The Pain Body

The expression ‘pain body’ is a term created by spiritualist Eckhart Tolle to describe a toxic field of energy that can be found in individuals as well as entire groups. This toxic field alternates between an active and dormant state, with each state varying according to the individual and / or group.

The pain body may arise suddenly and without any apparent correlating event; other times an event is clearly the instigating factor. In any case a pain body episode is usually experienced as a negative mood, sometimes extremely negative, and can also be felt as an emotional bodily response (tightness, tension, pain, etc.).

A pain body experience can literally feel like being taken over: the toxic field fills awareness to such an extent that our entire perspective seems negative, and we may have an experience of being overwhelmed. People often take on the exact energy of the pain body, behaving in a depressive or anxious or angry manner, or behaving in some other way in conjunction with whatever vibration the pain body is giving off.

A pain body experience can be quite substantial — it is often a difficult and, yes, painful phenomenon. So how can we effectively deal with a pain body experience?

People respond to a pain body experience in a variety of ways, often with the intent of shutting the pain body experience down. This effort may occur through consuming alcohol or drugs — prescription or nonprescription — or trying in some way to be distracted from the pain body experience. The shortcoming in all of these methods is that they are temporary fixes at best (depending on which methods are used, the may also be physically and emotionally damaging).

Once these fixes have worn off or run their course, the pain body experience often reappears. This is why I believe the most effective pain body response is to experience the pain body in full, and not attempt to shut it down.

This will run counter to the intuition of many, as we tend to believe that something unpleasant should be done away with as soon as possible. But by not allowing the pain body to express itself we are, in essence, giving it extended life — in pushing the pain body experience down we only delay it, as it will ultimately come up again.

Instead of trying to escape the pain body experience be aware and present as it occurs. Identify it as it comes up, and then observe it as it expresses itself. Be there as the pain body happens — no pushing away, no trying to escape. In the face of your conscious presence the pain body will, eventually, dissipate. The more you sit with the pain body in this way, versus trying to somehow eliminate it, the more the pain body will lose its force within you.

The pain body is simply energy coming up in your awareness. There’s nothing you need to do with this energy: you don’t need to fix anything. Simply observe and allow, and the energy will ultimately run its course. This strategy also tends to reduce the overall strength of the pain body leading to fewer, and less substantial, pain body experiences in the future.