Working of fear

Yesterday, again, I took a motorbike ride into the forests to see how dense they are and whether or not the place I'd a look at, earlier, is conducive for sAdhana, as well as survival. In my first trip, I was not able to gauge the surroundings well. While all that was done, I found some insights into the working of fear at different levels. Staying in seclusion means a lot of things in itself, but staying in seclusion in a remotely accessible area, means more. At a practical level, there are issues such as health, basic amenities being nearby, emergencies, etc. At another level, it means how often is the commute and through what kind of area and which mode of transport. As I delved into these, many hidden issues came forth.

I began to imagine what it would be like when there's no electricity when it rains continuously, what would happen if the vehicle breaks down in the middle of the forest roads, how it would be to survive the night surrounded by dense woods all alone...

On my way back, a sunny afternoon had changed into a dark cloudy evening. As I hit half the journey, this evening had turned into a stormy night with a downpour. Thankfully, I'd a helmet on this time; as much is it a boon, its a bane too! I could hardly see the roads with a wet visor and specs and upcoming vehicle lights flashing onto the eyes. What was worsening the already bad plight of mine was the stormy wind which was throwing me off the lane! Riding slow made balancing difficult, riding fast made the wind and rain strike harder, and braking the vehicle caused slippage due to wet roads. Somehow I managed to keep on the roads following some vehicles and make it home safely, though I was drenched in cold showers.

... To add to the already experienced fearful thoughts of forests, I was faced with the practical issues of being alone in an inaccessible area, without the knowhow of the surroundings. While there are advantages of remote areas in that they provide solitude and peace for the most part, which are of utmost importance for svAdhyAya, if one is not used to such surroundings, every moment could bring forth torturous imagery that eats away expensive sAdhana time! While I was thinking all this, in bits and pieces, slowly it dawned on me how fear takes you under its control. The mind starts smartly by bringing out practical questions. While you're thinking on that, suddenly it brings out an impractical scenario such as accidentally slipping into the woods, etc. By doing this, the mind is actually scaring you away from an almost advanced sAdhana opportunity and pulling you back for its habitual survival! The question of whether or not there are impractical issues with a particular step in sAdhana can be known only on taking the step. Every thought prior to that (and even mostly after it ) that portrays a hurdle is a fear projected by the mind to scare one away from sAdhana.
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