From my son's blog:
I pulled a muscle in my back today, doing nothing more strenuous than standing and wiggling my shoulder blades around to stretch. It feels fine, unless I move or breathe, in which case it hurts terribly. Later on in the evening I went to meditation class. I started going last week, and found it calming and pleasantly novel. This week I discovered that sitting cross-legged, upright, and still is the perfect way to make nearly every muscle in my body scream in pain or go numb. Also, listening to my own breath makes me drowsy right quick. So there I am, half asleep, writhing in anguish, and the meditation instructor, who's oratory style can be complemented as nasal and rambly, is talking about how pain is a good thing because it provides contrast for pleasure and because it gives us something to focus on to bring us into the present. Instead of calming me down, this mostly just annoyed me, because I didn't feel the pain I was experiencing was really necessary or productive. So there I am: annoyed, distracted, half asleep, in pain, and my phone keeps buzzing.So, I had the shirt made and sent it to my son. He found it on his doorstep today. You can get one too. (click to order) Oh, and I knit the hat on his head too!
The instructor tells a story about a study where they submerged meditator's hands in ice water to gauge their pain and fear before and after a three-month meditation class. They found that after the meditation class that the meditators did not feel less pain but they did experience less fear as a result of the ice water hand bath. This was attributed to the effects of meditation. I thought: was there a control group? You can't make any conclusions unless there's a control group. If there was a control group, the study probably would have found that repeated exposure to an ice hand bath reduces one's ice-bath anxiety because you learn that an ice hand bath is not harmful. I am going to make a tee shirt. The shirt will say, "Was there a control group?". Whenever someone makes a bold statement, I will point to my shirt.