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Thread: Dependent Origination: Applied

  1. #1

    Dependent Origination: Applied

    Hello,

    I have an issue, and I would like to invite (read:beg) the community to help me figure something out.

    I'm sure that we're all familiar with The Worst Horse and the catalogue of Dharma-Burgers. There are quite a few here around here that make their way into culture in ways that are slightly irritating to me: from the Laughing Buddha karaoke bar down the road to the Satori night club directly outside our apartment building (its name is very apt--it wakes us up with great vigor when we are most deeply asleep) to the Daily Show's "moment of Zen" and people saying things like "that's so Zen!" and little ashtrays sold with little rakes and little packets of kitty litter to play with. You get the idea.

    So anyway, my school has a publication for students, and I'd like to take the opportunity to put something out about what exactly "satori" means and what exactly "buddha" means and what exactly "Zen" means. However, every time I start to plot out a mind map on relevant topics relating to, well, anything, it quickly becomes to large and unwieldy to be of any use.

    My question, then, is this: in writing to and for the 18-22 demographic, what key points would you touch on when putting together 1500 words about Zen?

    Thanks for your input.

    In Gassho,

    Saijun
    To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. --RBB

  2. #2
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Here are a few:

    Zen has nothing to do with 'clearing your mind'. Karma is the effect of all actions, good and bad - not some sort of retributive bank account. The fat laughing guy is actually Ho Tei - a Boddhisattva (sort of a Buddhist saint) and Chinese folk diety. Satori is an often sudden realization of the reality of this moment outside of analysis.

    Buddhism has as a main insight the realization that true happiness has never been and can never be contingent on the satisfaction of internal or external conditions - which is why one doesn't meditate to become enlightened. If one meditates to become enlightened, then it means one is not enlightened now and one must work to attain that condition. Inherent in that idea is that enlightenment could then be lost, as it would be conditional. If it's conditional, it's not enlightenment.

    I'm sure there are many more ideas - ideas touching on the precepts and eightfold path. In fact, the 4NT and 8FP might be good places to start as well.

    Chet

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Saijun View Post
    Hello,

    I have an issue, and I would like to invite (read:beg) the community to help me figure something out.

    I'm sure that we're all familiar with The Worst Horse and the catalogue of Dharma-Burgers. There are quite a few here around here that make their way into culture in ways that are slightly irritating to me: from the Laughing Buddha karaoke bar down the road to the Satori night club directly outside our apartment building (its name is very apt--it wakes us up with great vigor when we are most deeply asleep) to the Daily Show's "moment of Zen" and people saying things like "that's so Zen!" and little ashtrays sold with little rakes and little packets of kitty litter to play with. You get the idea.

    So anyway, my school has a publication for students, and I'd like to take the opportunity to put something out about what exactly "satori" means and what exactly "buddha" means and what exactly "Zen" means. However, every time I start to plot out a mind map on relevant topics relating to, well, anything, it quickly becomes to large and unwieldy to be of any use.

    My question, then, is this: in writing to and for the 18-22 demographic, what key points would you touch on when putting together 1500 words about Zen?

    Thanks for your input.

    In Gassho,

    Saijun
    As a teacher of 18-22 year olds, I find this a really interesting exercise. What I'd include is this: the idea that we can just be, just be as we are, and that if we can learn to just be as we are from time to time, we will see that the we are perfect in our imperfection (so many Western religions have as their starting point that we're fundamentally messed up and/or fallen, etc). I would use some analogies, because this often helps with students of this age group. Something like: a tree, a flower, a dog doesn't wonder if it has the meaning of life figured out and doesn't freak out or become depressed etc if it makes a mistake or isn't spiritual enough or gets a D on a test. If a tree grows into shade, it grows in another direction toward the sun. If we fall down, we go in another direction: our falling down isn't a flaw, a sin, and doesn't make us bad people; it just means we fell down for a moment, and that's okay.

    Secondly, I would stress that Zen is about stepping away from our selfish behavior. Seeing our selfish craving, seeing the way we like to manipulate and control things - make people think we are cool or fun or interesting or intelligent. And really, what this really is, is us trying to make things perfect, make others believe that we are perfect and great and stuff. And what this selfishness really is is a path to misery, because we will never be liked enough, loved enough, and we will never be able to control enough reality and will need to manipulate more and more. Thus, it's a letting go and opening up, not forcing things to be perfect, not stressing out about whether we're cool or fun or interesting enough, not worrying about how others see us - in this way, we can be more there for others, just naturally.

    I wouldn't touch enlightenment, personally. It's much too confusing of an idea in Zen (I mean, they'll get their own ideas, no matter what you say), especially to someone who knows little about Buddhism in general

    I know this is rather sloppy, but these are two things I would hit. Try to couch it in their language, the way an 18 (very young, imo) to 22 (slightly more mature) might see and experience the world. What Chet says about karma is a good one, too.

    Gassho,
    alan

  4. #4
    I would explain why developing a sitting practice is necessary to get past endless speculating and ruminating. I would explain why having guidance from a teacher and the support of community is essential to developing that practice. As far as theory goes..... just the Four Noble Truths.. and keep it simple.. the ABC's . With family and friends and people I encounter in different situations, I like to say zazen is the practice of being sane and grounded... and describe the image of the Buddha touching the Earth. IMHO it is a good idea to keep discussion to your own actual experience.

    Gassho. kojip
    大山

  5. #5
    Hi,

    There's the risk of just quibbling with words here, but let me toss a few more out ...

    Zen has nothing to do with 'clearing your mind'.

    I am not sure that is so. We certainly are helped by clearing the mind of many thoughts ... anger, greed, division and the like. When sitting Zazen, we allow many thoughts to clear from mind, and come to see clearly through all our remaining, tangled thoughts and emotions. (Of course, our Zazen does not chase after a completely blanked and clear mind ... even though that too may come from time to time).

    Satori is an often sudden realization of the reality of this moment outside of analysis.
    Hmmm. I would have a look at Domyo Burk's essay, which I posted on another thread today.

    Don’t think you understand It. On the other hand, don’t think you don’t understand It. ... It is difficult to say which of these – a sense that we don’t understand, or a sense that we do understand – is more detrimental to spiritual practice.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post87463

    Of course, to paraphrase Katagiri Roshi, "We have to say something" (to the students).

    If one meditates to become enlightened, then it means one is not enlightened now and one must work to attain that condition. Inherent in that idea is that enlightenment could then be lost, as it would be conditional. If it's conditional, it's not enlightenment.

    I believe this is 100% absolutely right, but only partly right. Enlightenment can never be found or lost, yet we lose it all the time. That is why we Practice, and get better at seeking what cannot be sought. Kind of like your eye looking for your eye (which happens to be the Buddha's Eye too), but looking for itself over distant hills. Soon, the eye comes to realize that it was present all along, never lost or found ... and that all the eye surveys, inside and outside, beautiful and ugly, including the distant hills ... was Buddha's Eye all along too. Still, we may again lose sight of this fact from time to time, so must keep Practicing.

    we will see that the we are perfect in our imperfection

    I would say that we are perfectly-imperfectly just what we are ... beyond all thought of perfection and imperfection ... with not a thing to add or take away. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things to add or take away, and no bad habits and imperfections in need of fixing! Saying that “nothing is in need of change” does—not—mean that “nothing is in need of change.” There are, and we can always do better ... freer of greed, anger, ignorance ... can make the world and ourself better and more Buddhalike ... even as all is free from the start, "Buddha" from the start, and nothing in need of fixing or "better". Don't see things from only one angle.

    More here ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...%28Part-XIV%29

    Yes, this Practice-Enlightenment can be something of jello nailed to the wall.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2012 at 04:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saijun View Post
    I'm sure that we're all familiar with The Worst Horse and the catalogue of Dharma-Burgers. There are quite a few here around here that make their way into culture in ways that are slightly irritating to me: from the Laughing Buddha karaoke bar down the road to the Satori night club directly outside our apartment building (its name is very apt--it wakes us up with great vigor when we are most deeply asleep) to the Daily Show's "moment of Zen" and people saying things like "that's so Zen!" and little ashtrays sold with little rakes and little packets of kitty litter to play with. You get the idea.
    Actually, I was not familiar with The Worst Horse or Dharma Burgers...thanks for the link. And of course I know about the moment of zen on TDS which predates Jon's time on the show as well as my time as a zen buddhist! I used to get annoyed too, but ultimately I think it gets the name out there and if 1 out of 100 actually takes a deeper look to see what zen is (and what it isn't) I'd consider that a success.

    As for what to say, I got nothing.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  7. #7
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi,

    There's the risk of just quibbling with words here, but let me toss a few more out ...

    Zen has nothing to do with 'clearing your mind'.

    I am not sure that is so. We certainly are helped by clearing the mind of many thoughts ... anger, greed, division and the like. When sitting Zazen, we allow many thoughts to clear from mind, and come to see clearly through all our remaining, tangled thoughts and emotions. (Of course, our Zazen does not chase after a completely blanked and clear mind ... even though that too may come from time to time).
    I'm not saying that one's mind doesn't become clear - simply that if you sit with that intention, well - it doesn't really work....at least not in my experience.

    Satori is an often sudden realization of the reality of this moment outside of analysis.
    Hmmm. I would have a look at Domyo Burk's essay, which I posted on another thread today.

    Don’t think you understand It. On the other hand, don’t think you don’t understand It. ... It is difficult to say which of these – a sense that we don’t understand, or a sense that we do understand – is more detrimental to spiritual practice.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post87463

    Of course, to paraphrase Katagiri Roshi, "We have to say something" (to the students).
    It's funny because I think you're right - which is more detrimental to the practice? If you think you don't understand, then you'll seek it. If you think you do understand, then you're deluded because it's not something you can understand or grasp. You just are it and with it in that moment. And in the next, you're somewhere else. Still there but unaware of it. IMHO.

    If one meditates to become enlightened, then it means one is not enlightened now and one must work to attain that condition. Inherent in that idea is that enlightenment could then be lost, as it would be conditional. If it's conditional, it's not enlightenment.

    I believe this is 100% absolutely right, but only partly right. Enlightenment can never be found or lost, yet we lose it all the time. That is why we Practice, and get better at seeking what cannot be sought. Kind of like your eye looking for your eye (which happens to be the Buddha's Eye too), but looking for itself over distant hills. Soon, the eye comes to realize that it was present all along, never lost or found ... and that all the eye surveys, inside and outside, beautiful and ugly, including the distant hills ... was Buddha's Eye all along too. Still, we may again lose sight of this fact from time to time, so must keep Practicing.
    Yes. But we don't practice to become enlightened. Letting everything be allows the realization of 'isness' to shine. Or the clouds stay in place and maybe we don't see. Either way, we sit. The clouds of samsara are also enlightenment. IMHO.

    It's just that it's very difficult to explain it like this succinctly for a publication. Better (I think) to disabuse people of the idea that we sit to clear our minds, that attaining enlightenment is like attaining a 250lb bench press, and that Satori is bliss.


    ​Chet

  8. #8
    Hi Saijun - just had a look at The Worst Horse - have to be honest it made me smile. I'm thinking whilst taking ourselves seriously best not to take ourselves too seriously.

    Zen is in popular culture and all those seemingly oblique references might just trigger someone to take a more considered look.
    Just a few thoughts but for a younger audience I would think popular style writing. The ash tray/kitty layer thing is a great intro to meditative act of raking - Zen gardens,etc. The Satori night club and the Laughing Buddha Karaoke - I reckon you could use it all.

    Good luck!

    (Dosho wrote - 'As for what to say, I got nothing' - same here - the more words I read on Zen the less I've got say)

    Gassho

    Willow

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi,



    we will see that the we are perfect in our imperfection

    I would say that we are perfectly-imperfectly just what we are ... beyond all thought of perfection and imperfection ... with not a thing to add or take away. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things to add or take away, and no bad habits and imperfections in need of fixing! Saying that “nothing is in need of change” does—not—mean that “nothing is in need of change.” There are, and we can always do better ... freer of greed, anger, ignorance ... can make the world and ourself better and more Buddhalike ... even as all is free from the start, "Buddha" from the start, and nothing in need of fixing or "better". Don't see things from only one angle.
    Yes, much better.

    Gassho,
    alan

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    But we don't practice to become enlightened. Letting everything be allows the realization of 'isness' to shine. Or the clouds stay in place and maybe we don't see. Either way, we sit. The clouds of samsara are also enlightenment. IMHO.
    Nice. Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    If one meditates to become enlightened, then it means one is not enlightened now and one must work to attain that condition. Inherent in that idea is that enlightenment could then be lost, as it would be conditional. If it's conditional, it's not enlightenment.

    I believe this is 100% absolutely right, but only partly right. Enlightenment can never be found or lost, yet we lose it all the time. That is why we Practice, and get better at seeking what cannot be sought. Kind of like your eye looking for your eye (which happens to be the Buddha's Eye too), but looking for itself over distant hills. Soon, the eye comes to realize that it was present all along, never lost or found ... and that all the eye surveys, inside and outside, beautiful and ugly, including the distant hills ... was Buddha's Eye all along too. Still, we may again lose sight of this fact from time to time, so must keep Practicing.

    Hi Jundo. How do you view the following statement, it is from Nonin, who we both know. This way of putting things was very helpful for me back at a time when I was sitting and realizing non-reaching, non-Dukkha, and then having Dukkha return... again and again. At the time I thought the point was to uproot greed anger and ignorance so as to realize the permanent end of Dukkha ( a very Theravadin view)... and of course it wasn't working out. He described what was going on like this..........

    The reason is, as the First Noble Truth states, dukkha is a characteristic of life. Dukkha is usually translated as suffering, but other good translations are "dissatisfaction," "ill," "unsatisfactoriness," or "unease," which is the opposite of sukkha ("ease," or "well-being").

    Basic Buddhist teaching (the understanding of awakened people) is that suffering has causes, and that cessation of suffering can be accomplished by following the Eight-fold Path (these are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Noble Truths.) However, since nothing is permanent, cessation of dukkha can only be temporary. The First Noble Truth is always a truth of life, and suffering will arise again. However, there are causes, there is cessation, and a path to walk that leads to cessation. This is an ongoing process with no end.

    This , as simple as it is, turned things upside down for me.. in a good way, and it sank in... Then you posted a wonderful description here that I can't seem to find.. where you talk about this same alternating.. the same ongoing practice,... cessation of Dukkha, then Dukkha returns, ... and how with practice we come to realize these as "two sides of a no sided coin" .. more and more realizing that coinless coin.

    Sorry if this is wordy... but the "Enlightenment" described in the original post (at top), the one that is lost track of so that we must keep practicing, .... that sounds like one side of the coin, nirvana, no-dukkha, and not the coinless coin .

    Am I making sense? If so, could you clear this up for me.. In the meantime I'll go paint and give it no more thought

    Thank you.
    Gassho, kojip.
    大山

  12. #12
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I take Jon Stewart's "Moment of Zen" as sarcastic, which I'm sure it's meant to be. I wouldn't put it in the same category as the Zen sleep aid sold in gas stations. And even so... words, words, words... those interested in Zen will come to find the path.
    迎 Geika

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    Hi Jundo. How do you view the following statement, it is from Nonin, who we both know. This way of putting things was very helpful for me back at a time when I was sitting and realizing non-reaching, non-Dukkha, and then having Dukkha return... again and again. At the time I thought the point was to uproot greed anger and ignorance so as to realize the permanent end of Dukkha ( a very Theravadin view)... and of course it wasn't working out. He described what was going on like this..........

    The reason is, as the First Noble Truth states, dukkha is a characteristic of life. Dukkha is usually translated as suffering, but other good translations are "dissatisfaction," "ill," "unsatisfactoriness," or "unease," which is the opposite of sukkha ("ease," or "well-being").

    Basic Buddhist teaching (the understanding of awakened people) is that suffering has causes, and that cessation of suffering can be accomplished by following the Eight-fold Path (these are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Noble Truths.) However, since nothing is permanent, cessation of dukkha can only be temporary. The First Noble Truth is always a truth of life, and suffering will arise again. However, there are causes, there is cessation, and a path to walk that leads to cessation. This is an ongoing process with no end.
    That is my understanding too. Until we are all, somewhere lifetimes down the road, Perfect Buddhas ... we each have the potential for Buddha and Mara (greed, anger, ignorance) in us ... and while one moment we might see clearly, act gently ... the next moment we might fall back into anger, jealousy, etc. On and on. However, we do get better at this (that's one reason it is called "Practice! ). Still, so long as we are human beings living in this complex dusty world, I feel that we all always have the potential to stumble and fall (just ask my patient wife how I can go from "Wise Zen Guy" to "Her Ass of a Husband" in a minute! )

    And, as the other side of the no-sided coin, it is all "Buddha" from beginningless beginning to endless end! No place to get, nothing to attain, nothing to add or take away.

    Thus (if I may also paraphrase Nonin), being a new sitter for one day is one day of Buddha ... and sitting for 30 years is 30 years of Buddha. All Buddha. And while there is nothing in "Buddha" in need of improving, or which we can improve ... we do slowly get better at it! Much better.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-11-2012 at 03:58 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    In my view, that was a lovely description by Nonin!

    Wouldn't you agree that after having experienced the cessation of Dukkha, even when Dukkha returns, it is seen in a different light though? There is a certain confidence, a knowledge that this uneasy world of Samsara isn't all there is, that behind the dark clouds, the blue sky is always shining brightly, no matter how dark it seems. Practice to me is not about always living peacefully under the clear blue sky, but about staying mindful of the sky even when it can't be seen. You can't force this mindfulness, this awareness. It has to be practiced.

    When someone is suffering from pain, explaining how pain works, making them understand the cause of the pain, making them see that the pain is not dangerous in itself, will often alleviate the pain. And make it easier to live with, even after it returns.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    In my view, that was a lovely description by Nonin!

    Wouldn't you agree that after having experienced the cessation of Dukkha, even when Dukkha returns, it is seen in a different light though? There is a certain confidence, a knowledge that this uneasy world of Samsara isn't all there is, that behind the dark clouds, the blue sky is always shining brightly, no matter how dark it seems. Practice to me is not about always living peacefully under the clear blue sky, but about staying mindful of the sky even when it can't be seen. You can't force this mindfulness, this awareness. It has to be practiced.

    When someone is suffering from pain, explaining how pain works, making them understand the cause of the pain, making them see that the pain is not dangerous in itself, will often alleviate the pain. And make it easier to live with, even after it returns.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    So nice.

    Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post

    Wouldn't you agree that after having experienced the cessation of Dukkha, even when Dukkha returns, it is seen in a different light though? There is a certain confidence, a knowledge that this uneasy world of Samsara isn't all there is, that behind the dark clouds, the blue sky is always shining brightly, no matter how dark it seems. Practice to me is not about always living peacefully under the clear blue sky, but about staying mindful of the sky even when it can't be seen. You can't force this mindfulness, this awareness. It has to be practiced.

    When someone is suffering from pain, explaining how pain works, making them understand the cause of the pain, making them see that the pain is not
    dangerous in itself, will often alleviate the pain. And make it easier to live with, even after it returns.




    The first experience of cessation of Dukkha changed everything. The worst Dukkha of all, the sense of spiritual exile, was over and could never be revived. There is an existential terror of being a little warm particle lost in a cold universe. That was ended, along with all doubt. The "ultimate questions" were settled. ..and all because I just stopped reaching. But, I am still a father and son and husband and neighbor, and still, as Ajahn Sumedho used to say " a sensitive being" and with that there is Dukkha.


    Gassho, kojip.


    Ed.

    Samsara isn't all there is, that behind the dark clouds, the blue sky is always shining brightly, no matter how dark it seems.
    I understood Jundo's reference to the two sides of the coin(nirvana/samsara) , and realizing the coin itself as those clouds losing their opacity, becoming more and more transparent. . That, as far as definitions go, is "Enlightenment" as I have come to understand it. But that's just another understanding I guess. Gassho.
    Last edited by Daizan; 10-11-2012 at 12:03 PM.
    大山

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    In my view, that was a lovely description by Nonin!

    Wouldn't you agree that after having experienced the cessation of Dukkha, even when Dukkha returns, it is seen in a different light though? There is a certain confidence, a knowledge that this uneasy world of Samsara isn't all there is, that behind the dark clouds, the blue sky is always shining brightly, no matter how dark it seems. Practice to me is not about always living peacefully under the clear blue sky, but about staying mindful of the sky even when it can't be seen. You can't force this mindfulness, this awareness. It has to be practiced.

    When someone is suffering from pain, explaining how pain works, making them understand the cause of the pain, making them see that the pain is not dangerous in itself, will often alleviate the pain. And make it easier to live with, even after it returns.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    Hi Pontus - I think I can only come to an understanding of this subjectively.

    So many situations in this world of samsara where I couldn't even begin to explain to another how pain works, the cause of it (often not any direct causal link between cause and effect for the person suffering) and I do not believe (on every occassion) that 'the pain' in itself is not dangerous (it may well be dangerous on many levels).

    Just an initial response ......

    Gassho

    Willow

  18. #18
    Hello Willow,
    In the last paragraph I was talking about "physical" pain (which is not so physical) and not existential angst. Sorry that I wasn't very clear!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Hello Willow,
    In the last paragraph I was talking about "physical" pain (which is not so physical) and not existential angst. Sorry that I wasn't very clear!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Hi Pontus - thank you - understood now


    Gassho

    Willow

  20. #20
    You are still right of course! Even though we have some understanding of the physiology of pain, it is very complex and science is only scraping the surface. Pain is a perception, not just chemical reactions. When I "explain" how pain works, I use very simplified models. Still, when patients understand a little more about what happens in their bodies, the pain is often easier to bear.

    Gassho,
    /Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    You are still right of course! Even though we have some understanding of the physiology of pain, it is very complex and science is only scraping the surface. Pain is a perception, not just chemical reactions. When I "explain" how pain works, I use very simplified models. Still, when patients understand a little more about what happens in their bodies, the pain is often easier to bear.

    Gassho,
    /Pontus
    Yes - what you say is very true.

    One of the first books I read - that led in a circuitous route to here - is by Saki Santorelli who works in a stress reduction clinic in America - often with patients who have high levels of pain. The message of the book is really about just 'sitting' with and through the pain - not trying to change it or fight it.

    I have complex pain issues with my health condition but much prefer this approach to taking powerful drugs with lots of side affects. This seems to puzzle the medics - but I am equally puzzled that they don't seem able to accept that I feel more relaxed and in control of the pain by accepting and going with it.

    Anyway - whatever helps the individual at the end of the day.

    I feel you must help your patients a lot by explaining pain in the way you do - even severe pain doesn't mean there is something frighteningly wrong taking place in the body.

    Gassho

    Willow

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