Illness is part of life.
Nobody likes to be ill, but it still happens.
When one falls ill, besides applying conventional wisdom to treat the disease;
Buddhist may also apply unconventional wisdom to improve the situation.
If we analyse these Buddhist approach towards a situation, we will see the proactive attitude to constantly engage in good deeds for betterment of life situations.
Conventional wisdom is foremost. One should seek treatment from the doctors, seek knowledge on how to improve one’s health and how to recover.
Here’s sharing, the unconventional wisdom.
A Buddhist accepts illness as inevitable, as a part of life. Instead of looking at it as a punishment, one looks upon it with detachment and acknowledge that illness is part of life’s imperfection. (Suffering)
In that sense, one comes to term with the Illness and “embraces” it as part of life’s education. One of the practice involves self reflection. Be detached and acknowledge that illness had assaulted the body.
Acceptance does not mean we leave the illness untreated. We should seek to regain health because our precious health provides us the condition to attain enlightenment.
Practice Metta meditation. Generate love towards one’s body. “May this body be well and happy” This body is just an assembly of conditions. Accepts it and love it. mentally be aware of the full body and adopt a loving mind towards one’s body.
Mentally, generate love towards all beings too. Beings that can be seen and beings that are unseen. Beings in all directions surrounding us. ” May all beings seen and unseen, be well and happy”
Try to rest the mind and body. Sleep to let the body recover. Reduce the mental chatter. Tell ourselves that it is ok. It is a temporal transition in our long journey in existence. Life is but a dream. learn to relax and tell ourselves it is ok.
ACTS of loving kindness
Cherish a loving and compassionate attitude towards oneself and others. Engage in life cherishing activities such as releasing of life or abstaining from taking life (even an insect) to leave a deeper mental imprint within ourselves. When we actualise thoughts into deeds, it becomes stronger.
Releasing of life, is not limited to buying captured birds in the market and releasing them. (Asian love to do this…)
With a cherishing mind, if we see a snail crossing a pavement and in danger of being crushed. Help bring it across the pavement safely. That is also cherishing life. (be mindful though, you don’t want people tripping over you because you have to save a little snail. Trust me)
If you see an insect drowning in the toilet bowl, helping that poor insect to safety is also cherishing of life. Fish it out of the water. (If you have phobia of cockroach or spider, additional dose of love is needed)
Then of course there are so many videos on you tube showing people buying live seafood and releasing the fishes and marine life into the sea etc. (I won’t go into that topic here)
Engage in acts of kindness whenever the conditions present itself.
When sick, eat simply.
Try avoiding meat and diary product. Let no animals or life be compromised /inconvenienced to keep us alive. If that is impossible, try not to slaughter any livestock directly for food. (this includes clams and lobsters too)
Eat moderately and in small portion.
One of Buddhist best kept “secret” exercise is prostration. Trust me, you can work out a sweat doing the following for many rounds. (please do according to one’s health level)
Action starts from left to right and repeat.(see diagram) Do this with peace and calmness. Have humility in one’s heart. If a buddhist, recall the quality of Buddha.
Important- Do not rush. This is not meant to be a cardio intensive exercise. (think Yoga) slow and easy movement.
Chanting can also help us regulate one’s breathing. Breathe in deeply and then chant in a measured voice (not too loud). Chant until one is out of breathe (do not strain, relax and breathe in deeply again). If you do this in the early hour when the air is fresh, it will be beneficial.
Let your bare feet touch the earth/ground. (avoid areas with moisture though) Thus, best time would be around 9 am or 10 am where the “cold” condensation in the night had evaporated and the sun is not too harsh. Best season would be summer. (Don’t do this on frozen ground in winter.) Find a suitable safe environment and just walk through and fro mindfully. Watch out for sharp objects or poisonous creatures etc. (apply basic common sense)
Wishing everyone good health.
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