Arogya paramā lābhā
(Health is the Greatest Gain)
by Bhante Debongshi
If you want to pursue a happy life it is important to remain healthy. As you can imagine, it is very hard to focus mentally in life when your physical health is ill. Your ability of understanding during spiritual practices also becomes hindered.
Looking after your body takes a few simple things, following a daily routine, moderating food, eating lots of fresh vegetables, avoiding junk food, continuing regular exercise, practicing meditation, getting enough rest, and drinking at least 6-8 classes of water daily. Let’s not forget a clean environment is one of the important parts of a healthy life. So keep your environment clean.
Ultimately, if you fail to do these common things your physical health will deteriorate and this will affect other aspect of one’s life. If you devote at least an hour a day to maintain your physical health, the body will be balanced and full of energy. The Buddha used to walk daily and traveled far and wide by foot to teach others regardless of the season. He was able to do so because he maintained a balanced lifestyle.
While listening to Dhamma, the King Kusala often fell asleep because of ill health. He even had had to retire for some time from his Royal duties. The Buddha advised him to moderate food and follow the eight moral precepts. According to the advice of the Buddha, he moderated eating, observed the eight precepts on every uposatha day, and practiced meditation which gradually improved his health. After getting better he came to pay respect to the Buddha. On that occasion the Buddha uttered thus, “Oh great king; health is the utmost gain, gratitude is the greatest wealth, the trustees are the most excellent kin, and Nibbana is the supreme bliss.” These are the blessings that bring true happiness.
My daily mindfulness practice includes morning and evening meditation, mindful work, cleaning, organizing personal tasks, gentle yoga, mindful walking. I look forward to do these activities every day. It helps me both mentally and physically. When I ignore doing my practices, for even a day, I grow lazy. I notice my physical condition becomes slothful and inactive. The daily disciplinary activities help to boost my energy. Being in good health is a great deal, it empowers you in every engagement in life. If you are in poor health, it should be your key objective to build up your health, by doing the simple things as I mentioned above. I guarantee if you maintain these simple things, it will improve not only your physical health, but also all areas of your life.