It is a curious fact that we are usually ready enough to be aware of the moment in times of happiness and pleasure, and to 'forget ourselves'. But with the arrival of pain, whether physical or emotional, whether actual or anticipated, the mind divides itself from itself, to be separate from the experience. [...]
The answer to pain is neither careless drifting nor fearful clinging to the past, but in being completely sensitive to each moment, in having the mind open and wholly receptive. This truly is not a theory but an actual experiment: a concept, the truth of which can only be tested in one's own experience. If, when swimming, you are caught in a strong current, it if fatal to resist; you must swim with it and gradually edge to the side.
Seeing that there is no escape from the pain, the mind yields to it, absorbs it, and becomes conscious of just pain without any 'me' feeling it or resisting it. In other words, the mind experiences pain in the same total, unselfconscious way in which it experiences pleasure. Sometimes, when resistance ceases, the pain simply goes away or dwindles to a bearable ache. The pain may remain but is no longer a problem. Wanting to get away from the pain is the real pain. When you become the pain, it ceases to be a cause of something. It hurts -- that's it.
The real point is that this is not an experiment to be held in reserve, like a trick to be used against someone you do not like, for moments of crisis. It has to be a way of life. Let life flow. It means being aware, alert, sensitive to the present moment always, in all actions and relations, from now on.
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