Dealing with Physical Pain
08-28-2017, 04:50 PM,
Dealing with Physical Pain
Chronic pain is a prevalent and potentially debilitating condition.  Carla dealt with it for much of her life, and few people have the natural grace to do that as well as she.  

Although not in pain myself, I have recently asked for and received some very clear spiritual guidance on how to deal with pain, and wanted to share it with you - for yourself or someone you know.

This technique works by transforming how your brain interprets signals from your nervous system: what was once perceived as an alarm, can become a more gentle signal.

Method: Focus internally on the pain, and allow the pain to wash over you in waves, like the ocean, while remaining perfectly still and centered emotionally.  "Relaxed" is somewhat of a misnomer for the state involved, but more composed as opposed to panicky, frantic or desperate to do something about it.  

One way to achieve this calm and centered state is to allow yourself to become gently curious about the quality of the pain, as opposed to emotionally intense about it.  (Clearly, having a sound foundation in a mindfulness practice will be helpful).

Doing this in 15 minute intervals, then getting up and moving around and focusing on something else is advised.

As you are able to relax and allow the pain to wash over you, the aversive quality of the pain will diminish as the brain retunes itself to accept the signal as normative, as opposed to disordered, or as signaling indicative of a problem.  

The consequence is that the pain becomes less of a bother and you will be able to experience the pain, but not be so strongly impacted by that experience.  Instead of being highly disruptive, it could become just a nuisance - more like an itch than pain.

How does this work?

When we focus a calm and welcoming mind on a sensory experience, we are transforming its meaning at the physiological level within the brain matrix.  We are saying that this is no longer an aversive experience -- this is an interesting experience.  Circuits associated with interest and curiosity, rather than circuits associated with danger, avoidance and fear, become active.  The more you pursue this approach toward pain, the more the quality of the pain will be transformed.
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08-29-2017, 02:00 AM,
RE: Dealing with Physical Pain
What I found helpful is also to breathe into the area of pain. Because often when we are in much pain, our breathing becomes very shallow.
Great sages like Ramana Maharshi were so disidentified with their body-mind complex that they would not even need anaesthetics when having surgery.
Apparently the experience of pain is more of a mental state -if, like Ramana or Nisargadatta, you know that you are not this body-mind, then why bother? There is pain, there may be pain but you are not that, it does not concern you, the real you.
The other night I woke with abdominal cramps, I sometimes get those as part of my physical vehicle and I was so sleepy and just chose to disregard them... they were still there but somewhere "in the back", if that makes sense. Like in a more remote corner of my room.
And I went back to sleep.
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08-30-2017, 01:22 AM,
RE: Dealing with Physical Pain
Just want to add regarding what JayCee said, if I'd have pain and at the same time I slip into fear that "whatever pains me at the moment" might get worse or damage me, just this thought alone increases the pain load.

"Everything comes from the sun."
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08-30-2017, 10:31 AM,
RE: Dealing with Physical Pain
I find that a lot of suffering and discontent comes from the fear of pain and the fear of feeling it fully. I'm trying to "lean into the sharp edges" and see pain as a teacher. That said, I'm practicing with very minor pains and discomfort and I can't imagine what some people go through.

Given that we tend to have this avoidance mechanism around pain, it's weird that the Confederation cites it as such an important teacher.

It is not that love will tell you what to do.
It is that love will tell you how to do it with love.
Q'uo 3/19/06
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