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Continuing with ‘no pain’

As I continue w. ‘no pain’ focus in daily practice,  I sometimes feel lost, foggy without those sharp edges to define the experience.

Pain has been the signal letting me know that I’ve reached the far extent of my sensory world. Pain has been my containment: I can go just ‘this far’ before it hurts. It is very definite. I know where it is. Pain is a strong message, and though it has many colors and dynamics — sharp, achy, round & thick, zing-y, hot, (there is a long interesting poem in that) —  it is always indisputable. I obey immediately. I step back, but then re-approach, just to see if it is still there. Then I joust, turning back and going again, over and over, wallowing penitentially in this perimeter guardian.

To know where a world ends is comforting even when the messenger is unpleasant. With pain as my border guard making the reach of my movement clear, I have had my world comfortingly well-framed.

Painlessness on the other hand is vague. It is fog. It is mist. It is faint. Muffled. It doesn’t hurt, but where am I? It is this discomfort that challenges me now, even though my body, tired of a lifetime of flagellation, heaves a sigh of relief.


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    1. I’m so intrigued by this line of thinking.

      Always when I dance (mostly when I practice dance) I am cognizant of ‘resistance’. It’s one of the things that has always facinated me about dancing (and now movement in general.)

      Before you posted about M.B.’s speaking of this “no pain” place, I had never considered that it was pain I might be butting up against. I know *sometimes* it is, but because I dealt with pain so much in my youth (volleyball, softball, tumbling, etc.) when I dance/move now it’s almost as though “Pain” is some field that I have disallowed my Self to play in, “out of bounds” or simply an area I *know* is there, but I’ve put blinders on to avoid its existence. It’s a weird ‘soft-focus’ place somewhere just out of my periphery.

      Even as I type, with a knot the size of New Jersey trying to wrench its way free from beneath my left shoulder blade so that it sings all the way down into my elbow, I wonder, “have I *ever* been without pain?”

      January 19, 2011
    2. Shamsi, there is something so penetrating about your words. It seems that pain is integrated into your motion. High pain tolerance is helpful, of course, but your words make me feel sad, even though it is my life as well…

      January 19, 2011
    3. I watch my yoga students push to their ‘edge’, and I coax them to explore the arena just before that ‘edge’ of intensity. I encourage to journey into the subtle world of sensation before the pain. Yet…
      In my own life I experience a lot of emotional pain, and I wonder if I have become an addict to this intensity of life rather than backing off to the less intense emotions where – perhaps there is more integration and healing to happen. I need to explore this more!

      June 10, 2011

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