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Mar 25
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Illness and the Benefits of Meditation

The road to health includes a healthy mind. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Holder.

The road to health includes a healthy mind. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Holder.

Yesterday, this article went out to over 400 publications in the US and Canada. It features Jeff Rubin, longtime Shambhala sangha member and teacher, Acharya Eric Spiegel, Ciprian Iancu, Co-Director of the New York Shambhala Center, and popular mindfulness teacher Jon Kabbat-Zin.

Through Illness, Mindfulness Meditation May Help
By Barnabe Geisweiller

Jeff Rubin began experiencing speech difficulties in 1996 when he became afflicted with a progressive neurodegenerative illness. In 2001, his legs and feet turned stiff. Getting around was a challenge. At first he used a cane, then a walker. Now he uses a wheelchair to navigate crowded places.

Doctors weren’t able to determine what, exactly, was wrong with him until the end of 2009, Rubin recalled, when he finally received a diagnosis of late-stage Lyme disease and babesiosis, a co-infection caused by a hard-to-detect tick-borne parasite.

“The main problem with illness for most people is not the physical deterioration,” Rubin, 60, said over the phone from his home in Matawan, N.J. “It’s the mental affliction that is so huge.”

Throughout his ordeal, Rubin, who became a Buddhist in 1974, found that meditation helped him feel better. He developed a workshop called Unconditional Healing and has taught meditation to others suffering from a range of conditions.

“Illness is not to be rejected,” Rubin said, “but explored.”

In mindfulness meditation, you place your attention on the present moment by focusing all your attention on the breath.

Practitioners of meditation say it calms people’s minds and brings them into a present state of being. It has gained acceptance in clinical psychology and psychiatry as a method of dealing with stress, pain and numerous other health conditions. It is not fully known how meditation works in the body and how it can influence health. But research shows it can affect metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and even brain chemistry. Meditation can have both practical and spiritual dimensions, and those suffering from chronic illnesses may find relief in the practice.

Click here to read the full article.

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