Meditation, Qigong

How Meditation Relieves Pain

The 3rd Phase of Meditation that I describe in my book, “The Quadrant and 3 Phases,” optimizes and harmonizes the relationships existing between yin and yang; and it is through these relationships that we can relieve and prevent pain.

Classic examples of yin/yang relationships utilized to relieve pain are hot and cold, tension and relaxation, inhale and exhale, and so on. These relationships aren’t only used in meditation, but also in mind-body disciplines like qigong and yoga; Eastern healing modalities such as acupuncture and Ayurveda; and in Western medicine. The optimizing and harmonizing of yin and yang in Phase 3 Meditation that allows us to relieve pain and suffering is what I call, “healing effort through Tao.”

Context and Event

The yin/yang relationship that I find most helpful in relieving pain (and in teaching and practicing meditation in general) is that which exists between context and event.

The yin component in this relationship is context; and when we are discussing our body, our aura, or the library of information in our mind, the context is the whole of any of these. The yang component is the event, which could be an area of pain (or pleasure) in the body, a point of energy in the aura, or a single thought, idea or image in our mental sphere. The event is a small, specific part of the whole.

We typically experience pain in one point or general area of our body. The pain is, for the purposes of this article, the yang, or the event. We usually try to relieve pain by focusing on the event itself. For example, if you have a pain in your neck or shoulder you might massage the area directly (or ask someone else to do so).  This kind of healing is what I call, “healing effort through yang.” This method certainly can bring some relief, but it is very limited in its capacity. We can optimize the effect of healing effort through yang by harmonizing with the context around the pain; this is called, “healing effort through yin.” Healing effort through yin is cultivated by relaxing the whole body and becoming mindful of the whole body – this is how we establish context at the physical level.

Phase 3 Meditation shares techniques that help the practitioner establish context in the energy body (the aura) and in the mind, in addition to the physical body.

Physical, Energetic and Mental

Whether we are speaking in regards to our physical, energetic or mental body – the context is the whole of that body – from which physical support, healing energy and helpful information can be accessed and applied to the area of pain. The context is also the whole of that body to which physical restraint, negative energy and harmful thoughts can be released.

A wonderful example of this principle is when we use a magnifying glass to channel the energy of the sun to create fire.

The object we are trying to start on fire is like the pain we experience in our body. Our mind is like the magnifying glass that takes the parallel traveling rays of light from the sun and bends them so they converge upon a single point. Instead of collecting rays of light from the sun, our mind collects energy from various points in our body (or outside of our body) that link to our point of pain. Finding these linked points is how we build the context; it’s how we construct our metaphorical magnifying glass. As we trace these links, and stay mindful of the point of pain and the broadening context around it, we channel healing energy in ever greater quantities to our pain. Eventually, the pain dissolves (perceptually) into infinite light, just as the object under the magnifying glass eventually bursts into flames. This is the dissolution of yin and yang – of subject and object – that brings our healing effort to the level of Tao, or infinity. We expand our perception of the context broadly enough to link directly with the infinite and channel its limitless energy. The point of pain dissolves into infinite light and is healed. As this Tao healing experience is occurring we experience infiniteness through both the event and the context; we experience Tao across the full spectrum of yin and yang. The object becomes fire, just like the sun; our pain becomes infinite light, like the Tao.

A Phase 3 Meditation to Practice

A simple way to practice this meditative technique is to begin by focusing on a single point. You can practice this method lying down, sitting or standing.

Visualize a point of light in your lower abdomen wherever you sense is your physical center (we’ll call this your “Center Point”) and hold this image in mind as you inhale and exhale. After a time your breathing will begin to naturally descend into your lower abdomen. When this occurs, encourage the flow of breath to your belly by purposefully expanding your abdomen with each inhale.

Continue to hold the image of light at your Center Point and at the same time imagine a sphere of light surrounding you. Imagining this sphere naturally brings your attention to broader areas of your body, including the back and front, left and right, root and crown. Notice specific points in these areas that may be holding tension and practice letting the tension dissolve. Each time you allow a point of tension to dissolve it is like a ray of light bursting through the magnifying glass; and you allow a new source of energy to flow to your abdomen and accumulate in your Center Point.  

Practicing in this way helps you develop greater flexibility between yin and yang in your meditative practice. At times you will focus primarily on the Center Point, the yang (or event); and at other times your primary focus will be on the the Sphere surrounding you, the yin (or context). With regular practice you will surely achieve the optimization of your yin and yang energies and harmonize them with the Tao through Phase 3 Meditation!

Learn more about Phase 3 Mediation in my book, “The Quadrant & 3 Phases,” which shares many more tools you can employ to make breakthroughs in your meditation and qigong practices. The materials I have to share are great for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike!

I also provide online sessions if you’re interested in a one on one lesson in meditation and/or qigong, and I am currently offering a FREE session to anyone who purchases my online course, “The 5 Elements – Affirmations and Qigong.”

Enjoy your practice!

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