"I look inside myself to find my peace"


Greeting Pain with Mindfulness

Buddist teachings tell us to greet pain with mindfulness, to notice how the pain moves through many phases and to pay attention to the nuances of constrictions, pulsation, intensity and the diminishing of intensity. In mindfulness, we keep our attention focused on these changes even as we experience them.  We observe the flow of our thoughts, feelings and sensations. We become explorers of our inner world, and we learn a great deal about ourselves.

As we do so, we gain insight into the cause and core of our karmic condition, our spiritual initiations and the lessons we are meant to learn. We grow in humility, endurance and appreciation for little respites and moments of joy. We expand in courage and acceptance of life's ups and downs. When we open our hearts to living peacefully with ourselves and fellow encounters, we develop a calming effect on ourselves and others around us. And above all, we become acutely aware that our consciousness transcends the human condition.  

Whether we are dealing with physical pain, distressing feelings or both, we can train ourselves to repond with peaceful contemplation. We are told to embrace pain with courage. Yet that is a somewhat dismaying thought to many of us. It is a bit like wanting to embrace a porcupine. Who needs it? But it is very true, psychologically and spiritually, that pain opens our heart. Pain melts our hardness of heart, humbles us and quickens our awareness of our higher power(God). Actually, it is because of pain that many are on a spiritual path today. True happiness is when everything we think, say and do is in harmony. Enjoy the day.

Written by: Sherrie Vitello
Excerpts taken from the book: Emotions, Transforming Anger, Fear and Pain. Written by: Marilyn C Barrick, Ph.D.

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