A simple meditation for relieving pain and stress.

Sit in a comfortable position or lie down, eyes open or closed, and let your attention settle on your normal breath. Don’t make your breathing deeper or change it in any way.

Now, rest your attention gently on whatever part of your body you feel your breathing most clearly, whether it’s in your nostrils or in the rise and fall of your chest or belly.

If you like, you can silently repeat in and out, but keep your attention on what the breath feels like.

If a thought or pain pulls your attention away, see if you can simply observe the feeling without emotions like anger or frustration.

Then, gently bring your attention back to your breath.

Practice this meditation for about 10 minutes each day and work up to 20 minutes. Add extra sessions when you feel more pain or difficulty; this will help foster calm awareness and compassion for yourself.

Written by Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts
Originally published by Pain Solutions Magazine, Fall 2009
Photo Credit: BVDC, courtesy of Stock Free Images

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