A Buddhist Point of view on Joyful Living

Today there's enormous interest in all issues in relation to health. There's been an explosion of health centres, gyms and alternative treatments because people know how crucial health is to their experience of happiness. Everybody understands that to be effective at work and at home, to enjoy our leisure and our non secular life we have got to be healthy.

All of us experience pain and pain all of the time to varying degrees. Even when we are sitting in a chair we have pain after a while. Maybe our office or home isn't air-conditioned. That will actually make us uncomfortable. We have back and neck issues due to hours spent at a P. C.. Perhaps a sporting activity has caused some disequilibrium in the body bringing discomfort.

Even though we've got more hospitals, hospitals, cures and specialists to help us there has not been a concurring dip in our physical suffering or Problems. Actually folk appear to be getting more ill, more frequently. More people take sick days from work. There are new sicknesses that were extraordinary years ago- Aids [*COMMA] Prolonged Fatigue syndrome, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Loony Cow Disease and many others.

Though new treatments have been invented for new and old diseases their effects are doubtful. Infrequently the side-effects of substances can be worse that the original symptoms. Kava Kava was withdrawn from the shelving in Health Food stores because of uncertainty over the side effects. Yet folk are ready to take any medicine or use any treatment because they're desperate to get well.

There are several people now who understand that only the signs of disease are being dealt with. We improve for some time and then illness returns. For example we will take aspirin for a pain. That agony might vanish for a while but often returns. Aspirin doesn't cure discomfort permanently because it does not destroy the root or root of the agony. If the real cause of a sickness is not annihilated then we will continue to become sick.

Buddha said the roots of all illness is in the mind. If we have deadly roots in our mind they may at last produce mental and physical sickness; stress, depression, stress for example. Aches, pains, stomach abnormalities, skin sicknesses and cancer all arise from poison in our mind. Buddha encourages us to look at the relationship between our psychological activity and our health.

What is it that makes our minds unbalanced and that leads to imbalance in our bodies, leading to sickness? It's what Buddha called our delusions; negative states of mind like anger, attachment and envy and the why me sydrome that plagues millions.

We can see how attachment can injure us regarding food. Because for us food is a real source of happiness we eat too much and eat the incorrect things. We eat as the food looks, tastes and smells good, not because it's great for our bodies. Sometimes a craving sets in that can't be satisfied no matter how much we eat. Our attachment leads us to find different, stronger and more exotic foods all of the time. We pile on weight and and assorted ailments begin to appear. We see some unfortunate folk who become housebound and completely immobile due to extra weight. Food is killing them.

If we live with wrath in our mind, our heart experiences soars of adrenalin continually. This will not just damage the heart, but affect each organ in the body eventually. It may take many years for the effect of wrath to be felt physically but eventually our body will take the toll.

The only possible way to be actually healthy is to remove this inner poison of the delusions from our mind. Buddha’s teachings are called ‘Medicine for the mind” because they explain strategies for destroying delusions and cultivating instead minds of loving kindness, compassion and knowledge which bring inner peace and balance to our mind and our body.

Through the practice of meditation we apply the medicine to our mind and destroy the roots of our suffering. Meditation is the path to psychological and physical health and happiness for everybody, Buddhists and non-Buddhists. It is straightforward to learn and even ten minutes of meditation a day can have very favourable effects on our health and general contentment.

In his book” Transform Your Life”, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso writes:

” When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. This sense of contentment and well-being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily existance. So much of the tension and stress we routinely experience comes from our mind and many Problems we experience such as sickness are caused or aggravated by this stress. Simply by doing ten or 15 minutes breathing meditation a day we can reduce this stress. “.

Jonah White employs quantum jumping and likes to research NLP skills.

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