How meditation helped me to manage acute pain.

Iulian Doroftei, modified 10 Years ago at 2/8/14 5:11 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/8/14 5:11 AM

How meditation helped me to manage acute pain.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/27/13 Recent Posts
I know, this is a mundane effect of my meditation practice, but I think it is worth sharing.

I broke an ankle some days ago and found myself in the emergency room with four guys trying to force fix it without painkillers before x-rays.

I had been practicing Samatha and Vipassana before for about 1.5 hrs/day for 3-4 months, after reading MCTB.

So, I was expecting excruciating pain during the process. Well, the pain came but as I started to focus on sensation it became bearable. The interesting part is that they didn't manage to fix the broken bones in their very place and had to refix it after x-rays, with the same painful brutal procedure. Well, the second time, I was looking for it with a sort of curiosity, if not anticipating pleasure. The guys were trying to talk to me to keep my focus out of the operation, but i laughed and told them to do whatever is to be done and I took it with indifference.

I found out during this experience, by surveying my mental state during the process, that the most painful thing regarding pain is not pain in itself, but the thoughts on the bad effects the source of the pain must be having on the body. The mind fears that the cause of the pain is highly harmful and threatens survival. As long as one inspects the process of pain, trying to refrain only to it and, most important, to ignore the speculations of the mind relative to the body damage which underlies it, the pain becomes not relevant and quite bearable.

An important note is that I was helped to undergo that level of pain by not scratching my itches during my meditation sittings. I had been trying to determine their scope, duration and acuity and keep on concentrating with this itchy background until they become irrelevant to my attention. Also, not changing position in spite of muscular pain during sitting was of great help.

I would dare to say that a well trained meditator could undergo even torture without much inner discomfort.
Richard Zen, modified 10 Years ago at 2/8/14 10:50 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/8/14 10:50 AM

RE: How meditation helped me to manage acute pain.

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Good job! Breakdown the physical pain into vibrations. Curiosity is also very helpful.