Treating Illness with Meditation

Having deeply understood the origins of a disorder’s arising and manifestations, one should implement a method of treatment. The methods employed are of many types, but can be summarized into two major categories: calming (shamatha), and insight (vipassana) meditation.

Calming

A. At the Site of the Complaint

When the complaint is localized, if one simply establishes the mind in calming at the site of the disorder, one will immediately be able correct it. The mind is the ruler of the span of karmic effect retributions. This healing effect is comparable to that circumstance in which, whenever the king visits a particular region, the bands of rebels suddenly scatter.

B. At the Seat of Prana

When the complaint is energetic in nature, if one simply establishes the mind in calming one to four inches below the navel (the location of the seat of prana), and preserves its point of focus at this location, such that it does not become scattered, then in most cases, the condition will be remedied. This healing effect is comparable to that circumstance in which, whenever the king sits on his throne, surrounded by his armies, the bands of rebels throughout the realm suddenly scatter.

C. Beneath the Feet

When the complaint is generalized throughout the body, if one constantly anchors the mind’s point of attention beneath the feet, without regard to whether one is walking, standing, or lying down to sleep, one will be able to correct most complaints. If one anchors the mind below the feet, then the great elements will naturally become appropriately adjusted and the various disorders will disappear. This healing effect is comparable to that circumstance in which, whenever the king, surrounded by his armies, posts watches at the borders of the realm, foreign invaders turn back.

D. Realizing Emptiness

Advanced practitioners need only realize that all phenomena are empty and that nothing whatsoever exists as it appears. If one refrains from seizing upon the symptoms of illness while abiding in calming, then a correction will be brought about in most cases. If one puts the mind to rest in harmony and happiness, the various disorders will be corrected. The Vimalakirti Sutra states: “What is it that constitutes the origin of disease? It is the manipulation of conditions. How does one cut off the manipulation of conditions? It is through what is known as the mind’s non-apprehension of the inherent existence of any phenomena.”

Insight

A. Six Modes of Prana

One can employ six kinds of subtle prana to treat disorders. One may employ blowing, exhaling, mirthful tittering, puffing, drawn out breathing, and normal breathing. These six kinds of breathing are all created by the lips and mouth and are utilized in a soft and subtle manner.

B. Twelve Types of Breathing

If one is skillful in implementing 12 different kinds of breathing, one is able to treat multitude of complaints. The first is ascending, the second is descending, the third is filling, the fourth is burning, the fifth is extended, the sixth is demolishing, the seventh is warming, the eighth is cooling, the ninth is forceful, the tenth is retaining, the eleventh is harmonizing, and the twelfth is restoring breathing.

  • ·       Ascending counteracts sinking and heaviness.
  • ·       Descending counteracts symptoms of feeling as if empty and suspended in space.
  • ·       Filling counteracts emaciation.
  • ·       Burning counteracts distention.
  • ·       Extended counteracts wasting.
  • ·       Demolishing counteracts increasing fullness.
  • ·       Warming counteracts coldness.
  • ·       Cooling counteracts heat.
  • ·       Forceful counteracts obstructions.
  • ·       Retaining counteracts shaking.
  • ·       Harmonizing counteracts deterioration.
  • ·       Restoring fortifies the organism.

C. Directly Perceiving With the Mind’s Eye

If one is skillful in employing directly perceiving with the mind’s eye in this sphere of conventional reality, one will be able to treat a multitude of disorders. For example, if a person is afflicted with coldness, one may directly perceive the fire energy arising within the body and thus be able to counteract the coldness. This accords with the extensive discussion of seventy-two esoteric therapeutic techniques in the Samyukta Agama Sutra.

D. Through Realization of Unfindability

One need only employ insight to analyze the body so as to realize that all disorders cannot be apprehended as existing, and that disorders of the mind cannot be found either. Thus the multitude of disorders will be corrected of themselves.

E. Through Repentance

If the disorder is caused by karmic retribution, it is essential to cultivate merit and repentance. One should apply the four powers of regret, reliance, resolve, and reparation.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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