Carolyn has wrapped up this online Q&A, so while she wont be responding to further questions and comments, readers can still click through to see the dialogue that’s taken place, and to continue interacting with each other.
“When you are frightened by something, you have to relate with fear, explore why you are frightened and develop some sense of conviction. You can actually look at fear. Then fear ceases to be the dominant situation that is going to defeat you. Fear can be conquered. You can be free from fear, if you realize that fear is not the ogre. You can step on fear, and therefore you can attain what is known as fearlessness. But that requires that, when you see fear, you smile.”
–Chogyam Trungpa, from Conquering Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery
What is fear? Where does fear come from? All throughout life, and especially in trying times, asking questions like these can help us to face what we’re afraid of, and even to conquer it. This is the subject of our March ’09 issue, and it’s one that everyone can benefit from.
So we’ve created a special Question-and-Answer feature intended to address these and other questions you might have about smiling in the face of fear.
Carolyn Rose Gimian is a Buddhist practitioner who has been working with fear and fearlessness for a long time, and is the editor of Conquering Fear, the book quoted above. Here on Shambhala SunSpace, she has been taking your questions and comments about the topic of fear, in the hopes of creating a helpful dialogue that we all can learn from. (Carolyn is also the moderator of the Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week email list, which sends selected wisdom and inspiration by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Click here to join.)
You’ll find her responses to reader’s questions and comments below.
Want to join in? It’s simple! Just leave your question here as a comment. Carolyn will continue responding to your questions and comments for several days.