“If you’re invested in security and certainty,
you are on the wrong planet.” 
– Pema Chödrön


Working with Anxiety and Emptiness – Dale Borglum

Sep 17, 2023

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How can we use the experience of anxiety to understand the Buddhist concept of emptiness?

Dale Borglum shares that our understanding of emptiness is necessary for conscious living and conscious dying, the subject of his life work.

Just being on the spiritual path can lead us into anxiety at times, because we are letting go of our identity. This anxiety can be a difficult experience because it becomes so persistent in the background that we no longer recognize it. This makes it difficult to differentiate when we are acting out of anxiety versus wholeness and centeredness.

Emptiness is often misunderstood as nothingness. It is simply a way of perceiving our relationship with the nature of reality. Embracing anxiety can actually bring us into direct relationship with the true nature of self. It is grasping at the delusion of a non-existent self that gives rise to our suffering.

Dale explores how all emotions are healing messages. It is only when we are immersed in the delusion of living in separateness that anxiety arises. By working with anxiety, we learn who we really are and how we can approach our death fully conscious, without fear. We come to see that anxiety is something we experience, but is not our true nature.

Dale Borglum founded and directed the Hanuman Foundation Dying Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the first residential facility in the United States to support conscious dying. Working with Ram Dass and Stephen Levine, Dale helped found the conscious dying movement in the West. He has been the Executive Director of the Living/Dying Project in Santa Fe and since 1986 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He is the co-author with Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman and Dwarka Bonner of “Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook,” Bantam Books and has taught meditation since 1974. Dale lectures and gives workshops on the topics of meditation, healing, spiritual support for those with life-threatening illness, and on caregiving as spiritual practice. He has taught with Ram Dass, Stephen Levine, Joan Halifax, Robert Thurman, Joanna Macy, Jack Kornfield, Annie Lamott, Jai Uttal and many others. He has a doctorate degree from Stanford University.
Learn more at https://www.livingdying.org/