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Unread March 8th, 2005, 05:31 AM
Lindsay Smith
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Default Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy

I understand, I think, what you are saying having lived in Singapore in the early 1970s where high rise is a fact of life.

We all have fears & most of us find ways to manage our emotions. A few times I have experienced the sort of fear you describe. I was born in New Zealand & as a young man spent a lot of time in the Southern Alps mostly walking the tracks in the mountains. On one trip I was leading the party up a loose rock & scree slope that lead up to a pass. When I came up to the pass several climbers I had not seen before were standing there looking down at me climbing up towards them & at my friends clambering up behind.

I turned & looked down at my friends & the view. It was very steep & a long way down. Immediately I felt weak & dizzy as if all my strength was gone. I turned & looked up at the climber standing quite close to me & said, "I'm stuck." He casually reached out his ice axe & I hooked my axe on to his & I felt a surge of strength go through me. I walked up the last few paces easily. I'm not sure what happened there. I don't know how a modern psychologist would try to explain what happened that day.

When I was in Singapore in 1988 & the tower in Raffles Place was nearly finished I took the fast lift up the 57 floors to the top & looked out over the city. I was alone in the lift & alone at the top. The floor was bare cement & there were cables & equipment lying around. I enjoyed the view but did not experience any fear.

I know that some people experience fear in lifts but do not fear heights. This is an interesting issue but I think the practise of 'mindfulness' is mostly about learning how to hold focus & be aware the inner being than about banishing fear or any other emotion. Maybe in time by continually practising mindfulness meditation it is possible to become serene & not fear anything nor be distracted by any emotional concern at all.
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