It is hard to define our fears, because we prefer to ignore them. We need to have considerable courage and to be honest with ourselves in order to face our fears. How can we learn not to be afraid of anything? How can we learn to be brave?
For a start, let us see what fear is and where does it come from. “Fear is an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen.”
Remembering our negative experience may cause us to be scared!
If we analyze our fears, we will see that they originate in the past. When we remember some negative situation in the past, we can transfer this fear to the similar, but not identical situations and be scared of their recurrence. Fear can become evident by the state of excitement — anger, or depressed state — distress, numbness or mental block.
In order to describe fear from the yoga point of view, we need to look at some basic axiomatic statements, which are fundamental for Yoga knowledge.
- Firstly, yoga teaches us that every living being has a Higher Self, which cannot be described, has unlimited level of freedom and huge potential.
- Secondly, we reveal ourselves in the material world by means of our physical body, our senses and our mind — the mental activity, as if they were our aspects.
The prime cause of fear is ignorance! By ignorance, we view ourselves not as the Higher Self, but as our aspects. It is as if we considered ourselves to be our shadow.
As long as we mistakenly view ourselves as our aspects, we wish our bodies to be immortal. Suffering and subsequent sensation of fear result from the negative impact on our aspects, such as a life-threatening situation for our bodies: gross, subtle and causal.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.” Mark Twain
By what means can we fight our fear? What does yoga suggest in this respect?
Firstly, it is necessary to get rid of ignorance and to stop identifying ourselves with our aspects. Kriya yoga can help in this respect; it is highly effective at all levels — physical, mental and causal, letting us control ourselves in all aspects.
Secondly, be honest with yourself and admit that you have a fear. Uncovering the fear makes it half as strong. Being honest with yourself is a very powerful tool, which can fundamentally change our life, and among other things help to recover from fantastical fears. Sometimes it is worth to turn to someone else for help rather than to fight our fears on our own: ask a person whom we trust and who is able to help us and to provide an adequate support. For it is said: “Seek for a company of virtuous, calm and wise people, serve them and learn from them, so you will find happiness.”
Thirdly, it is necessary to constantly develop and control our mind. We should use our mind and think logically, determine the root of the problem, observe and clarify what exactly makes us suffer. There is a yoga type called Radja yoga, which helps us to sharpen our mind. It gives us many tools and practices for improving our mental activity. One of the basic ones is focusing our attention on some object for a long period. It is also advisable to study some textbooks on the science of logic.
We should also remember that our mind can either help us or disorient us. To prevent this from happening we must accept responsibility for our own life and act from the position of strength.
“Oh, what ridiculous resolutions men take when possessed with fear! It deprives them of the use of those means, which reason offers for their relief.” Daniel Defoe
Fourthly, we should remember that human potential is un-limited, and the Higher Self is immortal! We are capable to unlock this potential. We have courage, bravery, will power, nobleness, ambition and many other things. Self-belief can help us to extend boundaries of our personal abilities.
By meditation on the Higher Self, we can discover its transcendence and see that it is immortal, free, almighty, unlimited, omniscient, and is remaining in the state of persistent bliss and happiness.
Yoga offers a great variety of tools to overcome fear!
Therefore, using our mind and the instruments of yoga we can overcome personal ignorance and realize the source of our fears. We will tend to do less harm to everybody around or not to do harm at all. The Universe will open to us quicker, allowing to approach our real self, to gain confidence and to find the way to peaceful and happy life!
Overcome your fear with yoga!
Author: Marina Balmush
Editors: А.Zlobin, М.Mamontova
Translated by: Tatiana Sugrue, Alexander OpenYoga, Evgeniya Lakshmi
Project curator: А.Zlobin