Monday, January 09, 2012

Meditation and Fear

Again and again I take baby steps toward meditation. Years ago--30 years ago--I did TM Transcendental Meditation. Yes, the whole thing. $300 which was a fortune and the arm full of fruit and flowers for the Guru. Looking back I think it was one of my first gestures toward sanity...I was still drinking and in the throes of food addiction, swirling in the madness of untreated ACOA survival...but some part of me wanted what the TM people promised. I wanted freedom from fear and all the pain I was carrying around and trying to medicate.

Yesterday I read about a study reported in Hospital Psychiatry Magazine describing participants who meditated for 20 minutes a day for eight weeks. They showed a 38% reduction in psychological distress and a 44% decrease in anxiety. That in itself, is impressive. And what I want.

Here is a quote from the article:

"Fear, like pain, is a messenger. Pain tells us that something physical needs attention; fear tells us that something emotional needs attention. If we can honor fears by feeling them--we can heal and release them. Fear is not the enemy. Pushing it down or denying it is what causes problems."

Now I think about that quote and I think about the idea that Faith and Fear can't occupy the same space. Wrong. They have to occupy the same space. Feel the fear in--and with--the faith that it can resolve; that it can teach me; that I can be healed by feeling it.

And sit quietly.

That's the hard part still.

No comments: