On Thursday evening June 18, I went to hear Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD talk about The Fear Cure, her new bestseller book. As she was attending to patients who wrote their own prescriptions according to the formula in Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself were often afraid to implement their plans. She started doing research on fear, or as some people suggest, “false evidence appearing real.”
She found enough scientific data to prove that fear and disease are intimately linked and that fear can look like heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain syndromes, and the common cold. In her talk, she reported on the Four Fearful Assumptions:
- Uncertainty is unsafe.
- I can’t handle losing what I cherish.
- It’s a hostile universe.
- I’m all alone.
These were countered with the Four Courage-Cultivating Truths:
- Uncertainty is the gateway to possibility.
- Loss is natural and can lead to growth.
- It’s a purposeful universe.
- We are all One.
These fall nicely into the teachings of Buddhism and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Uncertainty and loss are both manifestations of impermanence. Karma is the manifestation of the purposefulness of the universe. And “We are all one” is a direct interpretation of the insight of interbeing or the interconnectedness of all things.
Here is what Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about fear or rather fearlessness:
“Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free. If I am ever in an airplane and the pilot announces that the plane is about to crash, I will practice mindful breathing. If you receive bad news, I hope you will do the same. But don’t wait for the critical moment to arrive before you start practicing to transform your fear and live mindfully. Nobody can give you fearlessness. Even if the Buddha were sitting right here next to you, he couldn’t give it to you. You have to practice and realize it yourself. If you make a habit of mindfulness practice, when difficulties arise, you will already know what to do.“
Thich Nhat Hanh from Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
I’m sure you’ve experienced fear sometime in your life. It probably ignited the flight or fight response in you and you did one or the other. However, when I get frightened, I freeze – especially when it means a lot to me. For examples, please see Addicted to Ease and Comfort.
What is your greatest fear right now? Mine is that I won’t be able to raise enough money from my Indiegogo campaign to accomplish my goal of making Healing with the Seven Principles of Mindfulness: How to Thrive and Succeed in a Complex Cancer System to people in need.
|Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm||The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul||Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself|