Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meditation As Medicine

Dr. Stephen Hosea’s Path to Mindfulness

I became a physician with the intention of diagnosing and treating disease in order to prevent death and suffering. When I began my practice in Santa Barbara in 1981, I found myself in an unanticipated position — it was the onset of the AIDS epidemic. I could not avoid the inevitable misery and mortality that came with that diagnosis. All of my training had not prepared me to deal with the ravages of AIDS. It was the worst of times, and I was desperately searching for some meaning.
I began to explore spirituality mostly as a survival tool. All spiritual paths seemed to lead to meditation. I had always thought meditation was the province of people who lived in foreign countries, whose cultures were distinct from mine and who had lots of time on their hands.

Meditation seemed to require time, focus, and intense concentration, none of which I had to spare.
Years later, I took a trip to Bali, an exotic, enchanting, mysterious place that I secretly hoped held the answers for me. Upon arrival, I was immediately struck by the abundance of spirit that embraced the materially impoverished people of that little island in Indonesia. I spent 12 days in prayer and meditation. I felt a peace beyond my understanding. The experience was profound, and I was blissed out. Alas, upon returning to my workaday world, I felt it all slowly slipping away. I desperately wanted to return to Bali to get recharged. The wise counsel of a dear friend suggested that this would merely result in my becoming a spiritual junkie, looking for the answers outside of my self. In my heart, I knew she was right. My serious and committed exploration of meditation had begun. (MORE)

Source Santa Barbara Independent

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