Find Happiness 16: How Inner Peace Helps You Deal with Pain

pain Pain is one of the less enjoyable facets of life. We all have dealt with it at some points in our lives, and it is very likely that most of us have not seen the last of it. It is usually a disturbing experience, the degree of mental discomfort being directly proportional to the degree of pain. However, the effect on your psyche will be minimal if you are familiar with the expansive peace inherent in you. This article explains the mechanics of the phenomenon.

To align with the boundless peace within you, you have to first locate it. Once that is done, you have to align yourself with it during every waking moment, until it becomes effortless. This is actually quite easy, since the state you will be in is your basic identity, the “basic you”. It is your true nature, long obscured by years of identification with your thoughts (i.e., your mind).

The fact is that your thoughts are not you. You are aware of them but are separate from them. You can see this for yourself if you look deeply into what is going on in your head. To do this, find a quiet place and budget 10 minutes of solitude on five or six occasions. On each occasion, close your eyes and pay attention to what is happening in your mind. Whenever you think something, try and answer the question, "Who was aware of that thought?"

You will ultimately realize that ‘you’ are aware of your thoughts and that you are a motionless witness to them. They come and go but you remain untouched, a constant witness who is still and at perfect rest. This is not some whimsical theory, either… it is thousands of years old, and is the attitude just describes is what all the great prophets and wise men have had over the millennia. It would be a good thing to join their ranks, say what?

Once you are constantly aligned with inner peace, pain is not such a nerve-racking experience. This is because you are a witness to it, and therefore not mistakenly thinking that it is happening to you. It also means that your mind will not be crammed with thoughts like, "God, this is so lousy" or "Why does this have to happen only to me?"

You quietly watch the pain, experiencing it but not being too disturbed by it. It will by no means be transformed into a pleasurable event… but you will not be agitated by it. You should of course follow your normal course of action for physical treatment of the pain (like taking a painkiller).

Focusing your attention on one thing has even been scientifically proven to reduce the impact of pain  (read the study performed at at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center).

ramana-maharishi There was a great sage called Ramana Maharishi who was alive in the 1950s. He developed cancer on his elbow and had to be operated on. He refused to be anaesthetized during the surgery. When a concerned friend asked him, "O Learned One, did it not hurt terribly?" the sage replied, "The body had pain. Am I the body?"

Your body and mind are wondrous creations but they are not you. You are a peaceful witness to them. Realize this and make your life serene!


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Get the Weight Off Your Mind in 10 Minutes a Day

If that title has the ring of a typical fitness course to it, there’s a good reason. There are a lot of similarities between mental fitness and physical fitness. A mind burdened with useless attitudes is as unhealthy as a body blanketed with layers of fat. And wouldn’t you know, just like there are guaranteed prescriptions for bodily fitness, there are indeed several foolproof prescriptions for mental fitness. It’s two of those mental fitness prescriptions that I am going to touch upon now.  They are uncannily similar to certain prescriptions for physical fitness. You’ll see…

The mental fitness prescriptions I’m talking about are mental weight training and a balanced mental diet.

 

Prescription 1: Mental Weight Training

AerobicMentalExercise So what is mental weight training? It’s making your mind do a specific exercise on a daily basis for 10 minutes. It strengthens your mind when you do it. The more you do it, the stronger your mind becomes. You see how it’s similar to weight training ?

Let’s give it a whirl. To start with, just sit in a place where you will not be distracted by outside elements. Tell everyone around you that you do not want to be disturbed for 10 minutes; switch your phone off or tell someone else to answer it and say you are busy, and if possible close the door to the room in which you are sitting.

Now close your eyes and watch your breath. Breathe slowly; be conscious of your breath flowing into your nostrils, streaming into your lungs and then slowly flowing out of your lungs and out through your nostrils. If your mind gets pulled off in a different direction while you are trying to do this, don’t worry, it’s natural. What you have to do is give more importance to your breath-watching. The only reason that your mind gets pulled off onto other subjects is that you think they are more important than your breath-watching exercise. Trust me and re-align your priorities.

Perform this exercise for 10 minutes every day. Over time (maybe even in a week), you will find that at the end of the 10 minutes your mind feels wonderfully refreshed. How long it takes for this obvious phenomenon to occur basically depends on how well and how many times you perform the exercise. ‘How well’ means how good your concentration was (recap what I said about distractions). In a nutshell, the more regular and less distracted you are, the faster you will get results.

If you keep the exercise going for some months, you will find that the refreshed feeling persists long after you’ve gotten up and gone back to the rest of your daily routine. The fact is that you would have become a somewhat calmer person on the whole.

After that happens, you’ll start wanting that calm all the time (I mean, who doesn’t want more of a good thing?), for which there are more methods, but first please do what I have just described, that will be plenty for now…

 

Prescription 2: Follow a Balanced Mental Diet

GodMentalDiet Feed your body a balanced diet and your physical health will be great. Feed your mind a balanced diet and your mental health will be terrific. It’s as simple as that.

So what is a balanced mental diet?

A balanced mental diet consists of inputs that do not upset your mind but instead enhance the performance of your mind.

 

Inputs that upset your mind (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Violent or depressing movies, songs, speeches and writings
  • Hanging out with people who have a negative, violent or antisocial attitude
  • Abused drugs.

 

Inputs that enhance the performance of your mind (again, not an exhaustive list):

  • Movies, songs, speeches and writings that carry a positive message about life
  • Hanging out with people who are cheerful, non-violent, positive and productive
  • Studying the teachings of those who have attained inner peace.

 

I totally understand if you think what I’ve just said is simplistic, fanciful or maybe wacky. PLEASE don’t dismiss it out of hand… I’ve learned these techniques from great Masters; I’ve practiced the above mental weight training and balanced mental diet myself and can vouch for their efficacy.

Give both of them a shot, keep at it and you will definitely see progress and great results!

To your good life,

 

lucky


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