Healing Techniques used by Thai Forest Monks

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Yoga Masters revealed that by paying attention to the pain in our body, we are actually sending healing Prana to the area and thus, healing ourselves. The Autobiography of Ajahn Mun reveals how Buddhist Forest Monks have to depend on this basic but effective technique because medicine is not readily available:

Thai Forest monk“Monks who fell victim to malaria just had to put up with the debilitating symptoms. They had no access to anti-malarial medicines – such medicines being scarce everywhere back then. So, they had to rely on the ‘therapeutic qualities of Dhamma’ (Truth) instead. This meant investigating painful feelings as they arose with an intense, incisive degree of mindfulness and wisdom. Otherwise, they had no effective means of alleviating the pain. If successful, they reduced the fever, thus effecting a cure much quicker than could normally be expected”.

“A courageous monk who succeeds through the power of mindfulness and wisdom to overcome the painful feelings caused by illness, creates thereby a solid base of support that will serve him well in times of good health as well as in times of sickness. Ultimately, at the time when death is imminent, he will not feel weak and disheartened, and thus not be overwhelmed. Having succeeded in establishing total mastery of the truth about dukkha (suffering), he boldly faces the natural process we call ‘death’. Mindfulness and wisdom have taught him to recognize dukkha’s intrinsic nature, so he never again worries about pain. He always maintains the firm basis of truth he achieved through his investigations. Later, when a critical situation does arise, the mindfulness and wisdom that he has trained to proficiency will come to his rescue. He can utilize their investigative skills to override the pain, allowing him to immediately reach safety”.

“Thus trained, mindfulness and wisdom will not abandon their duty, leaving him simply to wallow in misery as he did before he came to realize the true nature of dukkha. On the contrary, they will immediately engage the enemy. His external manifestations of illness will resemble those of any other sick person: that is, he will appear just as weak and exhausted as anyone else. But internally, mindfulness and wisdom will manifest within his heart like soldiers preparing to do battle. Then no amount of pain will affect his state of mind. His only consideration will be the inner search for the true causal basis of the physical body, the painful feelings, the citta (mind/heart), and the mental phenomena arising in conjunction with it; for, this is precisely where the full intensity of dukkha will converge at that moment. Since his ability to confront the pain and endure its effects is no longer a concern, his confidence is unshakable. His primary concern is whether mindfulness and wisdom will successfully realize the entire truth of these phenomena in time”.


Please read Natural Self-Healing for the explanation of how to apply this healing technique.

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