Meditation Resources for People Living with Chronic Illness or Pain

If your illness or life circumstances prevent you from attending meditation classes it can be very helpful to have a good book or CD course that can guide your practice. If you can't afford to buy new books or CD's you might be able to find them second-hand on sites like E-Bay, or at your local library.

Below are some resources that might be useful. They're divided into two groups ' the first is specifically aimed at illness/pain, and the second is a list of general resources. Continue reading 'Meditation Resources for People Living with Chronic Illness or Pain”

Serving Trolleys For Storing Stuff Close

Buy a cheap serving trolley

A serving trolley is excellent for keeping stuff close when you're not very mobile.

When you're bedridden or spend most of your day in one place – like on the sofa – it's important to be able to have the stuff you need close by. Hospital bed tables are one possibility but they don't actually have a lot of storage space, and things can easily fall off the edge.

It occurred to me that a kitchen serving trolley offered much more storage space, was easily movable on wheels, and even better it was cheaper than most hospital bed tables! I explained to Dad what I wanted and he picked up a flat-pack serving trolley at the local hardware store for me.

For your education and amusement, here's a photo-essay of the steps we took to make the trolley as 'Ricky friendly” as possible: Continue reading 'Serving Trolleys For Storing Stuff Close”

Loving Kindness Meditation

When I was first introduced to Loving Kindness meditation I thought, 'What's all this lovey-dovey stuff? I don't need this! I want to be a proper meditator!' I grew to realise that those who resist Loving Kindness meditation are perhaps the ones who need it the most ' it's now my primary meditation practice.

I think Loving Kindness meditation can be very important for people who have a chronic illness. We live in a individualistic society that rewards and lauds individual achievement, financial gain, and the perfect body. It's easy to feel shame or guilt at having a disabling illness when we feel so different from people around us. Many New Age attitudes towards illness such 'we manifest our illness' and 'we choose our illness' can compound such feelings of failure and inadequacy.

This is why I think Loving Kindness meditation is so beneficial. It's a mindfulness practice for the heart: a way to cultivate feelings of compassion and love for self, others and ultimately all beings. Buddhist meditation teaches a standard form of this meditation, which usually consists of sending loving kindness to yourself, then to a loved person, a neutral person, a person you have difficulties with, and finally, the whole world. Lisa Dale Miller provides a free audio podcast of guided Loving Kindness meditations. Continue reading 'Loving Kindness Meditation”

Mindfulness in Daily Life

Brushing teeth and driving - not mindful!

'Mindfulness' is a word we hear a lot when we start to meditate; all the books and teachers talk about it. Essentially, it means just being present for what is happening.

When you're making a cup of tea and you're aware of the smooth feel of the tea-cup in your hand, of the weight of the kettle as you lift it, and of the misty steam rising as you pour your cup ' then you're mindful of what's happening. If, like me, you spend your tea-making time thinking about whether you have the energy to hang the washing, if you can afford to buy a DVD of 'Glee,' and what's going to be on TV tonight (Australia Idol? Blerg'), then, well'that's not so mindful.

When we do structured meditation, like concentrating on the breath, we're being mindful of what is happening in our body. Even once we stop this formal meditation, we can keep that sense of mindfulness going ' just checking in with ourselves a couple of time during the day to notice what we're doing, and how our body feels.

Continue reading 'Mindfulness in Daily Life”

Meditation with a Chronic Illness

Emma Corcoran

This is the first in a series of four short articles about starting a meditation practice if you have a chronic illness. This first article is about establishing a simple meditation practice, and finding a meditation posture. The next three articles will focus on:

  • Mindfulness practice in everyday life
  • Loving Kindness meditation
  • Meditation resources: books, CD's, websites, podcasts etc.

I have CFS and use meditation as a way to help manage my condition. Meditation certainly isn't a magic 'cure-all' for every disease – but I think it can be an invaluable tool in dealing with the many challenges chronic illness presents.

Continue reading 'Meditation with a Chronic Illness”

Recovery: Breaking Out Of The Four Walls

Guest post by Natalie Ziegenbein ' Thank you!

Independence: Natalie's First Trip Away From Home

Independence: Natalie's First Trip Away From Home

Most of my time prior to now has been spent writing articles and talking about how sick ME/CFS made me to make people realise how much it affects people's lives. I've written endless articles, emails and spoken on YouTube videos about how sick I was and how terrible ME/CFS is. ME/CFS is terrible, but if the extent or severity you suffer to starts to decrease, life becomes this wonderful, magical place.

My name's Natalie and I am one of those people that experienced the severe end of the spectrum and got 'lucky' enough now be experiencing a slow incline towards feeling 'normal'.

When I was bed bound I constantly wondered why I didn't appreciate things more when I was healthy. Why didn't I pay more attention to what grass felt like under my feet? Why didn't I look at the birds flying around? Why didn't I listen and embrace the sound of music rather than getting annoyed it wasn't a song I liked? Why didn't I get that being able to operate the huge machine that is my car enabling me to travel over 100kph was absolutely amazing? I could go on forever'

Although I am still unable to do a lot of things healthy people would consider 'normal', (work, study, drive, go out dancing), I am insanely happy to be able to say I can do a lot of things that make life feel amazing again. Improving from chronic illness is about a billion times more awesome than you imagine it to be. Today I wanted to share some of my experiences with you. Continue reading 'Recovery: Breaking Out Of The Four Walls”