This book drew my attention because of the authors’ description of pain, pain as a dragon.
A dragon has been described to be fierce and filled of fire from deep within and blowing its flames at point break; just like pain we humans experience. Author Robert Augustus Masters describes how to bring suffering to an end by entering the dragon. He takes his readers step by conscious step into and through pain to free them of distress and agony.
I chose this book for those whose inner dragons are still deep in their caves. Does yours occasionally rear its massive head just to return back into its cave? Let it out to live freely, fully, yet with its fierceness out in the brightest of light.
–Mary Jo Archuleta, SFC Marketplace Manager
Pain can be a real pain, and it can also be something altogether different if we meet it rather than turning away from it. In this his latest book, Robert Augustus Masters describes how to end our suffering by entering our pain, step by conscious step, finding ever-increasing freedom in doing so. Pain comes with Life, often inevitably so, and can serve Life if we do not turn it into suffering (meaning that we do not make a self-binding story out of it, starring us in the victim role), but instead turn toward and enter it.
How do we do this? We name our pain; we turn toward it; we enter it; we get intimate with all of its qualities (its directionality, texture, temperature, color, density, shape), going into it until we reach its heart. Eventually we emerge: our pain may not be gone, but we now have a very different relationship with it, a relationship that serves our healing and awakening. The degree to which we turn our pain into suffering is the degree to which we obstruct our own healing.
Suffering keeps pain in the dark. When we are busy suffering, we are without healthy detachment, being removed from the naked reality of our pain (our attention being far more focused on our storyline than on the nonconceptual rawness of our pain), but not removed in a way that permits us to focus more clearly on what is actually going on. To work effectively with our suffering, we need both to stand apart from its script (so as to more clearly bring it into focus), and to cease distancing ourselves from our pain. As we become more intimate with our pain, we find that we are less and less troubled by it, until our pain is but grace, however fierce. Meeting the Dragon is all about cultivating such intimacy.