Having grown up accustomed
to chairs and sofas, sitting on a cushion on the floor
can be a humbling experience. It’s not uncommon,
especially when learning to sit, to experience a certain
degree of discomfort, or even considerable pain, as
the body adjusts to an unfamiliar posture.
important to understand that pain is simply another
occcurance in one’s life. Nobody goes through
this life completely free of pain, be it physical,
emotional or otherwise. Chasing
the elusive dream of a pain-free existence we
alienate ourselves from everyday life. We’re
neither as good as we wish we were or as bad as we’re
afraid we are. And that goes with pain.
We can learn to experience pain
simply as pain, rather than complicating it by wishing
it weren’t there, by trying to avoid it, or becoming
demoralized by it. Rather than allowing our paind
to remain as suffering we can practice willingly
to live our lives fully, regardless of liking or not
liking what is going on at any particular point.
So don’t be surprised if you do experience a
certain amount of discomfort. It may be very helpful
for you to observe your pain without trying to end
it, without trying to fight it.
Pain is something neither to run away from nor to
try to transcend in a kind of spiritual machismo. Machismo
is Zen practice creates either false pride or a constricting
sense of defeat. Both of these are hindrances to mature
practice. Be sensible.
Can you begin to relate with pain in a new way? If
you really pay attention to the pain, you can begin
to see that your pain is not a continuous state, like
putting your finger on a buzzer, but
rather more like waves and cycles, nuances within the
p ain that you can learn to differentiate. Pain is
not a thing itself but a variation in your experiencing
in each moment.
Often people respond to physical leg pain by tensing
the muscles around it. Which intensifies it!
So try observing your pain and breathing into it to
relax your muscles. This is not a technique guaranteed
to eliminate pain. This a way to relate to your pain.