Maria: Transcending Fear and Panic

July 1, 2022

When I was sixteen, I had an intense panic attack and wound up in the hospital. The severity of it eventually subsided, but I never felt the same again. Sometimes I would have panic attacks daily, and other times I’d have them every couple of weeks. Nothing seemed to work: therapy, medication, yoga, herbs, the medical establishment.

It felt like I was living my life through a kind of a fog. A lot of it had to do with fear — fear of getting sick, fear of death. It was visceral. Anything that went physically wrong with me would trigger crazy anxiety. The panic became my constant companion. And I couldn’t describe it to friends or to medical professionals; no one understood what was happening. One psychologist said: I can’t help you because you are asking me questions I can’t answer. By my mid-30s, I was resigned to living with this for the rest of my life.

And then I walked into the Center, and that was a game changer. Here, people openly addressed all the things that caused my panic. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by others who questioned who and what we were and what we were doing here, and what the point of all of this was supposed to be. Even better, people had answers.

I started coming to classes, learning the Buddhist view on life, death, and reality, and how to meditate. It was so beneficial to understand the difference between myself and my thoughts. To understand that I was not this inherently anxious person who was going to be riddled with this panic forever.

About two years after coming to the Center, I realized I hadn’t had a panic attack – or even felt foggy – in months. Somehow, along the way, I stopped paying attention to those thoughts, and they vanished. Because of Dharma, I’ve got coherent answers to why I’m here, what I’m doing, and what happens after I die. I no longer fear what I feared because I understood what the underlying cause of my panic was. Now I am actually so deeply grateful for having had these challenges, because without them, I’m not sure that I would have found my way here.

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…


How to Live Without Anxiety

“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…


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