Inquiry: No pain, no gain

No pain, no gain.


No. It’s an idea.

What happens when you believe that thought?

I seek pain. I seek difficult situations.

When I am in pain, I see it as OK to stay there.

I am not motivated to get out of the situation triggering pain, or inquire seriously into the belief creating pain for me.

Can you find specific examples from your life when you believed this thought?

When I stayed in Wisconsin instead of going back to SLC or Oslo, I was caught up in this belief.

I stayed because I thought the pain would somehow be good for me. I would learn something from it.

During sesshins, I would sit in pain instead of getting a chair. Again, I did it because I thought the pain would be good for me. I would get something out of it.

When my first relationship ended – against the wish of both of us – I stayed in pain instead of doing something about it, for instance seeing if we could get back together. Again, I stayed in pain because I thought it would be good for me.

When did you first have that belief?

Probably early in life, absorbed from adults around me who stayed in painful situations.

They stayed in painful situations, I thought they did it because it was somehow good and right, so adopted the belief.

What are you afraid would happen if you didn’t have that belief?

I am afraid I would miss out of pain, and so also the gain.

How likely is that?

Hm. I may leave painful situations much quicker, but if something is important for me to learn, I trust I will learn it.

If it is important to learn, life will give me opportunities to learn it other ways.

In other words, if I am at odds with life, life will show me.

Who would you be without it?

Free from the “need” to be in pain.

Quickly moving out of pain, either by removing myself from the situation and/or through inquire into my painful beliefs.

Quickly moving out of pain through changing the situation *and* inquire into painful beliefs.

(And do whatever else works.)


Much pain, no gain.

Yes. That’s true in my experience.

When I am in a great deal of pain, I am not in a state to learn or gain from it.

I don’t have the receptivity to learn from it.

No pain, gain.

Yes. The situations where I feel I have gained the most have been mostly pain-free.

My time in Oslo in my early twenties. When I lived in SLC. Breema. Inquiry.

Conversations with good friends. Befriending experience.

Enjoyment, gain.


No enjoyment, no gain.

That’s true too.

When there is enjoyment, I am more receptive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.