ASK ABDI: HOW TO DEAL WITH FEAR THAT COMES UP WITH SITTING?

QUESTION: I am going to a 10-day Vipassana retreat; I see how I am getting more and more afraid about the process. Would you please pass on some advice?

ANSWER: Wonderful that you are setting aside time to sit with yourself. This is one of the most important things one can do in life: to face one’s Self. It is normal to be afraid of such endeavors, as most of us spend every waking moment pushing away any opportunity to be with ourselves. Your fear is not a reaction to an approaching danger. Rather, it is a reaction to an experience that has become foreign over time. Feel and breathe into the fear with the awareness that it is just your own self that you've become estranged from. The fear will pass. Meeting your Self and learning to sit with yourself, will remind you that you are free. Best to do such things on our own time rather than have life force it upon us.