Awake pain body at the workplace

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Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Zizitop » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:47 pm

Hello,

I personally have a strong pain body. It is a mix of emotions such as sadness, anger and (social) fear and subtle negative thoughts that try to take me over.
I use some techniques of Tolle like being in the body, feeling the emotions and tensions, expressing the emotions, observing my thoughts in the present moment. And this works! However, at the workplace (or even other social situations) I have difficulties being in the body all the time, or observing my emotions or thoughts because my focus is (or has to be) directed to the daily tasks I have to accomplish. Most of these tasks are cognitive tasks, using the computer.
I also notice that my pain body is often active during the workday, and able to take me (partly) over for some period. So I feel it uses my unawareness because my focus isn't always in the body or pointed towards my (subtle) negative thoughts while performing work tasks.

Anyone experiences or suggestions on this?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby lmp » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:22 pm

I don't have much of the anger, sadness, fear going on. I struggle a bit with being tired at work though and not finding it terribly important. I don't use the words being in the body but I can tell you what I actually have done. At work I've said to myself 'everything is the same' meaning it doesn't matter if I'm on a sunny beach or talking to an angry customer at work. So I've given the same attention that I would effortlessly to enjoyig the sun at the beach to the sound of the phone, the button I have to press to answer, the finger which stretches out to press the button, the sound of the voice on the other end, the attempt to understand what the other person wants or is saying, the quality of my own voice, the company label on the pen I pick up, the quality of the paper I write on, the graining in the tree on my desk under the paper, the removing of the dust on the screen, looking at my collegue as for the first time to see what she's actually doing. On and on, giving complete attention to whatever is going on. You get the picture I'm sure. In the same way if it was going on I would look at the pain body, what it is doing, how it is done, what effect it has, and so on. In this way, for me, there is care, attention, love for that which is going on. I don't know what you think about that as you don't quite know what it did for me.

I think having a foucus on subtle negative thoughts is good and shows that you have som patience and intentions of finding out whats wrong. I don't think however that it is a solution to anything in particular, meaning you won't exactly find a cause in what you are looking at, but it is an action that is good for some time until it is clear that there is a problem of a certain kind.

If you have more to say I'll write more too.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby DavidB » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:08 am

You know, nobody really explains properly the different aspects to human consciousness.

Being, is fundamental. Being is passive, in the sense that we do not need do anything at all to be. We are being right now without any effort at all.

Presence, is when the mind is quiet enough so that we become aware of being.

Transcendence and liberation, are what happens when we overcome our past conditioning and repetitive thought patters.

Karma, is the accumulated past experiences and thought patters that reemerge in the present.

The pain body is the accumulated past trauma and experiences that in sense, haunt our current life situation. Overcoming the pain body then requires an undoing. Undoing learned behavior patterns. These behavior patterns though are mostly unconscious so are somewhat stubbornly resistant to change. That's why undoing and unlearning these patterns takes persistence and perseverance. Just as it took a long time for us to become so completely unconscious, it can take a long time to become completely conscious.

Being is immediate, as we are always that, always. Presence is always only a heart beat away, as it is the awareness of being. Overcoming karmic patterns however, can and often do take a life time. :wink:
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Zizitop » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:43 pm

Thanks for these answers, very helpfull.

As my pain body is active during a couple hours of the day, I really have to spend most attention to this.
So I could say that my focus is directed towards 'what is going on' inside me, rather than it is directed towards external activities.
Maybe I have the divide my attention a little bit more. Don't now what's your opinion on this?

Being in the now for me implies that I try to observe every thougt that pop up at every moment, and try to physically relax, feeling the tensions inside the body.
The aim of this practice is that I try to not feed the pain body, through non-identification with thougts and not enforcing the tensions.
It is true, however, that I spend a lot of time on what is going on inside of me, and lose some attention to what's going on in the outer world.
I don't now what's your opinion on this? I think it does requires a high level of consiousness to be fully aware of both inner and outer world,
and I feel I not always capable of being in this mode of consiousness or being.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby lmp » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:43 am

Zizitop wrote:Thanks for these answers, very helpfull.

As my pain body is active during a couple hours of the day, I really have to spend most attention to this.
So I could say that my focus is directed towards 'what is going on' inside me, rather than it is directed towards external activities.
Maybe I have the divide my attention a little bit more. Don't now what's your opinion on this?



Let's say that I feel tense and I go to a place in nature that I like, a place with a view over the ocean and the sky. Looking at the view I become aware that my tension is really just a small part of what is actually going on, but I might not be able to enjoy the warmth of the sun or the patterns on the water, or the majesty of the view because I'm so tense. For the moment I'm stuck with the tension.

On another occasion I go to the same place and I feel free, relaxed, at leisure, free to enjoy and explore the place. To many people, nature is a place where we can go and not feel pressured, not feel obligated to perform, but just be and have a great time, enjoy the flowers and the animals. Nature is a place that allows us to be as we are, it's all freedom.

Even if we cannot pay attention to the external we can borrow something from it. Just like nature can be a loving place for us, we can be a loving place for the tension in the body (the pain body). It may sound romantic perhaps, but to treat the problem momentarily completely without an agenda, to have that little bit of courage and love for our flaws (tension in this case), to allow them to be, it may open up room for the bad to have a more equal status as the good. Even pain has it's course, but we become impatient with it because it's not what we want.

Most people continue to run away from pain, but if we can face it, understand it, perhaps slowly and gently, a little bit at a time, at the end of it is the peace we look for. I think what I want to say, and I don't even know if it's the case for you or not, but when we have done something for quite awhile, let's say we've been aware of thoughts, something has to be added to it for it not to become static. So to add this loving feeling we know from nature into our own observation of our problems was one of the points I was trying to make. This way perhaps the idea that they, the problems, are trying to take you over can be lessened.

To some extent it is true that we do not solve the problems we look at, but the change takes place in the looking. We sort of shift over to the positive energy that is in the looking. In the attention and care we give awakens what we long for, it is not necessarily so that we find a solution for the problem we look at. We might have an idea about what the problem is and so we have our attention there but the problems also have an element in them of being fictitious, they end or are relaxed rather than that they are straightened out or sorted out. It might not even be clear to us where they went once they're gone. What is left and more real is the care we give, or observation as it is often called. My tip is to spend some time on examining the qualities of the observation, what is it, or how is it, that we can observe (our problems).

Talking about the workplace again I would consider it to be a situation where I provide more of the freedom for that place or the people there than it being a place of providing freedom for me, but that's just a way of reasoning about it from my personal point of view.

I'm just discussing with you, these are some of my ideas about 'what to do', not necessarily what you need at the moment. I'm trying to, slowly, connect what I'm saying to how we look at the pain body.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby lmp » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:02 am

Zizitop wrote:
Being in the now for me implies that I try to observe every thougt that pop up at every moment, and try to physically relax, feeling the tensions inside the body.
The aim of this practice is that I try to not feed the pain body, through non-identification with thougts and not enforcing the tensions.


I see nothing wrong with what you are describing. It sounds like thoughts and feelings are dominating you less.

Zizitop wrote:It is true, however, that I spend a lot of time on what is going on inside of me, and lose some attention to what's going on in the outer world.
I don't now what's your opinion on this?


I think this question is the same as the first one I answered with the longer post.

Zizitop wrote: I think it does requires a high level of consiousness to be fully aware of both inner and outer world,
and I feel I not always capable of being in this mode of consiousness or being.


When my mind is still, the mind is the place where the inner and the outer takes place. It is a higher, or more peaceful, or more natural state. When the mind is not still it is the place where the problems take place.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby DavidB » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:40 pm

You don't need to be conscious of the inner body all of the time. I know Eckhart recommends some attention always directed inward, but I personally don't find it necessary all the time. I only focus on the inner body when I need a deeper sense of meditation, to help center and ground.

Being conscious of the inner body is a technique that helps draws the attention into the present moment and quieten the mind. This is because the body by it's very nature is always in the present moment, unlike the mind which can drift into memories and fantasy. But if you are already in present moment awareness, then focusing on the body can become more of a distraction to attention than a useful technique. The human mind only has a very limited focus, so trying to split the focus inward and outward at the same time can become very awkward, especially if your outer attention is what is presently most needed at the time.

It is perfectly healthy to allow your attention to focus on what is needed in the present, which might mean being absorbed by what is going on around you, and then when your attention is free from external events, return to the inner body. In this way, your entire life becomes a meditation, floating from the inner to the outer and back again.

The pain body is not something we can fix in any real abject sense. The pain body is only something we can learn to accept. Through the acceptance, a non resistive relationship develops that helps deflate the pain body and makes it far less disruptive.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Zizitop » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:07 pm

Hello,

Since I've been observing the pain body, I could say it normally is active for 30 minutes up to a couple of hours.
I am convinced that the thinking mind can be very destructive. So when the pain body is active, the only thing I have to do is watching and feeling, without trying to do something more.
lmp wrote:What is left and more real is the care we give, or observation as it is often called. My tip is to spend some time on examining the qualities of the observation, what is it, or how is it, that we can observe (our problems).

That's OK, but I don't feel however the need to examine the qualities of the observation, as it is something that cannot be thought. I do experience the quality of it, without making a mental construction (my mind will make mental constructions, but then I continue looking at this)

lmp wrote:When my mind is still, the mind is the place where the inner and the outer takes place.

DavidB wrote:The human mind only has a very limited focus, so trying to split the focus inward and outward at the same time can become very awkward, especially if your outer attention is what is presently most needed at the time.


I find these very usefull perspectives. Maybe I'm thinking to much about this, but in the exemple of the workplace, isn't it so that the outer attention is most needed during the day (for accomplishing tasks, responding to others,...)? In my experience it is in these moments or periods of time I've been often taken over by the pain body, because my attention was not fully directed towards the pain body that very subtle becomes active. I do remember Eckhart suggested trying to do activities while feeling the inner body, so that you think, react, do things,... from out of the inner body as it were. Don't know what you guys think about this :)
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby lmp » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:27 pm

The outer attention/knowledge at work in its most basic form is useful, how to manage the printer at work etc. It is basically ok and necessary. The inner movement is a similar movement, in that it is also thoughts and more, however to a large part it is to do with attachment, the attachment to better circumstances, to more positive thoughts, feelings, fantasies etc, a combination of both creating the problems, separating oneself from them and trying to solve them. I would equal that operation to the pain body (our thoughts and the sensation in the body really). There's a lot to say about it, but as you said, you observe it and are fine with that.

To do some things when we have leisure and an opportunity to watch? I think, definitely do things that trigger the pain body activities in order to watch it, that way we learn about ourselves actively, it's fun and interesting, eh.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby DavidB » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:32 pm

I find these very usefull perspectives. Maybe I'm thinking to much about this, but in the exemple of the workplace, isn't it so that the outer attention is most needed during the day (for accomplishing tasks, responding to others,...)? In my experience it is in these moments or periods of time I've been often taken over by the pain body, because my attention was not fully directed towards the pain body that very subtle becomes active. I do remember Eckhart suggested trying to do activities while feeling the inner body, so that you think, react, do things,... from out of the inner body as it were. Don't know what you guys think about this :)


I have a job where my attention needs to be focused on the tasks that I'm doing. Sometimes there are too many competing demands, which can become somewhat anxiety and stress provoking. In these situations, I cannot focus on the inner body, as my attention is already quite full on the external requirements. I instead simply notice the anxiety and stress response arising, just be aware that it is there. I don't need to do anything about it, I simply become aware of it, notice it is there, accept it, and in this way the feelings can exist without adding a further problem needing to get rid of it. This has the effect of deflating the potential crisis and instead turns it into an exercise of knowing oneself better.

Being present is the opposite of trying, the end of technique. Trying to focus your attention on the inner body is a technique, it is only useful as a means to become present to the awareness of being. Once you are aware of being, it no longer serves and real purpose, but could instead become an obstacle as you try and separate your attention away from present life situations, causing frustration and potential fatigue. I know Eckhart recommends having some attention on the body, which is good advice, but sometimes this isn't possible, as our attention needs to be focused on what we are doing. As I said, I instead simply notice the emotion that arises while I perform my tasks, not needing to do anything about them, but simply accepting that they are there. This creates a peaceful coexistence with my pain body rather than a pain provoking resistance.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Zizitop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:59 pm

[quote="DavidB"]Being present is the opposite of trying, the end of technique. Trying to focus your attention on the inner body is a technique, it is only useful as a means to become present to the awareness of being. Once you are aware of being, it no longer serves and real purpose, but could instead become an obstacle as you try and separate your attention away from present life situations, causing frustration and potential fatigue.[/quote

I can agree with this. I think that there is indeed some quality in the observing and feeling the ego and pain body, but on the other hand you stay focused on negative things. I often observed/felt the pain body for a couple of hours, and in a lot of cases this indeed evoked some frustration and serious fatique. In this respect I even wonder if it isn't better to try focusing on complete other things, instead of giving your attention the ego or pain body. In my opinion the technique of observation is very usefull, but has also a downside because you're then (pre)occupied with the problem instead of just doing your things in everyday life. You can focus on egoic thoughts and feelings as much as you can or want, but maybe it would be more usefull to develop the capacity to recognize some negative thoughts but NOT continuing focusing on them, as they are all illusionary in nature and therefore not worthy to give too much attention to.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Onceler » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:59 pm

Zizitop wrote:
I can agree with this. I think that there is indeed some quality in the observing and feeling the ego and pain body, but on the other hand you stay focused on negative things. I often observed/felt the pain body for a couple of hours, and in a lot of cases this indeed evoked some frustration and serious fatique. In this respect I even wonder if it isn't better to try focusing on complete other things, instead of giving your attention the ego or pain body. In my opinion the technique of observation is very usefull, but has also a downside because you're then (pre)occupied with the problem instead of just doing your things in everyday life. You can focus on egoic thoughts and feelings as much as you can or want, but maybe it would be more usefull to develop the capacity to recognize some negative thoughts but NOT continuing focusing on them, as they are all illusionary in nature and therefore not worthy to give too much attention to.


Yes, I think its not only okay, but a good idea to learn to control your attention and be able to shift your attention away from negative things, thoughts, influences to more positive or neutral things....like the breath or the inner body. What's often overlooked in shifting attention is that it's not avoidance. In other words, take time to pay attention to the worrie, fears, negative thoughts on a feeling level before consciously shifting away from them. I think what psychologist call 'flow' is a good way to be at work, or anywhere, and is what DavidB is talking about. It is an absorption in what one is doing. A singleminded focus in a task. A hallmark of flow is perception of time....there is none. Hours can go by quickly without one noticing time. I believe the natural state of being is one of flow, where we are simply absorbed in the richness and endless variety of life. It's not bliss or a feeling state per se, just an absorption and single minded focus.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Zizitop » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:19 pm

I feel like this discussion leads us to something good :) , in the sense of some practical guidelines how to consciously deal with the problem. When taking the time to pay attention to the worrie, fears, negative thoughts on a feeling level before consciously shifting away from them, then there is hardly question of resistance to the problem. I'm supposing that you talk about a couple of seconds to a few minutes attention to the pain body, before shifting the attention? It is in my experience that when taking too much time to feel/observe the ego and pain body you're never really in the flow (as you say), despite of the fact that this practice has some quality in itself. So in other words I suppose that taking too much time to focus on the pain body isn't always good, as you're trying to be in the state of Being or flow, but never really accomplish this. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm still learning :) . In this respect I think it's a good guideline to focus fully on a task when being at the workplace, not having a sense of time nor focusing on negative thoughts or feelings that distract yourself from work.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Onceler » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:06 pm

Zizitop wrote:I feel like this discussion leads us to something good :) , in the sense of some practical guidelines how to consciously deal with the problem. When taking the time to pay attention to the worrie, fears, negative thoughts on a feeling level before consciously shifting away from them, then there is hardly question of resistance to the problem. I'm supposing that you talk about a couple of seconds to a few minutes attention to the pain body, before shifting the attention? It is in my experience that when taking too much time to feel/observe the ego and pain body you're never really in the flow (as you say), despite of the fact that this practice has some quality in itself. So in other words I suppose that taking too much time to focus on the pain body isn't always good, as you're trying to be in the state of Being or flow, but never really accomplish this. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm still learning :) . In this respect I think it's a good guideline to focus fully on a task when being at the workplace, not having a sense of time nor focusing on negative thoughts or feelings that distract yourself from work.


I'm no expert, still learning myself.....I think we need to rely on natural intelligence to determine what needs our attention. In an ideal state this would happen automatically. Our attention would naturally move toward what needs to be focused on in the moment and away from extraneous, negative material. So, seconds.....minutes? I don't know, it would be up to you in the moment. The most important thing is our ability to be aware of where our attention is in the moment, coming out of the fog of auto-think, and the conscious decision/choice as to where to put it.

I'm a believer in self inquiry, finding out who you really are. This sets the background to understanding what/who you are and are not and dissolves fear-based psychology. This is can be exquisitely simple. Just close your eyes and ask how it feels to be me. Then feel, don't think. The theory (John Sherman) is that this takes away our fundamental fear immediately, but that it can take a long time, years, for us to lose our old fear based defenses. Slowly our natural intelligence takes over and we are in a kind of flow, effortlessly directing attention to where it needs to go. Until this point we must take control and consciously learn to direct our attention.

I am in the midst of this process, which never ends, and life grows more and more fascinating and compelling as we embrace the unpredictable craziness for what it is without trying to change it or deny it. Without cringing in fear and withdrawing into a protective cocoon.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Awake pain body at the workplace

Postby Zizitop » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:26 pm

Onceler wrote:I'm a believer in self inquiry, finding out who you really are. This sets the background to understanding what/who you are and are not and dissolves fear-based psychology. This is can be exquisitely simple. Just close your eyes and ask how it feels to be me. Then feel, don't think. The theory (John Sherman) is that this takes away our fundamental fear immediately, but that it can take a long time, years, for us to lose our old fear based defenses.


It takes indeed a lot of time to overcome our past conditioning and repetitive thought and emotional patters, what Eckhart talk about as liberation. I also believe that there is some kind of natural intelligence to determine what needs our attention, but I also think that this natural capacity can hardly (or even not) flourish when consiousness and unconsciousness are not in accordance with each other. So I think that being conscious of unconscious patterns makes that you are not 'taken over' by any negative pattern, although you're not changing this unconscious pattern as such (or at least not within a couple of weeks or months). I suppose that consiously striving for inner peace can create an intern conflict when there exist unconsious negative thought and emotional patterns who are opposite oriented. So in this perspective, I think it's good that the unconsious patterns get a push in the right direction, for example by the use of hypnosis or self-hypnosis. In this state, unconsiuous patterns can be relativized and alternative habits or conducts can be suggested. Later on, ego or pain body can still come to the surface, but it's then acceptable for the unconscious mind that the consious focus can be shifted towards neutral or positive things. No intern conflict anymore, and natural and automatic intelligence can develop and fulfill its function. I must admit though that this is a little guesswork, but I think it's a good way to come to a nice synthesis.
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