Meditation with a cold

junglist, modified 3 Years ago.

Meditation with a cold

Posts: 232 Join Date: 1/25/17 Recent Posts
I have a cold. 

Anyone have any specific suggestions for practices while ill? Mindfulness of sensations of breath at the tip of the nose is now rather impossible, for nasal blockage related reasons.

It seems like a good chance to investigate the sensations of illness, the dukkha involved and all that bad stuff. Also I wonder if there are other techniques that can be used to maintain daily practice somehow?

Any ideas would be great.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Meditation with a cold

Posts: 3185 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I personally find the combination of immune chemicals that are released when I have a cold challending for most ordinary forms of practice. I don't get sick a lot, but when I do, I generally feel pretty bad.

Instead of practicing formally, when I have a cold I find myself drinking a lot of hot tea, eating a lot of spicy soup, hanging out in hot saunas, taking long baths, sleeping a lot if I can spare the time, and drinking a lot of water. I think Zinc lozenges help. Might just give yourself a break, relax, heal, and then start again in a few days when you are hopefully better. My two very hardcore dharma two cents.
junglist, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Meditation with a cold

Posts: 232 Join Date: 1/25/17 Recent Posts
Thanks Daniel! I suppose that's the wise doctor's response - the best I've come up with other than that is noting "sneeze coming, searching, searching, searching, grabbing tissue, too lating..." Need to remember to note the sneeze too though.
housecrow, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Meditation with a cold

Posts: 30 Join Date: 12/13/16 Recent Posts
I can vouch for walking meditation, slowly, without covering a lot of ground (pacing, rather than going for a walk).

On a semi-related note, whenever I get sick (and my nose is not completely blocked), my distractions drop off dramatically, and I get a nice, effortless clarity. Maybe because my brain is not healthy enough to keep up its usual energetic distraction rate.
Yilun Ong, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Meditation with a cold

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
junglist:
I have a cold. 

 Also I wonder if there are other techniques that can be used to maintain daily practice somehow?

Any ideas would be great.

I tried noticing the breath via the mouth but did not succeed in persisting. I suppose it is possible if you are really hardcore, but I gave up. Doctor Ingram's advice seems to be wisest!
junglist, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Meditation with a cold

Posts: 232 Join Date: 1/25/17 Recent Posts
Coincidentally and stumbled upon this video, "Skillful Means Rinzai Zen Style" with JunPo Denis Kelly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZqPVE2ZeNU

Seems to suggest that walking might be good if you have a cold, either that or get viciously attacked.
Small Steps, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Meditation with a cold

Posts: 248 Join Date: 2/12/14 Recent Posts
I'm home from work at the moment with a pretty bad cold. This morning, before calling (emailing and Slack-ing, really) in sick, I watched feelings of shame and self diminishment arise and fade. Like many in America, I don't like feeling weak or sick or that I'm not holding my weight at work. It makes sense both for myself and my colleagues if I stay home today. Logic seems harder to grasp.

Later in the morning, I did a period of metta and compassion. Some directed towards myself, but mostly for my partner's mother, who just had surgery. Yeah, I feel crappy because I have a cold, but she just got a hip replaced. Perspective, yes? A lot of dukkha from old age and sickness at the moment, so just being present and aware of it and seeing how it pulls one in a direction or another.

I usually work in a field of open awareness, with the brahma vihara practice as a part of that if that's what I'm doing. It feels a little easier, and a lot more natural to do, especially when I'm sick and not 100% myself. 

I'll probably do more metta and compassion later. Just sit in an open field and generate, send and merge into things. Of course, if I feel super crappy, I'll just as likely drink some tea and/or take a nap. Basically, self care is my goal, at least for today ;)

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