Working on Specific Fears Vs Reducing Mind Momentum

Posted on by Sen.

You may be carrying specific fears in your mind, which you struggle with everyday, like fear of general social interaction, fear of traffic, fear of talking to the opposite sex, fear of flight, fear of lifts, fear of your colleagues/manager, fear of being judged, fear of bullies, fear of death, fear of failure, fear of losing your job, fear of a break up etc. Though it may seem as if each is a different fear and needs to be addressed specifically, the actual truth is that the underlying issue in all cases is that your mind has enough momentum to create a grip/resistance/contraction in your being. If your mind was not able to have a grip on your being, you would not be under the influence of any fear – this does not mean that you will become reckless, because the only way to come to this place is via awareness, and awareness inherently brings in a field of wisdom. So basically you become fearless but with wisdom – I would call this “conscious fearlessness”.

What does being fearless mean? It just means that you no longer feel the grip of fear, in any strong way, to be able to create any real sense of disturbance, suffering or resistance in your being/body. If the mind’s fear did not create any grip in your being, you could care less about them, and will be able to move freely with wisdom. The truth is that physical life in general is a highly fearful place for a mind (the biggest fear is of survival/death), some minds are better at handling fear, some are not. Instead of trying to “handle” fear, it’s a better option to be free of the grip of fear altogether. So you can go for the option of trying to handle specific fears in your life (through mind games), or you can choose option of becoming free of the grip of fear altogether by letting go of the mind momentum. The first option is like a short term fix because it’s dependent on mind games, the second option is permanent because it focuses on reducing mind momentum, thus nipping the problem at the root level.

Can everyone reduce their mind momentum?

Yeah, provided they have the ability to go through a phase of letting go of mind-identification, in the sense that they need to consciously remove their awareness from being lost in the mind. This is a very simple pointer, if you can get it, that the only reason your mind has gathered so much momentum is because your awareness is lost in it and hence is fueling it. What do I mean by “Mind”? It’s just a term I use to indicate the “thinking space” of the brain which is mostly rooted in conditioned, mechanical, past-oriented, narrow, lack-based and fear-based patterns. The mind has its usefulness if it does not become a chaotic, uncontrollable, force which has so much momentum that it makes us feel helpless, where we become a prisoner to it. The mind should basically just be used for “practical” purposes like learning and technical training, it should not be a force that dictates our experience of life.

If someone has no real openness, or reasoning ability, to understand the logic behind reducing mind momentum, they would not be prepared to let go of mind-identification and will continue to stay lost in the mind’s pull because it feels “familiar” to them. Such people are better off using mind games to work with fears, and thus use some temporary relief mechanisms (like entertainment, distractions or drugs) to deal with the problems that arise out of resistances created by high mind momentum – and by “drugs” I don’t just means hard drugs, but anything that helps drug the mind into providing some temporary relief from its momentum, some spiritual practices can become drugs in many cases. If someone does not have the readiness to let go of mind identification at present, it doesn’t meant that they won’t acquire this readiness in the future, because this readiness can come in at any point based on their life-experience, maturity and evolution.

How to let go of mind identification?

Letting go of mind identification does not mean anything “extra ordinary”, it’s just mean you stop being “unconsciously” lost in the mind’s domain (thought space), by not giving it so much narrow focus. If you can start becoming conscious of everytime you lose yourself in the mind, you can slowly stop this habit and just allow it to have its movement, without “totally” losing your awareness in it. Below, I’ve answered a few commonly asked questions with respect to what is entailed in bringing awareness out of mind-identification.

What is awareness?

Your eyes are seeing these words, they are like a “lens” or camera that’s capturing images converting it into signals and projecting them on the visual cortex area in your brain – it’s like how a projector in a theatre projects the “video reel” on the white screen. The question is who is watching these images? There has to be a watcher to watch these images or else they are just images without anyone interpreting them or observing them – just like there needs to be an audience in the theater. This watcher is the “awareness center” in your brain.

For example, when you take a drug like “acid” your awareness center is amplified along with your senses and you can see a depth in everything (you can find beauty in a drab wall) but it’s “intense” that you are lost in the senses to the point of disconnection from wisdom. Also, when you drink alcohol your awareness is reduced and you lose control of yourself. Since, this awareness center is part of your brain, it’s affected by any chemical that affects the brain/nervous-system. Remember that by “your awareness” I mean your “brain/physical awareness”, there is also “life’s awareness” – life is an aware energy and everything physical is manifested out of the intention of this energy, and essential you are life in your wholeness, while this physical body/brain is your temporary “avatar” or incarnation or form, through which you are experiencing physicality. Your awareness, when it’s not lost in the mind, can connect with life’s awareness (specifically the life-stream, or stream of consciousness, that’s focused on this body) – I will talk about this in a below subsection.

In order to read these words, just “awareness” is not enough, you need to understand this language, you should be trained in English and your training is present in your memory. So basically, your eyes see these words, your “awareness center” becomes aware of these words as they are projected on your brain’s visual cortex, and you use your brain’s training in English language (stored as past database or neural pathways) to make sense of these words. So in this example, the “mind” is the brain’s training that allows the decoding of the words – so it serves a practical value. (Note that “mind” is just a word, and different people can use it to define/mean different things, so if you’ve heard some spiritual teachers using the word “mind” in some other context, don’t confuse it with the way I am defining it).

So in the above example, you can see how the mind has an immense usefulness for practical purposes. But this same mind can go into an “overdrive” when you keep focusing your “awareness” on it. The mind has 6 dimensions – love, joy, hatred, fear, boredom and sexuality, and if your awareness is totally lost in the mind, you can easily get imbalanced in any of these dimensions, especially “fear” because it overrides all the other dimensions quite easily, as the mind equates fear with survival. The mind is a complex network of acquired, inherited, externally-conditioned, genetically-conditioned, training-based, belief-based as well as perception-based neural pathways – the more developed the brain the more complex its mind network.

Moreover, the mind is also a virtual “antennae” which captures brain waves (or thought waves) in the universe, because your mind is not an isolated entity but is connected to the universe – so it can pick a lot of random thoughts of the outside based on its own vibration, for example when your mind is rooted in fear, it picks up a lot fear-based brain waves from the outside also, just like an antennae tuned for a particular signal. Since the mind is so “visual” and noisy, it’s easy for your awareness center to become focused on the mind and give total “belief” to the mind.

The mind of course has a “core personality” of its own, based on its natural makeup. By bringing awareness to your mind, you can sense its core personality. You can’t change the core personality of your mind, rather you need to bring an “acceptance” towards it in case you are disconnected with it. This core personality comes from the natural makeup of your mind, but in many cases we are disconnected with our core personality because of the various fake personas, or self images, that we take up for various reasons, like – external conditioning, need to fit in, lack of self-acceptance, need for approval, need for showing-off etc. Aligning with your mind’s core personality serves to bring an end to a lot of inner conflict that you had going because you were not sure of yourself. As your mind’s momentum slows down, you can automatically start understanding its core personality because that’s what stays back – all the fake personas drop away as the mind momentum reduces because there is no energy/fuel to sustain them.

How can I separate my awareness from mind?

Your awareness and your mind-space are two separate departments altogether. You can focus your awareness anywhere you want, and it’s just that you unconsciously allowed your awareness to be lost in the mind. A balance gets restored when you choose to remove your awareness from mind-identification and let it rest in the space outside the mind, what I call the space of being or space of silence, which is also the space of the wholeness of life – this space connects you with life’s intelligence, and the awareness of life-energy which always has the “bigger picture” because it’s totality itself. When your awareness is resting in this space, you can allow your mind to have its passive thoughts, as well as allow emotions to arise in the body-space, without giving “identification” to them – thus allowing the mind momentum, and negative-energy momentum, to reduce in you.

The simplest way to do this is to “relax” your awareness. If you notice, your awareness gets contracted on the mind’s thoughts/movements and this “contraction” is what gives fuel to the mind movements, because this contraction is like a narrow and strong focus. Instead, if you consciously relax your awareness, by literally letting go of the “tension” of focus on the mind, it causes you to stop giving “focused” energy to the mind. I call this staying as “relaxed awareness”. When you practice relaxed awareness, your mind’s momentum automatically starts coming down, and within a few months you can observe a great reduction in your mind momentum.

Will I not become dysfunctional if I am not identified with the mind?

When you are lost in mind identification, it’s the height of dysfunction because it’s a state of low wisdom. When you let go of mind identification, by staying as relaxed awareness, your mind momentum starts coming down (and it also allows the release of suppressed negative energy), this causes a lot of shift in your external reality, in that a lot of incongruent and dysfunctional realities start dissolving – of course, this can/will be interpreted “negatively” by your mind, it may think that something wrong is happening because it sees a lot of familiar realities coming down.

The mind has a tendency to cling to familiar realities even if they are highly dysfunctional and causing misery. So the mind may interpret this dissolution of your in-congruent realities as something “negative” and tell you that you are becoming dysfunctional, when in truth you are actually becoming more functional towards your natural expression, and aligned with your life-stream. Of course, this phase of transition is quite challenging for some people, but it can’t be avoided – when you have taken the wrong road, you need to re-track back to the cross-roads so that you can take the right road, you can’t jump to the right road directly from the wrong road. By “wrong” I just mean a path that was not really aligned with your natural expression, but even this is an “experience” of growth and understanding (and is even needed in many cases to prepare you, or make you mature), so in that sense nothing is wrong from an absolute perspective.

How does lowering mind momentum make you fearless?

It’s pure physics that something that’s moving with a high momentum has a greater power of damage than something which is moving with low momentum. The mind, when it has a high momentum, can generate high amounts of resistance merely by its capacity to repeat negative thoughts, and give power to these thoughts, and this resistance is what is felt like a grip of fear, that can even make you immobile. The same mind, if you remove its momentum, has no capacity to generate high resistance, and hence has no grip on your being – which essentially means you are fearless, because you no longer are under the grip of fear. When the mind has low momentum, all its fears lose their grip on you, so you don’t have to work on any specific fear, it just liberates you from the grip of fear altogether.

There is such a thing as a “reckless mind” that seems fearless out of its arrogance or aggression. Such a mind has the capacity for dangerous behavior and usually creates a lot of imbalance in the person. The “fearlessness” you come to, through the path of relaxed awareness, by letting go of mind’s momentum, is a fearlessness that’s not reckless, rather it’s deeply in alignment with the wisdom of the wholeness of life. You can use your mind in a very efficient/creative manner when its does not have such a high momentum. You will also not feel like a prisoner to any of the dimensions of the mind be it love, joy, fear, hatred, boredom or sexuality, while being able to enjoy/savor all these dimensions, thus enjoying your physicality from a place of balance.

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  1. alison

    I went travelling some years back, not out of desire, but spurred on by something like ‘calling’. During this time I experienced a lot of solitude, and with a practice of devotion to letting go of resistances, I kind of donated my life to something entirely ‘soulful’ as opposed to ‘thoughtful’ (putting it into words is really challenging). Whilst bravely alone I felt freer than I ever had from the machinations of the typical Western head-space for well over a year. Returning to this part of the world and to social interaction has shown me how challenging it can be to engage in society at large and yet maintain the healthy ‘so what’ attitude that is able to support fearless awareness and being. I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, or that I am saying it well. I think I find that the environment I occupy is hugely influential in my relationship to head-space, the momentum you speak of, fear and anxiety and so on. A discipline of meditation and yoga, and getting into the countryside and away from people, seems the only route to de-coupling from this momentum you speak of. It seems to be about actively creating another kind of space to occupy. It appears to take will power, because the habits of the environment are inculcated. I am curious about the will power needed when you are engaging in an environment supportive of fear and antagonistic to fearlessness. What am I saying? I don’t know. I’m just contributing! I know what you are talking about in your posts, and being more involved in society at large than ever, it’s a time of practice to go against the grain, or something.

    1. Sen Post author

      Alison, the “so what” attitude is basically just a “protective” strategy which you are trying to use to contend with outside. It’s not about escaping into the woods (either through physically moving into isolation or by using some technique to still the mind), it’s about bringing awareness to the extent of fear your mind can produce in these social gathering and thus seeing through the influence of fear. As long as you are afraid of fear, you will stay a prisoner to it. The moment you allow fear to its fullest extent (not by isolating yourself but when you are engaged with the outside), you see through its limits, and hence are no longer fear fear. Don’t try to protect yourself with a “so what” attitude, rather become fully open to the feelings and thoughts that arise, and be fully allowing of them in your being – only this total allowing will bring the “spaciousness” that makes you invincible to fear.

  2. alison

    Yes, this makes perfect sense, and I have experienced this allowing of fear, curiously, in isolation. Solitude did not remove me from fear at all, it emboldened me to feel fear in the fullest! Only then did I feel healthy and well, in spite of immense discomfort. Somehow being in certain social contexts encourages the fear of fear in me; by my own wilfulness and conflicts within, I suspect. Why it should be that I have more courage when alone is interesting to me. It relates to what I ‘answer to’ – i.e. who I believe is my witness, and, in due obedience, whose approval I turn towards. When alone it is wisdom, when in company, it is another individual I think it meaningful to impress in some way. It’s a reflex I observe in noting the contrast of periods of isolation verses intense social interaction. I think that letting go of the need of approval, and some expectations within and without is critical. The ‘so what’ attitude is, indeed, a protective strategy, answering spasms of fearful-ness with a defensiveness in the same tongue. I read recently that ‘ships are not built for safe harbours’. The time in solitude showed me what is possible with myself and my wellbeing and connection with self and path. Rather than being a running away thing, it was hugely instrumental and enlightening. I find that the power of decision is immense, and, for some reason, ‘at home’ I have not yet decided to let go of a wilfulness to react to fears with defiance and insecurity. By defiance, I mean the opposite of allowing. I don’t judge this, I observe it with fascination. I await the trigger for the decision to revisit that space of allowing, that I reached in difficult solitude. The path is wholesome and ongoing and somehow true, and it seems to have an inherent joy and love of life. 🙂

  3. abet

    By “consciously” relaxing our awareness like you say above arent we being resistant. Aren’t we supposed to totally allow everything and not create any type of resistance?

    1. Sen Post author

      Abet, for someone who is beginning on the journey of reducing mind momentum, it takes a while to get some stability in their being so that they can come to a place of total allowing. During this initial phase one needs to consciously work on relaxing their awareness from being lost in the mind, because habitually their awareness would get pulled into identification with the negative momentum. I’ve explained this in the post – reaching a place of total allowing. Different people need different pointers based on which phase of journey they are at, if you have come to a place of total allowing you don’t need to hold on to these pointers anymore.

  4. Sasha

    Hi Sen,

    I’ve been reading your articles for sometime now, and they have really helped me to overcome some big issues recently; not just with one fear, but I have applied your teachings to every part of my life as well as my faith in God. I’ve the last few months, through following these practices I have been able to be allowing of negative thoughts, fears and feelings that arise, without allowing myself to get upset and dwell or ‘focus’ as you say. I’ve just allowed myself to watch these thoughts, and over the last few months I have had all the negative momentum of the mind ebb away. I still get the odd negative thought now and then, but I allow it to be and then I get on, because i do not wish to fear my mind and be a slave or prosoner to it. However, last night, I saw a trailer for the thing I fear and although I tried to remain calm and keep composure, I began to find myself questioning if I had gone back to square one in terms of allowing, finding inner peace and not fearing. Please do keep in mind that I am not trying to run away from this fear, I am merely trying to overcome it because as I see it, it’s always going to be prevailent and I do have to live with it. Please could you give me some advice as to what to do next?

    1. Sen Post author

      Sasha, when the mind momentum reduces, its fears lose their grip on your being totally – you become 100% free of its influence. What you are doing now, by staying allowing of the fear, is the best way to let the mind momentum reduce and release the suppressed negative energy. It’s not that you are regressing, it’s just that this fear is coming up more freely now that you are not resisting it, and soon it will ebb away in momentum as you continue allowing it.

  5. Sasha

    Thank you Sen.

    Can I also ask if identifying or “dis-identifying” is the same as allowing fear in a relaxed awareness and being a detached watcher?

    1. Sen Post author

      Sasha, dis-identifying simply means that you see through the negativity and no longer invest belief in it, rather whenever it arises you just allow it to arise, without suppressing it, but in your being you are no longer giving it the fuel of belief.

  6. Jim

    Wow. What great topics you have here. I have watched my mind run rampant with OCD thoughts for several years now. It is very easy to fall off the wagon, when it comes to my fear thoughts. My mind narrows and it has become harder and harder to actually see things as they are, and not as my mind creates. If something occurs with a loved one, pet, friend, etc., it instantly becomes something bad I did that caused it to happen, or something I could’ve done but didn’t. I think my religious upbringing always invades my space and I find myself crippled with guilt. When I actually can stop to think about it, I know and realize there is no reason to feel guilt, yet it is still there. I am working on this, and your wealth of information here is so supportive. Thank you.

  7. Dave

    Sen, I think I understand what you mean by ‘relaxed awareness’. One question though, is one to remain consciously present while initially practicing this, or should we keep turning away from the mind.. Without the need to be present and let it run it’s course?

    1. Sen Post author

      Dave, initially it’s a help to grow in your power of awareness by bringing an active observation to your emotions and thoughts (basically what’s called “detached awareness” where you watch your mind and emotions like a detached observer). This is basically the awakening of awareness in you, and as this awareness grows in strength you will reach a point where you no longer feel the need to make an effort at being aware (actually at one point the act of trying to be aware starts feeling off, starts feeling uninspiring) and this is when you start letting go of trying to be aware and just come to a space of “allowing”. I mention this in the post –

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