The Healing Power of Mindfulness Meditation According to the Pāli Nikāyas and the Chinese Āgamas By Tzungkuen Wen
The Buddha=Great Lord of Healing • Sūtra no 389, Saṃyukta Āgama (SĀ 389) • One who is endowed with the following four factors is called the Great Lord of Healing. He knows well • various diseases • the causes of the diseases, • the remedy for the diseases, • and complete cure of diseases
大醫王 The Great Lord of Healing
Introduction Seven Benefits of Satipaṭṭhāna Teaching Patients Mindfulness Meditation Let Only the Body Suffers, not the Mind Cure of Disease through MM Caṅkama Brings Health Serene Faculties Abhidhammic Explanation The Last Exhortation of the Buddha Contents
Definition of MM • Mindfulness : 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 • Developed at all time, in any posture: walking, standing, sitting, lying • MM = Insight Meditation (+Tranquility M.)
Dissemination of MM • It originated in India about 2500 years ago, spread to South East Asia, China, Tibet. • It’s now preserved in Southern Buddhism , Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism.
Application of MM • Recently, MM draws extensive attentions of professionals from the fields of medicine, health care, psychology, social work and education. • It has probably become the most popular Buddhist Meditation in the West.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction • Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. • The Stress Reduction Program has benefited people reporting a variety of conditions and concerns: • Stress—including work, school, family, fifinancial, illness, aging, grief, uncertainty about the future, and feeling “out of control.”
Medical conditions— • including chronic illness or pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, asthma, GI distress, skin disorders, and many other conditions.
Psychological distress—including anxiety, panic, depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. • Prevention and Wellness—including health enhancement and wellness focused on prevention and learning the “how” of taking good care of yourself and feeling a greater sense of balance.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy • MBCT is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) eight-week program. • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy grew from this work. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale adapted the MBSR program so it could be used specifically for people who had suffered repeated bouts of depression in their lives.
an increased ability to relax • greater energy and enthusiasm for life • heightened self-confidence • an increased ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.
Why mindfulness meditation? • Where does the idea come from about the application of MM in medicine and health care? • What Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches in MBSR program clearly shows a strong connection between MBSR and the insight meditation traditions of Burma.
MM as a cure for disease • Wiston King said in A Thousand Lives Away published in 1964： 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.
Melford E. Spiro said in Buddhism and Society (1972)： In contemporary Burma, meditation is viewed as a method for dealing with various of life’s 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 one’senemies
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.
What is most interesting in these letters and sworn statements is that they were written, not by village peasants but by a middle-class and educated urban clientele, both Burmese and Western.
Rise of vipassanā meditation movement • In the 20th century, insight meditation movement started from Burma. • Two mainstream traditions: Ledi Sayadaw and Mingun Sayadaw • Ledi S. – U Ba Khin – Goenka • Mingun S. – Mahasi S.– Pandita S., Silanada S.
Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta 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 Nibbāna, that is, the four establishemnts of Mindfulness.
SN 36:7 • On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesāli in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. • Then, in the evening, the Blessed One emerged from seclusion and went to the sick ward, where he sat down in the appointed seat and addressed the bhikkhus thus:
"Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu should await his time mindful and clearly comprehending. This is our instruction to you. • "And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu mindful? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, dearly comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.
He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings ... mind in mind ... phenomena in phenomena, ardent, dearly comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. • It is in such a way that a bhikkhu is mindful.
AN 5:235 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.
SN 47: 29 • Householder Sirivaḍḍha was sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Venerable Ānanda went to visit him. • Having known that situation of the household was not getting better, Venerable Ānanda encouraged the householder to train himself in the four establishments of mindfulness.
"Venerable sir, as to these four establishments of mindfulness taught by the Blessed One, these things exist in me, and I live in conformity with those things. (Yeme, bhante, bhagavatā cattāro satipaṭṭhānā desitā saṃvijjanti te dhammā mayi, ahañca tesu dhammesu sandissāmi.)
SN 22: 1 (only afflicted in body) • The householder Nakulapitā came to ask guidance from the Buddha: "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 Buddha says, • "so it is, householder, so it is! This body of yours is afflicted, weighed down, encumbered. If anyone carrying around this body were to claim to be healthy even for a moment, what is that due to other than foolishness ?
Therefore, householder, you should train yourself thus: 'Even though I am afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.' Thus should you train yourself." • Tasmātiha te, gahapati, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ – ‘āturakāyassa me sato cittaṃ anāturaṃ bhavissatī’ti. Evañhi te, gahapati, sikkhitabba’’nti.
SĀ 107 爾時，有那拘羅長者，百二十歲 …… 我年衰老，羸劣、苦病。自力勉勵，覲見世尊及先所宗重知識比丘。唯願世尊，為我說法，令我長夜安樂。
SN 36:6 (Two Darts) • This sutta compares two kinds of people, the uninstructed worldling, and instructed noble disciple. • It tells the difference in the how they react to a painful contact between worldling and noble disciples.
Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, and then they would strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by two darts. • So too, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling ... he feels two feelings--- a bodily one and a mental one.
suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, but they would not strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by one dart only. • So too, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling ... he feels one feeling-a bodily one, not a mental one.
SĀ 470 譬如士夫被一毒箭，不被第二毒箭。當於爾時，唯生一受，所謂身受，不生心受。為樂受觸，不染欲樂，不染欲樂故，於彼樂受，貪使不使；於苦觸受，不生瞋恚，不生瞋恚故，恚使不使。
SN 52:10 • On one occasion the Venerable Anuruddha was dwelling at Sāvatthi in the Blind Men's Grove, sick, afflicted, gravely ill. • Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Venerable Anuruddha and said to him: "In what dwelling does the Venerable Anuruddha usually dwell so that the arisen bodily painful feelings do not persist obsessing his mind?"
“It is, friends, because I dwell with a mind well established in the four establishments of mindfulness that the arisen bodily feelings do not persist obsessing my mind. • ‘‘Catūsu kho me, āvuso, satipaṭṭhānesu suppatiṭṭhitacittassa viharato uppannā sārīrikā dukkhā vedanā cittaṃ na pariyādāya tiṭṭhanti.
SĀ 540 • 尊者阿那律身遭病苦，眾多比丘問詣慰勞： 尊者阿那律！所患增損？可安忍不？病勢漸損？不轉增耶？
MN 119 Kāyagatāsati sutta • “Bhikkhus, when mindfulness of the body has been repeatedly practised, developed, cultivated, used as a vehicle, used as a basis, established, consolidated, and well undertaken, these ten benefits may be expected. What ten?