Dale Borglum presents a talk on ways we can soften physical pain by separating our identification with it.
“We are not trying to make the pain go away, we are trying to be with it as openly as possible.”
Body and Mind (Opening) – The first step towards working with physical pain is to listen to what our body is telling us about what is going on, rather than listening to what our mind has to say. Dale shares how we can distinguish the pain our body feels from the suffering that results from the mind’s fear of the physical pain we are experiencing.
“We learn a lot of our lessons through messages that we are getting through our bodies. Beyond that, the mind tends to be manipulative, complicated and tricky, it doesn’t necessarily tell us the truth. The body tells the truth, the body tells you what is going on.”
Listen to Stephen Levine’s meditation on softening physical pain here: Softening Pain
The Sky of Mind (10:00) – It is possible that physical discomfort can be something that opens and inspires us to let go of strong identification with body and begin to identify more with living spirit. Dale leads us in meditation that aims to separate the mind’s identification to the body.
“Yes, the body is in pain. But that is allowing me to realize, at least partly from the pain itself, that I am much bigger than this; I am that. The pain is simply one of the clouds in the sky of mind.”
Softening to Pain (28:40) – Dale talks about his early work with Stephen Levine with terminal cancer patients and learning to soften to pain, not just trying to get beyond it.
“What would it be like to be able to love, and soften to the part of your body that might kill you. What would be the more powerful practice – to see part of yourself as the enemy that needs to be subdued or to be able to love it?”
Krishna Das discusses the aspect of presence that comes from the pain our body feels in Ep. 11 of the Pilgrim Heart Podcast.
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