Fear of Death

We are all broken.

We are taught to never show our broken parts, though. Taught that we are not loveable if we reveal too much. It is often ourselves who love ourselves the least.

We can hurt only for so long in our brokenness. Before we must find a new way.

I suffer from anxiety and depression. I’m not “supposed” to, because I’m a yoga teacher. But, I do. For a long time I’ve felt like a fraud. A hypocrite. How dare I preach things I have not yet mastered? But, I’m growing to realize that it is BECAUSE of my wounds and imperfections, that I’m a good teacher. That the spiritual and psychological lessons I teach spring from the deepest parts of me; parts that intellect and cerebral understanding can’t touch.

When I step into a room to teach, my voice gets quiet and grounded. I know if emotional tides can take me so swiftly, they must take my students quickly, too. I start with breathing and often a silent meditation, because I know silence heals. That there is power in less. That through trusting and listening more and surrendering our need to defend, we start to integrate and become whole. That from sitting with whatever arises in the meditation, we cultivate self-acceptance and feel God within. It is this that will bring us peace and nothing else.

I teach what I need to learn. I think all good teachers do.

There’s a Rumi quote I love: “The wound is the place The Light enters you.”

Perhaps we never master depression and anxiety. Perhaps instead we learn to have compassion for the fluctuating ebbs and flows. Have compassion for the fact that it is all so fleeting. What can possibly cause more ache than knowing we are here so temporarily? That everything we love is not guaranteed to be here tomorrow?

The ego loves to battle. To win, fight and defend. But, time is one thing that cannot be won. It won’t be tied down and thrown to the floor.

In the ancient Upanishads, we are told that humans have five afflictions, or “sorrows” known as kleshas. They are:

1. avidya – ignorance

2. asmita – sense of individuality

3. Raga – passion

4. Dvesha – hatred

5. Abhinivesa- clinging to life, or fear of death

One day this heart will no longer beat, this breath will stop.

Perhaps we can stop clinging to life with ego and start getting in touch with that which does not die within?

Stop wishing we were different and instead, let go.

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3 Responses to “Fear of Death”


  1. 1 JRizz July 31, 2013 at 2:41 am

    LoveLoveLoved this! It inspired my most recent entry over at http://tutticoccinelle.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/thestruggle/
    Thank you for the inspiring words!

  2. 2 lauraboling August 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I hadn’t heard this Rumi quote before. So simple, powerful. An exquisite visual (and sometimes an opportunity to visualize can make all the difference). I also really appreciate your delineation of what the Upanishads can teach us about our afflictions — the one about sense of individuality really caught me off guard. I forget about that, and the grief it can breed. Thank you for reminding me….


  1. 1 The Struggle | Lots of Ladybugs Trackback on July 31, 2013 at 2:40 am

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