“Birth, aging, illness, and death: these things are normal. Birth is the normal way of things, aging’s the normal way of things, illness and death are the normal way of things. Get so that you can see clearly that this is the way things normally are. That’s when a sense of disenchantment can arise. You’ll be able to loosen the grip that these things have on you. You’ll be able to pull them out, root and all.
“We’ve suffered as the slaves of defilement and craving for how long now? Can you remember? Ask yourself. Can you remember all you’ve been through? And how much longer are you going to let it keep on happening — this holding and carrying and weighing yourself down? How many eons have you been doing this? Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of eons. Can you count them all? Of course you can’t. And how much longer will you have to keep on suffering in this way? If you’re still stubborn, still unwilling to listen to the Buddha’s teachings, this is the kind of reward you’ll have to expect out of life. Do you want it? Do you like it? If you don’t want it, then you’ll have to develop the goodness of your mind so that you can see your way out of this, so that you can see your defilements, so that you can see the suffering and harm they cause.”
~Ajahn Fuang Jotiko (source)
“Meditation is not meant to help us avoid problems or run away from difficulties. It is meant to allow positive healing to take place. To meditate is to learn how to stop– to stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present, or our worries about the future.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh (via)
(It seems kind of odd to have included background music on this one, but they did. Towards the end he’s a little hard to hear.)
“To be mindful means to have metta towards the fear in your mind, or the anger, or the jealousy. Metta means not creating problems around existing conditions, allowing them to fade away, to cease. For example, when fear comes up in your mind, you can have metta for the fear — meaning that you don’t build up aversion to it, you can just accept its presence and allow it to cease. You can also minimize the fear by recognizing that it is the same kind of fear that everyone has, that animals have. It’s not my fear, it’s not a person’s, it’s an impersonal fear.” ~from Mindfulness: The Path to Deathlessness: The Meditation Teaching of Venerable Ajahn Sumedho. (via Dhamma Footsteps)
The last bit certainly mimics my own experiences with fear, depression, and anxiety. I picture them as sort of a fog that descends, looking for a little niche in which to insert itself.
What it actually finds to attach itself to is almost irrelevant.