Pain & Fear awareness/tools

The last 2 days I’ve been able to get back into my morning zazen (meditation) practice and it is making such a difference in my day. Also, last night was my Tuesday evening formal meditation group. The first and third Tuesdays we sit 3 rounds of zazen, meaning a 25 minute round followed by a 10 minute walking meditation (kinhin), therefore: 25/10/25/10/25. The second week we sit one round then listen to a dharma talk and the last 3 months, on the fourth Tuesday we’ve been replacing the dharma talk with what we are calling Sangha Building. We sit in a formal zazen posture so our minds remain quiet and open and then one at a time, as people wish, we share with each other to become more of a community. Last nights topic was on fear and pain. Up till now it’s basically been someone sharing some light weight issue and people sort of commentning as to how that applies to their own life. Zack, also a member, and I feared this would be the last since there wasn’t anything being shared of real depth, however, when M shared about his struggles it opened the gate for others to share.

What did I add to the conversation?

I live with pain and fear everyday. A good protion of that is suffering from remembering the past pain, accumulated stress, and the anxiety, meaning fear, of future pain and suffering. I was taught a practice though, recently, that has helped a lot. Sitting where ever I am at the moment I consciously feel my feet on the ground and my body in the seat. I call to mind that I have shelter, a car, food to eat. My bills are paid and I have money coming in. It may be just enough to cover monthly expenses but it does cover them. I have clothes on my back and shoes that are in good repair. I have a community around me, friends, and a support system. All the fear and anxiety are basically residing in my head.,

Is my head going to explode? No it isn’t, even if it feels that way.

Here I am, now. My upcoming surgeries are 2 months away. My past surgeries are just that, past. I really have no idea what will happen after them. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow for that matter. All I have right at this moment is today.

Why pre-suffer? For that matter, why suffer for something that can’t be changed, i.e., the past?

I ask myself – What was I doing, feeling, thinking right at this moment August 24th, 2015? In fact, what was I doing Feb 24th, 2016? Who knows? I certainly don’t. Will I even remember what I’m worrying about now, a year from now? I doubt it. So why waste valuable energy and undermine my peace of mind?

Dealing with physical pain –

I shared that I don’t take the pain personally. When I do then I fall into self-pity. “Why me, why do I have to experience this? What did I do to deserve this”? Well, why now? What makes me unique and different from other people? Nothing. Something I’ve been saying recently is, “…better me than someone who is less able to handle it.” Pain just happens. It is what it is. It isn’t who I am, it isn’t what is important in my life. Yes, it’s exahusting at times and humbing a lot of the time, and no doubt there’ll be future posts with loads of complainst but that’s okay. I need to allow the emotions out, to verbalize those thoughts, release them and honor them. If I don’t they’ll bottle up inside me and burst out at the most inopportune time.

So that’s all the time I have this morning. I am heading out to my home group meeting to make coffee and set up.

Have a fabulous day everyone. hi


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