Peter participated in a one week retreat led by Steve Armstrong, a well-respected Buddhist teacher. During the retreat, he contracted a chest cold, having to spend most of the retreat and one week at home in bed recuperating. During this talk, he reviewed his experience of the three forms of Dukkha: that caused by physical circumstance, that caused by impermanence, and that caused by the conditioned response of the mind to the first two. The intention of the talk and ensuing dialogue was to foster concrete understanding of how Buddhist teachings and practice can be beneficially applied while ill, not with the intention to “fix” the illness, but to understand at a deeper level the body/mind experience of dukkha. Despite the physical misery, there was a quiet acceptance and equanimity about the disease process that consistent mindfulness of breathing provides us.
Here is the essay Peter prepared for this talk: MINDFUL MISERY