It’s interesting to watch my internal dialog in these sorts of times. Because, not only are all my friends and colleagues acting as if I am really ill, my own inner erric is saying things like “oh that cough was very painful, and I am soooo exhausted because I was up all night coughing, I can’t think straight, I am really, really ill, god I think a piece of lung will fly from my mouth if another cough like that bursts forth.”
Of course there is a part of the suffering that is due to fact that I am physically uncomfortable, but it seems like far more of what makes it so miserable is all the external and internal confirmation that, yes, having a bad cough really, really sucks.
The more I seem to investigate, the more it seems that the bulk of my suffering is coming from constant, unrelentingly, negative dialogue about the coughing and how I feel happening inside my very own mind. Yikes!
So where does meditation fit into this miserable picture or self-inflicted suffering? Certainly one can use the sensation of coughing as an object of meditation as Sandra suggests in her last post. But why should that make any difference?
If we have a regular practice of meditation then by using the sensation of coughing as reminder of meditative awareness, the state of non-distraction, then we have options. For example, instead of my usual option of resting my awareness in all the negative thoughts and emotions that habitually arise after each jarring explosion from the lungs, I can choose to rest my mind in the meditative state.
Even if thoughts come, by not grasping at them and starting to think about them, glorifying each thought by serving it another one, then the power our thoughts and emotions usually have over us begins to subside. And then even though we still have a bad cough, we discover that we are quite ok.