And I almost fell off it this morning in bed, when my thoughts started generating worry. And even when I am present, fear, anger and the other uncomfortable feelings and thoughts haven’t gone away, (and apparently don’t ever go away exactly). They are always still there, and are like hungry crocodiles waiting to gobble me up in the tumultuous waters below this tightrope if I should lose my balance, forget to be here and now.
If I lose my focus on the present and allow my mind to wander off unconsciously on its own, it could easily generate anger from memories of past events or mock-up scary scenarios of a future where things go terribly wrong. And the result of doing that is being overwhelmed by painful emotions and sensations which generate more painful thoughts, feelings and sensations. The mind takes me into a state of being separate and alone in the world, needing of self concern, self-defence and needing to attack others to feel strong.
When I enter into a state of being present, a sense of unity with everything immediately starts to permeate, and I do not think about myself as separate and requiring self concern and defence. Attacking or causing pain to others feels ridiculous as that would be attacking myself. I feel safe there, and all is well and as it should be. A sense of the perfection of what is happening opens and the resistance to ‘what is’ reduces and fades.
That tightrope and crocodiles metaphor has its limits. Regarding fear and anger as the enemy is not at all helpful, even though they feel like adversaries at times.
What is closer to the truth is that anger, fear and all the other emotions are simply the endless, random, unpredictable dynamic display of the base state of open awareness, our true nature. I was reading an interview last night with an old Rinpoche who teaches Dzogchen. He was asked if he ever has negative thoughts and emotions. ‘Oh Yes!’ He replied.
However he is so rooted in his true nature of empty cognizant awareness, that the thoughts and emotions bounce off him, there is nothing for them to stick to. He feels no attraction or aversion towards them, so they disappear off from wherever they came. So while fear and anger do not cease to exist for him, they might as well not exist as he barely notices them, they hold no attraction.