Q: Observing Impermanence Produces Fear In Me. How Do I Skilfully Work With This?

(approx. 15 minutes) KEYWORDS: Q: "I can see impermanence in my daily life. This creates a lot of fear instead of ease. How do I work with this in a skilful manner?" Fear, running away, surprise, secure, uninspected relationship with life, Buddhism, consoling message, stories, insurance policies, distractions, avoidance, mental, emotional, physical, relational, preparing ourselves, solitude, 3-4-5 framing, storehouse of goodness, untangling the knot of deluded selfhood, 4 Brahman Viharas, exercise, refreshing, walking, swimming, kalyanamitta, spiritual companionship, joining groups, opening gradually, fully feeling uncertainty, overwhelmed, speaking truth, naïve, wild swimming, serious challenge.

Q: A Contemplative Perspective On Compulsive Stress Eating

(approx. 15 minutes) KEYWORDS: Q: “I know from past experiences that increased food intake never genuinely makes me feel better. Might you have any advice? Evolutionary biologists, psychologists, demonize desire, wanting, craving, wholesome desires, enemy, smoking, breaking the habit, basic skills, 5 spiritual faculties, faith, kamma, energy, intensity, embodied mindfulness, discipline attention, discernment, indriya samvara, skilful composure, containing, respecting intensity, hiri and ottappa, conscience, lokapala, protectors of the world, skilful shame and fear of the consequences of shamelessness, guilt, progress, unruly heart energy, competent, ill-will, truly responsible.

FULL MOON: 24th February, 2024

SEEKING FREEDOM FROM FEAR

"To many places beings withdraw
to escape from fear:
to mountains, forests,
parklands and gardens;
sacred places as well.
But none of these places
offer true refuge,
none of them can free us from fear."

DHAMMAPADA v 188-9

If we are always looking outside for a way to escape fear, we are looking in the wrong place. We might find a degree of temporary freedom, however, the Buddha's teachings are pointing inwards. They are pointing towards a perspective on fear that means you don't have to become afraid. This doesn't mean you don't feel fear. If you see someone putting suspicious powder in your tea, you should be afraid to drink it. The freedom that our wise teachers are talking about is the freedom found in a heart that can remain wide open and refuse to enact old habits of clinging. It means feeling what you feel without being defined by those feelings.

Q: What Is Open-Hearted Awareness And How To Nurture It?

(approx. 13 minutes) Keywords: Open window, unobstructed, absence, heart contraction, numb, skill, traditional formula, presence, tension, softening, interest, motivation, nature, retreat, metta bhavana, karaniya metta sutta, giggling, greedy, entitled, fear of loss, Ajahn Dukkha, learning a language, vague, fortitude, willing to feel uncomfortable, contentment, nothing special, normality, empathy.

Q: Why Do I Cry So Easily?

(approx. 12 minutes) Keywords: Open-hearted awareness, curious, vitality, children, sensitivity, backlog or denied life, balance, hypersensitive, aligning meditation, head, heart, belly, challenges, feeling inadequate, vulnerable, fear of overwhelm, heightened sensitivity, war, pathos, denied dukkha backlog, reading Braille.