Thailand’s Aids temple offers life lessons in death

From AFP

Ice Wepawadi has not told her parents she has Aids, even though she is only days from death at this Buddhist temple hidden away on a Thai hillside.

The emaciated 25-year-old lies in the bed she has occupied for the past month at the Wat Phra Baht Nam Phu temple, a hospice founded 17 years ago by a monk to care for those living with a disease that is still considered taboo in Thailand.

“My family, my dad, my mum – nobody knows I came here. I just told them that I went to work. I don’t want to tell them. I feel they cannot take it,” Ice told AFP.

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Inspiring Story: Family going around globe to help others survive

From The Post & Courier

Their house is nearly empty, and there’s a “For Sale” sign in the yard.

In the past few months, James and Cara Garcia have sold nearly everything they own, taken the rest to Goodwill or the dump.

They got rid of the BMW just last week.

Now they can fit everything they own into a few suitcases and duffle bags — one each for them and their two daughters.

These are not victims of the recession. This is a family that has found a new purpose in life, and it lies on the far side of the world.

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Psychiatrist teaches ‘mindfulness’ to smokers

From Newsday

A Yale psychiatrist is bringing together neuroscience and Buddhist practices to help people overcome their addictions.

Dr. Judson A. Brewer has conducted studies with alcoholics and cocaine addicts and now is beginning research to help people quit smoking.

Brewer is medical director of the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic, based at the Veterans Affairs medical center. What he teaches is mindfulness, a concept rooted in Buddhism.

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For stress reduction, just say ommm

From CNN

Managing the service department of an Atlanta, Georgia, car dealership is a stressful job, according to Debbie Peek.

Handling customer demands and keeping up with paperwork would leave anyone frazzled, but Peek, 56, has found a way to cope with the stress. For the past seven months, she’s been meditating daily.

“What I have found for me is it helps me find the quiet time in the hustle-bustle of the day,” Peek said. “I am able to focus.”

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Scientists Document Evidence That Incense Causes Lung Damage

Ed. Note – I think we can figure out that any form of smoke is bad for us, whether it’s in a cigarette, a stick of incense or the tailpipe of a vehicle. We know it’s bad ok? We get reports telling us one day milk is good, then it’s bad, WAIT then it’s good again. How about the fact we are the only mammal that drinks another mammals milk, that little nifty bit of information would interest me, not the numerous reports of how I need to live. Tell me about the toys my kids are playing with, and if they have lead in them, or the drugs the doctor prescribed that might kill me or my loved one’s. The easy stuff, like inhaling anything that has smoke in it, we know is bad. Sorry tangent there!

From American Chronicle – Scientists have documented evidence that incense is harmful to human health.

Incense is popular in Asian countries. It is common for the Buddhism and Taoism religions to burn incense daily.

In the United States, incense is often sold in health food stores and used for religious purposes or scenting a room. However, incense is dangerous to health according to scientists.

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Meditation for Health

From KMOT – There are lots of things you can do to lower your blood pressure. We all know you can start eating healthy, become active, or even take certain medication, but not everyone is aware of another way to lower their bp.

Meditation has its roots in the Buddhist religion. The act of clearing one`s mind and relaxing one`s body has long been viewed of as a way to reach enlightenment. A therapeutic social worker who is also a yoga teacher says meditation can be beneficial to your health, even if you`re not Buddhist and even if you never reach enlightenment.
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Buddhist Monks Battle Tobacco, Alcohol Lobbies

From IPS – Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monks see their fight against tobacco and alcohol abuse as more urgent than the war that the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse is prosecuting against Tamil separatist rebels.

“At least 50,000 people have died due to the (Tamil separatist) conflict in the past 25 years. But, every year about 40,000 die in Sri Lanka due to illnesses from alcohol and tobacco use,” observed Hadigalle Wimalasara Thera, a monk who is also a member of the National Heritage Party (JHU) which provides crucial support to the Rajapakse government.
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