Chronic Pain / Illness
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* There are countless meditation practices for chronic pain and illness. Please look at our other resource pages for additional practices.
What you’ll need: A quiet environment with few distractions
Meditation postures: Seated, lying or standing
Find yourself in a comfortable posture.
Give yourself a few minutes to simply feel yourself breathing, to feel gravity connecting you to the earth, to feel yourself in the room and in your skin. You can do this with your eyes open or closed.
Gently close your eyes. Spend a few moments feeling your body breathing.
Slowly bring your awareness inside your body. Using your intuition, begin to feel the left side of your body. Notice any sensations (heaviness, lightness, heat, coolness, tightness, spaciousness, etc…). After a few moments bring your attention to the right side of your body. Notice the sensations. Do you sense any differences between the left side and right side? If so, try not to analyze it or figure out “Why.” Simply notice “If” and “How.” Take your time.
Next, bring your awareness to the front of your body. Notice the sensations. After a few moments bring your attention to the back of your body. Notice the sensations. Do you sense any differences between the front and back of the body? If so, try not to analyze it or figure out “Why.” Simply notice “If” and “How.” Take as much time as you need.
Slowly bring your awareness to feel the top half of your body. Notice the sensations. After a few moments bring your attention to the bottom half of your body. Notice the sensations. Do you sense any differences between the top and bottom half of the body? Simply notice “If” and “How.” Don’t rush.
Next, bring your awareness to feel the exterior of your body. Notice the sensations. After a few moments bring your attention to the interior of your body. Notice the sensations. Do you sense any differences between the exterior and the interior of the body? Simply notice “If” and “How.” Take your time.
Let your awareness fall onto the breath, the natural rise and fall of the inhale and exhale. There’s no need to exaggerate or manipulate the breath. Just feel the sensations of inhale and exhale.
After a few moments let your attention rest anywhere in the body that has been painful or challenging. You can place your hand(s) over this area if it’s helpful.
Recognize what happens in your body the moment you bring attention to this area. Does your breathing change? Do you feel muscles tightening? Are habitual thoughts triggered? If so, simply notice it and return your attention to the painful or challenging area of the body.
With your awareness on this area of the body see if you can visualize the core middle of it, its innermost center. If this is an area of pain, can you imagine the center of the pain? If this is an area of illness, can you imagine the nucleus of the illness? Are there any sensations in the heart of this area? Do you notice any colors, textures or images in your mind’s eye? There is no right or wrong visualization. Let your intuition have the freedom to explore.
Keeping your attention in this area of the body, slowly imagine there are tiny pinholes within the pain or illness letting in small beams of bright light. The beams of light may be long or short, straight or wavy, constant or pulsating.
Taking as much time as you want, let the pinholes of light gradually increase, becoming wider, letting in more bright light. Continue at your own pace, letting the holes become so large they eventually merge, consuming the entire area of pain or illness.
As your visualization continues, notice whether your breathing changes, or if any muscle tension has changed.
Rest with the imagery of bright light suffusing this area of your body for as long as you wish.
When you feel ready, gently open your eyes.
Sit for several more breaths, recognizing any feelings of gratitude (for the healthy and pain free areas of your body, for the breath, for quiet moments with no agenda, etc…) or any qualities of ease in the body.
(These are merely suggestions. Use any words or phrases that are meaningful to you.)
In this moment I feel aliveness in the body.
With every breath I connect with the sensation in my body.
With gratitude for the mysteries of life I honor the wonders of the world.