Don’t Fear Fear

Posted on by Sen.

To be fearless is not a state of being where fear stops arising in you; it’s a state of being where you are no longer “afraid” of fear. A lot of people are so terrified of the feeling of fear that they live constantly in fear of their mind. The whole pursuit of spirituality, in many cases, comes from the need to be free of fear. A lot of people believe that once they are enlightened their human expression would be free of fear altogether, in that fear will stop arising in their mind – such a misplaced understanding is the reason why a lot of people get so stuck through this journey. It takes some amount of self-awareness to realize that it’s never possible for the mind to be free of fear, in that fear will always arise in the human mind no matter how enlightened you are. You become free when you stop fearing the feeling of fear created by fear based thoughts in the mind. Liberated living is not the “absence of fear” but the absence of fear of fear.

The mind will always have fear

The human mind has an important function of ensuring survival, in simple words it’s a “survival machine” for the most part. Any machine that is designed for survival is a machine that needs to be able to look out for danger and thus it will have the tendency to project imaginary fearful situations in a bid to prepare or protect itself against this imagined danger. The brain of any living organism is designed for survival and hence will always have the tendency to fear or create “projections” of fear. To imagine that your mind will one day stop creating fear is an “unrealistic” fantasy that cannot ever be reality because of the very design of a mind.

One can find it very liberating just to realize it’s not ever possible for the mind to stop producing fear, and hence they can let go of the futile pursuit to reach such a state. It’s amazing how many people are stuck in spiritual practices in the hope of attaining some fantasy/imaginary state where their mind stops creating fear based thoughts, without ever realizing that the mind/brain is a survival machine and by its very nature can never stop generating fear. When you are finally ready to see this truth about the mind, you will be able to move to the next level where you accept the presence of fear and not fear its presence anymore.

To be fearless is to allow fear freely

Fear by itself is not a problem, the problem is the “resistance” that we have to the fear so much so that we constantly try to escape “life” in a bid to somehow escape fear. A lot of people who are stuck in addictions have a common mindset where they are trying to “escape” the fears in their mind – that’s why they use drugs, alcohol, entertainment or even spiritual/mystical practices to somehow escape the mind.

Freedom is never attained by trying to run away from something, that’s just another form of bondage. Freedom is attained when you are no longer in “resistance” to something even when it arises in your experience. When you stop resisting fear, you would transcend fear altogether – that does not mean that your mind will stop producing fear, it just means you will no longer be afraid of the feeling of fear.

An open awareness does not have the agenda to eradicate

You stop fearing fear when you are able to really “see through” fear or the feeling of it. The only way to see through something is to bring a deep awareness to it and to maintain awareness of it, even if it’s quite unpleasant initially to face up to some feelings. Don’t be thrown off by the initial discomfort that is bound to happen when you bring awareness to the fears in your mind.

Bring awareness to fear not with the purpose of “getting rid” of it, but with the purpose of getting to “know” it as it is – to really know fear as what it is. Open awareness is more a movement of curiosity or observation than a movement of wanting to eradicate or kill something. The more you try to get rid of fear the more you will stay in fear of it but the moment you bring an open awareness to it, without any agenda to get rid of it, you will soon be able to see through it and thus transcend it (Allow yourself at least a few months to really see a shift in your way of being once you start bringing awareness to the feeling of fear in your physical space).


  1. Jane

    Hi, I understand what you are saying with regards to fear being a natural emotion for survival when it comes to being faced with a “real” danger, for example a lion coming at us, but fear of flying for example comes from the egoic mind as it cannot be real, for if it was real then everyone would have it and that is clearly not true. This kind of fear is illusionary linked to the ego. Letting go of the egoic mind would bring freedom of those kinds of fears I understand.

  2. Alliswell

    Where does anxiety fit into this cycle? Feeling anxious is ok, as long as you accept it? or anxiety will diminish based on faith in the lifestream?

    My job creates a lot of anxiety in me. There is a lot of frustration in the position in things out of my control. Let my lifestream lead me in the correct direction? possibly out of this career?

    1. Sen Post author

      It’s very normal for the mind to feel anxious now and then basically because it’s a “survival machine” and one of its jobs is to look out for danger/threat to its survival. What’s required is that you not be totally identified with the mind’s anxiety, but watch it as a space of detached awareness. Don’t try to suppress your mind’s movement of anxiety, just allow it to happen while staying as a space of awareness. The mind’s movements will not affect your vibration if you are not totally identified with it – it’s a machine that keeps functioning in specific patterns based on its make-up, and you need to be allowing of it – the only way you can truly be allowing of it is when you are stable in your position as a space of relaxed awareness. Another benefit of staying in this space of awareness, without being totally taken in by the mind’s movements, is that it allows you attract circumstances that assist, and enhance, your well-being, it allows for ideas and inspirations to come within you, it allows for right actions to come forth with the right timing, it allows the smoother unfolding of your desired realities.

      if your job is a source of frustration for you, it’s an indication that it’s not congruent with your natural expression. As you stay in this space of relaxed awareness, you will notice new ideas coming to you for some new ventures or you may notice some opportunities coming to you from outside without any real action on your part – when you are in a space of allowing, your life stream can orchestrates events with ease to bring forth your well-being.

  3. Ketan

    Wow, this makes a lot of sense. As I mentioned earlier, this once I went for meditation and had an amazing relaxing experience (very spontaneous). Today when I did it (I have been depressed and anxious and fearful due to some reasons,(i mentioned in the email to you). I was looking to get rid of these feelings. When I started with the meditation (using this word for lack of a better word!) I was experiencing fears and anxiety and feeling the very fears, I was trying to avoid, and I was trying hard to recreate the experience of calm, I had when I meditated for the first time! It was not happening, and it made me angry, frustrated, but slowly I just let myself go with the fears and feelings of anxiety.
    Now that I read it, I realize that its not done for a specific purpose or to get rid of something. Its done just to let thoughts, fears etc come out or not, its just observing your mind. What also strikes me is the fact that you said, dont try to be aware!! and thats exactly what I was doing, and it wasnt working. Now that I read this, it makes a lot of sense!!!
    Btw I felt sad after doing the thought observation…is it normal to feel sad after one finishes the activity?
    Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Sasha

    Hi Sen,

    I don’t know what to do anymore, it’s not my main problem anymore but I still believe it has a hold on me throughout my daily life and I believe it shouldn’t. I feel I have a fear of a show that’s is on TV right now and I’ve had obsessive thoughts of it every since I watched it a few months ago. I’ve done all what youve written in your post; tried relaxed awareness, watching my thoughts and more or less all of what you have written. I have felt a reduce in the momentum of this obsessive thoughts and horrible feeling that do come with them and have been much happier in recent months. However, the only problem I have left is that my mind still holds the belief that it needs to be fearful on this trivial show, and what annoys me the most is that I feel it’s holding me back and I can’t move on tho the final stage of just have no obsessive thought of this at all. I have a big identification with it, am I meant to watch the show in order to become desensitised and disidentify with it? Please help me, I’ve really had enough.

    1. Sen Post author

      Sasha, if you fear something you would need to bring awareness to it and see through the limits of this fear. If it means watching this show, then do so. You mentioned that you observe a decrease in your mind momentum, and hence it implies that you have a stronger awareness. Using this awareness you can consciously understand the actual patterns of fear created in the mind while watching this show. If you become afraid of these fears in the mind, then you may want to gain a deeper understanding of what it is that you fear about it and through this understanding you would not be pulled into associating with these fears. But before you can move into understanding this fear, you will need to be aware enough to allow this fear in without trying to escape it.

  5. kenny

    got another query for ya Sen. Do you believe it’s possible for the mind to come up with anxiety , fear, stress, etc. as a specific response to a person’s spiritual inquiry. The deeper I try to go into the process of disidentification it seems like I get more frustrated due to perceived lack of progress, and other negative things come up with that(anxiety, doubt, etc.). It’s almost like this mind is putting up roadblocks to me going anywhere with this. Any insight to what is possibly going on in here? Thanx.

    1. Sen Post author

      Kenny, this is very normal and it’s a part of the mind’s protective instinct where it’s afraid of embracing the “unknown”, plus it’s nature of being critical or cynical. You need to see this pattern in the mind and be allowing of it without buying into it – it’s just the mind playing out its patterns. Progress is about how free do you feel towards allowing the mind without buying into its negativity, your degree of freedom from the mind is the degree of progress, and once you become aware there is no regression, it’s always a forward movement – feeling guilty about not making progress is just a sign that you are buying into your mind’s cynical arguments, and basically it’s just an opportunity to let go of buying into it.

  6. kenny

    and another thing. How do you allow? is it thinking of something and not reacting? having a hard time telling the difference between allowing and thinking a thought and trying not to react. what is non-reactivity? is it possible to not feel or think anything no matter how horrible the thought / emotion? i just dont know what watching the mind is i guess. seems like i’m just sitting there going ok gonna think about messed up stuff and see if i get mad ,cry, want to break something , whatever. is seeing something in your mind the same as thinking it? cuz thats what it feels like to me

    1. Sen Post author

      Kenny, it’s about having a space within from where you are not enslaved to your mind’s position alone. You can watch the mind’s position, you can enjoy/acknowledge its perspective, you can align with the things that feel right to your being, but ultimately you feel like the “master”, you don’t feel like a slave to the mind. Don’t try to use awareness as a technique to fight the mind, rather use it as a means to understand the mind, this is not about finding a sure-fire, one-shot, mechanism to deal with the mind, it’s about being flexible enough to deal with the mind as per the occasion, as per the inspiration of the moment. The bottom-line is to feel a sense of freedom where you know you are not a prisoner to your mind, you don’t feel helpless towards it.

  7. Mike A

    Hi Sen,

    Started the phase of release in December, am now in the deep parts of release (to my understanding), and have been for about 3-4 months. Lately it’s been intense (even now as I write this, my heart is beating faster than normal, which I’m used to), but I truly have seen myself doing things I haven’t been able to do in the past year. By “do things”, I mean I have been dealing with high anxiety/panic attacks for a few years now that I let control me to the point where I don’t drive on highways, and have been afraid to go far from home. There are times when I have little to no fear of the fear (like last weekend), and I am able to go relatively far from home on a drive (for me.) Then there are times like today where I have immense fear about going a few blocks away. I still push myself to do what I need to do though (when I used to make excuses to not do things out of fear), but it is exhausting. I know the phases of release work like that though (come and go/high and low/strong and light.) There are times when it feels like the momentum of being fearful of going a few blocks from my house is ebbed away, but then it comes back. It frustrates me, yes, but I let that frustration/anger come up and do my best to not judge it or cling to it.

    Your post made some sense to me today though. My awareness is becoming very strong, because I have been able to just watch my fear as it arises. Today I think I realized I am fearing the fear though, and the sensations I get when I get very high anxiety (my body has a strong energy/momentum of fear running through it that I can clearly feel along with my heart pumping stronger than normal, and my mind keeps thinking it’s going to pass out/black out/detach from reality.) My ability to be a witness to the fear is greater, as I used to straight out panic in these situations, normally. I now understand a little better that I will never eradicate fear, I just need to learn to stop fearing the fear. It is a hard thing to do to be in a state of relaxed awareness when you have high anxiety. Guess it’s been hard because I’m resisting the anxiety at times…but I’m learning not to! Holy shit, this is some tough stuff, but I’m committed to it.

    Just wanted to write all that out and express it, but if I could ask a straight forward question…there are weeks at a time when I feel IMMENSE fear (that used to send me into panic/s), and sometimes it’s not even thoughts I’m having, it’s like the fear is in my skin. I’m aware that this is a negative accumulation of energy, but sometimes I feel like weeks at a time is a long time to deal with something. Then I get moments of bliss (although bliss hasn’t been coming around much lately, and I’m ok with that because I don’t want relief, I want balance.) Guess it feels like I’m not going to be able to handle the fear because it’s intense and in long periods, but I always do. Is that long of a time frame of fear normal? What’s normal, I guess, right? Also I feel in those times like I am not myself at all. Like I’m watching myself live for days at a time. I’ve also become very aware of this, and less afraid of that, but man is that tough to go through. “It’s not supposed to feel good” – that’s what helps me understand what I’m going through at times. Is depersonalization like that normal as well? My apologies for writing so much, I just have alot on my mind I want to release.

    Thanks for your words, Sen.

  8. Questioner


    in one of replies you said here:

    ” once you become aware there is no regression, it’s always a forward movement”

    My subjective experience right now is the opposite. I somehow feel that I have regressed a bit in my degree of freedom, of capability to allow the mind… It seems that couple of weeks ago I was on my “highest point” to be free, truly allowing, and even started to see my ego as a separate entity for a moments. But now I have again fallen back to more identification, to more believing/buying into my minds fearful thoughts, to stronger wanting to get rid of these thoughts and feelings… What is it, if not the regress?

    1. Sen Post author

      Questioner, there are several layers of momentum that come up over time, you may feel a sense of freedom after a phase of release but that doesn’t mean there won’t be deeper layers to work with. Eventually freedom is not about finding an escape from the dark nature of life rather it’s an openness towards it, and your resistance to the dark nature aspects are a part of the past momentum that’s being released. The release is not just of the imbalanced momentum, but also of the “resistance” that created this momentum in the first place. As your awareness grows it just digs into deeper layers of release, this does not mean that there is a regression its just a forward movement.

    2. Questioner

      Thanks, Sen,

      This was very good reminder: “The release is not just of the imbalanced momentum, but also of the “resistance” that created this momentum in the first place.”

      We have an “inherent” resistance in our minds (due to conditioning, upbringing, genetics?) and when some unpleasant thoughts came in, we started to resist them, and the more we resisted, the more momentum they gained. Now we are releasing both the specific fears and thoughts, both the “core machine” – resistance of them.

      I have sometimes come to the point that I’m not focusing so much to the specific thoughts/fears but start to see the underlying “core machine”, this resistance, or wanting more, or “seeker which seeks himself” (like Osho explained it).

      I guess, if we won’t finally let go of this energy of seeker/resistance/wanting/whatever – then it will continue to create new momentums even if all the past ones would have been released.

  9. Shiv


    The pointer means that there is no regression in your awareness. Once you are aware, you are aware. You cannot become unaware. This does not, however, mean that you will not fall back into some ego identification. It’s a misunderstanding to consider this progression and regression from that perspective.

    Your awareness and your ability to allow are two separate things. Sometimes, you may confuse one for the other. When you feel contracted, fearful or anxious you may mistakenly assume that you are “not as aware as you were yesterday”. But that isn’t the case. Because despite the experience of feeling contracted and anxious, you are AWARE that you are contracted and anxious.

    Only an aware person can make the statement “now I have fallen back into identification”. Someone who isn’t aware wouldn’t even know that this is what is happening with them. And that is how you know that your awareness hasn’t regressed. Because ignorance is no longer an option for you.

    As for the pattern of detachment and re-identification from your ego, that will continue to happen. Even as your awareness grows it will continue to happen. Its a back and forth, back and forth motion that contributes the necessary momentum that continues to feed this expansion of awareness. Like the squeezing and expanding motion of a bellows which makes the fire in the furnace burn all the more brighter.

    1. Questioner

      Thanks, Shiv!

      Your comment makes much sense!

      However I think that “awareness” and “ability to allow” are very intertwined things – the higher is awareness, the higher is ability to allow. I think, a true awareness is the ability to see that we are not the mind. And when seeing this, it becomes very easy, very natural to allow it – because why bother about mind if you know that you’re not it, that it’s just a surface movement in you which has no real power to your true being?

      So, I think, that in moments when it’s hard for me to allow, also my awareness has decreased. Of course, I’m still able to define “I’m not aware right now” but it’s just an intellectual statement. In many cases I also can “intellectually” understand that all the thoughts going through my mind are not true or at least I have no ground to believe them – but in the moments of lower awareness I still believe them strongly. So, intellectual understanding is the lowest form of awareness, which doesn’t bring in much real space between my inner being and the mind’s movements (thoughts and emotions). The “real” awareness starts when the intellectual understanding is accompanied with some “space” or “silence” which allows to not get hooked in to minds thoughts, otherwise it’s just a “word against word”, just an intellectual fight between fear-thought and a “spiritual” reminder “I’m not this, this is not true” etc.

    2. Shiv


      Your awareness will ebb and flow several times a day. This is only natural. We are not talking about the moment-to-moment awareness here. Yes, your ability to allow is definitely intertwined with the moment-to-moment awareness as you say. When you are aware of yourself you have a much better chance of letting things go than when you are caught in the grip of it.

      But your original question was about regression. And this regression is not really about the moment-to-moment awareness because that fluctuates constantly. Rather it is about your “capacity for awareness” if that makes more sense. Once your mind has expanded and reached a level where you are “capable of being aware” of your inner world, that capacity never diminishes. It can only increase.

  10. Tyler


    Its not a regression, it’s just the intensity is coming up to be released more. This is typical in this process that we get to a certain “high point” and feel as if it is over once more momentum comes up. In truth how can any of us (including Sen) ever know 100% when another release will never again come up? This is an important step in the process, which is no longer looking for this process to end. Being free totally means even being free from the need to be free. This is what Sen talks about as a place of total allowing, which does not try to get rid of something ( how there is no sense in even trying to get rid of what you are feeling.

    Don’t make this process into an end goal to be reached, there is no way to understand what you will experience in the future. The key pointer is to be open to what will be experienced, rather than looking towards a future where negativity will not ever be experienced. Besides once the momentum of this fear of regressing is gone there will be no resistance to the possibility of regression, this again is what Sen points to when he talks of total allowing.

    The reason you will not fall back and regress is because all the stuff beforehand (imbalance, identification, whatever was being experienced) only came through unconsciousness. You are now more conscious of these patterns and have had a growth in awareness which means you no longer fall prisoner to those things. Additionally, you are no longer unconsciously pulled around by them. For example, you weren’t conscious of the identification in the past, but now that you say “I have again fallen back into more identification” means that you are aware of falling back into identification and this awareness ensures that the identification won’t be permanent. Even so the state of allowing means to give yourself the freedom to fall back into identification rather than judging it or trying to get rid of it.

    As far as the fear of regression is concerned, it’s just that, another fear. And as such you can deal with it the same way in which you have been dealing with all the other things, thus continuing with the process of developing openness. You have an understanding that this is a fear (just a more subtle one to see) so you can open to it and allow the fear in you. If you want to no longer fear regression then you have to be open to the possibility that maybe you will regress.

    For example, you can take a pointer from Sen “life is just a forward movement and growth always occurs, so there is no regression” and thus far it has been true. But if you ask him if he is holding onto this fact he would say he is completely open to this fact changing. He is not holding on to this fact as a sense of security.

    1. Questioner

      Thank you, Tyler!

      I see your point.

      ” You are now more conscious of these patterns and have had a growth in awareness which means you no longer fall prisoner to those things. Additionally, you are no longer unconsciously pulled around by them.”

      This is the case which doesn’t completely fit with my experience and still frustrates sometimes. The thing is that despite of being more conscious of all the patterns and the growth of awareness I still feel like a prisoner to my thoughts and emotions time by time (like I described to the answer of Shiv). What frustrates me, is that even after so many insights, and general decrease of momentum, I stil can get back to the old rubbish and believe it – I just wonder, wtf? 🙂 I have seen through my mind patterns so many times… I have reduced my emotional waves significantly, and I have been detached from the thoughts… However, there are still times when I get strongly identified and I even feel how it starts to curb emotional momentum back again – and even seeing it, I can’t much help.

      I just wonder – maybe there is still something I haven’t got yet? Maybe there is still some deluded thinking which I haven’t seen through yet? But probably it’s just a slower process in me (my awakening started back in 2006 after reading Tolle’s “Power of Now” so it’s pretty long time by now, for still believing weird thoughts sometimes :D).

      “this awareness ensures that the identification won’t be permanent”

      I guess, that could be true. Even when I fall back to quite a strong identification, I’m still aware of it and sooner or later my awareness brights up again and I come out of it. I see your point that I should stop seeking for the end of this process. So what, that for Sen or others it took just months or a year? For me it’s years, let it be. I just sometimes feel sorry, because it seems to me that I’m losing time and possibilities in this life, by not enjoying it as much as I could when being in “wholeness”.

  11. Brandon

    Wow, Amazing responses Shiv and Tyler, thanks.

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