His suggestion...to soften around the pain is exactly what I have learned to do on my own. I have lived with chronic pain for many years now and this is the most sensible and sane approach to pain management I know. That's not to say I don't accept/use the support of medications when the pain becomes acute and unbearable (like with this new onset of shingles)...I do. But most of the time...simply breathing into the pain, softening around it, being present to it, is enough. But this teaching is about more than pain.
Here is an excerpt from the recording.
"If we feel pain of some kind, instead of trying to push it away, instead of trying to resist it… …instead of tensing the muscles of our body just soften the breath.
When we soften the breath, the body becomes softer. When the body becomes softer it offers less resistance to whatever we're feeling and whatever we're feeling has a chance to arise and express itself without being locked in by the hardness of the body.
So we breathe soft. And the harder our reality gets the softer we breathe. And we follow this soft breath, that primal realm deeper than language and form and thought."
If you have time please take 15 minutes to give a listen. You'll be glad you did.