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Awakin Readings

Every week, we post a reading from various wisdom traditions, to provoke insights and deeper reflection. Each thought is also accompanied by an illustration and an audio recordings (and often translations in other languages). Explore and enjoy!

Learning Not to Be Afraid of Things That Are Real

--by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (May 23, 2016)

Recently I've been looking through a field guide on nature observation. The author, when he was a child, was trained by an old Native American. One day the child asked the old man, "Why is it that you're not afraid of heat and cold?" The old man looked at him for a while and finally said, "Because they're real." And this is our job as meditators: to try to learn not to be afraid of things that are real. Ultimately, we discover that things that are real pose no danger to the mind. The real dangers in the mind are our delusions, the things we make up, the things we use to cover up reality, the stories, the preconceived notions we impose on things. When we're trying to live in those stories and notions, reality is threatening. It's always...

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