Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:18 pm

I'm very new to this still, but am wondering if meditation will help me get over this cold! I've been miserable for almost a week now, and I'm pregnant so many over the counter medicines are not advised. Is there a way to focus my meditation on getting over this? Will just focusing on my abdominal breathing (as my nose is 'unreliable' at this time!) help, or should I focus on something else?? Thank you in advance!

User avatar
Guy
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 4:05 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Guy » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:31 pm

Hi Butrfly_Nirvana,

As a meditator, whether or not you get healthy in 1 day or 2 days or 7 days is not your business, that's up to the body. It's your job to be kind and to be patient. If you are kind to yourself and even have a kind attitude towards the cold itself you will soon find that you become peaceful, and the question of "when am I going to be healthy again?" loses its significance. This might sound crazy, but I recently got very sick with the flu and when I was so sick that I could barely get out of bed I decided "okay flu, I'm not going to be your enemy, you can stay for as long as you want" and almost instantly I was very peaceful and content. After that the symptoms gradually faded away over the next couple of days. Whether or not the body would have recovered in the same time if I didn't have this attitude I don't know, it doesn't matter now.

What matters as a Buddhist and as a meditator is making peace and being kind. Think of the Four Noble Truths - CRAVING is the origin of suffering, so abandon the craving to be healthy and then you will be happy. If you recover quickly it is just a bonus.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14813
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:39 pm

Greetings,

To complement Guy's recommendation, I would suggest simply being mindful of the feelings. Be aware of them, and observe their transient qualities. It won't take the sickness itself away, but being mindful of the feelings and not getting caught up with them will help remove some of the unpleasantness of feeling sick.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:54 pm

If you normally focus on your nose you may find the mouth easier to focus on than your abdomen.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

User avatar
IanAnd
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby IanAnd » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:27 am

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I'm very new to this still, but am wondering if meditation will help me get over this cold!

Not necessarily. A cold is based on a bodily virus. You have to attack the cold virus in the body to get rid of the cold.

The following suggestion may not be able to help you now, as the cold virus has already taken hold of your body and you'll just have to ride it out naturally. But the next time that you feel a tickle in the throat or whatever evidence you notice that tells you to expect the possibility of a cold coming on, take one garlic gel pill with 1000mg of the active ingredient (allicin) three times a day (morning, noon, and evening) until you experience the body fighting back the virus and the cold waning. The active ingredient allicin is a natural antibiotic produced in the garlic bulb. It will buttress the strength of your body's immune system enough to fight off the cold virus before it gets a chance to take hold of your body if you get to it soon enough (at the first notice of its coming on). You have to catch it early on, though, for the garlic to really preempt the cold's coming on.

Otherwise, you can take the garlic pills AFTER you have caught the cold in order to provide the body with added ammunition to fight the cold virus. I have had instances of a cold beginning to wane after 7 to 10 days after it has taken hold, taking the garlic AFTER the fact. If you take it BEFORE the fact, you can head off the cold altogether.

What also might help is to get zinc into the body. There are zinc lozenges that you can buy at the drug store which can help with the soreness that develops in the throat. The zinc is also good for attacking the cold virus. Wal Mart carries both these products: the garlic product is made by a company named Spring Valley and costs about $5 for a bottle of about 120 softgels, and Zinc Gluconate or the Equate brand Zinc Gluconate Glycine are the zinc lozenges (approx. cost $2). The garlic softgels may not specify allicin on the label as an ingredient, but will say "Odorless garlic: Allium sativum 10 mg (100:1 Extract equivalent to 1,000 mg of fresh Garlic Bulb.)" That's the one you want to get. Can't tell you how many colds I've stopped in their tracks using this natural remedy.

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I've been miserable for almost a week now, and I'm pregnant so many over the counter medicines are not advised. Is there a way to focus my meditation on getting over this?

Once again, not that I'm aware of. And believe me, I've tried (unsuccessfully though). Although as others here have suggested, a change in attitude might help you to endure it better.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:32 am

Thank you all so much! I will put good use to all of your suggestions--both in attitude and action (garlic soft gels...)!

Hope you are healthy out there--because this cold is a tough one!

Thank you again!

:namaste:

User avatar
Kare
Posts: 689
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Kare » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:18 am

Try the advice the Buddha gave to Nakulapita:

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Bhaggas at Crocodile Haunt in the Bhesakala Grove at the Deer Park. Then the householder Nakulapita went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, I am a feeble old man, aged, advanced in years, having come to the last stage of life. I am afflicted in body & ailing with every moment. And it is only rarely that I get to see the Blessed One & the monks who nourish the heart. May the Blessed One teach me, may the Blessed One instruct me, for my long-term benefit & happiness."

"So it is, householder. So it is. The body is afflicted, weak, & encumbered. For who, looking after this body, would claim even a moment of true health, except through sheer foolishness? So you should train yourself: 'Even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.' That is how you should train yourself."

Here's the whole sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Mettāya,
Kåre

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:36 am

Meditation is certainly a remedy for minor ailments like colds and flu. At the very least it helps you accept the symptoms as they really are, and so removes the suffering caused by wishing they were otherwise.

Meditation may cure chronic diseases like migraine or high blood pressure, especially those that have psychosomatic causes. Intensive meditation may even cure more serious diseases.

Healing Through Insight Meditation

There are four producers: food, climate, mind, and kamma. Any of these four, or a combination of them, may be causing a disease. Changes in diet or air quality are needed to cure the first two. If a disease is caused by mind (psychosomatic), then a change in one's mental habits can cure it. Meditation can change our mental habits.

Those diseases that are the result of previous kamma will have to give their results, but present wholesome kamma can mitigate the unpleasant effects of previous unwholesome kamma. As the last resort, meditation can help a patient to die peacefully.

Anāthapindikovāda Sutta
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
Annapurna
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:30 pm

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I'm very new to this still, but am wondering if meditation will help me get over this cold! I've been miserable for almost a week now, and I'm pregnant so many over the counter medicines are not advised. Is there a way to focus my meditation on getting over this? Will just focusing on my abdominal breathing (as my nose is 'unreliable' at this time!) help, or should I focus on something else?? Thank you in advance!


Dear butterfly,

take a look at this Buddhist meditation. It is a visualization type of meditation, especially effective for illness.

SMOKE OUT, LIGHT IN

- While breathing out, imagine that all your negative energies, mistakes, misunderstanding and emotions leave your body with the breath. Visualise this energy as black smoke, which goes out into space and completely disappears.
- While breathing in, imagine that all the positive energy of the universe enters your body with the breath. Visualise this positive energy as pure white light which enters all the parts of your body, it pervades every cell and atom. Enjoy this clear white light.
- If you feel comfortable, use every breath to inhale light and to exhale black smoke and problems.
- When distracted by other thoughts, simply observe them without getting involved; transform them into black smoke and breathe them out.

My personal opinion is:

What's not good for me during a pregnancy, -how can it be good for me at all?

And we have an old saying::

A cold is coming for 7 days, and is leaving for 7 days. But it doesn't stay.

So, your timeframe is good.

Carry on, give your body lots of rest, don't move too much.

I try to stay on the couch with my favorite movies and books, and spoil myself with treats.

Best wishes!
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:47 pm

KARE: Thank you! That is such a wonderful thing to remember!

As for the Smoke out, light in visualization--incredible! Thank you for that! In fact, now that I think about it...I may end up using that to help during labor! LOL

Thank you all for helping me! Last night I did my best to accept the physical feelings I had, but not giving any emotion to them and not craving them to be otherwise. I just closed my eyes and accepted it. I reminded myself that it is not permanent. The result is that I finally slept for more than 20 minutes at a time, and sure I still have a little coughing here and there to expel what is leftover, but my mind is clear and I feel peaceful and content! So I know that at the very least, I felt comfort even when my body was ill.

On a side note: I'm loving how every day that I delve more into this I am that much more in touch with my true self...truly the only regret I will have in this life is not finding Theravada sooner! But all in it's right time I suppose--otherwise I might not have anything to compare to!

:namaste:

User avatar
Annapurna
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:23 pm

Those were some wise thoughts, Butterfly.

All good wishes for you.

When will the baby come?
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

Mawkish1983
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:29 pm

True self? Good and bad energy? Hmm.

meindzai
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby meindzai » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:44 pm

The body needs rest when sick. I know that when I have the flu, if I manage to get myself sitting upright to meditate, after about 10 minutes if Iget very still, I barely notice any symptoms. It's almost like being asleep, but awake! I imagine it's helping in some way. How can it not?

-M

User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:09 pm

Annabel wrote:Those were some wise thoughts, Butterfly.

All good wishes for you.

When will the baby come?


The baby is due April 30th--a little girl, Penelope Olivia!

User avatar
Monkey Mind
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Monkey Mind » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:58 pm

[At risk of being labelled a heretic, again...] I agree with a lot of what has been said re: the goal of meditation is not to help with illness,but it does help with coping with an illness. But paradoxically, I have found that practicing acceptance of illness does improve the speed and effectiveness of healing process, and overall immune functioning. With respect to TOS, I am not making any claims of intentional healing qualities of meditation, just accidental healing qualities. :tongue:
"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

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:09 pm

Hi Annabel,
take a look at this Buddhist meditation. It is a visualization type of meditation, especially effective for illness.

SMOKE OUT, LIGHT IN


is that a theravadin Meditation?
The only thing I can think of off the top of my head for illness in the suttas are the Factors of Awakening as a reflection.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14813
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:21 pm

Greetings Manapa,

Manapa wrote:is that a theravadin Meditation?


No.

But at the same time, that's not to say it's of no value - this isn't a Theravada keyboard, nor a Theravadin coffee on this table... but they work.

:coffee:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 4661
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:27 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Manapa,

Manapa wrote:is that a theravadin Meditation?


No.

But at the same time, that's not to say it's of no value - this isn't a Theravada keyboard, nor a Theravadin coffee on this table... but they work.

:coffee:

Metta,
Retro. :)


:goodpost:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:30 pm

Manapa wrote:The only thing I can think of off the top of my head for illness in the suttas are the Factors of Awakening as a reflection.

I forgot to mention the Paritta Suttas — the Bojjhanga Sutta is used for healing.
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Can meditation help me when I'm sick?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:07 pm

where is it from though?

I have heard of this similar types of meditation for generating heat, and healing from Tibet but not specifically anything from Theravada.
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Manapa,

Manapa wrote:is that a theravadin Meditation?


No.

But at the same time, that's not to say it's of no value - this isn't a Theravada keyboard, nor a Theravadin coffee on this table... but they work.

:coffee:

Metta,
Retro. :)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."


Return to “Theravada Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mikenz66, paul and 3 guests