A Bathtub Fall & The Power of Pure Consciousness
A simple step out of a bathtub went wrong. Before I knew it, I had fallen, hitting my head on the ceramic soap dish embedded in the wall; my rib cage taking the weight of the fall against the side of the tub.
That night, the pain of severely bruised ribs intensified, leaving me unable to find a position conducive to sleep. Awake in the dark hours, I thought about moments several months earlier when I watched my then 10-week old grandson simply observe the world with wonder. It would be helpful, I knew, if I could just find a place of quieter, purer consciousness, free of upset thought, where I could observe my pain with some degree of curiosity and wonder, or at least, less judgment.
Knowing a little bit about physiology, I was aware that not stressing about the pain would allow the body’s healing processes to go about their work more efficiently and quickly. Surely enough, in the quiet space of just noticing pain without judgment, the experience of it became lighter and less intense. I felt peaceful and content, to the point that I was eventually able to sleep with just a little bit of Tylenol on board.
That night, I found a place within of knowing more clearly that the formless energy behind life is always free of pain. Deeper connection to this energy means less suffering.
During the “Come Home to Your True Nature” retreat I had co-facilitated the previous week, one of the participants, who shares the Three Principles in her work, mentioned that she has found it helpful to approach emotional pain similarly. She knows that she innocently creates emotional pain by investing in upset thinking. But she also knows that getting into more pain by getting upset that she’s in emotional pain isn’t helpful and doesn’t make sense! She notices that observing emotional pain from a place of love and understanding for herself softens it, allowing it to move through the screen of her awareness quickly and effortlessly. When emotional pain resolves, she more easily finds creative solutions to life’s challenges.
In his book, The Missing Link, Sydney Banks writes, “So like the blind man, close your eyes. Like the deaf man, block your ears, go inside and realize…that which you seek has been there within you, all along. This is when the blind will see and the deaf will hear.” And, perhaps, where those in pain can find peace despite it.