How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

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TheTraveler0203
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How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by TheTraveler0203 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:24 pm

Hello,

I am a chill guy, fortunately I get along with everyone but I have a big issue in my life. I have fear of public speaking and now I am in university and there are lots of projects to present and I am very anxious about it. Could you give me some advice? How should I deal and transcend a fear (specially this one)?

Thanks in advance! :namaste:

SteRo
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by SteRo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:51 pm

Complex problem.
The cause of the fear may have several reasons:
1. Not taking the topic to be presented seriously/not being interested in it and fear of not being able to hide this.
2. Doubt as to one's own ability to understand the topic
3. Doubt as to one's own ability to express and present one's proper understanding appropriately
4. Seeing the audience as hostile (competitiveness of other students)
5. Doubt in one's ability to take the challenge of possible debate.

So a lot has to do with self-esteem and a lot has to do with how one regards others. And there is also the aspect of being satisfied with one's current situation of being a student of this or that.

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Queequeg
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by Queequeg » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:44 pm

I don't know how practical this advice is, but this is what the Buddha had to say about overcoming fear:
'What if — on recognized, designated nights such as the eighth, fourteenth, & fifteenth of the lunar fortnight — I were to stay in the sort of places that are awe-inspiring and make your hair stand on end, such as park-shrines, forest-shrines, & tree-shrines? Perhaps I would get to see that fear & terror.' So at a later time — on recognized, designated nights such as the eighth, fourteenth, & fifteenth of the lunar fortnight — I stayed in the sort of places that are awe-inspiring and make your hair stand on end, such as park-shrines, forest-shrines, & tree-shrines. And while I was staying there a wild animal would come, or a peacock would make a twig fall, or wind would rustle the fallen leaves. The thought would occur to me: 'Is this that fear & terror coming?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'Why do I just keep waiting for fear?

What if I, in whatever state I'm in when fear & terror come to me, were to subdue that fear & terror in that very state?' So when fear & terror came to me while I was walking back & forth, I would not stand or sit or lie down. I would keep walking back & forth until I had subdued that fear & terror. When fear & terror came to me while I was standing, I would not walk or sit or lie down. I would keep standing until I had subdued that fear & terror. When fear & terror came to me while I was sitting, I would not lie down or stand up or walk. I would keep sitting until I had subdued that fear & terror. When fear & terror came to me while I was lying down, I would not sit up or stand or walk. I would keep lying down until I had subdued that fear & terror.
Buddha took the approach of directly addressing his fears, doing the things that caused the fear, and just bearing through until the fear stopped.

I suppose his advice would be - "prepare yourself for the presentations as best as you can, and just get up there and do it until you overcome the fear."

Its a pretty hardcore way of going about it I think, but when I "just do it", the fear goes away after a few seconds and I become absorbed in making the presentation. I speak publicly often in my work, and I'm often nervous. Once I get going, though, I forget about being nervous as my mind turns to getting done what I had prepared to do.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

SteRo
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by SteRo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:21 pm

TheTraveler0203 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:24 pm
... Could you give me some advice? How should I deal and transcend a fear (specially this one)?
Sorry for my post above. It lacks necessary explanation. your question "How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?" I answered with "How I as a buddhist deal with problems like fear usually" namely: I approach the problem analytically first before dealing with the specific cause. I acknowledge that such an approach might not be everybody's cup of tea. But Queequeg might have provided an approach that is more simple.


:namaste:

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ratna
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by ratna » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:32 pm

Go see a doctor. There are a number of solutions available, from beta blockers (musicians use these -- they don't calm you down but prevent your voice and hands from shaking) to anti-anxiety meds. These are short-term solutions but they are useful in that they will get you through the stressful situations. This will enable you to get used to these situations and in the long run, feel more comfortable in them.

As Queequeg said, the initial panic normally subsides after the first couple of slides of your presentation. Being well prepared is also very useful.

Also, you might want to check out Mingyur Rinpoche's Joy of Living programme. He used to struggle with panic attacks when he was young, and overcame them through meditation.
Don't touch me while I'm tantric.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:47 pm

TheTraveler0203 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:24 pm
Hello,

I am a chill guy, fortunately I get along with everyone but I have a big issue in my life. I have fear of public speaking and now I am in university and there are lots of projects to present and I am very anxious about it. Could you give me some advice? How should I deal and transcend a fear (specially this one)?

Thanks in advance! :namaste:
Practice first with people you are comfortable around, and become comfortable enough with your presentation material that the fear will matter less. Beyond that, simply accepting that you will be nervous and learning to utilize deep breathing methods such as "box breathing" (really a yogic technique, but all the rage in the self-help world) beforehand will probably help a lot. The most unbearable part of anxious feelings for many people are physiological, so focusing on calming the body will help.




There's some links , IDK about the quality of the guided meditation but it's a simple technique, basically inhale 4 seconds, hold four seconds, exhale four seconds, hold four seconds.

Also, don't expect to not feel fear, acceptance of it will get you a lot farther than trying to get rid of it. On the level of thought, you can contemplate that all beings have fear, many others have this exact same fear you do, compassion for yourself and for them can transformative by itself.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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KathyLauren
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by KathyLauren » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:56 am

The way through fear is forward! The only way to deal with it is to face the fear and to do the thing you are afraid of. Try it on a small scale first, if you can, then work up to the full scale. Once you have done it successfully, the fear will be gone.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

SteRo
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by SteRo » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:48 am

and last but not least: don't reduce or neglect your meditation practice! Good sustainable meditation practice may be the best protection against fear!

:namaste:

White Lotus
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by White Lotus » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:00 pm

basically inhale 4 seconds, hold four seconds, exhale four seconds, hold four seconds.
this is a great way to deal with fear if you breathe deeply, it can destroy many impurities and defilements. your breath as fire will devour you.

thanks!

all the best, Tom x :anjali:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.

TheTraveler0203
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by TheTraveler0203 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:07 pm

Thank you all for your answers! Thank you so much for helping me addressing this situation
All the best! :D

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:20 pm

There are a lot of ways to deal with a fear of public speaking.
Many have already been suggested. Breathe, pause between sentences, speak slowly, etc.
I think a Buddhist approach might not be immediately applicable at the time,
but it might be useful to apply Buddhist analytics for working on the fear as a long-range goal.

Basically, stage-fright is a kind of paralyzing condition where you feel confused,
totally vulnerable, totally self-conscious, and the adrenaline racing through your body makes you sweat.
I think, from a Buddhist angle on things, this is not entirely bad; it can be very liberating (in a rather brutal sort of way).
It's a direct attack on the ego, the comfort zone of "self".
Not only do you have trouble keeping up with whatever you are supposed to be talking about in front of people,
but you also sense that everybody can see how nervous you are, which makes it even worse.
It's sort of a defense mechanism going into hyper-drive.
Although I personally enjoy speaking before crowds, this was not always the case.
And one particular time I remember really well, it wasn't even a crowd.
A friend of mine walked in while I was in the middle of taking a Tai Chi class.
Yes, it is possible to totally suck at Tai Chi, which I did, and when my friend walked in
it broke whatever tiny amount of concentration I had, I got so embarrassed and self-conscious
that my mind went blank for a moment, as though I'd been performing as a character in a play...my whole life...
...and had completely forgotten all of my lines, the role of "me" I expected myself to play.

Probably, the less absorbed you can be in the "it's me" aspect of the presentation,
the less ego will get in the way, the less you will feel that there is any "me" to protect
(from the judging glares of all those eyes staring at you)
and the causes of nervousness will gradually diminish, which mean that the result of those causes
(the nervousness and dread) will also diminish.

Keeping up a regular meditation practice will also help here,
because meditation is the mind's natural state. You will have that to fall back on.
If you practice meditation on a daily basis, that becomes your starting point.
You can stand in front of a hundred people, stop and watch your breath for a moment,
and that can give you control over the mental scattering that occurs with stage-fright.
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nowmindful
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Re: How to deal with fear the Buddhist way?

Post by nowmindful » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:47 pm

Last time I also have fear of public speaking and I don't have Buddhist way to curb it. But you may try https://www.google.com/amp/s/quoteinves ... -mind/amp/. Hope this can help.

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