Our biological fear is that part of our body and brains’ programming that essentially works to ensure our survival. It is extremely ancient and the strategy that it has is based around paranoia. Its reasoning is that the more paranoid you are about potential threats to your wellbeing the more likely you are to survive. For most of human kinds history this has worked very well, as up until quite recently there have always been genuine threats to physical survival, such as wild animals and head-hunters who, if you were not alert really could end your life prematurely.
However, in our present time, where our immediate physical surroundings are relatively safe, as often as not our paranoid survival based programming often gets in the way of our happiness and ability to relax and enjoy our daily existence. It unconsciously prevents us from appreciating the good things that we have, exaggerates threats to our safety and wellbeing, focuses on all the negatives in our life, keeps us highly stressed, makes us feel like we are living in a dog eat dog world, and generally living in fear of what could go wrong in the future.
As a result we often feel like we are under some form of physical or psychological attack, even when right at that particular time we are under no immediate threat. I’ve represented this situation in the diagram below. The big circle is the ambient biological fear pervading our mind, and making us feel as if we are under attack all the time, thus unnecessarily adding to rather than subtracting from the real and present challenges that we actually do have in our life.
So what is the solution to this? It is basically a two-fold move that we need to make:
Recognize that we have this biological fear ticking away in the background of our mind, and make sure that we are not letting it run the way we approach to and experience of our life.
Regularly learn to recognize and rest our awareness in the relative physical and psychological safety of the present moment.
This recognition of safety in the present moment then provides a new basic context for our mind and life where the underlying feeling is one of relaxation and ease. Within this new context the other biological and psychological aspects of our experience (including our biological fear) can function appropriately and in their proper place. I’ve represented this in the diagram below, where you can see the recognition of safety in the present as a big circle of awareness that provides a context for the rest of our moment to moment experience. In this new arrangement our biological fear remains in our mind, able to perform its function of detecting threats to our wellbeing and safety, but doing so without inhibiting and blocking other mental and emotional factors in our mind that cause us happiness and wellbeing.
Recommended one-minute mindfulness for the week:
Spend 1 minute, three times a day sitting quietly, following your breathing and recognizing that, right at this moment you are not under any immediate threats to your physical or psychological safety. Rest at ease in this experience and try and take it as much as possible into the rest of your day.
wonderful idea for the "mind-fulness" for the week meditation---now the trick is-----is-----wait--------Remember-----Remember your way home (your inner home-base!)---Be mindful--Re-member---
Sivananda used to put little scraps of paper everywhere---pockets--books---fridge---etc. as Reminders---use your phone----use your mind---come home to now. Now. Here. H om e tada!
This is precisely why the negative news sells excellently on the television and in the papers. In the 40's they were already saying that " Dog bites Man " does not sell or invoke much fear anymore, but if you put a headline up that says " Man bites Dog " your paper will sell......
As a Psychology student our studies were especially on marketing and
media broadcasting. Its been years since I was in a classroom, but I could not help recalling some of my studies with the topic you picked today.
Excellent topic that many of us can launch out from and thank you for the 1 minute meditations.
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