Working with Anxiety: An Essay on Mindfulness and Psychology

By Salvatore Celiento

When we feel anxiety, it seems solid, unchanging, and self-existing. If we look with mindfulness and awareness however, we can observe that anxiety is dependent on a variety of causes and conditions. Such causes and conditions include our thoughts that a something is a threat, our mistaken notion of ego or sense of “I”, and contact between a sense object, the sense organs, our consciousness, the environment, our karmic traces and dispositions, our physiological body, and sensations of anxiety in the body. If we observe with awareness, we can notice that anxiety is in constant motion, changing shape and form. Thus, anxiety can be said to be selfless or egoless – not self-existing. It arises and dissipates according to the circumstances.