DR YVES BENHAMOU presents us with the science of neuroplasticity but asks whether this is all there is to meditation.
Some words deeply, infinitely and definitely echo in us. They give rise to questions. The word ‘recovery’ is one of them.
complete disappearance of the symptoms of a disease and return to the previous state – regaining normal health.
What is most concerning is the return to the previous state of health. If such is the case, recovery is impossible, since that previous state cannot possibly exist in our present, just as the past cannot be called back.
Let’s take a practical example. I have been diagnosed with cancer, I consult a specialist, and I scrupulously comply with the treatment prescribed. I suffer, I hope, I lose hope, and eventually I recover. Or at least the medical system says I have. But what does my own physical system say? Is it back to what it was before such a big trial? Not at all! The disease has left its marks: pains, neuritis, physical fatigue, digestive troubles and other stigmas. If the return to the previous state is recovery, I will never really recover, not even from ’flu. Somehow, my body is going to remember.
Here dwells one of the immense gifts we receive from meditation:
the ability to consciously treat a painful event as a boon,
as a springboard, by removing fear.
And what of my soul, my mind, my consciousness? How can I recover from that dis-ease? Such an outbreak may be repeated or may even be permanent, as I know from experience. And if a particular episode has taught me anything, what was the lesson?
So the body can never really fully recover, but the disease gives us an opportunity to recover something else that is revealed. Our mind was sick without our knowing it. We become aware of that dis-ease only when recovering from it. It is rebirth, a birth to something greater, vaster and softer, provided we make the most of our body’s dis-ease and don’t succumb to it. If our body is lucky enough to recover, in the general sense of the term, then we can be reborn; born a second time.
Here dwells one of the immense gifts we receive from meditation: the ability to consciously treat a painful event as a boon, as a springboard, by removing fear.