How Pain Will Set You Free
What Science Can Teach Us About Practice (Meditation)
What's interesting about this talk is that it, for those of us who are not already learning about 'mindfulness', is some truths about life through pain and suffering that science has inadvertedly helped us to understand.
Suffering Is An Opinion
I've always had an inkling of this lesson, but it was never that simple until this jumped out to me in the video, that suffering is an opinion of the feeling or emotion of pain.
It's like speed with a direction. Suffering is a state of mind. It is how one feels, an 'opinion' about the situation. Things like 'this sucks', 'why me?', 'this is never gonna end'.
Disconnection Is Not The Answer
Apparently, one of the most common mistakes of new meditators is to disconnect themselves from the experience, like building a protective moat to shut the world out.
You will get results. It is, however, only an illusion, much like the proverbial giraffe sticking its head into the ground, hoping that just because one can't feel it means that the issue is solved.
Accept and Embrace It
Late into the video, Kelly talks about what seemed to be a paradox. In a test for pain tolerence, they found that experienced meditators were able to experience a higher level of heat before experience a similar level of pain as the newer meditators, the same ones who were essentially ignoring the feeling.
Here's the interesting thing; Brain scans show that the experienced meditators, instead of blocking the sensation of heat, were actually actively aware of it.
Interesting isn't it? You would think that an awareness of it would make one more sensitive to the heat and lower one's tolerance as a result.
What happened here was that there wasn't an 'opinion' placed on the experience. It was being accepted for what it is.
In this, I find a gift, a lesson, a great truth about life.
Non of us are perfect. Everyone of us have our own lessons to learn. It matters not your age, religion, affluence, etc.
We are who we are. We have to accept who we are before we can move forward, going with the flow, and it is when we don't that we create resistance in our life.
"You learn to appreciate the light by living in the dark"
– Eve, Mass Effect 3