"Zen teachers often use the image of 'taking tea with the demons.' Fear — to name merely one demon — grows huge as we flee from it, but, when we turn and face it, it shrinks. Running from fear is about as productive as running with your clothes on fire.

"When I was eighteen or nineteen, I wrote down a sentence from the existentialist writer Romain Rolland: "The only heroism is to see reality as it is and love it.' I'm still working on seeing; loving may be for another day. Breathing in, I feel the deep roots of my fear . . .

To Practice: Take tea with one of your fears. Can you see it clearly? Can you love it?

Mary Rose O'Reilley in The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd