It has been quite a challenging week due to constant lower back pain. This is a meditation for pain that I developed a few years ago, which effectively eliminates any physical pain for a while. So for the first time, I’m sharing the technique here on my blog in case it might be useful to you. It is a rather advanced meditation using the mind, the body, and the breath. Not everyone will find it easy. Sometimes pain is so intense that it can create a state of total insanity in a person. However if you can practice calmly relaxing and focusing the mind with compassion and patience, you will find it is an effective alternative to drugs or psychotropic substances.
Personally, I have used this practice successfully for back pain, shingles, headaches, broken bones, mental anguish, sadness, and grief. Whatever the cause of your pain (in my case today, toxic foods), if you can maintain a relaxed and focused mind through these simple steps, you can render your day quite blissful, at least for a few hours. It puts me in a state of simplicity and joy for quite a while. Of course if I have to get up to pee, to eat, or if someone calls on the phone, then the pain returns. Still, it is very beneficial to do this meditation at least once a day, to give you some relief from constant agony.
What is pain?
Pain is a very powerful concentrated energy in the body and nervous system, that is waiting to be digested, absorbed, and released. Pain is an invitation to listen to it and change your state of being. My brilliant first teacher, Swami Rudrananda, Rudi (the first American Swami) said that “Pain is God’s Love.” That was hard for me to understand at first. Think about it. Pain is just energy insisting, demanding to be noticed and acknowledged. It offers us no other choice. An intelligent person can learn to USE PAIN to deepen his/her relationship to the Self, to release the past and heal on every level.
What’s the message in your pain?
Every chronic pain carries an important personal message for you. It probably won’t be a message in words. And it may take you some time to discover. You can just face the pain inside you and ask: “What am I to learn from you?” Keep asking. The answer may not come in any familiar form, but it will come eventually. Maybe it will come in your dreams, maybe in something during your day, or maybe just a change of the way you feel about life.
There are three steps to this meditation. If you suffer from chronic pain, I suggest you do this practice once a day. It’s a skill and you’ll get better at it over time. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Relax every muscle of your physical body. Systematically relax every bone, every joint, every finger, every spinal bone, and every sinew in between. It helps to know anatomy of the body, however it’s not required – you can also just use your imagination. For example, say to yourself: “Relax my fingers 5,4,3,2,1. Now relax my palms and the tendons in my hands. Now relax my wrists, lower arms, elbows, biceps, shoulders, etc.” Be systematic and go through every part of your body. As your body relaxes deeper and deeper, you may begin to feel as if you’re floating or flying. That’s fine. Go through your body several times if necessary to achieve total physical relaxation. If necessary, focus on any specific area to help it relax. This usually takes me about 15 minutes. Have patience.
Step 2. Slow the breath. Breathe deeply and freely, opening the chest and the heart naturally so that your breath is easy. This usually takes me about 5 minutes. Do not force the breath. Just deepen and slow it. Have patience.
Step 3. Release the mind completely. Yes. I mean let every thought go. Thoughts will come. When an image, a sound, word, or thought appears in the mind, bless it and release it utterly. Stay with it and you will begin to feel unburdened with each release. Often I will see people or old situations from my past appear in my mind. Most of the time I’d like to forget them. Instead of saying “Yucch, I don’t want to see this person”, just bless them and release them in love. They deserve your love, compassion, and forgiveness. And they’ll be gone. You can heal a LOT of old stuff with this technique.
That’s it. You may also listen to your favorite relaxing music while you do the meditation.
Here’s a YouTube recording I like:
Best wishes. If you have feedback or questions about this practice, feel free to contact me at jane @ five seasons medicine. com.