I meditate for about 30-45 minutes a day. Yesterday, I decided to join in a sitting meditation class and experience the difference.
My constant practice has made the first 30 minutes a breeze, until the gong started to sound.
“All right. This is your final 15 minutes. Make every breath count.” With a heavy Indian accent, the facilitator told us firmly. It wasn’t the most encouraging of all tone, but hey, I can handle it! Since I ever handled meditations which were longer than 2 hours!
My goodness! I was in for a surprise! As I observed my breath alongside the traditional symphony, courtesy of the flute and tabla, I noticed that my leg started to ache with numbness.
“Shh…its okay. You’ve been through this. Just breathe through it.” I whispered to myself encouragingly. For years, I have little encouragement from the outside world, that’s why I build up enough strength to encourage myself.
So I breathe through the pain, it subsided.
Rick 1 Pain 0
As the tabla beats went faster and faster, I thought to myself that the meditation is going to be over soon. Gosh! The pain struck back with a vengeance. This time round, its ego was bruised and it was all out to make my leg swell even more with numbness.
I was almost tempted to move an inch or even cry out loud.
“You sneaky little bugger…I’m not gonna give in to you so soon.”
The numbing pain went to a new level of sensation. Not cool.
“This 15 minutes is so damn long! It felt longer than the 30 minutes!”
I continued to breath even deeper and deeper, while witnessing the pain. However, my breathing only got slower and more natural when I started to give up “solving” the pain. It was then, the pain started to subside.
The tabla beats finally simmered into silence.
I woke up. The pain was gone. If there was any sensation, it was the remains of the numbness which felt pretty massage-gy I would say.
I felt like I conquered a mountain. It made me realized a couple of things:
- Pain is always inevitable. Be it a rejection from someone you love. Be it a physical pain or an overwhelming crisis. It is how we manage our pain. Take a look at James Bond. There’s always someone out there who wants him dead. He could have cried out loud and feel helpless. But no, he accepted his situation, faced it 100% and acted accordingly.
- How we breathe is a good example of how we live our lives. Are we constantly in a rush to “fix” things? Or can we stay still in equanimity while listening to what this issue is trying to teach or tell us? Breathing helps us to take a step back and observe our issues from a grander perspective.
My dear friends, how do you deal with a painful situation?