Running at the Dog

Pema Chodron

In her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron tells this story about Buddhist meditation master Trungpa Rinpoche:

He told a story about traveling with his attendants to a monastery he’d never seen before. As they neared the gates, he saw a large guard dog with huge teeth and red eyes. It was growling ferociously and struggling to get free from the chain that held it. The dog seemed desperate to attack them. As Rinpoche got closer, he could see its bluish tongue and spittle spraying from its mouth. They walked past the dog, keeping their distance, and entered the gate. Suddenly the chain broke and the dog rushed at them. The attendants screamed and froze in terror. Rinpoche turned and ran as fast as he could—straight at the dog. The dog was so surprised that he put his tail between his legs and ran away.

Rinpoche had the right idea: Face your fears head on, no matter how terrifying they appear. Turn away in fear from a challenge that must be faced and it only grows more formidable, swallowing up more of your emotional energy with each passing day.

Courage is being scared to death . . . and saddling up anyway.
John Wayne

As the details of your evasion sink to the bottom of your memory, your fear gradually softens into vague feelings of uneasiness and regret that block you from bringing more peace into your life.

Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.
Frederic Chopin

Fear can only be conquered if it is seized and wrestled to the ground. Shrink away from it and fear becomes your master.

Look into your fears, dare them to do their worst and cut them down when they try. If you don’t, they’ll clone themselves, mushroom till they surround you, choke the road to the life you want. Every turn you fear is empty air, dressed to look like jagged hell.
Richard Bach






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2 Responses to “Running at the Dog”

  1. Serena Says:

    Time to put on my running shoes and go after those fears. :)

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Lace ’em up, Serena!

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