Author Topic: Meditating on pain  (Read 514 times)


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Meditating on pain
« on: October 27, 2017, 12:28:28 PM »
I saw in the news a buddhist monk that burned himself because he was protesting and just sat there burning until he was dead. He did not move or scream. Then a different guy I saw online was only set aflame a tiny bit with only 15% of his body and was running around screaming.

So how do the monks do this? Anything you can think of please such as how to think like a monk and how to meditate and have certain thoughts to reduce pain? Anything would be a great help as I have cancer.

Thank You very much.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 01:02:13 PM by air9 »


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Re: Meditating on pain
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 05:09:35 PM »
Hi air9,

Ajhan Brahm is a buddhist teacher. And some of his videos can help regarding your question. He tells the buddhist way of dealing with pain and suffering.

Metta, May you be healthy.


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Re: Meditating on pain
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 09:45:47 PM »
Hi Air9,

I am so sorry you are going through a difficult time and dealing with pain and illness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn's classic, Full Catastrophe Living, could help, I think, and so could Shinzen Young's teachings on working with pain (you can find some good articles by him online - breaking down pain into talk, image and feel and other great tools...)

Not on meditation per se, but on cancer, I loved the book "Love, Medicine and Miracles."

Are you able to find a meditation group or teacher that can work with you through this?  I would think the more support that you can have the better, perhaps talking with others that have gone through similar experiences and used meditation in the process.

Much metta,
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron


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Re: Meditating on pain
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 01:15:17 PM »

I am sorry for your sickness and hope it will be an opportunity for you to develop wisdom and inner peace  :)
In the situation you described, there is a person who react and a person who doesn't.
Obviously, it is difficult to understand how it is possible and if not reacting to pain decreases pain or not. Is this monk just perfectly equanimous, showing nothing, or does he feel less pain than normal? Are both entangled? A thing is that we can note that equanimity is not a hoax.
I made an experience with someone very ticklish, just asking him to try not to react to tickles, and later asking the same thing while observing his sensations.
In the first case, it is almost impossible, and in the second case, it is quite easy for most people. I think it is the same process.


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Re: Meditating on pain
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 07:13:35 AM »
I had to deal with a lot of physical pain, and I find that the body-scan practice works best. Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn is a great book that I would recommend to learn meditation. The body-scan is very easy to learn, the rest is just a matter of practice and not getting discouraged easily at the beginning. You can achieve great things with a little perseverance. Sometimes it might not feel as if it is really helping, but with perseverance there will be huge benefits.  :)

Mindfulness meditation is also very helpful and is something you can practice at any time throughout the day. Because of this, it requires less discipline than setting time aside to practice. It can be practiced at any time, while taking a shower, washing the dishes, walking, waiting in line, brushing your teeth, etc. It can make the most boring moments more joyful and interesting.

Very sorry to hear about your cancer, but I will say that pain can be a great motivator. I find that the key to personal growth is the ability to be honest with oneself. I'm always amazed at how much people can be blind, in complete denial of very obvious things. As they say in Alcoholic Anonymous, the first step is admitting you have a problem. The more honest you are about your issues and feelings, the more chances you have to resolve your problems. But meditation and growth does require some emotional courage, you have to allow yourself to let these feelings come up and it can be very dark and daunting. Unfortunately there is growing pains that you have to go through. But again, the rewards are huge.  ;D

I would also recommend eating a whole food diet, look up the website for guidance.


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Re: Meditating on pain
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 07:16:45 AM »
Another trick, if you can't find time to practice meditation throughout the day, practice when going to bed at night. Once you're in bed, there is nothing else to do but try to fall asleep and practicing the body-scan will help you with that. Also we learn well whatever we do before falling asleep.  ;)


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Re: Meditating on pain
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 07:28:07 AM »
Just thought of something else.  ;D

Like I said, letting our negative feelings come up and being honest with ourselves about our issues is daunting. But, what helped me is reading about Psychology and realize how common my issues were. Often we think there might be something wrong with us, we wonder if we are normal. Having issues is completely normal, life is challenging and complex. It also helps to understand how things happen to us... Things literally just happen to us, so there is no reason to blame yourself for any of it. All your flaws, circumstances, illness, etc., all these happened to you so be sure to show yourself a lot of compassion.  ;)

When you read about psychology you start to see how the issues you're dealing with came to be, and when you meditate all of this becomes even clearer. But I can assure you that it's not all as scary as it seems... You get to a point where you can easily accept what happened to you and you can see that you're no worse off than others, it's just that different things happen to different people. Life is tough for everyone so there's no need for self-pitying.

I often look up where I can look up issues I'm struggling with. This helps me better understand my problems and how to deal with them.