|There is a place at a certain point for overcoming concepts and conditioning, but there is also a lot of reconceiving and reconditioning. The idea is to transform the mind, not just to extract it from all cultural influences. Buddhism itself is a culture—one that attempts to train and condition minds in specific ways conducive to awakening. | Buddhist scholar David McMahan in his article, “Context Matters,” sheds light on the benefits of meditation practice to overcome suffering, a realm that knows no cultural, traditional, or historical limits and that affects all sentient beings.
We may not overcome suffering in this lifetime, unless we are serious and advanced meditators; but we can lessen our suffering. Mindfulness-based meditation for stress reduction has been proven scientifically in our times as an effective treatment for overall well-being and mental health. It is a complementary medicine, if you have, for medical illness. It is tool to help us to be more supportive of ourselves.
Below are resources on the topic of meditation and illness (research, how-to text and videos).
(http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2006.12.817) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14650573) (http://eocinstitute.org/meditation/meditation-reduces-chronic-disease-413/) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573542/)
For information on how to practice meditation, click on Full Catastrophic Living; Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, Chapter 4 – Sitting Meditation–Nourishing the Domain of Being,John Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
As a brief introduction (from artofliving.org):
Meditation increases prana (life energy)
Prana (the vital life energy) is the very basis of health and well-being, for both body and mind. You can gain prana through meditation. When your body is alive with more prana, you feel alert, energetic, and full of good humor. A lack of prana results in lethargy, dullness and poor enthusiasm.
Dealing with illness – through meditation
It is said that the root of an illness is in the mind/consciousness. So, by attending to the mind, clearing it of any disturbances, the recovery speeds up. Illnesses can develop from–
Health and illness are a part of physical nature. You should not worry too much about it. When you worry about illness, you are giving more power to the illness. You are a combination of health and illness. When you keep that in mind and have a positive state of mind, then illnesses change.
Clear emotional pollution – with meditation
Blossom with meditation–Meditation can bring about a spiritual transformation. As you learn more about life, the myster of the whole universe unfolds. then the questions that arise in the mind are–What is the meaning of life? What is its purpose? What is this world, what is love, what is knowledge…?
Once these questions arise in you, know that you are very fortunate. These questions need to be understood; you cannot find the answers in books. You have to live through them and witness the transformation. That is perfect health; you are transformed from within. And the bud becomes a totally blossomed flower.Heal the world through meditation
Meditation purifies the environment. Meditation and Sudarshan Kriya have transformed aggression and violence in people – to compassion, love and care. For example, notice how you feel when you enter a room where someone is really angry ? It leaves you feeling the same!
Similarly, when there is a harmonious or a happy activity, you feel good. You may wonder why. Feelings are not isolated in one’s body – they are all around. It is in the whole environment, because the mind is subtler than the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether). If there is a fire somewhere, the heat is not just in the fire, it is also radiating throughout the place.
Note: If you are unhappy or depressed, you are not the only one who is feeling it; you are spreading it to the whole environment.
In the current global situation of conflicts and disease, it’s important to meditates a little every day. Through meditation, you can nullify the negative vibrations in the environment, thereby creating a more harmonious environment.
The Healing Breath and Meditation
The healing breath, known as the Sudarshan Kriya, is a unique breathing practice that is a potent energizer.
Note: The seed sounds are meant to cause the body to vibrate. This vibration affects the body organs as acupuncture adjusts the Chi.
After the practice, one is left calm and centered with a clearer mind. A sense of joy in the moment prevails, and you’re able to smile from your heart.
‘Do the Healing Breath and meditate. These practices completely transform you, and kindle the love deep inside.’