10 THESES ABOUT FEAR: A lesson from Milarepa, the world’s greatest yogi
When Milarepa, one of the greatest yogis in Tibet, was away, demons came to his cave. Initially, he tried to push them out with various techniques, but the demons would not disappear.
Then Milarepa decided to change his approach. He began to meditate on love and kindness, accepting the demons as they were, offering them his presence and awareness without resistance or fear. Over time, all but one of the demons faded away.
The remaining demon was particularly intimidating, but Milarepa came even closer and put his head in the demon’s mouth, fully accepting it. At that moment, the demon disappeared.
It is said that fear is the prison of the mind. Demons in your head are not easy to spot; fears are perfectly camouflaged, and it is not easy to recognize them. They can hide behind overeating, insincere relationships, an overreliance on sex, or supporting non-existent ideals.
The fears that people experience are varied and depend on individual life circumstances and upbringing. They cover a wide range of experiences, from a deep-seated fear of death, which is anxiety in the face of the finitude of existence, to fear of loss, which includes fear of losing loved ones, health, jobs, material possessions, or status.
Social fears such as fear of loneliness emphasize anxiety about the possibility of being rejected by society or loved ones, while fear of failure and criticism reflect fears of not meeting expectations, deterring one from trying new things, and leading to missed opportunities. Fear of change emphasizes an unwillingness to face uncertainty, and physical fears such as fear of pain, heights, or confined spaces indicate a profound need for security.
Eastern practices focus not on «treating» fear in the literal sense, as it may be understood in the Western medical or psychotherapeutic tradition, but on transforming the way we perceive and relate to fear. There is no place here for suppressing or avoiding fear.
It is essential to understand the sources of fear and transform them into a life resource through the development of inner harmony, mindfulness, and compassion. The root causes of fear in the East are considered to be ignorance and attachment, as well as a lack of understanding of the true nature of reality.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FEAR
#1 Fear — is a distortion of the will. It is an active vibration that restricts the will. When a person experiences fear, their ability to act, resolve, and create is suppressed or distorted, deviating them from their original intentions or desires.
#2 Mild fear creates confusion; greater fear destroys creativity; immense fear, when suppressed, leads to hatred or rejection.
#3 Fear is a brake on evolution. Less fear — closer to God.
#4 The Absence of fear instantly generates helpful action.
#5 Fear attracts accidents and violence. The stronger the personality, the higher the probability.
#6 Love cannot enter where fear dwells.
#7 Fear seeks possession and kills freedom. Fear makes a person cling to things.
#8 One person in an organization experiencing fear can prevent the organization from thriving because fear is a destructive vibration that destroys creativity.
#9 Between two fear-ridden people, the relationship will be destructive, and happiness will be at zero. The relationship will be either through clinging to each other or through intense distrust and tension.
#10 The presence of fear is an insurance against growth. Mental, nervous, and physical fears have to be surpassed in order to become a human being.
THE LIGHT YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR
Eastern philosophy views fear in the context of a shared understanding of human nature and the universe. Fear is seen as part of the experience of life, which must be understood, accepted, and transformed through spiritual and meditative practices.
Tibetan yogi Milarepa’s struggle with demons is to face fear head-on, not trying to avoid or overcome it by force, but rather to look at it with compassion and understanding. Overcoming fear comes through knowledge, acceptance, mindfulness, and an open heart.
The writer Geoff Thompson, founder of the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association and follower of Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo, also adheres to this idea. It is the accumulation of spiritual experience that Geoff Thompson considers the main achievement in confronting fears. Thompson believes that the world should be viewed philosophically, i.e., with a fair amount of detachment — like a movie in a cinema. You are an ordinary spectator and simply watch what is happening on the screen. This allows a person to achieve a state of inner calm and peace and to see situations more objectively and without excessive emotional reactions.
And at the very first stage of working with his own fears, Geoff Thompson recommends isolating himself from anything that cultivates violence. «I stopped reading violent books, watching violent movies, stopped supporting conversations about violence.» The author also believes it is important to work tirelessly to recognize the true causes of fears and their origins, doing so through practices of active observation, reflection, and meditation.
Think of fear as a beacon pointing to the upcoming adventures of the soul. Think of it as a precious gift that helps you grow, explore, and reach heights you’ve only dreamed of before. After all, it is outside of your comfort zone where all the magic begins. And who knows, it may be there, among the shadows of fear, that you find the light you’ve always been looking for.