Friday, December 20, 2002

Cure for Pain in Sitting Meditation

How to deal with physical pain, such as that in the crossed legs, during sitting meditation on the floor? Here are 2 methods I discovered. They seem to be opposite remedies but they both work similarly using mindfulness.

1. Don't "Care" about the Pain

Keep your mindfulness on your original object of meditation. The mind can only be in one "place" at one time. The fact that you are feeling the pain means your mindfulness has been drifting off from the object of meditation to the pain again and again, toggling to and fro. What the mind does not "mind", it does not mind- and the body will not feel it. In fact, if you do your meditation well, you should not even feel your body (if the object of meditation is not of the body).

2. "Care" about the Pain

Watch the pain mindfully... till it disappears. It will be surprisingly faster than you thought it would be. The pain will disappear because all feelings, physical and mental rise and fall. But in watching the pain, do not magnify it with your imagination. Just see it clearly and accept is as it is. It is amazing how easily mental acceptance creates physical peace.

I recommend the first method if you do not wish to shift mindfulness away from the original object of meditation in the first place. But it can be intriguing to see the moment the pain dissipates in the light of mindfulness. Did you experience the disappearance of your last headache? Probably not- but it definitely did disappear- or you would still be having that headache now! The second method also happens to train our patience and increase our ability to stand physical discomfort. Real tolerance is not having the thought of tolerating. Just be. Just accept, and watch. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

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