toward wholeness: On Tending to ‘The Terror Within’

“Most of us are unaware of the extent of the fear that we carry. Fear builds upon itself, or more precisely, fear creates more fear. As a result, our accumulated fear becomes a deep-seated terror that is challenging to uproot. If we view fear as terror—as a pervasive human condition rather than one bound to singular events, and incidents—we are more likely to feel the urgency of attending to it. We constantly speak of terrorism in the world, but we don’t necessarily acknowledge the terror that has invaded our inner worlds. Instead, we present ourselves as brave or courageous…

How can we continue to release terror?

Surely, it doesn’t work to try to unload the entire mass of fear inside at once.

We can release terror moment by moment, bit by bit.

In meditation we learn to cultivate and stretch the moments of being unencumbered, those places of non-suffering. We can experience the state of non-suffering with each breath, moment by moment, breathing in and breathing out.

In meditation we feel the fear without having to do anything about it in the moment. We simply breathe. There is no past or future. We are not harming or being harmed. The terror within is being attended to in a gentle way. There may be tears or trembling. We are alive.”

~ Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

Read Zenju’s full article on Tricycle: The Terror Within