Meditating with a cold/allergies

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by adamposey » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:30 pm

I was trying to get through this morning's meditations, but my chest was tight, my breath was forced because of a runny nose, etc.,

How do you meditate with a cold or do you just focus on getting well and return to your meditation after?

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:49 pm

You could try a different theme that has nothing to do with the breath such as metta bhavana or kayagatasati. Or you could use the sensations of discomfort as your object and look for the sign of impermanence. Metta.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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Re: Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by PeterB » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:21 pm

Good suggestions.
Something else you could try is sweeping awareness slowly up and down the body taking in all sensations that arise from feet to crown and back.

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Re: Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by catmoon » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:05 pm

I'm in the same boat. Since I smoke, and the flu causes me to reduce my smoking, I actually breathe better in some ways. I look forward to losing a few pounds. The discomfort seems small compared to all the mental suffering I used to generate around such things. It is also a good time to practice tonglen. Finally, think that carrying suffering with grace will prevent you from accumulating bad karma, in a very concrete sense.

Meditation is a little more difficult and perhaps briefer. That's fine. It's all practice.

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Re: Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by shjohnk » Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:08 am

On a similar theme, I have a chronically blocked nose (Rhinitis or something it's called). Therefore, I breathe predominantly through my mouth. This doesn't seem to affect my meditation: I'm still breathing and focussing on it.

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Re: Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by Ben » Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:31 am

In the past I have used a pseudo-ephedrine-based cold & flu medication which has alleviated the symptoms of blocked & runny nose. I could get on with my meditation and get on with the vast majority of my day-to-day activities.

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Meditating with a cold/allergies

Post by bodom » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:01 am

I suffer from allergies and also have problems with breathing. I do a lot of walking meditation.

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5

"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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