Zom wrote:If you have a pain - the first you have to do is to treat the desease (or whatever causes it). And only after that, if nothing helps, you can try to "let it be", ect.
Buddha teaching is not about dealing with pain. It is about of dealing with samsara.
Sure, one should seek treatment. But pain is part of samsara, and sometimes there is little medically you can do about it, e.g. in Bhikkhu Bodhi's case. And eventually there will be nothing medical you can do to even prolong life...
This rings true for me mikenz66. Investigating pain via bhavana leads to facing one's immortality.
Also, if you look hard enough, you can always find some kind of discomfort in the body.
When my pain level is enough to distract me from my preferred meditation object (the breath), I switch to the pain as the object. I use a technique I learned from Ines Freedman she calls Local Intensity/Global Spread (LIGS), where you focus on the pain area on the in-breathe and then think if it expanding out through the whole body on the out-breathe (which I consider a variation on the 4th Anapanasati step, calming bodily fabrication/kaya-sankhara). It always at least reduces the discomfort. At times, it alleviates the pain completely, and usually enough for me to return to Anapanasati "proper."
On the rare occasions when LIGS doesn't reduce the pain enough to aid breath concentration, I use another technique I learned from Ines Freedman she calls Free-floating In the Discomfort where you distract yourself from the pain area by focusing on parts of the body that aren't in discomfort. After a while, you focus on the pain itself, where you explore things like its shape (front/back, bottom/top), changes in size, its texture, & mental associations like hot, cold, sharp, dull, achey, heavy, piercing, etc...(similar to Joe Goldstein's advice to Bhikkhu Bodhi).
LIGS also works for me at any point during a sit if discomfort arises.
Having said that, I'd like to echo the sentiments here about jhana. The well-being one experiences from the factors of jhana is often in and of itself enough to bring about great pain relief. It also re-contextualizes the pain in a way where one can see more clearly the idea that "Suffering = Pain x Resistance." The fact that we don't want
to be in pain adds much to experiencing pain as unbearable or as a burden. Yet it can also teach us to examine our mental fabrications (citta-sankhara) around pain, and focus on the mind on impermanence, detachment, the cessation of dukkha, and clinging and letting go.
All this typing makes my back hurt.