Of course, science has cataloged many bodily benefits to meditation–even down to the shifts the practice creates in our DNA.

But, in my own experience, one of meditation‘s most prominent benefits has been its capacity to make visible the energetic imprint of sickness.

It also provides the capacity to change one’s vibration so that sickness no longer manifests.

I know that sounds unusual.

However, biological things have life-force. They are founded on morphic fields–on what we call chi or prana. Hence, every malady has a code, a vibration, an “energy body.”

When the mind is calm, we can see this.

It has a specific “feel” or presence.

It commonly feels jangly, disruptive, and chaotic.

It feels chaotic because your steady-state is disrupted, but the disease itself has its own order–a self-sustaining matrix, a functional anatomy.

One’s adversary always feels like a chaotic force, but an adversary’s capacity to threaten us is dependent on its own coherence.

Every disease has its own discernible coherence.

If you can get in touch with this–through the body-scanning we do when we meditate–you can begin to unwind the rhythm of a disease.

You can begin to calm that rhythm.

You can begin to erase that rhythm.

In this way, you kill disease.

We erase the rhythm of a disease by discovering the psychic root on which it’s feeding–and that root is a habitual “yes” in our own psychology.

Almost always, it is a “yes” we aren’t yet aware of.

We say “yes” to the diseases stalking us, even though we don’t know we do.

At one point, that yes was conscious.

It was repeated, it became reflexive, and then it disappeared beneath the waves of day-to-day thought.

Maybe we have been saying this particular “yes” for a very long time, but it took time for the disease in question to germinate, to take root, and to flower.

Sometimes, diseases are consequences of sudden and profound traumas–sudden and profound assaults on our systemic equilibrium.

But more often, diseases are the manifestation of a much longer journey of unconscious pattern formulation.

The patterning is one of chronic weakness, of inner destruction, of quisling cooperation that has been going on for a long time in the psychic feedback loops of the body-mind.

So, sometimes, it takes a longish time and a whole lot o’ effort to get to the taproot of a sickness–and even more time to grok its nature.

And then, it takes even more time to erase the “yes” that provided the soil for the disease to grow in.

I am in this process now.

I’m coping with a depth of challenge I haven’t faced since I was chained to a couch for a month in early 2013–fighting a bout of sciatica which made simply taking a step forward excruciating.

In this instance, I’m breaking through from time to time.

I “see” the disease’s energetic signature clearly, and I can calm it. Other times, I’m back in the washing machine of its vibration. I’m lost. I’m reactive, and the disease is having its way.

This is the longest conflict I’ve had since I started meditation decades ago.

Time will tell if I get it managed, but I’m confident that’ll happen–and I’m confident there will be some good learning along the way.

If I fail, well then.

Though I’m confident some yogis have done it, I’m not in a place where I can beat mortality–and it’s not likely I’ll ever put in the effort and time to chase that goal. It’s not likely I’ll ever arrive in a place where I can beat all diseases–even old age.

But, there’s this challenge now.

I’ll hope to see y’all back in the field of good health soon!


  • Eric John Shaw

    harmonizing yoga scholarship with modern practice

    Eric Shaw, MA.SE, MA.RS, MA.AS, has studied yoga and meditation for 30 years and taught both since 2001. He maintains a lively international teaching schedule and is the creator of both Prasana Yoga—a form that reveals alignment in movement—and Yoga Education through Imagery—lecture programing that teaches yoga’s traditions through archival imagery and new scholarship. He is an E-RYT 500 with two degrees in Art, and Masters Degrees in Education, Religious Studies and Asian Studies. His essays have appeared in Yoga Journal, Common Ground, Mantra Yoga + Health, and other publications. To find out more, please see: prasanayoga.com