Monthly archive

From the Guide - March 2014

Recently my friendly neighborhood chiropractor told me about the large percentage of people who come in for treatment, first describing the pain and then explaining that it’s “not really that bad.” Though when asked if it hurts, they reply along the lines of, “Yeah, it hurts, but it’s not awful. I can live with it.”

I have this nagging pain in my low back. It’s not intolerable; I can stand it. But it’s always there, just below the level of conscious awareness. Periodically it flares up and grabs my attention. I can never fully relax. Unconsciously I fidget and wiggle, looking for a comfortable position. The low-level pain is a constant irritant; when it gets bad enough I get cranky. But it’s not that bad; I can live with it.

For all who have ever been in that situation I offer a perspective: Perhaps we are not allowed to address the painful places in the body so that they can remain a source of discomfort. That constant pain is sending signals of “something wrong” that are used by egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate to maintain a world of dissatisfaction. I yell at the kids to be quiet, curse at the driver in front of me, find my partner’s inattention unbearable…. A voice in my head says, “What’s the matter with you? You’re so uptight.” I feel bad, vow to do better, but nothing changes. Nothing changes because I’m not addressing the real issue: my body is in pain!

Now, being intelligent folk we might wonder why I don’t just address the pain, yes? Of course, I am allowed to “address” it in the form of over-the-counter medications, trips to the chiropractor, maybe a shot, but I’m not allowed to take care of it. And the reason for that is simple: egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate is reaping huge benefits from my pain.

Next month we’ll explore the alternative to this scenario.

In gassho,