Dealing with Physical Pain
Many of us suffer from different forms of physical pain. Whether it is from injury or from disease or from stress, pain in our bodies is something that can not only cause us suffering but disrupt our mental state as well. There may be medications, physical therapy, massage, nutrition or other ways of healing our bodies that does not involve our minds. However, meditation on its own has been proven to reduce inflammation as well as help people deal with pain. I have recorded a guided meditation in my website for dealing with physical pain. You can find it under “Guided Meditation Audio”. Here are the steps involved in that guided meditation:
Step 1: Let go of all resistance to your pain:
Having pain is by itself suffering, but resisting it makes it worse. When we resist our pain we cause mental stress as we try to emotionally push away our pain. Some feelings like this might just be natural given the amount of pain you're in, but if you can help it at all consciously try not to resist your pain. This allows for a greater sense of ease of mind, which will be reflected in how your relate to others and how you feel overall.
Step 2: Completely and fully accept that our pain exists:
Complete and full acceptance of our pain not only lets go of what we don't want, resistance, but also cultivates what we do want, acceptance. By accepting our pain we are at ease with the fact that we have pain, and therefore can allow our hearts to have that much more space to breath and be at peace. Acceptance of whatever obstacles arise in our life allows us to see and know that our hearts transcend them. It is through accepting our obstacles, including our pain, that we find the most peace with them and simultaneously are most empowered to overcome them.
Step 3: Breath into the pain:
Using your breath, breath into the places where your feel pain. This is with the intention of bringing vital energy to those places, as well as relieving any tension you have in those places, allowing you to let go in those places. Breathing into your pain also relieves any stuck energy and allows those places to feel like they have good flow of energy and blood.
Step 4: Send loving energy to your pain: By sending loving energy you send healing to your pain, which will relieve your pain. Love is a powerful healer. We all know how good it felt to have our mothers give love to our wounds when we were in pain, usually through their hands. This was done intuitively, without thinking. In this step I invite you if you wish to use your hands in order to send loving energy to your pain.
Step 5: Let go of self-cherishing attitudes by having compassion for others who share the same pain:
Being in pain doesn't mean that you are a selfish person, but it does tend to skew your thoughts towards yourself rather than others. This self-cherishing attitude can exacerbate our pain by making the whole world more about our ego, which is the root of mental suffering. We can lose ourselves in a neurotic form of self-pity or victimization. In order to counter this possibility we can think of all those who suffer the same way that we do now and have compassion for them. Our pain can go from being merely a burden to a vehicle for cultivating powerful compassion and transforming our hearts.
Dealing with pain is an unfortunate circumstance, but there are ways to train our minds that can reduce our pain and even use it as a method for cultivating compassion for others. Besides the guided meditation for physical pain that I have described above one can also simply practice regular meditation practice of whatever type you gravitate towards to reduce the symptoms of your pain. The normal guided meditation I have recorded is also on the website. May you learn to deal with your pain in the best way possible, reducing your symptoms as well as using it as a way to generate great compassion.