Managing Pain with Mindfulness

Mindfulness and Nonduality at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

The benefits of mindfulness continue to land in the headlines of national and global news…are you open to being mindful of what is unfolding?  A daily mindfulness practice has even been linked to healthy glucose levels, yet another reason to pay attention and notice what is unfolding.

Today we look at the benefits of using mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as a way of managing the response to pain. An eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction trial has proven effective in easing pain.

A recent study looked at 38 participants at Kaiser Permanente, Colorado, who suffered mostly from back or joint pain or psychological distress. Patients were assessed at the beginning and end of the program and at one year after the baseline assessment. Changes in how they used the health-care system were compared for the six-month period before the first MBSR class and 18 months after completion of the class. During the class, participants were introduced to core MBSR practices, including a guided body scan, some yoga, and sitting and walking meditation.

Not only did the patients report significant improvements in mental and physical function after taking the course, but they significantly decreased their use of health services such as emergency rooms and specialty care. Certainly, we can use an organic and natural method of pain relief!

“When it comes to chronic pain, the key is learning to live with it rather than vainly trying to avoid or eradicate it,” Christiane Wolf, M.D., reports in the April 2015 issue of Mindful magazine.

Wolf says a regular meditation practice is the best ongoing foundation for working with pain.

Wolf reports it helps to shift the locus of control from the outside (this is happening to me and there is nothing I can do about it) to the inside (this is happening and I seem to have a choice about how I relate to it).

For you brave pilgrims subscribing to these posts, let’s go a step further than Dr. Wolf’s report and move briefly into the realm of nonduality. As long as the personal belief that there is an individual ability to choose, then there seems to be choosing to be mindful of what is unfolding. Read this article about how choosing claimed by the body after the fact.  

When the belief in being a chooser and making choices falls away, when the judger and judgments and preferences fall away, then all energy and appearances manifesting are known as impersonal awareness appearing as forms and formlessness..and pain is just a label, like pleasure is a label, with both being perfect appearances in the dream of reality.

Your original nature is beyond…transcending the rational and relative brain…transcending the illusion of personal appearances, to the source of impersonal awareness, a nameless, timeless, limitless, infinite edgeless void.

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