Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Susan Piver - How to be Fearless: The Four Kinds of Friendliness

A great post from Susan Piver, one of my favorite Buddhist writers.

How to be Fearless: The Four Kinds of Friendliness

At its core, fear is a profound shutting down, a closing of the heart. When we experience fear, we want it to go away as quickly as possible because it’s just so damn uncomfortable. I’m not saying there isn’t a lot to be afraid of. I mean we can all freak out about money without too much thought these days. But even if you’re sitting on a pile of cash, everyone is till afraid of things like getting their heart broken or failing to achieve certain goals. However, the quickest antidote to fear is also the most counter-intuitive: to turn towards it.

In Buddhist thought, there are four ways to do this. They are called The Four Immeasurables:

Sympathetic Joy (my personal favorite)

These could be considered antidotes to fear because instead of making you feel powerless, besieged, and threatened, employing any of these four actions lead to a sense of power, stability, and a sense of being unconquerable. We’ll look at each one in turn.

Read the whole article.

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