Govt doctor advocates meditation

TNA, Oct 13, 2004

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A prominent doctor attached to the Department for the Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine today called on Thais to use traditional Buddhist meditation practices as a mean of controlling both physical and mental illness.

Speaking at a seminar this morning, Dr. Churit Tengtraisorn said that Buddhist principles could play a role in alleviating medical conditions.

?Buddhist principles teach us how to alleviate suffering, while generating happiness and thought.  The steps to success are the Three Precepts of intelligence, morals and meditation?, he said.

Noting the close relationship between mind and body, Dr. Churit said that by training one?s mind out of unhappiness, physical suffering could be reduced.

The doctor, who studied the links between Buddhism and medicine while a monk, said that while the alleviation of physical suffering was a role to be jointly shared between the patient, doctors and relatives, the alleviation of mental suffering was the burden of the patient alone.

Meditation, he said, provided a mean to boost the physical workings of the body, the immune system and beneficial hormones, leaving the patient in a state of mental calm.

Pointing out that conditions such as heart disease were partly stress-related, he said that meditation both helped prevent such conditions and helped generate happiness.