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.
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Butrfly_Nirvana
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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!
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Guy
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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

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retrofuturist
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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. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Cittasanto
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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.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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

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

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Butrfly_Nirvana
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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:
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Kare
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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

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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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.



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.

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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

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

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Butrfly_Nirvana
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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:
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Annapurna
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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
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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
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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

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

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

Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Monkey Mind
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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

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

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



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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

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

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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

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

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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

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

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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

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



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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