A Lesson by Mingyur Rinpoche
Panic attacks and acute moments of anxiety can feel very threatening and crippling. Meditation is the practice of visiting, seeing, and identifying one’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions. How might you use meditation to help calm your anxiety, stress, or panic attacks?
Master Mingyur Rinpoche offers the following causes of suffering during a panic attack and how to use particular meditation practices to help mitigate the attack itself. His lecture included the following thoughts:
There are two ways that we create more suffering during a panic attack:
First, you tend to believe in the panic, telling yourself that everything is to be feared fearful, that everything that is happening during the anxiety is really scary. In effect, you are following the panic and allowing panic to become your malevolent boss.
Second, you don’t like your panic. You tell yourself that this feeling is not good, that it is terrible. You tell yourself that because of this panic, you have lost all of your opportunism. And, out of fear, you race to find a way to rid yourself of this panic.
The problem is that you are creating your own suffering. If you don’t like the panic and suffering, if you have an aversion to the pain, the pain becomes stronger. Your mood becomes more sensitive. It then appears that you cannot avoid the panic attack.
Mingyur Rinpoche then pivots to offer the following help: In short, do not allow the enemy to become your malevolent boss or enemy. Rather, attempt to make the anxiety your friend. Mingyur Rinpoche suggests using and practicing three specific meditation practices.
These practices, he argues, will help you to make a friend of your panic:
a) Samatha Meditation (calm-abiding)
b) Loving-Kindness Meditation
c) Vipassana Meditation (gaining correct insight).
The attached link explores the benefits of Samatha Meditation which helps make you calmer and more relaxed. Mingyur Rinpoche states that practicing these three specific meditations will help address: depression, anger, fear, doubt, and loss of self-esteem.