Buddhism and Pain Control


There is a lot of evidence showing how the mind can control pain with Mindfulness. One person who demonstrates that we can control pain using mindfulness is Jon Kabat Zinn, who has many books on the subject should you want to learn some tips.

Today whilst re-reading my favourite books about compassion I found another example of a person controlling pain with their mind. This person is called Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (August 14, 1924 – November 5, 1981) who was the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

The example discusses the death of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa whilst on a world tour. He died in a hospital in Zion, Illinois.

One doctor was also struck by the Karmapa’s refusal of pain medication and the absence of any signs of feeling the profound pain that most patients in his condition report.
Source – Wikipedia

What a fantastic example of how meditation and mindfulness can help control pain. Techniques he uses are out there for us all to learn from people like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Marc Ian Barasch and Shinzen Young

Another part of his death which shocked doctors was that at his point of his death the monks sat him up in the meditation position.

Upon his death, against hospital procedure but in keeping with Tibetan tradition and with special permission from the State of Illinois, his body was left in the hospital for three days and his heart remained warm during this time. Chief of staff Radulfo Sanchez had no medical explanation for this.
Source – Wikipedia

This whole story moved me because of the rare situation of Eastern and Western philosophies crossing over with interesting outcomes and no specific answers from our experts, telling me we still have so much to learn. That said since this time science and Buddhism in particular are working closer than ever to verify ( and occasionally I assume. disprove ) each others long standing beliefs.

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