“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about so many things, but only one thing is really necessary.” These words echo from the Christian gospels and seem so apropos in the modern age, for are we not all worried and troubled by so many things in these fast paced times? The current clinical term for this worry and agitation is anxiety. And obviously so many of us suffer from this mental condition, that Time magazine just ran “Anxiety” as its cover story. Anxiety is the condition whereby the human being suffers negative physiological symptoms because of, or directly caused by, self imposed obsessive negative thoughts or conditioned emotional reactions to outside events. In other words, we can become anxious because of our own thought process, “Oh my God, what will the future hold for me about this thing or that, this event or that” or we can react negatively and emotionally when confronted with some situation or event which perhaps in our past (memory) caused us unpleasant feelings. For example, if I was bitten by a dog when I was 4, now any time I hear or see a dog I get symptoms of fear and panic or become extremely anxious.

            Both of these forms of anxiety are deadly in that the physical effect of stress and tension are very damaging to the body and the catalysts or perhaps causes of serious diseases. The fact is that both forms of anxiety can be attended to immediately, not by drugs or years of psychotherapy, but by the simple realization of the gentle pure silence at the core of our being.

            If you can just take a moment right now to relax, physically yes, but more so a relaxation of the mental processes. Take a deep breath, swallow and very gently allow your mind to stop thinking of anything at all. Do not be afraid of this. You do not have to think to be aware. In fact you are choicelessly aware every second of your life, although you may not realize this. Do not think about what will happen tomorrow, or an hour from now or even 5 minutes from now. Do not think about what happened yesterday, or last week or last month or 10 years ago. Just simply relax into this moment. Surrender to it. You may begin to see that the only thing “inside” or “within” you at this point is a sensation or feeling of emptiness, of silence which continues always and which is there even in the midst of anxiety and worry and fear. This is the sacred spot within you. This is your simple awareness that you are aware. Here, there is no anxiety. here there is no need for any thought at all. Here, in your natural state there is only tranquility, only peace, only gentle freedom. I know you have known this. I know you believe this is true. Why do you resist any further?

            Anxiety comes and goes. It is rarely continuous. The pure silence within you is always there, always permanent, always beckoning, and always simple. If you can learn to find this place, this space in you, you will have found “the one thing really necessary”, the “gift of peace and healing” and the “kingdom of heaven” and your realization that who you are is much bigger than your anxieties and fears. Once discovered, I guarantee that your anxieties will be seen for what they are, impermanent thoughts and emotions, and they will slowly begin to dissolve into an abiding sense of security that nothing can disturb: the treasure that you already are, the pure silence of being, itself.

Accept the gentleness that you are!

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