The Two Scariest Things In The World

by Asatar Bair on March 5, 2012

There are two things that are so frightening that they can be called the scariest things in the world. I think we all know what one of these is dying, which gives rise to all sorts of related fears, like the fear of change.

The other scary thing is living.

How often do we limit and resist the gifts life is giving us? How often do we shrink from recognizing, accepting, and celebrating the unique gifts each of us has to give to the world?

I’m here in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA for The Presence of the Heart Retreat with Susanna and Puran Bair, and one of the things we’re been discussing is the full breath — a key part of Heart Rhythm Meditation — and how we have the opportunity to work on both the fear of dying and the fear of living in each full breath.

Breathing out all the way allows you to confront the fear of death, because when you really empty your lungs, you get close to death, just for an instant. There is an emotional difficulty here, because it raises all sorts of fear.

But the great reward of breathing out all the way is that you can then breathe in all the way, experiencing a surge of energy and vitality. And then you come to the very top of the inhalation, with the sense of being totally filled with breath, the very essence of life. And that sense of fullness allows you to confront the fear of living, so that you can take in more and more of life’s bountiful gifts.

What do you think? Is the fear of death (or the fear of life) real to you? Share comments here.

Yours in the One Heart,


P.S. There is still room in 101: Introduction to Heart Rhythm Meditation, our 8-week online course which starts on March 12, but if you still need to register, I suggest you do so soon, as the course will probably fill up. (There is also some space in 102 and 103, for those who have met the pre-requisites)


Molly McCormick March 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Great post and great reminder to BE in the full breath of inhalation and exhalation. The fear of life definitely pops its little head up – like a gopher, ready to wreak havoc in my mind. But stopping and fully breathing and recognizing where that breath is coming from – its origin and its destination is very calming and reassuring.

Asatar Bair March 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

Molly, I like what you are saying about remembering the source of breath.
Thank you

anne mclaughlin March 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I appreciate hearing about the retreat as I could not be there this weekend. I think the fear of living is the more powerful fear for me because really living involves knowing just how powerful I am; how influential I am and how I can continue to grow into being an even greater person. It is a different way of thinking and feeling and talking for me and most of us. Talking this way actually has an odd ring to it, but I intend to get used to it and pass it on! I love the language of the heart that I have learned from Puran and Susanna and its oceanic freedom. If we all realized our own royalty and our own divinity, the world would be such a different and more wondrous place for everyone.
Also, I do appreciate the daily thoughts that I receive from you and I do think about them.

Asatar Bair March 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

Anne: yes! Thank you for writing. The difficulty of owning your power and influence is exactly what I was trying to express.
Perhaps I’ll see you at the next retreat.

Vivianne Bentley March 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

My mother is getting older now and I have found myself confronted with the fear of her death…. I seem to be afraid to live fully because that might mean that she will die. Breathwork is my best friend these days as I open my heart and let go of fear. I realise that the fear is a delusion and, therefore, not real. I know as a mother the most beautiful thing in the world is to see my daughter happy, free and living fully. I, therefore, am trusting that my mother wants that for me too….. May all sentient beings be free.

Asatar Bair March 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

Dear Vivianne,
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s beautiful how you are working to stay with what is real now, and working to enlarge your point of view. Each moment of life is so precious. But the life beyond has its beauty, too. You might even feel closer to your mother after her passage, which I hope is some time distant.
Thank you for writing

Garineh March 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

The two scariest things in life; fear of dying and fear of living was a very interesting and awakening topic for me today morning. Tomorrow is my Birthday and i have been thinking and analyzing my life for last couple of years to make sure i live to the fullest extend. I love to leave a legacy after my death, something bigger than money, bigger than success and bigger than life itself. Fear of dying is not as scary as fear of living, becasuse you die once but you live for years and years. If every human being could just use the precious gift of life to the best ability, then the world would have been a much nicer place to live.


Asatar Bair March 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Happy birthday, Garineh!
We come here to make a difference, to leave an impression on the heart of life itself. May you continue to give the world your gift.

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