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Meditation method for Patients with Diabetes and Heart Problems

I wonder what the Buddha will suggest what meditations objects suitable for those with Diabetes
Mellitus (DM) type 1, DM type 2 and Heart Diseases. And, what will the relevant suttas? Thanks.

Hi HSS,

Can you elaborate a little on your question? Do those conditions cause difficulties for some meditation approaches (for example, breathing disorders can make breath meditation difficult), or are you looking for something that will help the conditions themselves?

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I have type 2 diabetes. It’s never interfered with my meditation. Could you elaborate?

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@mikenz66 and @Ceisiwr there is no problems with meditating … just want to know if there are specific way to do it that will help the conditions themselves

Thanks.

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I just tried a search of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia’ teachings page for “sickness” and a very long list came up. You could try refining the search further rather than browsing through the lot. I recommend choosing any of Ajahn Brahm’s talks because he really does n’t believe that meditation is efficacious for illness.

EDIT for very bad typo. (I hope that didn’t put you off @HSS .)

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I’m not aware of any specific meditation topics that are helpful for people with heart disease or diabetes. If you are interested in dealing with chronic illness using Buddhist perspectives, you may want to look into the works of Toni Bernhard available here: http://www.tonibernhard.com/

She also has an extensive blog on Psychology Today and there are links to it from her website. I used some of her helpful instructions when I prepared a talk on Coping with Medical Illnesses drawing from the Early Buddhist Texts (that is available here: vimeo.com/user/87966747/folder/4185956)

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Well, as a practicing physician let me say that thinking that meditation will cure one’s diabetes or heart disease is a load of rubbish. Let me further hasten to say, that as a practicing meditator, there is no doubt that meditation will massively help in controlling one’s diabetes or heart disease.

Chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are lifestyle related. Their management can be vastly improved by making changes in one’s mental attitude especially with regard to diet, exercise and response to stress. Regular meditation has been proven to reduce stress and improve people’s ability to stick to a proper diet, exercise and medicine regimen, which is why the NHS recommends Mindfulness training.

IMO, just practicing the first Satipathana of Mindfulness of Body would go a long way in supporting one’s ability to view the workings of the body objectively, recognize what it needs and take care of it when and as needed, without succumbing to unnecessary worry and angst about the disease/ its complications. An alternative (for those with a hate- type personality) would be the first two sets of Anapanasati.

With proper motivation a person might be able to stick to a diet and exercise plan good enough to keep their heart disease or Type 2 diabetes in check without medication (Type 1 diabetes on the other hand cannot live without externally injected insulin and should never, ever stop their medication). But that does not mean their heart disease or Type 2 diabetes is cured! If they drop their Mindfulness and go back to a McDonald supersized lifestyle their disease will certainly be evident again.

Disclaimer : As always, please consult your own Doctors and Spiritual advisors before embarking on any definite plan of action. An internet forum cannot be said to be a substitute for professional help. The above is offered only as a generalized opinion, not as definitive advice. Meditation can be harmful or sometimes even life threatening if performed without proper supervision!

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With illness where there is pain in the body it would be beneficial to follow Thanissaro’s approach which puts the emphasis on the first and second tetrads of the Anapanasati sutta, where after sensitivity to the energies in the whole body, joy is cultivated as a feeling. Actually this applies to anyone as there is always a certain amount of pain in the body, but those with illness are even more motivated to practice.

7:30 m :

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