The Buddhist understanding of good health places its emphasis on the balanced interaction between the mind and body as well as between life and its environment. Illnesses tend to arise when this delicate equilibrium is upset, and Buddhist theory and practice aim to restore and strengthen this balance. In the treatment of illness, however, Buddhism in no way rejects modern medicine and the powerful array of diagnostic and therapeutic tools at its disposal. Rather, it states that these can be put to most effective use in combating illness when based on, and reinforced by, a deeper understanding of the inner, subjective processes of life.

Central to the Buddhist approach to health and healing is its emphasis on spiritual strength and an overriding sense of purpose, or mission, in life based on compassionate action for others. While the therapeutic efficacy of these attributes is still not widely recognized by the medical profession, Buddhism asserts that they make it possible for an individual not only to create value even in face of the severest adversity, including sickness, but to forge from them an opportunity for personal growth.
The Swiss philosopher Karl Hilti (1833 – 1909) may have described this process best when he wrote, “Just as the flooding of a river digs up the soil and nourishes the fields, illnesses can serve to nourish our own hearts. A person who understands his illness correctly and perseveres through it will achieve a greater depth, strength and greatness in life.” Buddhism holds that genuine good health is in fact to be found within this process of self-actualization.
Peace and Love, Jim

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