Meditation for Healing

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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

Meditation for Healing

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Tracy.
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Hi all,

I'm interested in hearing what you guys know about healing the body through meditation or yoga. I've heard one model of mind/body healing, from S.N. Goenka, which states that healing of the body will happen when agitation and misery lose their grip on a good meditator. Goenkaji himself tells the story of being finally cured of terrible migraines and morphine addiction through the power of vipassana. This model seems reasonable to me, as I have seen in my own life that illness follows stress, and regular meditation wards it (the stress) off.

However, I'm interested in getting some more information. What kind of Buddhist theories exist about the connection between mind and body? Are there deliberate healing techniques that have some basis in reality? And perhaps most importantly, are there any really great resources such as books or websites that cover this territory?

Thanks.
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Tracy,
this may not fit in here since this is no buddhist but daoist content but my teacher has a wonderful site on Taichimen, the original daoist practise where you can download a free ebook on energetic healing. He also posted quite a bit on youtube. So check it out if you like.
I hope this helps.
www.taichimethods.com
http://youtube.com/user/reddreamer37
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
The Tibetan tradition is rich in this regard. A great resource on Buddhist (esoteric) healing methods of meditation is Tulku Thondup. Check his books "Boundless Healing" and "The Healing Power of Mind". As to subtle body training, various schools exist of Kum Nye (check e.g. Tarthang Tulku) and also many streams of yoga (see a nice video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG6w036k8u4). Tradition transmits all sorts of claims, perhaps too complex to enter here, giving credit to meditation and mantra and yoga for endless incredible, fantastic and impossible feats, such as "healing all ailments" (this being code-language for dukkha-nirodha), not to be taken literally. This mantra does everything, that visualization is a wish-fulfilling gem, this meditation brings end to all afflictions and addictions etc. etc. Still, ever greatest masters die from cancer or worse, and there's no cure - not so far, at least - for old age, sickness and death.:-)

Of course, Taoist tradition is also quite rich in this respect, with its many Qigong variants, but Chinese Buddhists also have their own lineage of Qigong (for both, see "Qigong Empowerment" by Shou-Yu Liang and Wen-ching Wu). Whatever you find interesting, having a teacher is essential, since meddling with subtle energy flows can be tricky. But then again, general non-aggressive methods, such as found in Tulku Thondup's books, are safe enough.

Just a brief note on mind-body: the gross body is best healed by gross methods (i.e. natural and conventional medicine); the subtle body by subtle energy methods; mind best by meditation and/or psychotherapy (depending on specific issue) : most efficient are comprehensive, integrative approaches, while being clear on which is the primary level, and that clearly depends on an accurate diagnosis.
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/26/09 Recent Posts
"[H]aving a teacher is essential, since meddling with subtle energy flows can be tricky."

I'm in agreement, I have had some potentially dangerous physical side effects, like spiked blood pressure and numbness, from just practicing exercises out of what I later learned was a non-traditional "Taoist" manual. The gross and sublte bodies are connected in a way that's more complicated than it seems.

That said, in my experience insight practice can involve a lot of side effects that feel like "cleaning" the energy body.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
This is a really interesting question, one I've thought about only a little. It has been useful to me, to first separate out the models, one being of meditation leading to the dissolution of duality and the other being of it leading to increased health. Then once there's a little room between them, so that meditation doesn't have to suffer under the burden of being everything to everyone, it is a super-interesting question. My personal sense, from what I've heard from Goenka is that he somehow confuses the models a bit, though what he is pointing to seems true enough. Certainly enough medical research has been done to show a positive physiological (and psychological) benefit from most kinds of sitting meditation. I've felt that in my own practice, just generally reduced levels of stress which I'm sure has some impact on health.

Also, the stuff Hokai mentioned about subtle energy practices seems an extremely ripe direction. Having done a little bit of taoist qi-gong, and also reading Ken Cohen's book, "The Way of Qi-Gong" it's becoming obvious that there are some very strong health benefits to doing these kind of practices, and that's actually what they're predominately used for. And then there's the integral approach that Hokai mentioned, of recognizing different bodies that one lives through and working with each of those bodies with the appropriate practices/methodologies. That also makes a lot of sense. If someone is suffering some physical ailment, I wouldn't send them to meditate first off, but maybe as a secondary option. That some people are cured of physical issues when meditating doesn't say much to me, except that it has some indirect benefits.

And then there's the dark night and all the havok it can wreak on one's life. I'm not sure if it messes with one's health, but does cause a lot of stress. I guess all of these points contain truth. emoticon
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Tracy.

I appreciate all the leads here. Hokai, I requested two of the books you recommended from the library. I'll let you know how they measure up to my intentions.

Nathan, could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by "cleaning the energy body?" I'm not sure I understand what that entails.

Daoist/tai-chi/qi-gong folks, do these practices give you greater insight into the workings of the body and your role in it, or are they more simply ameliorative? How do they work? I'm open to energy healing, but I don't know much about it theoretically or experientially. I once visited a renowned energy healer who said my energy flow was completely blocked by massive tension between my eyes, and actually turned around and flowed backwards around my body. Quite alarming, especially when I started feeling a huge knot of tension in that exact spot during meditation a year and a half later. It never exploded or dissolved, just went out of awareness when I stopped meditating.

What I'm really looking for more than a healing practice would be a "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" for mind/body stuff. Not that I'm really expecting to find one right away.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Yeah, I was looking for something similar when I started doing qi-gong again. I think Ken Cohen's, "The Way of Qigong" is really close and a good friend of mine recommended "A Brief History of Qi" by Ken Rose.

As far as the tension between your eyes, I wouldn't worry about that too much. It's pretty common and sounds like a spot on description of one of the common physical manifestations of the three characteristics, especially when it reduces in intensity after you're done sitting. emoticon
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Tracy.

Oh, I'll definitely check those out too, then.
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/26/09 Recent Posts
W/r/t the cleaning the energy body, it seems like some of the side effects, like the tremendous muscle tension, and the altered breathing patterns, are actually breaking up tension, pumping lymph, holding up the posture, etc., even though they suck. If my concentration is strong, I can feel all sorts of subtle phenomena like channels, moving. In one instance I the discrete thought occured to me that the reason the musculature of my back and abdomen had clamped down was to ensure proper flow up and down the spine. In a way it feels like a bodily intelligence is waking up, and the term "Kundalini awakening" makes much more sense to me. These things happen quite on their own, and I notice none of the negative effects that I did when i was actively doing this crap. At the same time, it is obviously secondary to what the goal of practice is, though they also make good objects for me. I don't do any energetic practices (I don't have time to fit classes into my schedule), save for some occasional breathing exercises.
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 74 Join Date: 5/13/09 Recent Posts
The site seems to be offline. If anyone has a copy, please message me.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: IanThreadgill

I would unreservedly recommend this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Medicine-CFQ-Healing-Consciousness/dp/059521939X
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: ccasey

from Vince, "It has been useful to me, to first separate out the models, one being of meditation leading to the dissolution of duality and the other being of it leading to increased health."

I feel that dissolving the duality has led to increased health despite the rigor and challenges. And, in looking at healing for myself and my children, I often see the need to balance the elements in all activities, especially food, during times of focused healing work. The macrobiotic diet and other investigations of immune system weakness can be addressed to facilitate healing. I found some essential oils that cross the blood brain barrier and are effective, when applied properly. I am going to get a copy of the book recommended above since I often study in this area. Recently, one other book I like is called Advanced Chakra Healing, Energy Mapping on the Four Pathways, by Cyndi Dale.

Mostly, in healing, it is so intuitive, it is about what you are being drawn toward doing. For instance, you may be drawn towards movement (qi-gong) or sitting, just move in the direction that is drawing you. I hope this helps.

with metta, Constance
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
These above are excellent points. A few more things:

When Vince says this might be due to the three characteristics, I generally think of the stages when people go looking for energetic healing practices as being Insight Stage 3, The Three Characteristics, as that one really gives many people the visceral feeling of energy blockages and tensions and something being wrong on that front, as well as the stage of Re-observation, which also produces similar effects, albeit with a somewhat different flavor. Both respond to simple insight practices well, as noted above.

As to a very basic healing exercise that should be pretty easy to apply and about as safe as anything on these fronts, just sitting calmly and with a gentle, slow, steady awareness feel where there are tensions in the body, feel the space around them, and in some simple, intuitive way work with those feelings until they begin to change and dissolve. Often tensions worked with this way will get somewhat worse before getting better, but simply turning inside to the energy/physical body as it presents itself with the gentle intension to first just get to know and then to gently heal things can be helpful.

The Divine Abiding practices (Loving-kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity) are sort of like a back door to feeling more healed, as while they don't directly take on the energy body as object, they often can produce results that effect that aspect of things and more, and something in your post makes me think they could be of value. Sometimes they can feel artificial and like they aren't doing anything, but then all of a sudden we may notice the mind and body doing something very different from what it did before, and feel: "Ah! Those practice really do do something good!"
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 74 Join Date: 5/13/09 Recent Posts
Google preview: http://tinyurl.com/qd4ed2

This book will make you want to clear your karma! I bought a copy and am about half way through. There's a website for the CFQ Foundation, but the descriptions of the movements there differ a bit from the book, and aren't completely clear. I got some good effect from two days of doing the movements. Longshot: I'd love to hear anyone speak to comparing, contrasting these movements with the practice in "Way of Energy" (which is similar but much more static), esp. with respect to effects and compatibility.
Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Post: 1 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
->Tracy I would also mention http://www.balimeditation.com/ .. Merta Ada is (inter alia) a student of Pa Auk Sayadaw - Vism/Abhidhamma Approach. Taking the Abhidhamma angle of Usada healing a certain illness might originate due to materiality produced by temperature/nutriment/consciousness/karma (you need some jhanas to see that ;-)) ... anyway cut a long story short and broad brush in this model a certain illness or condition may be treated succesfully physically, some by nutrition/drugs, some mind-related angles and some (kammic) are the hardest to dig out ... so its not necessarily the case that for one condition (eg cancer) there is one type of technique that would work [and all analysis that say "X cures all" have their inevitable failures that they then say "ah will of the universe/incurable" (spent too much time on reiki fora in the dim and distant past ;-)). I mentioned a student of Pa Auk Sayadaw&Merta Ada's in another thread ... here is an article of his talking about the relationship between mindfulness and various different viruses as an example http://theartofmeditation.org/a-mindful-solution-to-the-winter-flu

->joriki - I have done a number of cfq seminars and practiced it (still do occasionally) for many years and have been a student of Lam Kam Chuen for many years too (the author of Way of Energy). Yes I could compare and contrast but there is little point and it would take thousands of words :-) Qigong is perhaps as vast or even vaster a field than meditation in terms of the numbers of techniques and schools out there. All the good schools will help you use Qigong to progress body, energy and (more slowly) spirit/mind. My main personal advice is to find a good local school or teacher ... books are great (I won far too many myself) but there is *no* substitute for direct personal instruction.

HTH

Mike
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Meditation for Healing

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Crazywisdom

There are huge amounts of good healing meditations and techniques one can learn. With the level of consentration a lot of you have you should be able to master these practices at a basi level extreemly quickly compared to the people who normaly practice them because the start doing it without much concentration abilitites. The problem with most healers are that even tough they might have a natural talent for it they haven`t realy cultivated much energetic power or concentration and so the efect is weak.

Pranic healing and Reiki seems to be the most common with pranic healing seeming more advanced and complex. Springforest qigong the system of healer Chunyi Lin is a very, very respected qigong system focused mainly on health and healing but also containg an alchemical path. It teaches self healing and healing of others. As far as I can understand if you want to be a healer go for chunyi lin.

As for self healing the inner smile meditation does a lot of that while also giving relaxation and concentration and happiness and balancing al the emotions and the elements and the organs. As a side practice along the lines of loving kindness the inner smile is realy superb in my opinion.

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