release the thoughts, we also release the feelings which are based on fear. And as we release the feelings, we also release the energy which is based on fear.So the more we pay attention to what’s happening, to our breaths and our relaxations, the more we can release the fear and the more we can be free.
This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 4th April 2003. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans. If you like the Ajahn Brahm Podcast, you may also like the Treasure Mountain Podcast and / or the Forest Path Podcast which are also produced by the Everyday Dhamma Network.
These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.