“The most important aspect of retreat is to keep your mind happy.”
— Geshe Lhundup Sopa
Lung (pronounced “loong”), or “meditator’s disease,” happens to almost every meditator, even very experienced ones. It is similar to an athlete who strains a muscle and then has to rest for a while to let that muscle heal. We meditators strain our nervous systems. Some of us already have a strained nervous system when we begin our meditation practice. Unless the lung is very severe, it is nothing to be afraid of or to worry about, it is just a trade hazard that we can learn to work with and endure. Lung is our teacher because it is the feedback we receive when we are not meditating properly – or not living a balanced lifestyle.
Lung is the Tibetan word for “wind.” Generally, meditator’s lung is congested chi in and around the heart chakra. We all learn about lung when we attend our first Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist group meditation retreat. Either we get it, or we hear about it from our friends who get it. Lung literally means wind but we can translate it, in this context, as “mental stress.” The mind rides on the subtle winds of the body, and when the winds don’t run smoothly, we feel stress….retreat