Awakening Emotions Glimpse: Welcoming and Liberating Fear
When you start this exercise, bring your awareness within your body and find any emotion that is there now. You can do this exercise with any emotion, pleasant or unpleasant, but when you do this for the first time please try it with an unpleasant emotion like fear. If you don’t have an unpleasant emotion available, choose the unpleasant emotion that you encounter most often in your life. If necessary, you can go to a memory or a recent situation in your life to bring up an unpleasant emotion. By practicing this, you will learn that you can feel sad without being sad, feel anger without being angry, and feel a part of you that is afraid and can feel compassionate support from open-hearted awareness.
1. Find an emotion—fear, anger, jealousy, etc.—and begin by feeling it fully. (I’ll use fear as an example in the following steps; you can substitute whatever emotion you choose.)
2. Silently say to yourself, “I am afraid.”
3. Fully experience what it is like to say and feel “I am afraid.” Stay with this experience until you feel it completely.
4. Now, instead of saying, “I am afraid,” take a breath and say silently to yourself, “I feel fear.”
5. Notice the shift from “I am" to “I feel” Experience this shift and the new relationship.
6. Now, shift again by saying silently to your self, “I am aware of feeling fear.”
7. Experience awareness of feeling fear fully. Shift into an observing awareness. Notice the different emotional quality that comes from shift who or what fear is appearing to.
8. Now, as this Awareness, shift again as you say silently, “Fear is welcome.”
9. Starting from and as awareness, experience welcoming like a vast deep ocean of awareness welcoming the waves of fear.
10. Feel the awareness embody and embrace while remaining open. Notice the different emotional quality that comes from welcoming the aliveness as not separate from the ocean of awareness. Sense the support that welcoming brings.
11. Now say silently to yourself, “Awareness and fear are not separate.”
12. Pause and be curious if awake awareness is arising as aliveness and feelings without identifying or rejecting it. Feel the open hearted awareness as a presence with emotion fully.
13. Feel the awareness, the energetic aliveness, the deep stillness of presence that feels connected to all other beings who feel fear and have the resource of awakeness within.
14. Notice the feeling of looking out at others and the world from this embodied, connected, open-hearted awareness and feel a new motivation to reach out to connect to others in a compassionate expression.
Meditations and guidance like this can be found in The Way of Effortless Mindfulness: A Revolutionary Guide for Living an Awakened Life a new book by Loch Kelly.