Have you wondered as I how to contemplate illness when in the throes of it? We have learned to flee as best we can, to distract ourselves, or medicating ourselves to the hilt. The esteemed late Thai Buddhist laywoman Upasika Kee Nanayon sets us straight with this “Good Dose of Dhamma”:
Normally, illness is something we all have, but the type of illness where you can still do your work isn’t recognised as illness. It’s called the normal human condition all over the world. Yet really, when the body is in its normal state, it’s still ill. But people generally are unaware of this illness: the deterioration of physical and mental phenomena, continually, from moment to moment.
The way people get carried away with their thoughts and preoccupations while they’re still strong enough to work — that’s real complacency. They’re no match for people lying in bed ill. People lying in bed ill are lucky because they have the opportunity to do nothing but contemplate stress and pain. Their minds don’t take up anything else, don’t go anywhere else. They can contemplate pain at all times — and let go of pain at all times, too.
Don’t you see the difference?…
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