How to Live Without Anxiety

March 12, 2024

“Normally our need to escape from unpleasant feelings is so urgent that we do not give ourself the time to discover where these feelings actually come from.”
– Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Solve Our Human Problems

Anxiety arises when we anticipate situations we feel we won’t be able to handle. This causes mental and even physical pain. According to Buddha, these unpleasant feelings start because we believe that something other than our own state of mind is what causes us happiness or suffering. Anxiety sets in when we worry, “What if this terrible thing happens?” When anxiety becomes a habit, it’s our first response to every situation, and we end up identifying ourself as “an anxious person” – always feeling stressed and tense.

Unfortunately the things we’re most afraid of will come to pass. This is Buddha’s First Noble Truth, the truth of suffering. Whether we’re rich or poor, male or female, old or young, we are all currently trapped in a state of suffering that ultimately leads to aging, sickness, and death.

Buddha didn’t point this out to depress us, but instead to motivate us to look at the source of our suffering, so that we can understand it, reduce it and finally abandon it altogether. We do this through the practice of meditation.

Meditation is the practice of cultivating inner peace, and is the real source of happiness. The goal isn’t simply anxiety management or just feeling a little bit better – we want to experience a profound change and become a deeply peaceful person. We want complete anxiety eradication! This is possible if we use meditation to develop a calm and peaceful mind as well as the wisdom that understands where our anxious thoughts and feelings come from.

The first step is the development of inner peace. First we focus solely on the breath and by virtue of doing this we stop paying attention to everything else. By focusing our mind in this way, an experience of peace naturally arises. We then turn our attention from our breath to this experience of inner peace, allowing it to completely pervade our mind.

From this we will be able to glean two key wisdom insights: inner peace and happiness are natural to the mind, and with practice we can increase that peace and happiness. The more we practice, the more inner peace and happiness we’ll experience, and the more familiar we’ll become with our new identity – that of a peaceful, happy person, free of anxiety. Tapping into this deep potential for authentic happiness is truly revolutionary.

Watch this video with Kadam Morten, where he talks about this process based on Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s teachings:

Other Blog Posts

Gen Menla in NYC 2024 6

Three Public Talks in Three Days – Gen Menla’s 2024 Visit to NYC!

Blog Center Happenings Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Email Share on Reddit In early March, we had the pleasure of welcoming Gen Menla at…


How To Meditate – A Guide

How to Meditate When practiced correctly, meditation is a scientific method for increasing happiness. Buddha discovered that we each have a natural reservoir of inner peace in our mind which…


Change Your Mind, Change Your World

“We may think that our suffering is caused by other people, by poor material conditions or by society, but in reality it all comes from our own deluded states of…


Limitless Potential is Our True Nature

“Each and every living being has within them the seed, or potential, to become a Buddha, a fully enlightened being – this is our Buddha nature. In Buddha’s teachings we…


Healing All Our Relationships

“Purifying our mind of delusions through spiritual practice fulfills our deepest longing for true, lasting happiness.” – Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform Your Life According to the…

We Are Profoundly Interconnected

“In short, we need others for our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Without others we are nothing. Our sense that we are an island, an independent, self-sufficient individual, bears no…


The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Mind

“When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within.” – Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform…


Do You Believe Happiness is Entirely an Inside Job?

“If our mind is peaceful, we will be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we will never be…


Watching the Mind From Within


What Are Your Deepest Wishes?

Meet Our Sangha

Sangha refers to our supreme spiritual friends who inspire us by their example, assist us in our practice, and encourage us to follow correct spiritual paths.


Chris: Fearless in the Face of Cancer


Cesar: Merging Dharma and Daily Life


Paige: The Choice in Every Moment


Maria: Transcending Fear and Panic


Woo: Journeying Inwards to Deepen Connections


Shelley: Cancer and Living in the Present Moment


Bliem: The Quest to Count 10 Million Mantras


Sharon: Learning to Let Go of Anxiety


Joseph: A Life Centered Around Dharma


Marcela: I Love Kadampa Festivals!