I have begun to practise the eightfold path, and I have noticed that my mental suffering has decreased suffering. I have been wondering whether the eightfold path also works for physical suffering. My belief, is that the eightfold path can prevent and cure significant amounts of physical suffering as shown below:
- Our mind and body are connected, for example, when we are angry, our body becomes tense, our blood pressure rise and this creates physical pain in the present as well creating the causes and conditions for future suffering, for example, high blood pressure and heart attacks. So, by preventing our emotions from becoming extreme, we prevent possible physical suffering.
- Even when we are in pain, for example, a person who has terminal cancer, inevitably there will be some pain, that the eightfold path cannot remove. However, perhaps by meditating on something other than the pain, we can reduce the pain and maybe even remove it completely.
- Many Buddhists are compassionate towards all sentient beings, therefore, many Buddhists are also vegetarians. Hence, being vegetarian helps keeps us physically healthy. Buddhists who follow the eightfold path, also minimise the chance of the physical suffering caused by sexual misconduct, that is, sexually transmitted diseases and alcohol.
- Stephen Post in his book, "Why good things happen to good people", documents scientific evidence, that shows that giving is beneficial to physical health.
What are your thoughts on this?
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