Saturday, October 25, 2014

Facing a Wall Without Fear, by Eric Lussier

Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche Student Eric L
Eric Lussier, Canada
If I don’t pay attention to this tendency, I often remind myself on a daily basis of all the things that I can’t accomplish. My mind is distracted with thoughts like, “It’s too much effort,” “I don’t have what it takes,” “I don’t have time to do it,” or “Let someone else do it.”

These voices may be quiet but their influence is great. If I don’t pay attention to them, what usually happens is I explain away golden opportunities to be successful, I am left with nothing, and I don’t know why.

After meeting my teacher Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche, he would often give me chances to help with different projects which immediately triggered these thoughts of self-doubt or fear. It was through the difficult practices that I was given that I was able to see these negative mental patterns which kept me from reaching my true potential.

In the beginning, the voices would come quickly and before I knew it I would have found some way out of doing the homework. These difficult practices forced me to face my fear of such things as; failure, success, embarrassment, commitment, anxiety, looking bad, letting people down, etc. Everyone has their fears that limit them, and yet these practices that Rinpoche gives are usually individualized for each student, so they can face their own fears.

A quote from a lecture Rinpoche gave this year resonates the importance of facing our fears:
“The common failing of people today is that they collapse after even one tiny setback, whether it be temporary unemployment, breaking up with a loved one, or financial crisis. From that point on, they run for the hills at the slightest scent of failure or the faintest trace of setback. When you encounter what you deem as failure, first you need to ask and find the answer to the following questions on your own — what kind of attitude should you have in the face of failure? Is it really something you must avoid? Are you really that scared to face it?”

- from the October 12th, 2014 Facebook post Perseverance Is the Antidote to Failure 
Even after studying for a long time, students aren’t immune to having these thoughts (though they may recognize them faster than someone who doesn’t look at their thoughts on a regular basis). The determination you build in your practice, begins to seep into other parts of your life too, making it easier to see yourself clearly and reach your potential.

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