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meditation and hair transplant????!!!!

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Hi, all dhamma brothers & sisters,


I would really appreciate your candid opinion/suggestion/advice. I am seriously contemplating of getting a hair transplant in the very near future. Now please don't brush this post off as trolling. It is not. You might wonder why the hell would someone post something like this here? Well, I will explain.

First, my meditation background. I have been practicing in Mahasi method of vipassana like many members here for years. But I still haven't crossed A&P as of yet. I have been attending retreats almost every year for the duration of 2-4 weeks. And I am scheduled to attend one soon. My concentration has been improving steadily for the past several months. I can note the different variations within sensation in one area for up to several minutes or more without wondering off. The thoughts do come every now and then but they just bounce off and do not penetrate and disrupt my concentration. I can feel the repeated cycles of sensations rising and then breaking into small particles and then disappear into vibration. When my focus doesn't get lost and is strong and steady, a sense of peacefulness takes over. And that feels good! I have confirmed with the sayadaws of my experience of 3C years ago at the retreat. After that I certainly felt the change in my attitude toward general things in life. I was able to let go and detach myself from things I was attached to (but not all, as I found out later).

My hair started thinning about 20 years ago. I wasn't a buddhist back then, and of course, I was horrified with the first sign of hair loss! But luckily I still had enough hair to cover the thinning area and was able to get by as a person with hair. Later on in life, I became a buddhist and eventually hooked up with insight meditation. It wasn't until recently that my hair loss has become so apparent that my scalp became visibly clear. Now I don't have much hair left to cover/hide the balding spot. I have to admit, despite reaping benefits from insight meditation practice, I am not ready to be bald! I do not want to be bald! I can't stand being bald! Luckily, the technology in hair transplant industry has improved so much that many balding men/women can restore their lost hair and look as natural as they can be. And I have found a good hair transplant surgeon after some research. So, what is the problem here?

Well, the problem is this inner guilt I feel about getting the hair transplant. Impermanence is one of the three characteristics and the first insight the meditator gets to experience. Changes taking in our physical body (including hair loss) is certainly the best way to observe the ever changing and dissatisfactory nature of our existence. Yes, I still have so much more progress to make in the practice. If I attained SE, or even crossed over A&P and in dark night territory, this hair loss probably wouldn't even be an issue. But due to lack of advancement in the path and still with much defilements, if I can change the look of myself, I would do it.

Among my buddhist friends, I am looked upon as a devoted and serious meditator. And I am! But the thought of having the hair transplant for the sake of better appearance seems to run totally contrary to the whole insight meditation practice. I have been almost preaching my friends and families about how experiencing impermanence has enabled me to let go of my attachments to general things in life. But to get a hair transplant would be completely contradicting myself and I would literally be a hypocrite. But I have to admit, my look (losing hair) really bothers me. Hair loss can really do number on you. I cannot blame anyone getting any kind of hair treatment since I clearly know the suffering caused by the hair loss. As a meditator, you have to overcome that. But I cannot! Not at this point.

I can make an appointment and get the hair transplant anytime as I please, but by doing so, I'd be torn for the guilt and shame that I have failed in my practice.

Many thoughts cross my mind. With today's improved technology, having a transplant is really no big deal. You no longer have to accept your baldness as fate. Now you can treat and reverse the baldness so, what's wrong with getting the transplant? But then again, I am a meditator! I should be able to accept it as the nature of impermanence and try to overcome this defilement with continued practice!

I would sincerely appreciate your thoughts or advices on this matter. Especially anyone with hair loss, I would like to hear your opinions. Thanks in advance.

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
2/15/14 10:09 PM as a reply to paramatha K.
Among my buddhist friends, I am looked upon as a devoted and serious meditator. And I am! But the thought of having the hair transplant for the sake of better appearance seems to run totally contrary to the whole insight meditation practice. I have been almost preaching my friends and families about how experiencing impermanence has enabled me to let go of my attachments to general things in life. But to get a hair transplant would be completely contradicting myself and I would literally be a hypocrite. But I have to admit, my look (losing hair) really bothers me. Hair loss can really do number on you. I cannot blame anyone getting any kind of hair treatment since I clearly know the suffering caused by the hair loss. As a meditator, you have to overcome that. But I cannot! Not at this point.


Don't feel bad about getting a hair transplant. It harms no one.

And if it makes you feel better. Then I don't see why not.

But stop telling your friends that you have overcome attachments.

Talk to them honestly about your feelings on baldness, and buddhism.

You have some mistaken ideas about what it means to overcome attachment.

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
2/16/14 2:42 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Don't feel bad about getting a hair transplant. It harms no one.

And if it makes you feel better. Then I don't see why not.

But stop telling your friends that you have overcome attachments.

Talk to them honestly about your feelings on baldness, and buddhism.

You have some mistaken ideas about what it means to overcome attachment.


Thank you for your reply.

As I mentioned in my post, I have yet to make further progress along the path. And I certainly do have mistaken ideas of things that I haven't achieved yet.

Could you explain, if you don't mind, what it is like to overcome attachment? Can you share some of your personal experience on that? I would love to learn from your experience.

Again, I appreciate your reply. I am relieved and feel much better now.

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
2/16/14 4:36 AM as a reply to paramatha K.
Hi there,
You seem to be in a moral dilemma of sorts.

On one hand you're trying to let go of attachments and you do realize this on the intellectual level. The Buddha's teachings are very straight forward, but for our conditioned minds much of it is so simple that it's hard to accept them. This is why we meditate to uncondition ourselves so that we may see what is obvious.

It's very easy to say that everything is impermanent and everything is subject to decay and extinction. We have no real control over things and they keep getting old, worn out, diseased and eventually die. The body is eventually going to rot and fertilize the Earth, no matter which way it ends it will return to the base elements just the same.

However, while we are still identified with just the body, then from this point of view it is fairly obvious that it is what represents us in this complex social system called society. Society is a complex group of many individuals just like us, each of whom have bodies and almost all of whom are in complete unawareness.

Thus, they see the non-self as self, and they groom and beautify the body to it's fullest and possibly even beyond it's peak through plastic surgery, cosmetic implants and such. By doing this, they strengthen their wrong view of seeing the non self as self even further.

When we pay such attention to physical self, then we are automatically driven with the same intensity towards members of our sexual orientation for the fleeting pleasures that are born of the body. This causes a lot of delusion and suffering and is my general view of the modern, forward cultures that be.

The standards of beauty are also changing, which makes it difficult to reach any kind of stable plateau in the desirable appearance of our body. Instead of being content of what we are, we always try to be what may be. We look for Enlightenment also because we feel it is a superior state of being where we shall be more content. Sooner or later, our body loses it's luster and all the mental self images we have created in our own heads and the heads of all the other members of the society starts to fall apart. A lot of the times, society does not even bother that much.

This creates feelings of sadness, fear, low self worth, rejection and so on. Mostly stress. Some people who are very identified with the body, such as bodybuilders/models/actors/sports people or just very sex driven people in general may even be driven to the verge of suicide by non acceptance of these simple truths of aging and/or impermanence.

To be free of attachments is to be full of acceptance of the 3 characteristics. We are free from suffering/stress/worry to the extent that we have freed ourselves from attachments/clinging. Our ball of delusion is just a big bundle of clinging.

Coming back to the original dilemma, I think it's perfectly alright for you to undergo a hair transplant if that is what will make things more pleasant and easier for you. It's not a big deal. As laypeople we are allowed to groom/decorate our bodies and I suppose we could call hair transplant a more elaborate grooming procedure.

Whatever you do, don't feel guilty about it. If you do feel guilty, forgive yourself for the ignorance that lead you to do it and then the feelings of guilt should dissolve.

I remember reading somewhere in the Suttas that our problems/diseases keep coming back to us in different forms and places no matter where we fix them. This does not suggest that we abstain from medicine or medical treatment where required. It simply means acceptance as far as possible.

I used to have feelings of insecurity about aspects of my appearance too. A little along the path, I realized all those feelings were just a big messy soup that I was unknowingly forcing myself into out of ignorance. I fully accepted myself as I am instead of pretending or trying to become a superior version more palpable to the society, and this has released a good deal of stress for me. I am seeing now that nobody else ever cared about these things as much as I did.

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
12/12/17 4:53 AM as a reply to paramatha K.
 I am not ready to be bald! I do not want to be bald! I can't stand being bald! 
Hmmm have you investigated what the reason is? Is there an attachment to your hair? Sorry if I come across as being harsh, but a big point of the path is overcoming our attachments. If you start with keeping 1, it grows to 2 and it never will end, will it now?

Also, I've seen many surveys that rank bald men more attractive, especially and definitely over those who are covering it... I would say wear whatever with confidence - isn't that the main issue?

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
12/12/17 4:54 AM as a reply to paramatha K.
Hey Paramatha –Firstly I should apologise as I don’t think this is the response you are looking for but as fellow guy who went through hairloss, I totally understand. It’s amazing how much a natural process can bother you. There’s nothing wrong with getting a transplant or any cosmetic procedure. I don’t think the conflict with your beliefs is a major issue. But if you do it, you are committed to further procedures as you hair loss continues. The transplant procedure can only relocate hair from the back of your head to the front or crown. Eventually you run out of hair to move and so it can only do so much.You will inevitably get some scarring even if you have the FUE procedures which will mean it will be difficult to shave your head when you get sick of it.

Do you shave yourhead now? If not, I know this isn’t the kind a reply you are looking for. But before you consider any transplant, you’ve got to live with your hair shaved for at least 3 months. When you do it, a really strange thing happens. At first you are shocked by your appearance and so are people around you. The reaction is normally very negative. Within about a month, you start getting used to it and so do people around you. People start thinking that it suits you. After 3 months you can actually start to like it. You then realise how great it is that you no longer need to go to hairdressers. I get a lot of guys who when I tell them to do it, they say its ok for me because the shaved head suits me. This is so funny. No one thought that when I first did it. They all thought it looked awful. Once you are used to it, you will not believe you once consider spending all that money on a transplant.

I know your question was about the conflict with Buddhism not this and maybe you already shave your head. So please accept my apologies if this response is unwarranted. Its just that this a process me and many others have been through and it’s so liberating. It pains me when I see others considering the transplant route. Buddhist or not, the problem all stems from social conditioning and it's always best to take the route that rises above that.

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
11/27/18 4:58 AM as a reply to paramatha K.
Hair Transplant is not a painful and serious surgery, this is a normal procedure which done by an expert surgeon. Medication is just like body and mind yoga it reduces hair fall.

I used to yoga and in front of the sun in the morning time. I got a calm mind, happiness, and much. I got this experience given by my neighbour uncle they undergone the hair transplant they got bald, now he is looking good.


I appreciate your knowledge and share some thought to here mediation is a really good activity.

RE: meditation and hair transplant????!!!!
Answer
11/27/18 11:10 AM as a reply to paramatha K.
Why would you go for a hair transplant when you can avoid surgery and a painful post-surgery, plus save big bucks with Finasteride? Check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finasteride