Letting go & Practising Purification

In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to ask different lamas and Western teachers and meditators about lung, as well as to speak with people who have suffered from or are suffering from lung. Nearly all of them recommend the same thing as a remedy;letting go. The practice of relaxation and letting go is what heals or reduces lung. Since lung is tension, it is very important to learn how to watch your sensations and feelings with a soft, relaxed mind, and just to let them be. For example, you can walk just walk, watch the sky, and do things that you like. Relax your body and allow your mind to wander freely, with a very gentle awareness.  Relax, relax, relax, let go, let go, let go, everyday, every hour. Many people I know get a little lung when they do intensive retreat, and as soon as they relax, it goes away. Others, however, continue to have even after relaxing their minds over a long period of time. In such cases, it may be that person also needs to purify the negative karma that is causing the lung condition. 


Lama Zopa Rinpoche sometimes recommends purification practices, such as prostrations to the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas, to heal lung. These practices help to cleanse the mind and the subtle energy channels, allowing the energy to flow more easily. From the Buddhist point of view, since certain actions done in the past lives are the causes of our present suffering, such practices can purify this karma and make the lung go away. A friend of mine suffering from lung was cured by doing Vajrasattva retreat, and i felt significant improvement while doing prostrations. I once asked Khensur Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche (the former abbot of Gyume Tantric College) why i had lung and what i could do to heal it, and he told me that i was suffering from lung because in a past life I had always been angry. He recommended that i do prostrations combined with Vajrasattva mantra. There is also a famous story about Geshe Rabten, who was suffering from very heavy lung while studying at Sera Monastery. He would feel the energy flowing from his toes up to his heart and would feel faint. His teacher advised him to do Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga and to recite a large number of Migsema mantras. As far as i know, this healed his lung. But again, it is very important to do a healthy, gradual purification practice, according to your capacity, and with a relaxed mind.


by Ven. Thubten Shakya

(excerpt from Balanced Mind, Balanced Body)