Q5: I have recited the Buddha's name, practiced generosity, and performed good deeds, so why do I still get sick?A: Practice and illness are separate and unrelated to each other.
Everyone can get sick. As long as we have a physical body, we will experience aging, sickness, and death. In addition, Shakyamuni Buddha, an enlightened sage, also underwent great physical suffering before attaining Nirvana. The founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, Venerable Master Sheng Yen, dedicated his entire life to helping countless people, but did he never get sick? No. Did he ever experience physical pain and suffering? Yes. In his book "A Wonderful Life in My Late Years," Master Sheng Yen narrated in detail his own experience of being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing surgery, thereby personally experiencing the suffering of illness.
It's not just we ordinary sentient beings who experience illness; even enlightened beings, accomplished masters, and great practitioners experience illness. The difference is that they know how to use practice methods to calm their mind. If you still feel that life is unfair, you can visit the children's ward at a hospital where many young patients, who barely understand the meaning of life, are already struggling with death. By comparison, we have had several decades of life experience at the very least, which are not in vain. Suffering from illness is a part of life. Don't let yourself fall into despair, complaints, or anxiety due to illness, thereby negating your identity and past accomplishments.
Taking illness as teacher and learning to live well with illness
Buddha's Teachings on Suffering from Illness
Practicing the Dharma While Ill
Q1: Why am I getting this illness?
Q2: I've been in and out of the hospital so many times. When will I recover?
Q3: Why do some infants get sick immediately after birth? How does Buddhism view this?
Q4: What can be done if someone is sick in bed for a very long time and feels hopeless about life?
Q5: I have recited the Buddha's name, practiced generosity, and performed good deeds, so why do I still get sick?
Q6: When a family member of mine is suffering from an illness, what can I do to alleviate his fear and pain?
Q7: If the body is in unbearable pain, isn't reciting Buddha's name an additional burden?
Q8: My health is deteriorating, and I feel like there is not much time left for me. How should I prepare myself for death?
Resource: Issue 380 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Photos: Issue 380 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation (Photos painted by 劉建志)
Editing: Keith Brown, YKL