…”How does the mind absorb suffering? It discovers that resistance and escape–the ‘I’ process–is a false move. The pain is inescapable, and resistance as a defense only makes it worse; the whole system is jarred by the shock. Seeing the impossibility of this course, it must act according to its nature–remain stable and absorb.
To remain stable is to refrain from trying to separate yourself from a pain because you know that you cannot. Running away from fear is fear, fighting pain is pain, trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought. There is no escape. But so long as you are not aware of the inseparability of thinker and thought, you will try to escape.
From this follows, quite naturally, absorption. It is no effort; the mind does it by itself. Seeing that there is no escape from the pain, the mind yields to it, absorbs it, and becomes conscious of just pain without any ‘I’ feeling or resisting it. It experiences pain in the same complete, unselfconscious way in which it experiences pleasure. Pain is the nature of this present moment, and I can only live in this moment.
Sometimes, when resistance ceases, the pain simply goes away or dwindles to an easily tolerable ache. At other times it remains, but the absence of any resistance brings about a way of feeling pain so unfamiliar as to be hard to describe. The pain is no longer problematic. I feel it, but there is no urge to get rid of it, for I have discovered that pain and the effort to be separate from it are the same thing. Wanting to get out of pain is the pain; it is not the ‘reaction’ of an ‘I’ distinct from the pain. When you discover this, the desire to escape ‘merges’ into the pain itself and vanishes.” ~Alan Watts…