Category Archives: Fear

Facing Fear in a Traumatized World



Unprocessed fear cuts us off from our full aliveness and spirit, and it separates us from others. This talk looks at how we bring healing to the trauma and deep fears that cause us to dissociate from our body. We focus on ways we increase safety, diminish shame and then, with a courageous, embodied and compassionate presence, learn to contact and integrate fear into our larger awareness.


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Veränderung, Verlust und zeitlose Liebe (Teil 1)



Unser Vermögen, tief empfunden zu leben und zu lieben ist stark davon abhängig, wie wir mit Veränderungen und Verlusten in unserem Leben umgehen. Dieser Vortrag lädt uns ein, darauf zu schauen, wie wir mit unseren Widerständen, Ängsten und der Trauer über Verluste in unserem Leben umgehen. Dem Thema wenden wir uns auf eine ehrliche, nicht urteilende Weise zu. Wir entdecken gemeinsam, wie wir Achtsamkeit und Mitgefühl einbringen können, um unsere Widerstände aufzuarbeiten und uns damit einer zeitlosen Liebe zu öffnen, die unserer wahren Natur als Menschen entspricht. 

Kontakt: Sarah Kehrer Lubjuhn, sarah.kehrer.lubjuhn@gmail.com

Download in PDF: Veränderung, Verlust und zeitlose Liebe (Teil 1)

Translation to German from 2020-10-14 – Change, Loss and Timeless Love (Part 1)


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Fear of Aging: Finding Freedom in this Impermanent World – Part 2



While it’s natural to have fears of what’s ahead, when we learn to face the inevitability of change and loss without resistance, we discover true peace and freedom in the midst. In a very direct way, our awareness of impermanence awakens unconditional loving. These two talks explore the ways we habitually deny or resist reality, and the three interrelated pathways—refuge in the present moment, love and awareness—that liberate us.

“All major spiritual paths guide us to look at this truth of living and dying and the vulnerability that’s here and to discover that refuge, that formless loving nature that’s beyond. And it’s entirely natural to get caught up in habits of avoiding vulnerability and avoiding impermanence. And like the Buddha there is something in you that wants to open to reality, that knows you’ll never be at peace unless you open to reality, there’s something in you that wants to find that happiness and freedom in the midst.”

from the talk…

Part 1: Fear of Aging: Finding Freedom in this Impermanent World


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Transforming Two Fears: FOF and FOMO



There are two common fears that can block us from our full potential – fear of failure (FOF), and fear of missing out (FOMO). This talk explores how to meet these fears with mindful presence, and discover within them the essence energies of loving awareness and full aliveness (a favorite from the Archives).

Note – This talk is dedicated to Tim Ferriss, who turned me on to the phrase FOMO. Tim exemplifies the creative aliveness of FOMO energy when it’s living through someone who’s dedicated to being awake, caring and real. Check out his podcasted interview with Tara at: https://youtu.be/pXNEM4wjSmE​ and his podcast at fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/.


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Fear of Aging: Finding Freedom in this Impermanent World – Part 1



While it’s natural to have fears of what’s ahead, when we learn to face the inevitability of change and loss without resistance, we discover true peace and freedom in the midst. In a very direct way, our awareness of impermanence awakens unconditional loving. These two talks explore the ways we habitually deny or resist reality, and the three interrelated pathways—refuge in the present moment, love and awareness—that liberate us.

NOTE: The quoted prayer “And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well” is from 14th century mystic, Julian of Norwich, in her work “Revelations of Divine Love.”

Part 2: Fear of Aging: Finding Freedom in this Impermanent World


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Change, Loss and Timeless Love (Part 1)



Our capacity to live and love fully is entirely intertwined with how we relate to change and loss. These two talks are an invitation to look honestly, and without judgment, at the ways, we resist facing our fears and grieving our losses. We then explore how to bring mindfulness and compassion to processing what we’ve resisted, and opening to the timeless love that is our true nature.


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Blog: Turning Toward Fear with RAIN



Turning Toward Fear with RAIN

Adapted from Tara’s new book –
Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of R.A.I.N. 

In a far-off land, word spread far and wide of a holy man with magic so powerful it could relieve the most severe suffering. After seekers of healing traveled through the wilderness to reach him, he’d swear them to secrecy about what was next to pass between them. Once they took the vow, the holy man asked a single question: What are you unwilling to feel?

Learning to directly face anxiety and fear with the RAIN meditation—Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture—gives you a pathway to inner transformation and a fearless heart.

Recognizing the Trance

After a daylong seminar on RAIN and stress, Brianna came up to me and asked for some help with a personal situation. She’d recently been hired as a marketing vice-president in a large corporation, but she felt intimidated by the CEO, who was very quick to cut off anyone who he felt was wasting his time. He ruled over the weekly staff meetings, which Brianna described as “torture” that put her into a state of “brain freeze.”

“I shouldn’t be worried about my competence,” she said. “I was recruited because I got an industry award at my last job. But the atmosphere here is totally different—really corporate, and the other VPs pretty much ignore me. I just go back to my office with my stomach churning and wonder how long I’ll last.”

I suggested that Brianna practice RAIN for a few minutes right before each meeting and asked her what was going on for her at that time.

“On those mornings I can really feel the anxiety building, and it lands me in a frenzy of busyness . . . reviewing reports, marking what I might need to comment on . . . nothing really productive.”

I smiled because I recognized that feeling all too well. “Okay, so before you start RAIN, imagine you’re pressing the pause button on that frenzy.” Brianna closed her eyes and pictured herself at her desk, a half-hour before the weekly meeting.

“As you pause,” I said, “your first job is to Recognize (R) the anxiety and Allow (A) it to be there.” After she nodded, I added, “Now, what do you notice if you bring your attention and interest to how it feels in your body?”

Beginning to Investigate (I), she muttered, “dry mouth . . . really tight chest . . . heart hammering . . . and, oh yeah, my stomach’s in knots.” I suggested she place her hand on her abdomen and send her breath there with a long slow inflow and outflow. This would to help her steady her attention and stay in contact with the fear.

What Does this Most Need?

Now I guided her to ask the scared place inside her what it needed most, a key inquiry in Investigating. After a moment, she looked up, surprised. “It said, ‘let it be ok that I’m here.’”

The Nurturing (N) that scared place needed was to be accepted, not to be made wrong. I asked Brianna how the wisest, kindest part of her wanted to respond. Could she find a way to acknowledge this very vulnerable part of herself with compassion?

She sat quietly, still breathing slowly, her hand on her belly. Then she nodded. “I just sent the message—it’s ok, this belongs. And . . . it does feel more ok. I’m actually a bit more relaxed.”

This became Brianna’s RAIN practice each week before going to the staff meeting. And when she felt anxiety spiking during the meeting, she’d simply breathe into it and send the message—It’s ok.

The freedom of This Belongs

About three months later, Brianna updated me. Her tension around the CEO hadn’t disappeared, but her anxiety had lessened somewhat. More important, it didn’t feel like such a big deal: “I’m not so alarmed when I get anxious,” she told me. “I was fighting it so hard, but now it’s ok that it’s there. That really does free me up.” She also shared some real progress in making creative contributions and connecting with others.

Asking yourself “what am I unwilling to feel?” can open you to deep spiritual healing. Fear is the feeling that something is wrong and that, rather than facing it, we need to act to protect ourselves. When, instead, we have the courage to pause and meet fear with the mindfulness and compassion of RAIN, our awareness and wisdom enlarges. If we need to respond to a threat, we’ll do so—with increased balance and presence. But often we’ll see: It’s just anxiety, it’s ok . . . this belongs—and begin to unhook from a lifetime pattern of reactivity. While fears continue to arise, we have access to a heart space that is open and free.

Adapted from Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Ourselves and Our World with the Practice of RAIN, Tara Brach (Viking, 2019).

Brach, T. (2019). Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of Rain. New York, NY: Viking Life.

More Resources on RAIN here.



Worrier Pose: Finding Freedom from the Body of Fear (retreat talk)



While fear is a natural part of our make up, many of us suffering when the “on” button gets jammed. This talk looks at how our fears generate habitual patterns of physical tension, anxious thinking, emotions and behaviors; and how this constellation prevents us from inhabiting our full wisdom and love. We then explore two interrelated pathways of healing—unconditional presence, and resourcing, or cultivating access to safety and belonging (from the IMCW Fall 2018 7-Day Silent Retreat).

How
did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too
frightened.

Hafiz – Version by Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems from God

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Love and Fear During Times of War: An Interview with Lama Rod Owens



The world is having a difficult moment. Each day we learn of a different conflict or crisis, which threatens the lives of so may people. It is easy to live with a lot of fear right now and it is even easier to react out of that fear was well. When we react out of fear we tend to create much more harm in the world.

This is a time of darkness and war and fear lies at the heart of much of the violence we are experiencing. How do we befriend our fear and offer it permission to teach us how to move through it into a state of freedom? How do we use our fear to connect to the fear so many other people are experiencing? Ultimately, how do we begin to love what is unlovable, especially our fear?

During their time together, Tara and Lama Rod call on the teachings of Buddhadharma as well as their own intrinsic wisdom to lean into fear with love.

This event was American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted.

Rod’s new book, Love and Anger: The Path of Liberation Through Anger. Love and Rage, is available now. 

More about Lama Rod Owens at: http://lamarod.com/


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Meditation: Meeting Fear with a Healing Breath (22:59 min.)



This meditation guides us through a relaxing body scan and then explores how we can allow the breath to calm our body and bring peace to our heart.


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