The purpose of this meditation is to transform feelings of ill health into something more productive.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then called to mind the fact that I have been feeling off colour since my return from holiday. My ears hurt and I feel slightly nauseaous and dizzy. The effects of too much swimming in the hotel swimming pool no doubt.

headacheSo I have been feeling sorry for myself and expecting sympathy from those around me. I thought about these feelings and examined them.

I am feeling self-pity. ‘Poor me – look I am ill, pay attention to me!’ Will this attitude bring an end to my illness? No of course not. It serves only to keep my mind focused on my feelings of being unwell, and causes them to seem amplified. This actually makes things worse for me.

And where does this illness come from really? A swimming pool? Yes in a sense, but actually the illness arises from my Karma, The pool was just a condition which allowed it to arise. So the actual cause of my being ill is my past negative actions! How can I use this knowledge?

Once karma has ripened, there is nothing to be done except ride it out. This ear trouble is nothing new to me and is very minor as health issues go. I can look on it with a positive attitude because:

  • The karma has manifested, and I will never have to experience it again
  • It reminds me of my fragile human body, and how it will decay soon
  • It reminds me that I need to use my human life meaningfully
  • If I do react in a positive way, I do not create further negative karma
  • I can view it as a small purification of my massive negative karmic reservoir
  • I can develop more sincere compassion for others who are ill because I understand more keenly how miserable it is to feel unwell
  • I can develop renunciation for samsara, which is the cause of my suffering
  • I can strengthen my Bodhichitta wish to become a Buddha, free from all suffering, for the benefit of all

I focused on just one way of transforming illness – that I should focus on others, and ignore my own feelings of ill health. My self-cherishing screamed ‘But what about POOR ME!!’. Once again, I reminded myself that focusing on my self will only make me more miserable, and that I should grow up and focus on others.

So for the actual meditation, I focused on not thinking of my poor, ill self, but instead focused on wishing others to be happy and healthy, and free from suffering. It was a lovely meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings be happy and healthy and free from all suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will take care of myself, but I will try to resist feelings of self-pity, instead focusing on others.