Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dealing with Anxiety the Spiritual Way

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche started his life with deep anxiety attacks. So much that he tend to hide from people at times. But then one day after a year of anxiety during a 3 year retreat, he decided to put the lessons he learned to practice. He realized that the cause of his misery came from his fixation on small problems. And he noticed how thoughts and emotions are transitory. They came and went.

"They weren't nearly as solid or real as they appeared to be. And once I began to let go of my belief in the story they seemed to tell, i began to see the 'author' beyond them -- the infinitely vast, infinitely open awareness that is the nature of mind itself." (The Joy of Living, p.22)

And from Pema Chödrön:  THE SENSATION OF BLISS 
(from a facebook page)
A few years ago I was overwhelmed by deep anxiety, a fundamental, intense anxiety with no storyline attached. I felt very vulnerable, very afraid and raw. While I sat and breathed with it, relaxed into it, stayed with it, the te
rror did not abate. It was unrelenting even after many days, and I didn’t know what to do.

I went to see my teacher, Dzigar Kongtrül, and he said, “Oh, I know that place.” That was reassuring. He told me about times in his life when he had been caught in the same way. He said it had been an important part of his journey and had been a great teacher for him. Then he did something that shifted how I practice. He asked me to describe what I was experiencing. He asked me where I felt it. He asked me if it hurt physically and if it were hot or cold. He asked me to describe the quality of the sensation, as precisely as I could. This detailed exploration continued for a while and then he brightened up and said, “Ani Pema…That’s a high level of spiritual bliss.” I almost fell off my chair. I thought, “Wow, this is great!” And I couldn’t wait to feel that intensity again. And do you know what happened? When I eagerly sat down to practice, of course, since the resistance was gone, so was the anxiety.