Sickness

As Buddhists, how do we work with illness and what do we learn from it?
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    How to Transcend Dental Medication Paid Member

    A member of our monastery has very bad teeth. He has needed to have many teeth pulled out, but he'd rather not have the anesthetic. Eventually he found a dental surgeon in Perth who was willing to extract his teeth without anesthetic. He has been there several times. He finds it no problem. Allowing a tooth to be extracted by a dentist without anesthetic might seem impressive enough, but this character went one better. He pulled out his own tooth without anesthetic. We saw him, outside the monastery workshop, holding a freshly pulled tooth smeared with his blood, in the claws of an ordinary pair of pliers. It was no problem: he cleaned the pliers of blood before he returned them to the workshop. More »
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    Working with Pain Paid Member

    Pain is an intrinsic part of being born in a physical body, as the Buddha has taught. In reality, aging and sickness begin the moment we enter the world. Yet we are conditioned to ward off all pain. We are unwilling to allow the pain simply to happen. There are some important and challenging questions relating to physical pain and our bodies:  More »
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    Good Death Paid Member

    Blind Crossing a Bridge, Hakuin (1685-1796) Ink on paper More »
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    Awake and Demented Paid Member

    DEMENTIA. “What's that word?” my mother asked my sister the other day, when the nurse accidentally left her chart in plain sight. “Oh, that's the name of the doctor,” my sister said. “Doctor Dementia.”' Whew, another quick save—maybe. My mother never did like the hard facts straight up, and ever since we received her diagnosis three years ago, we've had to practice the spur-of-the moment dodge, the ingenious distraction, the white lie.... More »
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    The Lucky Dark Paid Member

    Offshore Breeze, Peter C. Jones, 2002 I GREW UP in the South, and one of the people I was closest to as a girl was my grandmother Bessie. I loved spending summers with her in Savannah, where she worked as a sculptor and artist, carving tombstones for local people. Bessie was a remarkable village woman; she often served her community as someone comfortable around illness and death, someone who would sit with dying friends. More »
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    Memento Mori: Notes on Buddhism and AIDS Paid Member

    Dean Rolston photographed by Matthew Rolston, 1991 THREE YEARS AGO, just as winter as turning into spring, I stood with my friend Cookie Mueller on an elevated companion above the main reception room of a glittery New York nightclub. Cookie, who had been ill with AIDS for some time, and in fact had only six months to live, turned to me and said: "You know, getting this disease is the best thing that ever happened to me." More »