Breaking Free from the Pain-Body

I awoke this morning in a haze.

No, it wasn’t from the lingering smoke from the wildfires in Interior British, Columbia drifting across the sky. This haze was an emotional one.

Like a drug that pulls you into its twisted reality, I was hooked on my own negative energy.

Eckhart Tolle would call this the Pain-Body.

That is, your conditioned and habitual brand of personal negativity that you cling onto like a security blanket. If you’re not careful, you can spend hours indulging in its embrace.

It doesn’t feel good. Not at all but for some reason it offers a seductive escape from reality.

However, like the inevitable hangover that comes from binging hard on a drug, the result is never a good one.

You walk away feeling worse, often with the resolve to not do that again.

But what can be done to avoid these situations altogether? And when you’re in the middle of such a fog, what can be done to find clarity?

That’s what I want to explore here.

Becoming Aware of the Pain-Body

When there’s resistance, there is always pain underneath. This pain, which is essentially negativity, is active until we accept and acknowledge it.

Acknowledging means to remove the resistance and allow the negativity to be there.

This is a radical shift from what most humans do, which is to wish the negativity away, wishing that it simply wasn’t there.

Yet the more we push against what we don’t want, the more of it we get.

Instead, surrender the resistance, yield to the negativity, and allow yourself to experience the negative energy without engaging with it.

Engaging with it might look like trying to “solve it”, figure out why it’s there; avoid it by reaching for your phone or turning on the TV. It could be downright resentment for having the negativity in the first place!

You’ll know you are engaging with it if you find yourself becoming more and more agitated and uneasy.

The opposite is also true.

When you are able to notice the negative energy and allow it to be, there is a clear space that is created, and that can’t be missed.

Much like the martial art of Judo or Aikido, where you do not resist your opponent’s force but instead redirect it, spiritual transmutation is much the same.

When we notice our own negativity, instead of trying to “block it”, we step to the side and allow the energy to pass by us, so to speak.

This, of course, implies a certain level of awareness.

The Key to Transmuting the Pain-Body

One must be aware of when negativity is upon them but importantly, they also must make the active decision that they do not want this negativity in their inner space.

Spiritual transmutation is an active exercise, not a passive one.

While, yes, the act of transmutation itself operates of its own accord, we have to make the choice to be willing to confront our pain, and this isn’t always an easy choice.

Much like the warm security blanket I spoke of before, sometimes we prefer to wrap ourselves up in our negativity. There’s a certain seductive quality to our pain that hypnotizes us. While perverse, this hypnotic spell keeps us comfortable and allows us to avoid dealing with our pain directly.

Ultimately, until we are able and willing to confront our pain non-judgmentally, with openness and attention, we will be unable to free ourselves from its gravitational pull.

The good news is, it is possible to break the spell of the pain-body. It can be challenging and often will require persistence and practice but every time you step out of it and notice it for what it is, you weaken it and free yourself from it even more.

The choice to acknowledge and accept your pain is yours alone. No one else can make it for you. Are you going to confront your pain? Have you had enough?

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