How the mind relates to physical and emotional pain

 

What’s the difference between physical and emotional pain?

Not so much, if you’re the mind. In both cases, it may either see it as a threat and recoil from it, or find a way to befriend it.

In both cases, it’s possible to deconstruct and examine how the mind relates to this pain, and find another and more comfortable way to relate to it.

Here are some ways to use the Living Inquiries to explore pain:

Threat. Where is the threat? What images, words, and sensations appear threatening? What additional images, words, and sensations are connected to these? (AI)

The pain itself. Can I find the pain? How does my mind create its experience of the pain? What images, words, and sensations makes up the experience of this pain? (UI)

Someone in pain. Can I find me, the one in pain? What images, words, and sensations make up the experience of me, the one in pain? (UI)

Command. Can I find the command to not be in pain? How does my mind create this command? What images, words, and sensations make up this command? (CI)

Isolating. Can I isolate out sensations, recognize and feel them as sensations? Can I isolate out the images and recognize and look at them as images? Can I do the same with the words? This is the beginning of inquiry, and a crucial step.

Resting. Can I rest with the pain. Notice and allow. Notice sensations, images, words. Allow. Notice they are already notice. Notice they are already allowed. This is the context of inquiry, what inquiry happens within.

Mining. What’s the worst that can happen when I am in pain? What do I fear the most? What’s the best that can happen if I am not in pain? What does the pain mean? What do the sensations mean? What would it say if it could speak? What does it want from me? How would it like me to relate to it?

A lot of the discomfort in pain is how the mind reacts to it. When it sees it as solid, real, and a threat, it recoils from it and reacts to it. And that drama tends to increase and intensify the experience of discomfort. Without these extra layers, the pain itself is easier to relate to and befriend. It becomes less of a threat.

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