It is no coincidence that the words “medication” and “meditation” are only one letter different. They both come from the same Latin root word, medeor, meaning “to heal or to make whole.”
In the West, our medical focus is on the external—on the curing of physical symptoms—while Eastern traditions focus more on the internal, that is, addressing the mental causes of illness. It is our good fortune to be living at a time when we can access the best of both worlds.
Medicine Buddha meditation is a healing practice treasured by many in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. We can practice it for ourselves, or for someone we care about who is ill. The oldest Medicine Buddha sutra we know about dates from the seventh century. In that sutra, we are told the story of a bodhisattva, Medicine Buddha, who made twelve vows about how he would help living beings after attaining enlightenment. The holistic healing of mind and body was an important focus of his vows: he promised to help eradicate pain, disease, and disabilities of all kinds, as well as promote good health and optimal flourishing.
When we practice Medicine Buddha meditation, we do not do so to replace mainstream medical treatment, but to complement it. The practice purifies and removes the underlying, karmic causes of disease and cultivates the causes for holistic well-being. Such may be the power of our practice that we experience significant improvements in the symptoms, too. But we need to be clear about what we are doing.
Medicine Buddha is as much about mind as it is body. Empirical evidence shows that when we meditate, it triggers a self-repair mechanism in our own bodies. We stop producing cortisol and adrenalin, and instead enhance the production of immune-boosting endorphins and seratonin, arming our body against invasive bacteria, viruses, and other imbalances. These changes also promote positive mental states.
An element of confidence in the practice is helpful. The placebo effect is said to account for more than a third of all healing. Medicine Buddha meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. If we have confidence that it can work for us, then we’re off to a very good start.
Original Source: Lior's Roar Article by David Michie.
Venerable Geshe Jampa Wangchuk with translator Venerable Tenzin Lekshey give a detailed explanation about the Medicine Buddha sand mandala that was created at Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling in Long Beach, CA. The sand mandala was created in 21 days and was in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It was dedicated to all those who were infected, affected, and to those who had passed on during this crisis as well as those who were also sick from other maladies. This is the second mandala that was created while under stay-at-home orders at GSTDL. Geshe Jampa Wangchuk and Ven. Lekshey are part of the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation (GSCF).