New to the Under 35 Project: “Mindfully Moving Through Pain”

From the Under 35 Project, Scott Lillico shares a short piece on mindfulness, spirituality and reflections on dealing with pain.

Scott Lillico
30 August 2013
Photo by Matthew Henry

We move quickly. We emulate fast predators with quick wit and the speed to reach things first, attain successful means such as the best job, nicest house, social recognition, mating with the best genes. Then like a wrench into the bicycle wheel of functionally spinning existence and forward momentum, is pain. Pain puts all else into perspective. Physically, pain gives notice of what area of the body is in dis-ease or non optional functioning.

To transcend pain, a clear mind is necessary but maintaining one’s practice is challenging when the pre-occupation of physical sensation consumes your mind all day. Pain can be the catalyst to a trained and focused mind. If one can focus their mind during discomfort and successfully accomplish multiple tasks, then through this, the pain is simply secondary. Acknowledged by the mind and disregarded as secondary thought or noise. Filtered out like pointless advertising, annoying co-workers or unnecessary information, pain sits behind everything else good and essential. Pain reminds us of the impermanent states of our journey, cycling from start to finish, with many crests and valleys, successes and failures.

The trained, clear and calm mind makes good decisions in happiness and content as well as in pain and discomfort. It remains unaffected by the impermanence of each and solid in good resolve. Beneath the facade of pain lies lessons in spirituality and positivity. To master a body in pain is one of life’s great challenges, yet pain also gives us the reminder of what is important and what isn’t. A sense of calm, purpose and simpleness takes precedence over grand dreams and ambitions.

The tortoise observing from the windy tall grass contains as much beauty and life as the running powerful cheetah on the African savannah. Sometimes more beauty comes in mindfully watching and cultivating appreciation for things you see and are connected to, without completing the action yourself. An observer’s appreciation is important on the path of mindfulness.

Categorize the pain for what it really is, which is the opposite of pleasure. It’s a reminder of the positive and negative, the yin and yang, the darkness and the light. It will pass, and through mindfulness you move into neutral, happy or pleasant times.

Scott Lillico

Scott Lillico is a writer, photographer and videographer. After spending a year abroad in India, Southeast Asia and Europe, Scott continues his journey as a writer in Canada.