Searching all directions with your awareness, you find no one dearer than yourself...
-Buddha (Ud 5.1)

Why did we create this blog

This blog was created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, USA, where 20 first-graders ages ranging from 6-7 were massacred by an angry 2o year old gunman. This took place on the 14th of December, 2012. We believe if he was taught how to love himself, how to be kind to himself, how to be compassionate to himself and how to appreciate himself, from an earlier age (pre-school) none of these things would have happened. It was a very sad occasion to all of us and it is time now to change its course. We have to acknowledge this happened, forgive the person who did it and learn from this tragedy. -Devni W.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Can we reduce the pain by being kind to it?

Physical pain and mental pain are not the same. It is important to recognize these two as distinct entities. The physical pain of the body is received by the mind. A mind untrained will cling on to the pain with thoughts aversion and will add the second pain in addition to the physical pain. This is the mental pain or suffering. Now you have two pains instead of one.

Buddha explained this very nicely in the Sallatha Sutta. He compares the physical pain to the first arrow and the mental pain to a second arrow. The physical pain we all have to endure. However the mental pain we create due to our own ignorance and it is optional.

Here is a real life story a friend of mine sent me today;

"Some of you may think it is just belief, faith or mere stupidness on my part, nevertheless thought of sharing the most unthinkable experience I recently encountered with all. I had excruciating pain, a very sore and  sensitive stomach. I ended up at the emergency unit. Since the reports were clear, the doctor prescribed some medication and sent me home. During the early hours of the morning  my pain become even greater and I did not have any pain medication with me at the time, even though I had the been prescribed it earlier.

Since I attended the recent meditation retreat by Ajahn  Brahm, I remembered him relating a similar situation with him and how he handled it. Through desperation, I immediately started to focus on the location of the pain, welcome it unconditionally, radiate loving kindness to the pain, allowing the cells in the area to get well oxygenated and let it go. Once my mind was still I was able to focus on my breath.  I used this technique each time I got the pain. Believe it or not I gradually felt my muscles relaxing and the pain reducing too! Even though it took a long time,  I felt the pain reducing more and more until it fully disappeared!!

I sincerely thank Ajahn Brahm for relating the story and teaching the technique and commend Piyal and Indi for opening the door to all of us by bringing such a great teacher.

With great confidence I can recommend it to any novice to try it too ' cos I myself just learnt the correct art of meditation recently, taking baby steps at this point and yet it worked !!!

Best wishes and metta to all

Puri Jayasekera"

Also read/watch:

1.  The story of the two arrows: Physical pain is inevitable but the mental pain is optional

2. Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

The First and Second Dart , page 49  (Chapter 3) 

3. How to Be Sick: Toni Bernhard, J.D., is a former law professor at University of California at Davis. She is the author of How to Be Sick.

4. Mindfulness can reduce chronic pain :BBC
The theory that meditation can reduce stress, depression and even chronic pain is one that has been gaining in momentum in recent years.
So the BBC's David Sillito has been learning the art of mindfulness meditation in order to find out for himself.
After getting to grips with the activity, he joined some other devotees for an MRI scan to find out what impact the practice can have on brain activity.

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