You cannot conquer fear. Fearlessness means intelligence to live the intense fear without directing it towards any object. When there is no object to be afraid of, the intense fear will give such an intense relaxation and peace.
Fear is a powerful energy which gives a deep relaxation, a deep centeredness. The fear center is the rejuvenation center.
Fearlessness is not suppressing fear.
For example, when you are afraid to cross a dark area in the night, you start thinking of and repeating god’s name. Because of fear, god’s name will be topmost in your mind! You feel that you don’t have fear because your inner chatter is engaged in something else! When you engage your inner chatter in something else, you feel that you are out of fear. But you have only diverted your attention, you haven’t solved the problem completely.
There is a saying, ‘When a cat drinks milk, it will close its eyes tight and think that the whole world has become dark, and therefore, nobody can see it!’ Understand, you also do the same thing when you don’t pay attention to the fear, and then believe that the fear has disappeared.
Fearlessness does not mean non-existence of fear. It means the fear is there, but you have tremendous energy or courage to live with it and face it. Fearlessness means having the energy or the courage to live even with the maximum fear. It is going beyond that fear and being neither attached to nor detached from the fear.
One more important thing you should know is fear is part of the nature of life.
People come and ask me, ‘What should I do about my fear of the unknown?’ I tell them, ‘Fear is a good sign, it means you are alive! There is a possibility of losing something, and that is why you are afraid. If you don’t have any possibility of loss, you will never be afraid.’
You can be fearless if you are already in your grave! Then there is no need to be afraid of anything because you have nothing to lose! If you have something to lose, you will have fear. That is the nature of life itself. Fear does not exist when things are definite and known. Fear exists only when things are not definite, when they are mere possibilities and unknown in that sense. For example, death is a possibility. As an incident it is definite, but when and how it might happen is not clear. So there is always fear associated with it.
Your fear of darkness and fear of death are actually the same – fear of the unknown. Connecting with the darkness will remove this fear. Your fear of death, the fear of disappearing, will be completely healed.
Anyway, understand your fear of darkness is because of your ignorance, because you have not faced it clearly
In tantra, the first instruction that disciples are given to do for healing the inner self is to go and sit in a forest or empty space and gaze at the emptiness. All that the person has to do is to sit in the emptiness of the vast open sky, and one has to gaze at the sky the whole night. So many different fears and moods will come up. Whatever one has suppressed will come up. In Zen tradition, they have a similar practice where the person is asked to sit facing a wall and gaze at the wall. The mind becomes empty and one with the emptiness outside.
One important thing to remember when you do this is that if you have suppressed your need for rest, that suppression that has become restlessness in you, and your desire to relax into silence, will also come up. It is like the whole system is getting cleaned. That opening up of your suppressed emotions is what you feel as fear.
You feel, ‘No, no! I don’t want to look into this darkness!’ You try to avoid it. If you can just look into the darkness and the fear with awareness, you will live through it and get over it. If a child is afraid of the dark, we say, ‘Don’t be afraid, you should be brave.’ When you say this, you are teaching the child that the fear he is feeling should not be felt. But the child cannot do anything if the fear arises in him. So now he tries to force himself to feel brave by suppressing the fear. This is how the child learns to suppress the natural emotion of fear. His body is trembling with fear but he resists the fear in order to prove he is brave.
Instead, if you allow the child to accept the fear and explore the darkness that is causing him fear, the child will go through the darkness and the fear completely. The fear will automatically drop from him because his own experience would have shown him that the fear has no solid existence.
source: Living Enlightenment