Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

Meditation and Pain

Sit : Love : Give

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Three skills useful in managing pain

To summarize, essentially you are learning three skills:

1. Moving towards the pain with a kindly, gentle attitude, experiencing it as moment-by-moment changing sensations.

2. Then broadening out awareness of the moment to include and embrace pleasurable dimensions as well.

3. On the basis of this broad, rich and more spacious experience of the moment making choices about how you respond to what you encounter. Learning to ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’. This can enrich your experience of life enormously, even when living with pain/illness.


About Vidyamala

guest writer VidyamalaVidyamala is a co-founder and director of Breathworks, a company offering ‘mindfulness-based strategies for living well’.

She runs courses in Manchester UK for people suffering from chronic pain and illness, teaching them how to optimize quality of life using meditation and other mindfulness-based strategies. She also is involved in running a training program for those wishing to deliver the Breathworks programme in other localities.

She suffered a spinal injury in 1976 and has used meditation and mindfulness to manage her own chronic pain for many years.

Vidyamala’s CDs of guided meditations — developed as part of her Breathworks pain management program — are available for sale in our online store.

Comments

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Comment from Kirk Puffenberger
Time: May 6, 2012, 9:27 am

I have an 18 year old son who has been suffering from chronic diarrhea and pain since a radical surgery back in 2009. The tips and insights you provide on using meditation are wonderful. However, if I were to put them in front of my son at this point, he would blow them off. We’ve exhausted all the medical options we can find and have tried aroma therapy, bio feedback, acupuncture, and some other things like some “mind over matter” games. Unfortunately, he has little patience for any of these.

So my question is what led you to finally pursue / discover meditation as a real option. And secondly, as parents is there anything we can do to help him discover this to help him through this suffering?

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Comment from Vidyamala
Time: June 6, 2012, 6:50 am

Hi Kirk sorry for not replying before now. I am very sorry to hear about your son’s illness. It sounds very tough for all of you. It is hard to know what to suggest as I didn’t listen to a thing my parents’ said in the early days of my pain and I needed to find my own way to finding new ways to manage. It just takes time – similar to a grieving process I think and your son is young to be dealing with his condition. But you never know what seeds you are planting by suggesting different things to your son and he may be taking it in more than you realise. It may be that he can relate to my story as someone who developed chronic pain when i was 16, so you could suggest he try an online course I have developed? He can do this in the privacy of his own room and life at his own pace when he feels like it. The link is http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/index.php/breathworks-courses/pain-a-illness/mfh-online-course It may be reassuring to you to know that it took me probably 10 years to begin to take responsibility for my health and mind and so your son is still new to this journey. It probably feels like he’s been struggling for ages but 3 years is not very long when coming to terms with these things. Thanks for writing and apologies again for not getting back to you sooner. Best wishes Vidyamala

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