Q7: If the body is in unbearable pain, isn't reciting Buddha's name an additional burden?A: When the body is in pain, it is even more necessary to recite the Buddha's name as a way to shift our attention. When we recite the Buddha's name, our mind becomes calm, and our attention is no longer focused on the physical pain, thereby having a relieving effect.
When we are suffering physical pain, normally we do not feel like reciting the Buddha's name. However, instead of sighing and complaining, it is better to recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly. Therefore, Master Sheng Yen taught us that when we are ill, "we should leave our body to the doctor, and our mind to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas." When we recite the Buddha's name with a concentrated mind and place our attention on the Buddha's name, naturally our focus on the pain has shifted, thereby making us feel that the pain has become more manageable and less intense.
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