Health

Buddhist practice begins with mindfulness of the body
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    Under Your Skin Paid Member

    During my first year as a monk, when I was staying at a monastery near Bangkok, we received an invitation from the children of a man in the last stages of liver cancer, asking for some monks to visit their father in the hospital, as he wanted to make merit and hear the dhamma one last time before he died. Five of us went the next morning, and the senior monk in the group chatted with the man for quite a while to put his mind at ease and help him prepare for his coming death. Now was the time, the monk said, for him to put aside all concern for his body and to focus instead on the state of his mind so that it wouldn’t be overcome by pain as his body fell apart. More »
  • Don’t Believe the Hype Paid Member

    Last May, an article about mindfulness on a popular mainstream news website finally spurred neuroscientist and meditation researcher Catherine Kerr to act. The article cited 20 benefits of meditation, from “reducing loneliness” to “increasing grey matter” to “helping sleep,” and painted a picture of meditation as a kind of golden elixir for modern life. Kerr posted the article on her Facebook page. “It is not like any of this is grossly inaccurate,” she wrote in her post. “It is just that the studies are too cherry-picked and too positive.” More »
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    Resource Guide Paid Member

    Hospice, Caregiving, and Education Programs Hospice services aim to improve the quality of life during the dying process. A hospice team usually consists of a physician, a nurse, and a social worker or volunteer, who may be a spiritual caregiver. To locate hospice programs in your area, or for general information about hospice care as well as volunteer work and training, contact the National Hospice Organization, 1901 North Moore Street, Suite 901, Arlington, Virginia 22209; (703) 243-5900. More »
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    Living Organs & Dying Bodies Paid Member

    Organ donation presents a conflict for many Buddhists. On the one hand, we strive to attain the bodhisattva ideal of compassionate action whenever possible. Nine people die in this country every day waiting in vain for donors. On the other hand, according to some Buddhist teachings, death comes when the consciousness leaves the body, not with the last breath, and it is generally believed that the circumstances of clinical death and the period following it, before the consciousness is released, are critical in helping to determine one's rebirth. According to that view, it is best not to cut into the body for three days following clinical death or risk disturbing the process. More »
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    Village Women Paid Member

    Bringing a Buddhist view to the care of the dying was the subject of five recent interviews conducted by Mary Talbot, Executive Editor of Tricycle, and combined into the following discussion. Joan Halifax, a medical anthropologist and author, began her work with dying people in 1970 at the Miami School of Medicine. She is a senior teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing, founder of the Ojai Foundation, Upaya, and The Project On Being With Dying, and a founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order. More »
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    The Long Shadow Of Good Intentions Paid Member

    In the wake of the hospice and "conscious dying" movement, caring for the dying has been identified as an inspiring stimulus to spiritual development—more akin to a calling than a job. Spiritual methodologies, particularly Buddhist ones, have informed these efforts to bring compassionate care to the dying. And while much has been written about consciously being with the dying, very little has been said about the shadow of this work. More »