A. For Dharma training purposes, trying to work out why we are caught by so much fear can be an unnecessary diversion. It’s not usually necessary to get to the bottom of the mental pictures that fear creates and the circumstances that we are caught in, to try and figure it all out.

Fear in its ‘basic’ nature is emotional energy that a lot of the time is very powerful and seems to go to the very core of our being. For the most part it conditions our life and sets the parameters that we are trapped in, and is one of the reasons why so many of us never realise our potential as human beings.

There are two insights that we put in place to work with fear. These, when applied correctly, will cause the fear to cease, and the energy that creates it will return to its original nature.

The two insights that we put in place to work with fear are familiarity and accepting. The reality of fear is that it can only exist by our habitual reacting to the experience of it. Cease to react, and it will die. It is that simple.

Easier said that done, no doubt. The familiarity comes first. To turn away, or run away, or hit out at fear will only feed it, leading it to come back stronger than before. Do your best not to react and begin to become familiar with an experience that you’ve probably never looked at or stayed with. Stay with the experience, and in that staying with, accept as best as you can without reacting. Of course, this can be immensely difficult to do, if not impossible, but do your best. Develop the strength of mind and body to come back to the experience of fear over and over again. Familiarity will allow you to have the ability to come back more and then, in accepting and containing, allowing it to be itself without you reacting or being carried away. This will starve the fear of the fuel of your emotional reactions, and given time it will fade away.