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  • Writer's picturejon walker

Shining a light.

From the excellent book Now What?: Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond by Yael Shy, who works with students at NYU:

“I feel afraid all the time,” I heard myself say. That’s it. That’s all I seemed to want to say after days in silence. The teacher paused for a minute, and then said, “You know, the interesting thing about fear is that it doesn’t like the light. The more you bring a flashlight to your deepest fears, the more they won’t be able to survive.”

Granted, when you are subsumed in fear, advice like that may seem much easier said than done. But even just having the intention to work with fear in this way is powerful. It inclines the mind in the direction of being a disentangled participant with the fear, rather than totally inside it. It usually isn't something that happens as fast as you want it to, but simply knowing that it is possible to hold fear in this way can lighten it.

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