Clear seeing — antidotes to anxiety and fear
Anxiety is another afflictive emotion that we can counteract with skillful means.
Narrowness of vision and a lack of proper perspective underly our anxiety. Our anxiety causes us to fail to see how things and events come into being as the result of innumerable causes and conditions. Instead we tend to concentrate on just one or two aspects of our situation. The first step in overcoming anxiety is thus to develop a proper perspective of our situation. This we can do in a number of different ways. One of the most effective is to try to shift the focus of attention away from self and toward others. When we succeed in this, we find that the scale of our own problems diminishes.
Clear seeing also involves recognizing that certain fears are our mental projections.
If you have negative feelings. because of your own mental situation, you may project those feelings onto another, who then appears as someone negative and hostile. And as a result, you feel fear. To counteract such fear, therefore, you need to first use your faculty of reasoning and try to discover whether there is a valid basis for your fear or not.
Antidotes to anxiety
The Dalai Lama offers two antidotes that operate in different ways.
If there is a solution to the problem, there is no need to worry. If there is no solution, there is no sense in worrying either.
Reminding ourselves of this counteracts habitual worry and fear.
A practice that acts as a deeper antidote aims at transforming one's underlying motivation. The goal, for the Dalai Lama, is a mind motivated by altruism. The altruistic mind is naturally free of anxiety; it is, in fact, fearless even in the most anxiety-provoking circumstances.
Yes, just being able to stand back and ascertain that one's motivation is not to harm will affect one's level of anxiety.