Meditation and Medication

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Meditation and Medication

Postby Carter » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:11 am

Hello All,

I recently fractured my leg in three places, including a compound fracture. For the next few weeks I'll be taking oxicodone in order to manage the pain during my convalescence. I'd like to note that my daily meditation prior to this accident helped me to stay centered and present during the trauma of the event and immediately subsequent - at no time did I ever feel that any real harm had befallen me, and some of the trauma staff at the hospital remarked on how calm I was considering the seriousness of my injury.

For some reason it doesn't feel appropriate to me to meditate while under the influence of pain management medication. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this subject?

Peace
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:28 am

Carter wrote:For some reason it doesn't feel appropriate to me to meditate while under the influence of pain management medication. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this subject?

Peace
There is no reason not to. There is always something to learn and there may come a time when you really have no choice.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:07 pm

Agree with Tilt, infact dont let go of this opportunity, practise Vipassana as much as possible.

Regards

Parth
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:18 pm

Just remember that the meditation will very likely "feel" different, and practice some kindness for yourself.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:26 pm

Carter wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this subject?

Yes.
There is no breach of the fifth precept unless you are taking the medication for its intoxicating effects, ie: getting stoned or drunk.
Continue with your practice and take whatever medication you require.
May your recovery be swift!

Ben
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby zavk » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:07 am

I've encountered this question with regards to anti-depressants. So to use this as a kind of parallel example, some years ago I was on a short course of anti-depressants but I meditated at the same time too. I think it is important to be clear about what medication and meditation involve and what they are aimed at. To put it very generally, medication is about treating the body, about treating illnesses. Meditation, well, at its most general level, it is a kind of attitudinal practice. Please note that I am not saying that this is what meditation is all about--but I think at a very, very general and conventional level, meditation involves the cultivation of a kind of an attitude: an attitude of equanimity or non-grasping awareness. So in this respect, it is not in conflict with medication if one indeed has a health condition to treat. In fact, as Tilt suggests your circumstances might be a good opportunity to strengthen this attitude. It has certainly been the case for me when I sometimes manage to meditate when I'm ill.

All the best and hope you recover soon!
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:54 am

zavk wrote:In fact, as Tilt suggests your circumstances might be a good opportunity to strengthen this attitude. It has certainly been the case for me when I sometimes manage to meditate when I'm ill!
Meditation, particularly mindfulness practice, is too important not to do when one is ill. It is one of the best times to practice.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby zavk » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
zavk wrote:In fact, as Tilt suggests your circumstances might be a good opportunity to strengthen this attitude. It has certainly been the case for me when I sometimes manage to meditate when I'm ill!
Meditation, particularly mindfulness practice, is too important not to do when one is ill. It is one of the best times to practice.


But the nose is sniffly, and the body aches, not to mention the drowsiness from the medication, and the full bladder from the extra fluid intake, and the urge to lie down, and.. and.. and... (and so the wheel of samsara turns on and on) :tantrum:

:thumbsup:

But I couldn't agree more... hmmm... now that I have some free time (though it really shouldn't be a question of waiting for 'free time'), I shall go have a sit. :meditate:
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:07 am

zavk wrote:But the nose is sniffly, and the body aches, not to mention the drowsiness from the medication, and the full bladder from the extra fluid intake, and the urge to lie down, and.. and.. and... (and so the wheel of samsara turns on and on)
The meditation posture when afflicted with norovirus.
Image
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:17 am

Paying respects to the porcelain one.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby Corwin_Smith » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:13 am

Hi All,

Meditation and Medication are both essential to recover as i thought...While medication provide physical relief from injuries & wounds at the same time meditation is helpful for mental peace & get rid of stress...Beside these 2 M's, one more is important two thats MOTIVATION.....if we are motivated towards our goals regarding any issues like here in your case if you set your goals that you have to recover soon ..you can...
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby DesiRed » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:13 am

Hiya, folks! Sorry I'm on here so late, but this conversation brought up some interesting philosophical thoughts for me. I recently got done taking oxicodone (for a broken tailbone), and I felt a little odd meditating while "under the influence." While I understand that I should be gentle on myself, the process of meditation is finding your "inner peace." By finding your inner peace, you need to have complete and solemn concentration. While on oxicodone, I found myself having difficult to concentrate. I hated it. Still, at least I know that I'm not alone when it comes to the subject of feeling powerless when taking such painkillers. Gotta say, I much prefer being off of them!

Anyway, I'm still experiencing a bit of pain from the broken bone, but being off the medicaton is a blessing. Sadly, the increased meditation has done nothing to ease the physical pain. I looked locally for some sort of new, innovative treatment for more efficient pain management, but I also wanted to reach out here, for additional resources. I don't want to be drugged up, but I don't want to experience this nagging pain either. Any help would be sincerely appreciated! Thank you!
Last edited by DesiRed on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:37 am

DesiRed wrote:Sadly, the increased meditation has done nothing to ease the physical pain.


This surprises me; meditation ought to ease the salience of the perception of pain if for no other reason than the relaxation principle (if you've been meditating for a while already, that is). I wonder what your meditation method is?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Meditation and Medication

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:42 am

Hi Desi,

This talk from Bhikku Bodhi that I linked to here viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8232#p129015 may be of interest. He describes the pains he has had for two or three decades and how he was able to continue a meditation practice in spite of it.

:anjali:
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