Using Meditation to Deal with Pain, Illness andDeath
My topic today is the role that meditation can play in facing issuesof pain, illness and death
not a pleasant topic, but an importantone. Sadly, it's only when people are face-to-face with a fatalillness that they start thinking about these issues, and often bythat point it's too late to get fully prepared. Although today'sconference centers around what medicine can do for AIDS, weshouldn't be complacent. Even if AIDS or its adventitiousinfections don't get you, something else will, so it's best to beprepared, to practice the skills you'll need when medicine
Chinese, Western or whatever
can no longer help you, andyou're on your own. As far as I've been able to determine, theonly way to develop these skills is to train the mind. At the sametime, if you are caring for someone with a fatal disease,meditation offers you one of the best ways to restore your ownspiritual and emotional batteries so that you can keep going evenwhen things are tough.A lot has appeared in the media
books, newspapers,magazines, TV
about the role of meditation in treating illnessand emotional burnout. As usually happens when the media gethold of a topic, they have tended to over- or under- estimatewhat meditation is and what it can do for you. This is typical of the media. Listening to them is like listening to a car salesman.