The single best thing I did before I left for the Peace Corps was attend a meditation retreat. I was silent for 10 days straight and did over 120 hours of meditation.
Before that retreat the most meditation I'd done at once was 15 minutes. Part of me thought I was crazy.
The other part of me was on-fire excited. I knew this was good for me.
10 days and several songs suck in my head later (who knows where they were coming from, I still don't know) I was done. It was incredible, terrible, wonderful and horrible. I recommend it to everyone. Why? Fear.
In Fear is the Root of Your Problems, Leo writes,
"We try to conquer fear, but this is the problem. We see fear as an enemy, to be defeated or it will defeat us.
It’s not. Fear is us. We are human beings in a world of constant change, and this is scary. We are afraid that we won’t be OK in the chaos of change, that we will fail, that we will be judged, that life won’t turn out OK.
The fear is a part of us, and therefore we shouldn’t try to “destroy” it. It can’t be destroyed, because while we can dissipate one particular fear in one particular moment, we’ll still have fears after that. All our lives. It’s not something that can be eradicated — it’s a basic part of life.
Meditation taught me that fear, in fact all emotion, can be seen from a distance. If we step back and observe ourselves feeling and thinking, we can begin realizing that we are not our thoughts. You are greater than that and our wisdom can come to us when we are quiet enough to listen.
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