Pain is natural, real and a part of life. It is a subject near and dear to me. Not only because I run marathons, but also because pain is an unappreciated human emotion. Running away from it does not lessen its effect but only increases our suffering.
Since pain is inevitable, why fight it. Might as well embrace it, confront it, or get familiar with the feeling of pain as intimately as we can, so we are not hooked by it into suffering. Right, you say. Easier said than done? This is where meditation practice can help.
A misconception about meditation is that it’s a la la land and pain free. Not true. Part of sitting-with-self discipline is to be still and experience the various sensations that are going through one’s mind and body. This includes pains. And with practice, one can engage the pain fully to the far side of the complexity.
Let’s be clear that meditation does not make the pain stop nor disappear. But it puts us in the driver seat by familiarizing ourselves with the sensation. So when pain starts to rare its ugly head, we can deal with it without being afraid.
What is your experience coping with pain?