Fear is a primary obstacle on the path of awakening, as well as in our daily lives. Working with fear requires a gentle perseverance and commitment to being awake to what is. This contrasts with the effort to conquer fear. Rather, the practice is to face our fear and allow for its dissolving.
We will work with two meditative approaches during this workshop. These are the methods of calm and investigation, otherwise known as samatha vipassana. Learning to calm ourselves (samatha) in the midst of fear is an essential skill. We then use this calm to investigate (vipassana) its true nature. When the mind is calmer, we can look at fear directly and without as much reactivity. This kind of investigation fosters the perspective of learning instead of simply trying to get rid of fear. Gradually, and with sustained interest, we begin to see into the fact that fear is subject to the same laws as any other phenomena; it is transitory and impermanent.
By developing our capacity to meet fear with balance and an open heart we can unbind ourselves from its energy and cultivate wisdom and inner freedom.
This workshop is appropriate for both new and experienced meditators and will include talks, discussion, sitting meditation as well as time for questions.