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Fear, Risk and Spiritual Death

by Suryadarshini

Suryadarshini explores what fear can teach us about being ourselves. She draws on her journey to ordination and the ordination retreat; reflects on being alone by herself (on solitary) and with others (in silence); and shares her experience of surviving solitaries.

Developing a wholesome fear of spiritual death is a wise response to recognising the gravity of what we undertake when we practice Dharma. By learning how to skilfully engage with our fears, we get to know all parts of ourselves, so there is nothing we need to hide from or defend. We realise that ultimately, there is no self to protect.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Feeling fear: in the body, in emotions, in the mind (2:56) 
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2. Putting ourselves in the crucial situation in order to get to know our fears (4:16) 
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3. Fears of the known and the unknown (6:08) 
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4. The Buddha's instructions on fear (with help from the Grimm Brothers) (6:04) 
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5. Engaging with fear: with antidotes, with tenderness (4:42) 
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6. Bearing fears like flames or searing cold; facing fears mano-a-mano (5:31) 
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7. Being alone with others in silence; trying to pin down shadows (4:32) 
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8. Fear of grief; meeting dread, the low-adrenalin fear (3:04) 
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9. Spiritual death as a process (2:30) 

Total running time: 39:43