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The Concept of the Pain-Body

by Angela Counsel


Heart of hands low resI am a big fan of self-development and am always reading books that push my boundaries and get me thinking in different ways about things.

I recently revisited Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. It’s an intense read and to be honest, you are best to read it in short doses. I don’t mind saying that I have had to read and re-read certain sections until they sunk in. He is an intense author with a gifted vocabulary.

But it’s his concept of pain-body I want to share with you today.

Think about the pain that you have suffered in your past. Think about how it still lives within you in some form. Every emotional pain that you experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives on in you.

I think we can all agree that happens, yes?

So, what Eckhart Tolle says is that this accumulated pain is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind.

It is your pain-body.

Now, this is the part that I resonated with. He says that the pain-body can lie dormant in people. Or it’s incredibly active. Some deeply unhappy or angry people can live entirely through their own pain-body. By that he means that any decision that person makes is based on the pain he has experienced in the past. It is based on fear.

Some people can have their pain-body lie relatively dormant but something may trigger it – a comment, a situation linked with past loss or abandonment, a situation in an intimate relationship.

Eckhart Tolle then goes on to describe how pain feeds on pain. I’m going to hand over to him for a sec….


“The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, ‘become you’ and live through you. It needs to get it’s ‘food’ through you. 

It will feed on any experience that resonates with it’s own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional dramas, violence and even illness. 

Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.”


The reason I find this so fascinating is that I love the description of it. Think about those times you may have self-sabotaged yourself, made excuses, focused anger on something that was caused by something completely irrelevant to the situation. Pain feeds on pain. When you are in the grip of stress and overwhelm, you are in pain.

And what does the pain-body feed on? Pain.

When I work with women who are feeling that pain and overwhelm, we work on aligning lifestyle with values and then focus on a healthy mindset, healthy living and healthy eating approach.

This approach minimises the amount of pain or the level of interaction or control the ‘pain-body’ has over you.

Living in the moment. Focusing on the situation you are in RIGHT NOW, not what happened in the past and most definitely not what MAY happen in the future gives you the Power of Now.

And allows you to release the pain-body and the chokehold it has on your life.


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