Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Jon Kabat-Zinn's passage ...

Shifting Your Relationship With Pain

On Mar 20, 2007 Tristan wrote:

Thank you, Sukh, for sharing those thoughts so honestly. There are many yous and mes out there who would not judge and reject you if you share your full self. Those I have met are infinitely more wonderful than "acceptance by society". Most people shy away however because either they don't want to be dragged down by someone who feels sorry for him/herself or/and it reminds them of their own pain and weakness or/and because empathy hurts. (I have just about no fear of pain, and I manage to live with the awareness of how much suffering there is in the world, but somehow recently when a girl, full of anger at the world, sat down opposite me at lunch and shared how she had been raped and battered, I felt somewhat shaken for a week, even tho I'd heard much worse on a plane two years ago.) Most people spend their lives hiding behind their fantasy of reality and don't want it shattered. Something analogous to try: long distance running, cycling, tough hiking -- I found breaking thru the pain barrier and getting that second wind of strength in these contexts a wonderful building experience. (Just try not to kill oneself in the process!) Love Tristan (

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