BREAKING FREE FROM THE GRIP OF ANXIETY – THE 4 ANTIDOTES

“Some of us need to discover that we will not begin to live more fully until we have the courage to do and see and taste and experience much less than usual. There are times then when in order to keep ourselves in existence at all we simply have to sit back for a while and do nothing. And for a man who has let himself be drawn completely out of himself by his activity, nothing is more difficult than to sit still and rest doing nothing at all. The very act of resting is the hardest and most courageous act he can perform.           -Thomas Merton

 

Breaking free from the grip of anxiety is almost impossible. The anxiety-ridden mind is like a vice grip that will never let go. And as Thomas Merton has pointed out we are constantly being drawn out of our center by all the constant activity going on in our hectic lives. And after years of working on yourself, reading all the self-help books, taking all the seminars and workshops, and every kind of medicine out there, you always find yourself back at square one. And the reason is that you haven’t gotten down to and addressed the root cause of it all. So you will just go around in circles, spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast. The root cause is your own mind and your only hope is to get in there and stop it. And that’s where the 4 Antidotes come in:

1. Sitting still
2. Doing nothing
3. Abiding in silence

4. Witnessing

At first, these ideas may seem as impossible as breaking free in the first place. But as Thomas Merton says we must have the courage to actually sit still, do nothing, abide in silence, just watching. Practicing these techniques takes a lot of courage, strength, and discipline, but it’s the only thing that really works because it’s the only way to actually address the anxiety-ridden mind. And after a while you will actually start to love doing this work and you will crave it. You begin to find that you can’t wait to sit, and that’s when you know that your discipline is really working…

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