The Fear of Meditation

I have come to love Fear. I don’t know if I actively seek it out, but when it does show up in my experience I can meet it in Peace: “Hello dear friend, what are you here to teach me today?” When I choose an openness to learn—and to understand—I feel an expansion within me that accommodates this powerful emotion. This is so different from the contraction I would formerly feel when Fear visited me.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with very advanced ovarian cancer. I “knew” I had it even before the diagnosis. I was experiencing the thought form of cancer and its attendant emotion: Fear. Upon receiving a confirmation from my doctors, my only job at that point was to do my spiritual practices and to welcome Fear as a partner and friend. I thanked it incessantly for showing me the aspects of myself that were calling for Love.

Outwardly, you might say, I did a lot of things. I received generous support from family and friends, I chose a reputed cancer center, I met with a surgeon and oncologist, I decided upon a treatment strategy, etc.

But the actions were not products of conscious thinking. They were the outgrowths of my new Awareness; the natural flowing expressions of my acceptance and Love of the Fear within me. Honestly, my experience expanded to where I had no expectations. Death was an equally valid outcome as Life. But in the moment I chose Love over Fear—expansion over contraction—the correct people and events organized around me.

I am now fine. And while I do not know what the future holds, I do know that I have broken the death grip Fear had on my heart. I am grateful that I stopped trying to outrun it.

The next time you feel that familiar desperation to outrun Fear, try saying: “I’m tired of running from you. Now I look to you to learn Who I AM. Thank you for your help.”

Sit in Silence and ask your fearful thoughts to join you; let them know that they are welcome as part of your experience.

Then OBSERVE without judgement. I AM relationship conflicts, I AM professional challenges, I AM health issues, I AM addictions. The most fearful among us can do this: Be silent, be observant and watch I AM emerge.


Regina Milano