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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

IBS, IBD, Anxiety, and Meditation

Neither IBS nor IBD are psychosomatic. They are real disorders that can wreak havoc on our emotional well-being, so much so that one’s Gastroenterologist might even recommend meditation. Now, although meditation could be a lovely adjunct it is no substitute for the guidance of a psychiatrist well versed with the travails of your health challenges. Therefore do NOT pass GO, do NOT collect two hundred dollars, and go directly to the PCRM database and find an MD who practices psychiatry in a manner that is informed by the latest studies correlating IBS, IBD, diet, and emotions; for this a clearly a case when “two heads are better than one.”

In the meantime, yes there are four easy contemplations that can really take the edge off of your uncomfortable sensations, emotions, memories, and imaginings. All is well, for this set of contemplations and meditations will only last for sixteen or so rounds of breath, which could be quite manageable.

The first contemplation serves as a reality check. During your enthusiastic inhalation mentally recite the first slogan “How could this…” and during your relaxing exhalation mentally recite second slogan “…feel stressful?” Don’t worry, this question is purely rhetorical. Recite it for a total of four rounds of breath.

The second contemplation explores compassion with the slogans “All beings’ stress…” and “…may I soothe!” The third contemplation plumbs impermanence with the words “How could this…” and “NEVER last?” The fourth contemplation helps us to further train in letting-go with the rhetorical question “How could this…” “NOT be me?

Each if these contemplations is practiced with the same protocol as the first. If, at this point, you feel you’ve built up some positive momentum you could practice the contemplative equivalent of coasting by playing with the slogans “Notice this…” and “…relaxing!” for sixteen additional breaths.

Clearly this will reverse neither IBD nor IBS, but if practiced about once every twelve hours or so could take the edge off, and help you take your next steps into a much larger world. _/\_

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