Physical Pain

by Friends of Godwin


To look at our minds is to see how our perceptions give rise to our
conceptions – and how our conceptions can alter our perceptions also! Also we have to look
at our bodies and sensations, how we relate to that, and what is the connection between the
body and the mind.

Take, for example, the question of physical pain. Normally what do we do if there is
physical pain? If we are sitting on the benches here and after a time pain arises, we move.
Why? Because we don’t like it. But by that response do we ever learn anything about pain?
We just react in a very conditioned way. Now in meditation one tries to learn about pain, we
try not to have that immediate, habitual, reaction. We might learn that physical pain gives
rise to various psychological states – dislike, fear, anxiety, and so forth. So then we might try
to see if it possible to have this physical pain without having the psychological reaction.