In this video presentation, Tsunma Jamyang Donma shares her advice on caring for those with chronic pain. Her observations are based upon her experience both with long-time meditation practice and her work as a Buddhist chaplain in a major urban hospital.
She begins with the reminder to all caregivers that we are kind to ourselves and to the one suffering when we enter into a relationship with no expectation. Moreover, she advises people caring for others to try to create a safe space for potential experiences to unfold. In her presentation, she stresses the relationship between body and mind, and spirit. She addresses underlying trauma, habitual tendencies, tension patterns, and heightened alarm systems. When it comes to healing pain, she highlights a four-step process.
The role of compassionate awareness is a skill we can all learn to practice, with ourselves and with others. She underlines the importance of asking kind questions and also of listening deeply. Her advice is that we respect the time and space that the answers to these questions may provoke. And again, she stresses the cardinal rule of never saying we are going to remove the sufferer’s pain. We can witness, acknowledge, but avoid any judgment. Her explanations in this presentation can help us to be kinder, more compassionate, listeners.