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A Buddhist Story: How to Defeat Fear

Once there was a young warrior.

Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with Fear. She didn’t want to do that! Fear is aggressive and frightening.

But the teacher said she had to, and gave her instructions for the battle. The student didn't have long to contemplate the instructions, as the battle was the next day.

The student warrior stood on one side, and Fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior prepared herself and went toward Fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “may I have permission to go into battle with you”?

Fear said, “thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission”.

The young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power”.

In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear.

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