The Buddha on pain management...

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.

The Buddha on pain management...

Postby appicchato » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:26 am

Greetings...a friend has asked what the Buddha said about pain management and, unfortunately, nothing specific comes to mind at the moment...as well as no search specifics...can someone help me out here, please?...

Thank you...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:29 am

I've seen a number of good article here and there as well as youtube video applying Buddhist meditation principles to pain management. There is even an interesting branch of Cognitive therapy called Dialetical Therapy that applies Buddhist meditation principals and philosophy to cognitive therapy to help people deal better with chronic pain. I hope this thread takes off without going off topic. I would love to see some direct references to suttas.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:33 am

Greetings Bhante,

I know that with regards to managing his own pain, that the Buddha utilised jhana as pain-relief.

Examples include the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, plus the one where he asks Sariputta to take over the teaching, so that he can relieve his back through jhana meditation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby appicchato » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:27 am

Jhana4 wrote:I would love to see some direct references to suttas.


Thank you both...direct references was kind of what I was looking for...my 'friend' is a Thai monk (with little command of English) who wants to print a simple document to give English speaking tourists who visit the temple...

I will keep at it though...again, thank you...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby Within » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:15 pm

I had chronic back pain that I would say was about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. In practicing Buddhist philosophy, I'd say I was able to get it down to about a 2. It seems to be getting a lot worse though over the years and I am now looking at some medical treatment options. Has anybody tried heard of the Anesthesia Pain Consultants of Indiana or tried these types of treatments. I want to get this pain under control before it becomes unbearable.
Last edited by Within on Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Within
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:24 pm

How about suttas such as:
MN 143 PTS: M iii 258 Anathapindikovada Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
..I am not getting better, venerable sir. I am not comfortable. My severe pains are increasing, not lessening. There are signs of their increasing, and not of their lessening."

[Ven. Sariputta:] "Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to the eye; my consciousness will not be dependent on the eye.'

Hmm, maybe that's a bit technical to give to casual visitors...

And though it's not a sutta reference I recommend Bhikkhu Bodhi's talk on his experience with pain:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8232

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10383
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby danieLion » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:00 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Bhante,

I know that with regards to managing his own pain, that the Buddha utilised jhana as pain-relief.

Examples include the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, plus the one where he asks Sariputta to take over the teaching, so that he can relieve his back through jhana meditation.

Metta,
Retro. :)

I have a chronic pain condition and practicing jhana per the Buddha's example/instructions always at least reduces and often (while sitting) alleviates most pain.

The information I found useful:
By Buddhists:
Upasika Kee's "A Good Dose of Dhamma: For Meditators When They're Ill at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai%20/kee/gooddose.html is excellent.
-Ines Freedman at IMC/Audiodharma does a Chronic Pain management workshop where she teaches a variety of strategies. Bhikkhu Bodhi also gave a talk their recently on his struggle with chronic pain.
-Shinzen Young's Chronic Pain books/audio.
-Darlene Cohen's audio (audiodharma) and book Finding Joy in the Heart of Pain.
-Toni Bernhard's book Being Sick
Non-Buddhists:
Explain Pain by David Sheridan Butler, G. Lorimer Moseley (my physical therapist recommended it)
The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (my nurse practitioner recommended it).

Also, stay as active as possible. The use it or lose it principle is real for physiology and neurology. Walking meditation, Active Qigong (Yoga's too strenuous for me), walking, etc..., all help my mind and body.

IMHO, pharmaceuticals cause more problems than they're worth, so avoid if possible.
DL :heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby befriend » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:23 am

i dislocated my shoulder and on the ambulance ride, i did zen at a time when it filled me with lots of metta. the metta energy went through my whole body including my shoulder and it turned the pain into bliss. true story. i find when i start disliking the pain that is where most of the suffering kicks in, if i just stop thinking how i dislike the pain the suffering really dissipates. befriend.
befriend
 
Posts: 794
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:31 am

befriend wrote:i dislocated my shoulder and on the ambulance ride, i did zen at a time when it filled me with lots of metta. the metta energy went through my whole body including my shoulder and it turned the pain into bliss. true story. i find when i start disliking the pain that is where most of the suffering kicks in, if i just stop thinking how i dislike the pain the suffering really dissipates. befriend.

:goodpost:
DL :heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby manas » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:05 pm

befriend wrote:i dislocated my shoulder and on the ambulance ride, i did zen at a time when it filled me with lots of metta. the metta energy went through my whole body including my shoulder and it turned the pain into bliss. true story. i find when i start disliking the pain that is where most of the suffering kicks in, if i just stop thinking how i dislike the pain the suffering really dissipates. befriend.
It has also been my experience, that if I 'allow' the pain to be, to be fully what it is without pushing it away (and this requires metta, in my experience - changing my habitual attitude of aversion ('this pain is bad, when will it stop?') into acceptance ('just be what you are, I accept you'). This is simple but not easy. I had a blistering headache accompanied by neausea once. It was my very own worst kind of pain. After fighting with myself and my lack of sincerity, I finally surrendered and stopped wishing the pain gone - I stopped resisting, and let it be. It took a while...I dived into the pain, on purpose trying to seek it out, exploring it, every throbbing sensation...not turning away, but turning toward it...In my case the pain did not go away, it just became less intense, but what I eventually felt was a joy in my heart - 'ah, so this is what it could be like - the pain is still there, but I don't mind anymore!'...

Rarely am I able to replicate this. Especially lately, I've been too lazy to make the necessary effort. But it was an eye-opening experience that day. :)
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:16 pm

If there's a lot of pain, you first have to endure it and then relax your attachments. Don't think of the pain as being your pain. Let it be the pain of the body, the pain of nature.If the mind latches tight onto anything, it really suffers. It struggles. So here we patiently endure and let go. You have to practice so that you're really good at handling pain. If you can let go of physical pain, you'll be able to let go of all sorts of other sufferings and pains as well... Keep watching the pain, knowing the pain, letting it go. Once you can let it go, you don't have to use a lot of endurance. It takes a lot of endurance only at the beginning. Once the pain arises, separate the mind from it. Let it be the pain of the body. Don't let the mind be pained, too...


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... .html#hour

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4613
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby Soe Win Htut » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:07 am

appicchato wrote:Greetings...a friend has asked what the Buddha said about pain management and, unfortunately, nothing specific comes to mind at the moment...as well as no search specifics...can someone help me out here, please?...

Thank you...


If you take coldness as reality,
you will have to take hotness as reality.
If you take rising as reality,
you will have to take falling as reality.
If you attach the state of a being as reality,
you will have to fear death as reality.
If you likes the state of owning as reality,
you will suffer that of loss as reality.
If you take pleasure as reality,
you will have to take pain as reality.

Instead of noting a pain as "pain, pain", try to accept that it is just the constant impermanent nature which is constantly creating to misunderstand as pain.
Instead of seeing a pain as reality and of real importance ", try to accept that it is just the illusory creation of constant impermanence as if a pain is real and in real importance.
Instead of taking a pain as "just feeling", please try to accept that it is just the tricks which is being constantly created by the constant impermanent nature as if it is just a feeling.

http://www.mediafire.com/?ke9757vm2pe99z7 (Insight meditation Guide notes for any problem)
Awareness(mental noting) alone is not enough for real enlightenment. (Ashin Tejaniya)
Created truths(Sammuti Sacca) are just to be used only, experienced only and known only but .....they are not for noting, believing, confirming, centering and thinking as reality and real importance.
Vipassana (Insight meditation) is just the abandoning the mind-action of centering, grasping, confirming, and attaching the created truths as reality and as of real importance.
To Learn more....
http://www.thabarwa.org, or
http://www.thabarwa.org/guided-insight-mp3-talks/
User avatar
Soe Win Htut
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:28 am

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:32 pm

Ahaṃ kho panānanda, etarahi jiṇṇo vuddho mahallako addhagato vayo anuppatto. Āsītiko me vayo vattati. Seyyathāpi ānanda, jajjarasakaṭaṃ vekkhamissakena yāpeti, evameva kho ānanda vekkhamissakena maññe tathāgatassa kāyo yāpeti. Yasmiṃ ānanda, samaye tathāgato sabbanimittānaṃ amanasikārā ekaccānaṃ vedanānaṃ nirodhā animittaṃ cetosamādhiṃ upasampajja viharati, phāsutaro ānanda, tasmiṃ samaye tathāgatassa kāyo hoti.

“Ānanda, I am old now, worn out, great in years, having gone the pathway of life well past its prime; I have reached the point of life which is now eighty years of age. Even as an old cart is maintained by being bound-together in various ways, so the Tathāgata’s body is maintained by being bound-together in various ways. Ānanda whenever the Tathāgata is gathered together - not attending to any outward forms, feelings cease; he enters into and abides in a collected repose of mind, thus gathered together, Ānanda, the body of the Tathāgata is comfortable.”
– DN. 16.13
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves
User avatar
ancientbuddhism
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby Zom » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:43 pm

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.

In Vinaya we can see how Buddha takes medicine to treat pains and how he was being treated by doctor Jivaka. This Buddha's example is the best example on this topic 8-)
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:40 pm

zom said: In Vinaya we can see how Buddha takes medicine to treat pains and how he was being treated by doctor Jivaka. This Buddha's example is the best example on this topic


Using pain as a meditation object is fine. But using alternative and mainstream medicine, if available, is fine also.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7605
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:19 pm

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...

As I quoted above:
..I am not getting better, venerable sir. I am not comfortable. My severe pains are increasing, not lessening. There are signs of their increasing, and not of their lessening."

[Ven. Sariputta:] "Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to the eye; my consciousness will not be dependent on the eye.' ...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10383
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Buddha on pain management...

Postby danieLion » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:18 am

mikenz66 wrote:
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.
DL :heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am


Return to Wellness, Diet & Fitness

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests