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Thread: ZEN and the sickness

  1. #1

    ZEN and the sickness

    I have been very sick the last two weeks with viral bronchitis. Horrible, nasty thing it is, too. :cry: Anyway, I attempted to do zazen but had some difficulties. Most of the time I just fell asleep right in the middle of practice. I knew I was exhasted to begin with, but I didn't want to forgoe practice. I could feel myself getting sleepier and sleepier and suddenly the gong is sounding and I've slept the time away. So the question I have is, when I am sick and sleepy should I continue to practice and take the sleeping as part of practice or should I just forgoe practice until I feel better enough to stay awake for a least a few minutes? The second problem I had was the ridiculous cough. Once i started to feel better, I had a horrible hacking cough. I couldn't maintain my posture during zazen because I was constantly doubling over coughing. Again, should I maintain my practice and use the coughing as part of practice, or should I just wait until I'm better to continue with my zazen? What do you think? :?

    Peace and gassho,

    Lara

  2. #2

    Re: ZEN and the sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine
    So the question I have is, when I am sick and sleepy should I continue to practice and take the sleeping as part of practice or should I just forgoe practice until I feel better enough to stay awake for a least a few minutes? The second problem I had was the ridiculous cough. Once i started to feel better, I had a horrible hacking cough. I couldn't maintain my posture during zazen because I was constantly doubling over coughing. Again, should I maintain my practice and use the coughing as part of practice, or should I just wait until I'm better to continue with my zazen? What do you think? :?
    Hi Lara,

    I am feeling a bit under the weather today too, so it is a good time to talk about this.

    When you cough, just cough. Cough as the only cough in that moment, a perfect cough ... cough cough cough. Vomit vomit vomit. It is the whole universe vomiting in that instant.

    If you cannot get up out of bed, then just sit in bed. If you cannot sit in the Lotus Posture because your head is swimming and feverish, then just curl up like a ball under the sheets. If you fade in and out of sleep ... snore snore snore. Moan moan moan.

    It is all Zazen, all perfectly what it is.

    Sometimes, Zen Masters when sick, would have someone help them into the Lotus Posture. When that can be done, it is perfect. Other times, when they could not, they would just recline. That is perfect too. Here is how the Buddha was when really sick (food poisoning in this case ... his last earthly meal ever in fact) ... Poor guy, he really looks sick, and his color is not so good.



    I wish you a fast recovery Lara.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: ZEN and the sickness

    I sat (or reclined) today's "sit-a-long" on this. Now, back to bed!

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008/10 ... zazen.html

  4. #4

    Re: ZEN and the sickness

    Hi Sunshine,
    I have frequent sinus problems, so I sometimes find regular sitting periods hard with the front of my head twice as heavy as normal. I just sit as long as I can take it. Fifteen minutes has some effect, and is always better than none. When I'm down-and-out sick, I have found a few minutes on the zafu to be helpful. Calming the mind takes some of the misery away, making it easier to rest. Yes, just lay in bed and breath, if normal posture is too hard. You will not be able to keep up your normal schedule, but a little here and there will help.


    Sylvia
    Atlanta

  5. #5

    Re: ZEN and the sickness

    Hello Sunshine

    I hope you are feeling better.

    I think that sometimes a good nap can be better than struggling zazen. I also find that a good nap can lead to a more productive zazen (if there is such a thing).

    I hope you are feeling better soon.

    philip

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