Presence Can Diminish Pain
Richard Moss


Pain, specifically physical pain, varies moment by moment with your state of mind, or more precisely, with how present or not you are.  So does your vitality.  When you are caught up in the thoughts that generate fearfulness or despair, physical pain can worsen and weaken you.  The moment you relax into the present and your thinking becomes quieter, the pain signal may well decrease and your vitality returns.

This can happen in an instant, and that is an instant of healing.  Add up those instants of presence and decreased pain, and at the end of an hour, or a day, you will have more energy and optimism.  Ten, twenty, a hundred or more of those moments each day; and you have an entirely different experience.  You are more healthy than sick, at least in your state of mind.  This is an immediate fruit of the path of learning to be present:  to be your aware self instead of identified with your thinking--your ego.  This is why the great Indian spiritual teacher Sai Baba has summarized his whole message to humanity with three words:  "Watch your thoughts."

For most people, the difference between awareness and thinking is unfamiliar.  We have believed that we are what our thoughts tell us we are, and our world is what our thoughts tell us it is.  When we are told that we are sick and then we tell this to ourselves, we believe that we are sick.  But the part of us that is aware of whatever we are telling ourselves about being sick is not in itself sick.

Letting your awareness help you step away from your thinking--which means being more present--brings you back to a healthy state of mind.  Without identifying the thoughts that compare how you currently are with how you used to be, aren't you actually okay right now?  If you don't identify with thoughts that picture the future in terms of diminishing capacity, or envision yourself lacking sufficient funds for retirement, is there any real threat right now?  Without thoughts that generate emotions of bitterness or hopelessness or of being a victim, this moment will hold you in peace.

When you turn your attention away from your thoughts and into the present moment, you restore yourself to a state of open receptivity to a limitless source of intelligence, a limitless field of love.  You give that love and intelligence a chance to join you and transform you.  Returning to a sense of wholeness in yourself is being healthy.  It is also the most powerful way you have to change the future.

The ego, like a bad cell-phone connection that produces cracked, clipped noise, is constantly producing stressful mental and emotional noise that obscures the signal of this deeper intelligence.  It makes you less intelligent.  And it weakens your body's connection to the vibration of wholeness that is the deeper note of existence.  At the level of ego, you are always more or less out of tune.

Again and again, ego makes you into who you have been instead of who you really are and can be.  Your ego can never envision the future in a way that is new; it can only keep projecting what it has known.  When you become present and gain distance from your ego's thinking, your whole being regains alignment with that larger consciousness.  Now there is greater room for new possibility, including restoring physical health.


This inspiring book presents powerful principles, tools, and practices for transforming self-limiting patterns of thought and behaviors and for staying in the present even in the midst of very difficult feelings.  Drawing from individual counseling sessions and utilizing practical exercises, Dr. Moss demonstrates how awareness and presence can be applied to support change in yourself and others, thereby creating a solid bridge between knowing and doing.


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