一聽之下，她心跳立刻加快，全身汗如雨下。醫生頗為訝異她的病情何以如此快速地急轉直下，便問她到底在擔心什麼。這名可憐的婦人答：「我知道T.S. 是什麼意思，它表示我的生命已經快到盡頭了。」雖然醫生拼命跟她解釋T.S.是tricuspid stenosis，不過是一個描述心臟狀態的醫學名詞。可是，來不及了，當她一聽到自己快完了，心念便將此絕望的訊息傳遍全身；就在當日，她死於心力衰竭。
A verse I came across many years ago says:
So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
When just the art of being kind,
Is all this sad world needs.
In my initial quest for the truth, I was drawn irresistibly towards Buddhism because of its teaching and emphasis on Great Compassion.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, which is a five-thousand year old C hinese text, says, “Where there is spirit, the prognosis is positive. When the spirit is gone, the condition is very grave.”
Jason Elias, an acupuncturist, and Katherine Ketcham wrote a book titled,
Chinese Medicine for Maximum Immunity, in which they said, “We must focus our energies on creating a positive healing environment in which curing is possible even when the disease itself is ‘incurable.’
A few years ago, my sister was here. At that time, she was very sick. So I read two stories to her to try and lift up her spirits. After she heard them, she felt greatly encouraged. She told me to tell these stories to the assembly because hearing them had helped to enliven her and she wanted others to benefit as well. Tonight I shall fulfill my sister’s wish by sharing these two stories with the assembly.
The following accounts by Dr. Bernard Lown illustrate so clearly how everything is made from the mind alone. It also shows how we can kill or heal ourselves with our own minds.
The first story is about a middle-aged woman with congestive heart failure. She had that disease for over a decade. She remained active, working as a librarian and taking care of her children. Every week she collected her medication from the cardiac outpatient clinic. One day, her physician greeted her and then announced to a group of doctors saying, “This woman has T.S.”
After hearing that, her pulse quickened and she was perspiring profusely. Her doctor was shocked to see her becoming seriously ill so rapidly and asked her what was the cause of her tremendous anxiety. The poor lady said, “I know what T.S. means. It means I’m a Terminal Situation.” The doctor explained to her that T.S. referred to tricuspid stenosis which is a medical term for her heart condition, but it was too late. Upon thinking that she was terminal, her mind communicated the message of total hopelessness to her body. She passed away on that same day from heart failure.
The next story is about a man who had a massive heart attack. He was breathing through an oxygen mask when he heard what the doctor told the staff. Upon reviewing the medical record, the doctor said that his patient had a wholesome, very loud third-sound gallop. That actually meant that he would be having heart failure soon.
But to everyone’s surprise, the patient’s condition improved and he was discharged from the hospital. When the doctor saw this patient again several months later, he asked him what had brought about this miraculous recovery.
The patient explained saying, “Doctor, I not only know what got me better, but even the exact moment when it happened. I was sure the end was near and that you and your staff had given up hope. However, Thursday morning, when you entered with your troops, something happened that changed everything. You listened to my heart; you seemed pleased by the findings and announced to all those standing about my bed that I had a ‘wholesome gallop.’ I knew that the doctors, in talking to each other, might try to soften things. But I knew they wouldn’t kid each other. So when I overheard you tell your colleagues I had a ‘wholesome gallop’, I figured I still had a lot of kick to my heart and could not be dying. My spirits were for the first time lifted, and I knew I would live and recover.”
The first story shows how a patient’s gross misinterpretation of the doctor’s diagnosis had resulted in her death. The second story illustrates how the patient cured himself just by misinterpreting a fatal diagnosis in a positive way.
Milton says, “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven.”
By relating those two stories, I have finally fulfilled my sister’s kind wish to benefit others.
To be continued