Pain Acceptance Meditation

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Pain Acceptance Meditation

This is a short meditation practice to help with accepting pain. 

Usually we avoid experiencing the actual pain.  We tend to get caught up in the worries and memories associated with the pain.  In this practice we stay with the real sensations that are there… and this can help us to reduce unnecessary worry and overthinking.

Have a look at my last Blog, called “The Two Arrows” which explains this idea further.

Guided Meditation

Make sure your posture is comfortable. That feeling of a steady, solid connection with the chair or the cushion, whatever you’re lying or sitting or standing. And then a feeling also of length up through the back up to the top of the head.

Just a moment, then with the breathing to bring in a little bit of space. Just being aware of the breathing throughout your whole body.

Not trying too hard. The mind wanders. That’s okay, just inviting it back to the breathing.  Spending three or four minutes here, coming back again and again to the breathing.

Then deliberately, intentionally moving your attention towards somewhere in the body where there’s pain or discomfort.

There can be lots of resistance to doing this. Just being very gentle around it.

And all the time we’re breathing and having that sense that the resistance and the discomfort is being soothed by our own breathing.

Just seeing  physically “what can be experienced at this place” where we say we have pain?

Is it a constant sensation? Or is it kind of changing? Does the intensity change?

And how big an area is affected by this discomfort? Can you get a sense of that?

Approaching the pain gently,  like the way we would treat a good friend if they were hurt.

Just a soothing approach. I can feel some tightness here, some discomfort seems to build and fade away. Is there a shape to it? Would you associate any particular colour with your pain or discomfort?

Just kind of being curious and, and gentle as you approach the discomfort.  Then also seeing if you can notice what emotions come up, what emotions are there, when you’re exploring this discomfort?

But again, meeting them warmly. There’s some fear or some anxiety. Maybe you can even catch the thoughts that tend to bubble up. And we don’t need to block these or stop them or anything. Just kind of noticing them with want as well

If anytime you find that this is a bit much, it’s too strong, there’s always the option to expand out the awareness to the whole body and to the space you’re into the sounds that you’re hearing. 

Or if you find the opposite, that you really can’t sense anything at all, there is a numbness, you can increase your curiosity. Like what is here, what is this thing? What does it feel like?

So depending on how you’re responding, you can lower the intensity by bringing in the sense of the whole space that you’re in. Or you can increase your focus by just bringing up the colour the intensity as you’re looking.

And then letting go of any big efforts. Just settling in to the whole body breathing again. And just imagining that as you breathe in, your body is filling with kindness. As you breathe out, it’s just relaxing a little. 

Breathing in Kindness, and just relaxing on the out breath.

And letting go of the meditation in your own time….

Until next time,


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Keith Horan

Keith Horan

Keith has been teaching Mindfulness for over 20 years in the West of Ireland where he lives with his wife and three children.
He is trained both in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and in the practices of Modern Secular Mindfulness. He has an MSc in Mindfulness-based Approaches from Bangor University in North Wales.
Keith teaches in a gentle and encouraging way and helps people to find balance and more self-acceptance in their lives.

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