PART FOUR: Mastering Your Inhibitions and Fears Through Dreaming
The fluidity of dream worlds makes them a great testing ground for working on releasing your fears and inhibitions.
You can overcome all these fears and inhibitions; knowing this, you can face them with confidence and patience. The more readily you approach confronting your fears, the more easily you can master them.
For the sake of brevity, let’s use the word ‘fears’ to refer to fears and inhibitions, since these two separate manifestations in the mind have similar remedies.
So – how do you use dreams to overcome fear?
By trying over and over again and experimenting with new responses to familiar situations… while in your dream world.
Learning to dream lucidly will help you do access this ability more easily; this is why attaining tranquil abiding is so essential. But it doesn’t matter if you’re yet to attain tranquil abiding; you can go ahead and start working on your fears even if you’re a novice meditator.
The key? Ask for help.
Again: you don’t have to pray; just try to remember to request help from Enlightened Beings whenever you go to sleep.
We’re here to help you, but We do nothing without your permission. If you ask for help, even if you’re not a lucid dreamer, you’ll be guided (and protected) into dream situations that give you exercises intended to improve your confidence and self-assurance. Then as your meditation improves and you begin to dream lucidly, you can begin to take the reins of the dreams and guide them yourself.
Once this happens, you’ll learn and develop much more quickly.
When you manage to relax around dream-circumstances that previously have caused you anxiety, you can step back and get a big-picture view. You’re able to see that all will be well, no matter how you choose to react in the dream.
And guess what? This is how it is in the ‘real world’ too.
Many of people’s “problems” come from grasping at how they want things to turn out in everyday life. They tend to think results carry importance, because it seems to affect the Big Picture of your life. Actually, only your intentions affect your Big Picture; the day-to-day instances are sometimes no more than distractions.
Here’s the rub: if you don’t have an intention in your life, there is no Big Picture.
Then, all you’re left with are your little day-to-day incidents, and in that sense they do become important.
So please check – what is your intention in life? If you can’t find one, then you might want to take the time to develop one. Reading or re-reading Book One might help with this.
As We’ve said before, if you intend to help others or attain Enlightenment, you can’t go wrong.
If you adopt one of these intentions, then from that intention all good things will flow.
So, back to dreaming and visioning and how you can use them to master your fears.
As you get better at focusing your mind, you can easily see how to exert more control over your dreams and visions. But what if you’re barely able to sit for five minutes without forgetting your object of meditation? The first thing you need to do is NOT WORRY.
Even if you forget your dreams, you may still have some control while you’re in them. Even if you can meditate for just seconds, you can still focus your attention well enough to do some good.
Discouragement slows spiritual progress, so please ignore this mind.
Is discouragement founded on good reasoning?
Reasoning through a challenging situation may give you ideas about how to break down the problem into pieces and tackle them one at a time. This very manageable approach may help you solve many ‘difficulties’ in life.
So… how do you overcome, by reasoning through, obstacles in your spiritual progress caused by fears and inhibitions? Let’s look at that now.
First, try to identify the problem.
This means come to understand how your fear affects you. People usually spot effects easier than causes.
Once you really see and feel fear coming from its source – for yourself – you remember what caused the fear. Telling someone else that – or why – they have a fear seldom helps that person overcome the fear. (As an aside, this principle applies to any situation when a lesson needs learning.)
If you ask Us for help (sometimes called ‘going for refuge’ in Buddhist circles), We can send you dream situations that illustrate patterns in your behavior, so you can notice them. We can also give you opportunities to try out new approaches for handling those situations.
You may not consciously notice the lessons taking place, or even remember a single dream or vision that seems relevant, but you will probably notice a subtle waking change in how you deal with your life.
Please feel encourage to know that you can make significant progress without even having to do anything consciously besides asking for help.
That’s how powerful your mind is.
Hopefully this encouragement will help you better use your Super-Conscious Mind to overcome waking obstacles. Just give yourself some time, pay attention to your reactions to life, and see if you notice any change.
Now let’s talk about sabotage, because many people exercise this powerfully controlling negative tendency.
Fear prevents you from beginning an activity; sabotage prevents you from completing it.
Few things are more discouraging than finally getting up the nerve to try something new, only to find yourself face-down in the metaphorical mud before you can claim success. Because it may bring such deep discouragement, sabotage proves a much worse enemy than fear.
Many forms of sabotage exist.
You may sabotage your own efforts through your own lack of self-esteem, or others may try to sabotage you through their lack of self-esteem.
The two are the same in terms of the effect they can have on your progress, but the latter is a heavy negative action (especially with regards to spiritual practice). So please be very careful not to (even sub-consciously) try to sabotage others.
Teachers who repeatedly thwart their students due to the ‘teacher’s’ own negative feelings present one of the worst kinds of false spiritual teachers that a student may meet.
As you may imagine, anyone who spends their lifetime this way (discouraging others), is not likely to receive much help the next time they walk down their lane between lives. This kind of action also creates a great deal of negative karma or potentiality, and although you can’t be certain when it will ripen, you can be sure that it will not be pleasant.
If someone else spiritually sabotages you, you may experience some setbacks or delays, but at least you’re not the one who committed the negative action of sabotage.
If you sabotage yourself spiritually, that’s a bit more complicated.
Some people fear success more than they fear failure.
People like this often faced ridicule from loved ones at some point in their lives. The ridicule could have seemed very minor to the person doing the ridiculing, or it could have been something very important to the person being ridiculed, or it could have been both.
The most important point to remember, if you tend to sabotage yourself, is that you’re not alone, and We will never give up on you.
Even if it takes thousands of years, We will always be at your side, giving you whatever tiny or tremendous lessons you need in order to help you regain your confidence.
This holds true no matter what obstacles you may feel you face along your spiritual path. It doesn’t matter if your ‘difficulty’ seems insignificant to others. We know at all times what challenges you face, and what lessons you need in order to overcome those hurdles.
So please do not concern yourself too much with whatever you feel might be blocking your path. You don’t even need to recognize the problem. Delusions need to be recognized; fears do not.
Just focus on your progress and We will take care of the rest.