Catching a cold: a lesson in discovering non-duality!

Angel's stairs...Magical sunset light over the sunflower field

Angel’s stairs by flickr user Katarina 2353

My brother’s Au pair had a cold when I visited a few days ago. A day later I had one, too! Sigh! A vivid reminder, how we human beings share our happiness and suffering in this life with each other. Granted, having ice cream and hot chocolate for desert surely didn’t strengthen my immune system.

I don’t blame the Au pair anyway. Meeting her was just one of the many contributing factors that led to my cold. As a Buddhist I believe in karma, that the main cause for experiencing this cold is my need to resolve a disharmony in my being that I have created through actions in the past.

Within the realm of duality of our relative existence all our actions create seeds that will ripen in the future. Actions that are not in accord with our true nature are called negative and lead to suffering. Actions that are in accord with our true nature are called positive and bring happiness. When suffering arises, the best approach we can take is to see it as a purification of a past karma. If we are able to not react with negative emotions we will not create more negative karma.

The ultimate solution to suffering is to discover the essence of our being. The more we can discover that what we are is much bigger than our body, sensations, emotions and thoughts the more we will connect with the peace, love and wisdom that are inherent in our being and be free of the limitations of our relative existence.

I decided to listen to my body and stay in bed for a day. It was a very interesting experience to watch my instinctive reactions of attachment and aversion. On one side, I didn’t want to feel unwell.

This entry was posted in Contemplation, Freedom, Karma, Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment, zz Sogyal Rinpoche and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Catching a cold: a lesson in discovering non-duality!

  1. Vishnu says:

    Thank you for this story – you were able to rest, resolved disharmony, practiced meditation and reflected on true happiness. That’s a power cold that I need to catch! :)

  2. Bernie Schreck says:

    You are most welcome! Not sure I can recommend catching that cold though ;-)

  3. Pingback: sitting with uncomfortability… « diary of a flâneuse

  4. Alec says:

    It’s good that you didn’t blame the au pair for your cold but your mentioning that you don’t is misleading. If it could remotely be her fault then everyone in that household, all those who were more exposed than you, would have caught it if they themselves had not first transmitted it to her which brings about the whole chain of causality and the possibility that you appear in that chain in another incarnation. Besides which, you relate that you had symptoms of a cold the next day, so less than one day from alleged exposure. The incubation period from infection to first symptoms is very seldom anything less than 2 days and typically longer so it would have been extremely unlikely that she was the immediate source of your infection.

  5. Bernie Schreck says:

    Thanks for sharing and for the inspiring links!

  6. Bernie Schreck says:

    Thanks for enlightening me how cold infections spread :-)

  7. I love the way buddhism gives us the most positive outlook you could ever have on all situations.

  8. I just added a link to this site on my Happy Honkers blog. I hope that’s ok with you.

  9. Bernie Schreck says:

    Thanks! Love it! :-)

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