You’ve worked hard for the past few weeks, implementing every one of my proven suggestions (!) on how to find pain relief – so it’s time for a break.
When I first introduced this 25-minute practice to a gentleman, after trying it out, he exclaimed, “I feel like I’ve come back from a 2-week vacation!.”
I refer to silent meditation. We do it naturally as children, and most forget to practice as adults. When you see a child deep in a dreamlike state, slowly moving a box, a stick, or a stone with no seeming aim, they are probably in a meditative state, their brain emitting the beta waves of relaxation. Their brain is deeply at rest, in a healthy, creative, natural state.
I would call the effect of regular meditation ‘magical.’ The benefits go far beyond very pleasurable practices of exercise, relaxation techniques, massage, a hobby, the impact of music, and spiritual practice.
Be kind to yourself. When I first began to meditate, it took me 23 minutes out of the allotted 25-minute session before I sank into a meditative state! But the reward of those two minutes was so impactful that I kept at it, and with time and repeated practice, it took me only a couple of minutes to sink into a meditative state.
Do you want to lose weight? Try meditating on an empty stomach before meals.
Meditation reboots your brain. Although the intent of silent meditation is to give your brain a rest, I found it helped me problem-solve.
When I went into the hospital to have a congenitally deviated septum surgically corrected, I was afraid. I meditated more than usual to stay calm. All the pain-relieving practices I had been implementing to get rid of migraines benefitted me in the hospital.
I’m a big wuss when it comes to pain. Surgery? Dentistry? I want painkillers and don’t care about the needles!
While recovery from this surgery is expected to be so painful that analgesics are administered on demand, I found that I was able to spend a few days recovering without taking a single analgesic.
The surgeon explained that it was the first time in the hospital’s history that a patient did not require a single analgesic after this type of surgery, and he wondered why.
I told him I attributed it mostly to having spent my recovery time in silent meditation. That’s how powerful meditation can be.
“(Author’s note: Sit in silence. Your blood pressure may drop. Feeling cold is a distraction, so wear a sweater or wrap yourself in a light blanket.)
Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then, interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a (…) mantra. We recommend (…) ‘Maranatha.’ (Author’s note: the idea is to keep the intellect busy, not with a word that has meaning, but with an open sound or syllable that keeps the brain open. Repeat it) (…) as four equal syllables.
Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently (…).
The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and in each meditation day to day. Don’t visualize, but listen to the word as you say it.
Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images, and other words. Don’t fight your distractions: let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently, attentively, and returning to it as soon as you realize you have stopped saying it or when your attention wanders.
Meditate twice daily, morning and evening, for between 20 and 30 minutes. It may take time to develop this discipline (…).”