Pain is your friend!!!
If a Daoist said this to you, it would be re-phrased as: Your Senses are your Friends!
Let’s not let ourselves become bubble-wrapped by the comforts of modern living. In Western terms, pain is your friend because it is an indication that you are doing something worth-while. Something that gets you a result, something that reminds you that you are alive! Ironically, we are in the habit of using drugs to exterminate pain as soon as it emerges, not willing to stay with it for a while, listen to what it has to say and lead us to the answers it wishes us to realise about its origins.
But there’s no need to reach for pain. Pain means that the action is being taken to the extreme. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this but what is potentially wrong is going to this extreme without sensing the nuances in-between.
Natural sensitivity is dulled by many things we encounter in modern life. We can become distracted by digital entertainment, for example, such that our sensory perception becomes accustomed and attuned only to the most obvious sensory stimuli.
It’s easy to hear a rooster announcing a new day’s beginning but it’s not so easy to discern soft echoes in the distance calling out to ears willing to listen to their story. It’s easy to see someone’s angry at you when they’re yelling in your face but it’s not so easy to see that you’ve hurt someone close to you as they portray an impeccable smile as a façade that everything’s ok. When you walk away, there's something puling you back.
All these movements of different densities, different layers; infinite stories! They are just waiting to be noticed by those who have the eyes to notice them, like the very fabric of the things around you shed a multitude of masks each second.
Daoists refine their senses. It is a matter of Life and Death! Being Disciples of Life, Daoists do not miss an opportunity to listen to the world within and the world without. Everything is moving, everything is always changing. Sensing the Qi inside one’s body is the first step to refining one’s natural sensitivity!
Pain is not your friend, there’s a lot more happening before the pain even manifests! Your senses are your friends!