Fear and Longing on the Path to Waking Up

December 21, 2016

Shambhavi talks about the different ways in which we hide out from life by taking refuge in fear. The way out of fear is to follow your longing instead. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.


Anandamayi Ma said you can’t take refuge in fear. You cannot find fearlessness there. The number one way that people take refuge in fear is by thinking that I will wait till I am not afraid anymore before making a move or trying something new. That’s taking refuge in fear. You are just hanging out in your fear, hoping it will go away and then not doing the things that you want to do because you are afraid.

Another way that we take refuge in fear is by giving extraordinary importance to fear. We love to talk about our problems in this culture. I have said many times that talking about our problems is social currency. When we get together with friends, a lot of people, their idea of a good evening is sitting around talking about problems. And certainly a lot of people live in a way that is tied to their fear. They are very fatalistic about their fear. I am afraid and so I can’t do this, I am afraid and so it’s hard for me to do that, and I am afraid and that’s why..X..Y..Z. That is another way of taking refuge in fear.

We also take refuge in fear in a way that doesn’t look very fearful. So some people take refuge in fear by being very very aggressive. We are going to have a very, very busy to-do list which we are going to aggressively pursue getting all those things on our list done. We are gonna have very aggressive plans in life. We are gonna know what our goals  are, and we are going to head for those goals aggressively with a lot of verve and vigor. And what are we doing is, we are numbing out. We are afraid of the vitality of life, the is-ness of life, the feeling of just being alive. And so we take refuge in fear by running away from that and living very aggressively. So living in fear, taking refuge in fear can look like fearlessness.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.