Thursday, May 7, 2009


How I picture a pain-body

I’m sitting here staring out the window and hoping for nice weather this weekend. There’s such a small window of time between winter and bug season in Gatineau park and I’d like to get out and use my new quick-draws on the rocks before it’s too late and a swarm to rival Pandora’s box is released.

I’m sitting at my desk ignoring my work, there isn’t much of it there to do today and I’d hate to rush it all and look obviously bored.
It’s been a weird week what with the combination of beginning to include regular Yin practice in my day to day, making tons of visits to the clients on my new caseload, starting teaching my new class, rainy weather, new climbing training, new coworkers and just overbooking my life in general. Yesterday on the way home I think it all hit me and I just felt emotionally raw. It was actually a new experience for me. Usually I don’t like emotions one little bit. I think I can count the number of times I’ve let someone else see me cry on my fingers. Usually if I’m upset I just push it down or change something, but that was the weird part. Everything’s good, I have nothing to change. So as I sat there and tried to sit with these feelings instead of push them down and block them off I found it hard not trying to reason them away. My mind tried to come up with a cause so that I could make my inside uncomfortableness get out of me.

Eventually I had to give up and just sit with it. Head for home early and just take it easy.

It’s funny because Eckhart Tolle talks about pain-bodies which are these sort of creatures we create or have created for us from our past lives and this life whenever we don’t deal with our emotions and issues as they come up. Eckhart describes these pain-bodies as things that sleep until their hungry and when they’re hungry they wake up to feed on the same emotions they are created from. In order to do this they take over your mind and latch onto or create things in your life so that you experience more sorrow or anger or whatever they are hungry for. You’ve probably seen people do this or have done this yourself lots of times and never even noticed. If you know a girl who always dates the same jerks who treat her badly, that’s the pain-body taking over. If you know someone who is always short and rude with people and is then angry when they get bad service or little compassion that’s the pain-body. People who tailgate or pick fights in bars are all under control of their pain-body. And once the pain-body wakes up sometimes it takes a while for it to fall asleep again. The easiest way to get rid of the pain-body is to know that it is not you and your emotions are not you either. They are both things you have created. Sitting in your emotions when they occur and not identifying them as who you are is also an important part of not feeding the pain-body. (If you have a habit of defining yourself as someone who is depressed or someone who is always picked-on you are identifying with your emotions and creating your pain-body)

The thing I’m finding tricky is knowing whether my emotional uprising is my pain-body waking up or just emotions I need to sit in. First I need to get over the fact that emotions are not bad or good, just things that exist, then I have to get a little better at just sitting in them.

You know when I started this whole search for enlightenment I knew it didn’t sound easy but sitting with emotions is definitely my least favorite part thus far. Must mean it’s good for me.