No matter what we do, there are times when we are afraid. For me, those times often come in the middle of the night. I worry about failure, about running out of money, about leaving my job for something new and not knowing what I am doing.
We all have fears. Just like we all have anger, or frustration, or jealousy.
One of the reasons that I started meditating was I wanted to get more control over those negative emotions. I had the thought that if I did the right practices, that I could make myself better. I could get rid of the parts of me that I do not like, and make the parts of me that I do like stronger.
It hasn't worked out that way. Those parts are still there, perhaps stronger than they have ever been.
Paradoxically, those moments of fear and anger can be some of our most pure experiences. We can see at those times, when we feel out of control, that there is something that is operating on our bodies that is not our body. That drives our thinking but is not our thinking. That is prior to notions of body and mind and self. We can see in those times that we, our small ego-driven selves, are not in control at all.
This can be scary, even terrifying. But isn't the same thing true for the good things that happen? When that brilliant idea comes, where does it come from? Where does any of it come from? When we look back at the best and worst moments of our lives, did we actually create them? Or did they just emerge?
If meditation actually does anything, it seems that it allows us to see more often the silence from which our lives emerge. Nothing more. Or less.