Classic Tales of the Painbody, Part 1

Posted on June 16, 2011

I’m in the prime spot for Flamenco here in Miami, in a restaurant on Calle Ocho (that’s ‘8th Street’ for you gringos), right in the heart of Little Havana. The place is bubbling with excitement. Tonight there is a performance by Miami’s First Lady of Flamenco Clarita Filgueiras, and Natalia Merino, a famous dancer from Spain. The place is going to be on fire!

We have the best table in the place, right up to the stage and our group of 15 friends is in a great mood. The waiter comes to take our order and apologizes because they are overbooked. There is not a single seat free and everyone wants their food at the same time. I assure him that everything is all right and just do the best he can. Then we enjoy the superb show. We’re in heaven.

But not all is well on our table. As I later hear, two of our friends—let’s call them Sue and Mike—are hungry and are getting increasingly upset. I don’t know any of this because I am watching the beauty and artistry of the dancers. Only after I notice that Sue and Mike have left during the intermission I am told the story. It’s a classic tale of the painbody.

The painbody is the way we are unconsciously programmed for pain. Impulsively and blindly we choose pain and cling to pain, simply because its’ been an ingrained part of our experience of life and, while fearing the unknown, we cling to the known. So we sabotage our chances for happiness and for peace out of this primal addiction. It begins with the way we think.

When we believe our stressful thoughts we don’t experience reality as it is. We experience reality through what is going on in our mind. Our stressful thoughts shape our reality, make it stressful. We’re not our true selves; we are possessed by the painbody.

Here is what might have gone on in the thoughts of Sue and Mike: “This service is terrible! I’m hungry. I can’t stand it. I wish I didn’t come here. I’m miserable!” Talking to each other only confirms how terrible everything is. They’re in hell. And what’s worse: they paid for it! – Haven’t we all been there!

Hell—and heaven for that matter—are states of mind, pure and simple. And hell hooks us when we blame our miserable (or angry, depressed, anxious…) state of mind on something else. We volunteer to become prisoners in hell by believing that anything other than our state of mind is to blame. It never is.

Hell is what happens in our thoughts and emotions. As long as we don’t see that, we’ll be frequent visitors there. But once we do, once we turn inside to find the road to heaven, a miracle happens. Suddenly we understand that the world we have been blaming is in fact exceedingly kind to us. It is kind in that it will push all our buttons until we have seen them all and have freed ourselves from them. This is how the amazing kindness of the world guides us to enlightenment.

Now many of us understand that to some extent. To some extent. But very often we get caught once more in negativity and we grumble “Damn, here comes another f#*%#!! growth experience!”

We just love the drama of our unhappiness! How we love to hate it! It gives us something to feel, someone to be: the miserable one we’ve been for so long and so often. And the ego once more gets its way and the painbody its pain. How is all that working for you?

And then comes the moment of grace, when we the whole paradigm shifts and we awaken once more. Self-awareness is the key to freedom and you have that potential. In particular it is the awareness of the painbody that dissolves it. For that you have to look directly at what you cannot see.

I know that sounds impossible. It’s not. Here is how you can do it. After you become aware that you experience an emotional reaction to something, do the following:

  1. Stop and notice your reaction: your behavior, your words and your thoughts
  2. Come into the present moment and realize what you feel in your body
  3. See the painbody reaction as a reaction, not as ‘reality’

As you become aware of the painbody reaction you shed the light of awareness into what was unconscious and hidden in darkness. When you shed light into darkness, what happens to darkness? It’s already gone. Becoming aware of the mechanisms of how you have unwittingly created pain for yourself dissolves the painbody.

Repeated practice and effort will lock the door to hell permanently and open the gates of heaven. This happiness is what you wanted all along, isn’t it? It’s what we all want because it is our destiny.

If you’re ready to take your higher evolution into your own hands, you can stop your old ways of suffering from interfering with your life. The painbody will cease to sabotage your experience of happiness, peace and the attainment of freedom. With the right determination, guidance, skills and support you can soar to your goal on eagle’s wings.

If you’re ready for that, I invite you to devote yourself to the study and practice of the Skills for Awakening. They are the highly developed essence of the means to your freedom. I put them in your hands along with the guidance and support for this path. Now it’s your turn to act. Can you love yourself enough to practice your freedom?

with love and gratitude,

Ram Giri

Skills for Awakening

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One Response to “Classic Tales of the Painbody, Part 1”

  1. Inge
    Jun 17, 2011

    In my studies of Somatic Experiencing, I have come to understand the power of our awareness. The mere observation of how our sympathetic nervous system becomes “activated” by distressful thoughts/emotions of perceived threats brings an activation of the parasympathetic calming (or rest/restore) response. Our bodily systems (nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory) are DESIGNED to be in balance, in “rythmic coherence” and it is our open, gentle, kind, non-judgmental, in-the-moment awareness that potentiates that rhythm of everything just flowing in coherence. It is the painbody (conditioned unconscious responses) that interrupts the flow and creates dis-ease, distress and suffering at a physical, mental and spiritual level. Thank you, Ram Giri, for that SIMPLE exercise of just stopping to notice body, mind and actions, and allowing our natural, intrinsic regulation and wellbeing to come into flow.

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