In this episode of the Awakening Now Podcast, Lama Surya Das explores methods of mastering fear and training our reactivity.
Mastering Fear (Opening) – Lama Surya Das reacts to the growing trend of gun violence that we have seen in our society. He looks at how the inner work that we are doing in our spiritual practice directly addresses the root of this issue – fear.
“I think what we are doing here is very important in these times because gun control alone is not enough – we need to develop is self-control. Outer control is not enough, however we might try and legislate it, which is why inner-control, self-mastery, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and compassion is so important.”
Awareness and No-Self (7:50) – We look at the important role that awareness plays in our mastery of fear and understanding of our true selves. With awareness, we are given more control over our reactivity which arises from fear. Surya Das discusses the integral relationship between awareness and Anatta, the concept of no-self.
No Death, No Fear (19:00) – Surya Das answers a question about reincarnation and the link between fear and the way in which we conceptualize death.
“You don’t have to believe in reincarnation to practice Buddhism or to believe in the path of awakening. Maybe the important part of reincarnation is the way it points back to us and how we live and act. The continuity of that cause and effect. I believe that goes on, but I don’t know what exactly goes on or carries it. After we stop breathing, it is hard to say what it is that carries that on.“
Healing Balm of the Dharma (29:25) – Given the difficulties that come with conditioned stubbornness or a person’s unique physiology, is it possible to teach everyone compassion and empathy? Surya Das looks to the vast number of dharma practices available to us and why there is always a way to touch someone’s true self.