Day 2 with Mingyur Rinpoche.
After seven hours of sitting in unfriendly chair, my back was screaming, and ready for the master's instructions for pain meditation:
- Don't try to get rid of the pain. This is the opposite of our normal responses which are: 1) being afraid of the pain, 2) wishing for the pain to go away; in both cases end result is more pain
- Rather, turn pain into object of meditation, just like any other object, such as breath, or sounds.
- Just become aware of pain/discomfort, seeing it develop with clarity
- Welcome it as a friend.
- If you cannot make friend with the pain, and you notice either fear or aversion, then make fear/aversion the object of meditation - using them as support for meditation
- Learn with small pain at first, otherwise one risks getting overwhelmed with big pain
- With attention, pain may becomes bigger - this is not bad; Rinpoche gave the analogy of dried cow dung on a wall. When the dung is dry it does not smell. As soon as one starts to apply water on it to clean it, the smell gets released, and gets more and more intense as more water is applied. This is temporary however but a necessary step before the wall can be all clean. More pain signals purification process.
- If pain becomes too overwhelming, turn the attention to other objects: sounds, breath, forms, smells, etc . . .
- Eventually, meditation on pain heals the pain.
Eyes closed, listening to Rinpoche's voice, I met the pain in my back, and felt it spread even wider. There was dislike, for sure. Turning my attention to the aversion itself, the pain receded in the background, until it . . . well, vanished!
Pain meditation. Healing meditation.