Crash Course: How To Soothe Physical Pain By Meditation - The Force Of Compassion


Physical pain is an experience that all humans have to face. But the subjective reaction we have to it is different. Everyone is different. The sensation of pain can be considerably amplified by an anxious urge to suppress it. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means uncertainty for a lot of people. Many people feel anxious and even get this disease. At such a hard time, the mildest of pain can become intolerable. By changing our attitude towards the pain, it can be made much more tolerable.


All beings desire happiness; therefore to all extend your benevolence.—Mahavamsa.

Actually, the force of compassion can help soothe the pain. The key is the feeling of altruistic love and compassion towards all beings, not only for your family but also for strangers, not only for humans but also for animals. Just take some time to think: "I want to be liberated from that pain and get away from suffering forever. But my friends, even someone I do not know is tormented by pain comparable to my own, and sometimes even worse. How I wish that they too could put an end to their pain."

You may also imagine that you have deliberately volunteered to experience that pain to spare someone, your child, and family for instance, from enduring it. Just imagine: "All my pain is for my family. The suffering can let my family be liberated from the pain that I have." Then your pain will no longer be experienced as something degrading or overwhelming. Filled now with unconditional love and altruism, you can stop asking yourself bitterly, "Why me but not others?" but rejoice that someone else has been spared that suffering.

When you are totally absorbed in yourself, you are easy to get confused, helpless, and depressed. Please try to act as a caretaker. If you care for your family, your friends even strangers, that means that you have feelings toward others and want to ensure his or her well-being. If you feel a strong sense of empathy, combined with unconditional love, towards the suffering of others, depression will be replaced by courage and love towards people around you.

By Pok Oi, a Buddhism master in Hong Kong

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