Facing Our Fears With Psychedelic Meditation

Lately, I’ve been facing some big fears. Fears that don’t want to be faced, fears that are much happier lurking just out of the corner of my eye, whispering in my ear. Creating an anxious swirling in my belly that I’d rather ignore.

Often, when we think of facing our fears, we think of taking some sort of massive action. We think of standing up to someone at work, coming clean with our family, starting a project that we’ve been holding off on. This is one way, but I’m talking about another.

I’m talking about facing fears in meditation. On Sunday, I was on my cushion. Suddenly, I could hardly breathe. My belly was tight, and it was shaking. There was both discomfort and confusion. I pretended I didn’t know what to do about it, except I did. I just didn’t want to do it. Witness it, lean into it, look it squarely in the face. This horrible anxious clenching in my low belly. As it pulsated painfully in my awareness, I started to hear the voice of fear and self-hatred, ‘you don’t have enough, you aren’t enough’. Over and over, like a mantra. 108 repetitions of self hatred.

Then I can relax

I do find that when I get to this place, I can relax. Once the secret pain is finally our in the open, I can sit with this. I’ve sat with worse. This is just bound up frustrated energy. It’s been rattling around in my body for god knows how long, and now it’s being released. All I need to do is sit and softly watch it, and it self liberates.

And that’s what happened. The mantra quieted, the tension dissipated, and I was calm, and experienced a spaciousness in my belly that was quite pleasant. I’m not naive enough to think that these thoughts are gone forever, or that I’m now going to vibrate at a level of greater abundance (whatever that means.) but it’s probably that this particular form of anxiety will dog me less in the future. I’ll be less likely to make bad decisions based on these hidden thoughts, and more likely that I’m able to notice and return to a more centered place. I’m less likely to try to ‘solve’ this negative self talk with some kind of maladaptive compensatory action.

Taking action from a place of fear and insecurity is never smart.

Fear is a call to pause and return to a place of centered presence, it’s not a push to run head first into action. Fear based action rarely has the results that we want.

This is why I offer Sitting for Psychonauts.

I want us all to learn how to face these aspects of ourselves in the most skillful way subtle. I want us all to have the opportunity to deal with our psychic garbage in the most subtle way possible. I don’t want you to have to face your self hatred when you’re high, at least not for the first time. Let’s get lay some ground work for encountering the strange and difficult parts of our minds, so we aren’t taken by surprise. Let’s practice being in a place of centered presence, and let’s practice returning to that place when we get pulled out.

Sitting For Psychonauts Class is this Saturday, at the lovely Heart Tribe in Fairfax. You can register here. Looking forward to sitting with you.

blog image by https://www.alexsastoque.com/

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