Then one morning while meditating and being aware of the feelings and sensations I was experiencing at the moment, I felt this huge anxiety. And as is my practice each morning, I observed my feeling but did not engage it or react to it.
What I saw clearly, no surprise, was that my fear was totally a product of my past, my learned experience, and had become an integral part of my ego habit-energy. It had nothing to do with what the situation was now. Nevertheless the fear seemed very real, very present. And of course to my thinking ego-mind it made sense rationally to be experiencing fear and anxiety.
But when I made conscious contact with my true Buddha nature, I saw just as clearly that my true Buddha nature had another way of viewing this situation. First, it had faith that the future would take care of itself, all would be well, regardless of what life threw my way, because I would always return to my true Buddha nature and be at peace and find happiness in the moment. I had nothing to fear but fear itself. Second, I had absolute faith and trust in my friend’s taking control of the process and leading us to a better place for both of us.
(As an aside I should mention that historically I have been a major control-freak, and that letting go control over this process was but the latest stage in surrendering my ego and living the teaching of not-two.)
I sat with this for quite a while that morning. And a huge feeling of calm came over me. The Heart Sutra is very relevant to my meditation that morning. In particular the two verses that say,
“The Bodhisatva Avelokiteshvara,
Practicing the perfection of wisdom, going deep
Was illuminated and perceived that
All five skandhas are empty of intrinsic existence.
Thus being at one with all things,
Experiencing things directly without the intervention
All suffering and doubt ceased.”
. . . .
“Bodhisatvas, abiding in perfected wisdom,
Their minds have no fears or obstructions,
Therefore they have no fears of obstructions;
Free of confused illusions,
They reach nirvana.”
When I was present in my meditation and perceived the emptiness of all five skandhas, that my perceptions were empty of intrinsic existence, the obstruction (my learned experience) that caused me to view the process with fear and anxiety was dispelled and replaced by the knowledge of my true Buddha nature that regardless what life threw my way, all would be well because I would always return to my true Buddha nature and be at peace and find happiness in the moment. I was able to experience the situation without the intervention of thought ... my fear ... and so suffering and doubt ceased.
Not being enlightened, I will need to repeat this meditation on a regular basis, for my ego habit-energy is so strong, so ingrained, that I know my fear will not stop rising. Hopefully though, each time it does I will be aware of it rising and thus be able to not engage it and not react to it. But given my nature as a human being walking the path, that is probably too much to expect.
Always remember, it’s about walking the path, not reaching the goal.
Postscript: I have now from within realized that fear and all skandhas are just a product of the mind and so their power has all but disappeared. See my post, "Proof of the Nature of Mind - Fear, Ego, and Buddha Mind,"