Medicine Buddha Today

Bringing Health Home


We have come to the end of our journey through the mechanisms of healing and to the beginning of the most important aspect of our work—bringing health back to our world. Up to this point we have focused on regaining our own health, or our capacity to have as much of a normal life as possible. Getting back to an ordinary level of health and freedom from excessive suffering is good because if our body is stuck in pain, or our mind is preoccupied with struggles, we will be less able to help our world. But here, we have at least begun our work on our own situation enough so that we now have the inspiration and tools to help others.

Crowd of anonymous people on street in city center, selective focusHere we remind ourselves that the core feature of Menla is his love for us and all living beings. That fact alone is inspiring. And at the same time, this love is just an ordinary part of our being as well. It is natural for us to care for others, and it is only in the unprocessed struggles of ordinary life that we overlook that care. By now, we have worked with our own issues enough that our natural care for others can light our path in life.

Golden MenlaAt this level, we do whatever Menla practice inspires us or that seems needed in any situation, not only for ourselves, but also for the benefit of others. If we know a person who is in pain, or who has a body problem, we can bring that person into our heart and bring the body of Menla down to him or her, as we did for ourselves. In doing so, we work with washing away the negative karma that person may have around that issue. And we do the same with the speech and mind. We clear away emotional blockages, and by working with Menla’s mind energy, sow the seeds of willing acceptance, and compassion in his or her mind stream. No one knows how this will all play out. But we know these seeds will eventually grow into the tree of health in life.

We may seem to be at too far a distance to actively affect any real change in the karma of another person, but remember that we are all connected. Even one loving wish can make a difference in the long run. And doing Menla for the benefit of another not only helps that person, it helps us as well. I do this practice for my patients, my friends, pets, people who are deceased, those whom I have harmed, and, when I can get the courage to do so, for people that I find difficult. That is the  best form of Menla practice. Take on challenges and you will grow!

You can do this for people who are ill, or for groups of people struggling with natural or man-made disasters. Certainly, our human society needs all the help it can get. We are facing perilous times. We need good will, good thoughts, inspired action. I find Menla helpful in very ordinary times as well. I practice Menla whenever I am in a large group of people, and whenever I am in a difficult encounter with another person. I practice it at home, when I am at the kitchen sink. And as a physician, I try to practice Menla every day before I go to work. I find it inspires me in my life and in my medical practice, and sets the tone for my day.

The kitchen sink