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Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.


The epic battle of Mahabharata is about to begin. The air is thick with anticipation: Thousands of warriors finger the hilts of their swords as their horses snort and paw at the ground. But our hero, Arjuna, is terrified. He has family and friends on either side of this battle, and many of them are about to die. Arjuna, among the fiercest fighters of the land, drops his bow.

The Bhagavad Gita opens on a battlefield with a warrior’s terror. Arjuna is the most talented archer in the land, yet fear has caused him to totally lose connection with his abilities. The same thing happens to each of us. We have so much to offer the world, but fear and anxiety disconnect us from our abilities. This is because growing up we were taught, directly or indirectly, that fear is negative. “Don’t be scared,” our parents told us. “Scaredy-cat,” our friends teased. Fear was an embarrassing, humiliating reaction to be ignored or hidden.

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day