The Healing Power of Mindfulness Meditation
According to the Pli Nikyas and the Chinese gamas
By Tzungkuen Wen
Great Lord of Healing
Seven Benefits of Satipahna
Teaching Patients Mindfulness Meditation
Let Only the Body Suffers, not the Mind
Cure of Disease through MM
Cakama Brings Health
The Last Exhortation of the Buddha
Bare awareness of the moment to moment mental and physical phenomena of the present.
Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally
At the International Centre I met one individual who had been cured of a heart-condition of near-fatal proportions some five years before. Both diagnosis and cure were backed up by competent medical testimony.
There are other individuals who reported the cure of migraine headaches, acute nervous and digestive disorders, asthma and one case of an external cancerous growth.
This is quite in line with the Buddhist belief that psychosomatic mind states produce like body states.
In contemporary Burma, meditation is viewed as a method for dealing with various of lifes problems.
It is used to cope with such minor difficulties as dissatisfaction with life, insomnia, and a variety of psychosomatic complaints; as a technique for determining the identity of onesenemies
and as a method for curing heart trouble, ulcers, hypertension, chronic migraines, mental illness, and even cancer.
When I queried him on the last category, a lay meditation master in Rangoon produced sworn affidavits and letters from former meditatiors, all claiming to have been cured of these various ailments by the meditation course they undertook under his guidance.
Bhikkhus, this is the direct path for purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbna, that is, the four establishemnts of Mindfulness.
The Buddha points out, a bhikkhu who is endowed with five things does have pity on householders.
The third thing is as follows:
when visiting the sick, he stirs up mindfulness, saying: Let the venerable ones set up mindfulness, that thing most worthwhile!
1. He incites them to greater virtue;
2. he makes them live in the Dhamma vision;
4.when many monks of the Order have come, he urges the householders to do meritorious deeds.
5. and when they give him food, whether mean or choice, he enjoys it by himself, nor frustrates (the effect of that) gift of faith.
(Yeme, bhante, bhagavat cattro satipahn desit savijjanti te dhamm mayi, ahaca tesu dhammesu sandissmi.)
"I am old, venerable sir, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage, afflicted in body, often ill. I rarely get to see the Blessed One and the bhikkhus worthy of esteem. Let the Blessed One exhort me, venerable sir, let him instruct me, since that would lead to my welfare and happiness for a long time.
The first four are the same as above.
The fifth is that he meditates to calm his mind.
Not to many folk is he dear or pleasing;
he is hated much;
he is avoided by many;
dies muddled in thought
and rises in hell.
On one occasion the Venerable Anuruddha was dwelling at Svatthi in the Squirrel Vihara, not long after he recovered from illness.
Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Venerable Anuruddha. Having greeted and consoled him, they sat aside and asked the Venerable Anuruddha :
Venerable Anuruddha said, By the dwelling of the four establishment of mindfulness, those bodily suffering and pain gradually comes to rest Which four?
One contemplates inwardly the body in the body.. The dharmas in the dharmas. By the dwelling of the four establishment of mindfulness, those bodily suffering and pain gradually comes to rest
The first, being able to walk long;
the second, gaining strength;
the third, removing drowsyness;
the fourth, digesting well what is eaten without illness;
the fifth, easier to obtain concentration, and the concentration obtained lasts long.
Within the five divisions of India, both monastic and lay Buddhists often practiced cankrama. They walked back and forth on a straight path at a suitable time and in adaptation to their dispositions. But, a noisy place should be avoided.
If one didnt practice cankrama, much affliction of illness may occur in the body, making the foot and abdomen swollen, the arms and neck sore. Also phlegm does not dissolve.
All these result from [long time of] upright sitting. If one practices cankrama, it will strengthen the body and cultivate the spiritual path.
Friend Anuruddha, your faculties are serene, your complexion is pure and bright. In what dwelling does the Venerable Anuruddha now usually dwell?
Now, friend, I usually dwell with a mind well established in the four establishments of mindfulness.
(Catsu khvha, vuso, satipahnesu suppatihitacitto etarahi bahula viharmi)
"Those who dwell deep in the forest,
Peaceful, leading the holy life,
Eating but a single meal a day:
Why is their complexion so serene?
They do not sorrow over the past,
Nor do they hanker for the future.
They go on with what is present:
Hence their complexion is so serene.
"Through hankering for the future
Through sorrowing over the past,
Fools dry up and wither away
Like a green reed cut down."