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Discomfort and Physical Pain

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:58 pm
by renaissance
One thing that I'm still not sure how to deal with is physical discomfort and pain. What is the benefit of staying present when you're in extreme agony, have a stomach ache, or chopped off you finger? When I'm in a really unpleasant state, all I want to do is distract myself. How do you deal with this?

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:45 am
by eve
When Ramana Maharshi was dying of cancer, someone once asked him about the pain he felt. He replied that it was like the sting of a thousand bees. And so it was, but he never confused it with the Self The pain is the pain, and the Self is the Self And the Self includes the pain

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:08 am
by Shion
IMHO this matter implies that very challenge that is our relationship with the physical body we inhabit.
As though we can be so fond of the body we've grown up with for so long with so many memories and experiences.... this body is destined to disappear.
A great challenge of the awakening is how we relate with the body's pains
and pleasures.
If we want to transcend pain, we should be also able to transcend pleasure being unattached with. Damn.... enough hard.

Such experiences I'd like to hear about as the original poster, Renaissance too, I suppose... though I don't hear so much about it from the Gurus around.

To me, if Maharshi explained the pain he felt like 1000 bees sting, he either exaggerated on purpose, or he was not good in mathematics. :shock:

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:35 pm
by kiki
I have no doubt that Maharshi's pain was intense - like a thousand bee stings is just a description that anyone can relate to.
Shion wrote:If we want to transcend pain, we should be also able to transcend pleasure being unattached with.
It's not pain that is transcended but the suffering that arises out of it that and attaches itself to the separate sense of self. Pain will arise as long as there exists a physical body, but the suffering of the ego is another matter. The suffering is the story that is weaved out of the pain, and that is what is transcended.

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:58 pm
by spiritworker
I have been experimenting with this subject this weekend due to a severley inflamed nerve in a tooth.

I have to say, at its worst - I am in the NOW. No other thoughts or emotions - just intense pain. The identification with suffering has been quite minor in comparison and manageble by being present or not. But physical pain is real pain. I accept it, try not to attach thought and emotion to it, but can't escape it.

For me, the key is not to get emotionally attached to it. I guess its a question of surrender with no emotion attached. I'm not sure if this is the best way to deal with it (bar practical measures such as painkillers).

So I won't sit down and weep - but intense pain does put me in a state of presence which doesn't feel aligned with the universe either.

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:09 pm
by Agnieszka
I quite often experience pain, sometimes intense one. And while in the past I consumed tons of painkillers and used to think that I would die without them, today I simply AM with it and I am still alive.
I try not to add any story to the pain and I just expand my awareness around the place which hurts. If you do it, if you envelop the sore area, embrace it with awareness - it at least diminishes or becomes less nagging. Just pretend that you are "bigger" than that :D Oh, I forgot: it's hard but I always try to accept it. ET claims that simply noticing, being aware of something is acceptance in itself but if the pain is severe, I also say: this pain IS and it's ok. So, then some warm field is created around the pain. And breathing is important, of which I sometimes forget :)