Handy Meditation

Much of meditation is learning to put your attention where you want to put it.

This way you can govern your perceptions, see the way you create suffering by grasping, and take back some control putting wisdom ahead of the unruly mind. Secondly you can deliberately focus attention on certain perceptions that foster wisdom and good qualities. Such perceptions include impermanence, dukkha, the fragility of your own life, old age/illness/death etc. One insight that comes from this is just how much Dukkha you creat for yourself.

‘We are not disturbed by events, but by the view we take of them’.

Stoic philosopher Epictetus


A recent story shows a not uncommon ability of a hypnotist to focus his attention where he wishes to, and keep the mind from creating suffering, even when surgeons are chiselling away at his thumb bones.


A hypnotist has undergone surgery on his right hand without anaesthetic.

Alex Lenkei, 61, from Worthing, West Sussex, sedated himself by hypnosis before the 83-minute operation.

He told the BBC he was fully aware of everything going on around him but free from pain.

The operation at Worthing Hospital involved removing some bone in the base of the thumb and fusing some joints in an attempt to improve his arthritis.

Mr Lenkei said: “It took between 30 seconds to a minute for me to place myself under hypnosis, and from that point I felt a very deep relaxation.

“I was aware of everything around me, from people talking and at one stage a hammer and chisel was used as well as a surgical saw, but I felt no pain.”

Throughout the operation, an anaesthetist was on standby to administer an anaesthetic if necessary.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon David Llewellyn-Clark said he’d been confident Mr Lenkei was a skilled hypnotist and was “delighted all went well”.


Is this meditation?

Lenkei is focussing his attention expertly. He is not letting his mind create suffering around the situation. And, he claims that he is fully aware of everything going on around him.

While the article focuses on the ‘party trick’ which makes for good news, it does demonstrate just how far the mind can be trained by a gifted meditator.


About Cittasamvaro

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3 Responses to Handy Meditation

  1. samsarainladakh says:

    I would say the above example (self-hypnosis) has the same effect as meditation, as meditation is one way of training the mind.

    Are we in fact, putting ourselves in a state of hypnosis when we meditate? I would say yes, meditation is a form of autosuggestion. My question is, are we letting go of the same thing in both?

  2. Terry says:

    my personal opinion, it is unlikely correct to the above ‘ the so called meditation is somewhat different to ‘ self-hypnosis ‘ in term of practice and outcome purpose. Meditation primarily focus to keep the mind being free from outside / inside disturbance , irritation and annoyance , upon the certain level of mind stillness , then the fruitful result to the mind in peace and bliss. If regular practice of meditation more deep and longer , the wisdom will be gradually developped. While the hypnosis aiming to control the mind , not wanderring away for some purpose eg hypnosis to the persons, animals or objects unconsciously act or follow under control power. Hypnosis is uncomparable to the meditation which brings no wisdom cultivation or development, just only to entertain or dictate to one ‘s desire.

    would appreciate , if any one who is knowledgable or more experient to give comment or reply

  3. Cittasamvaro says:

    I would have to study hypnosis a bit more. My impression is that it is basically meditation in such cases, but not in the general relaxation sense (as with ‘meditation music’ which is just de-stressing) or with suggestion techniques with hypnotherapy.
    Meditation alone, in Buddhism I don’t think necessarily generates wisdom – it is the reflection and the teachings that do that, aided by samatha/vipassana. Meditation is only a part of Buddhist practise. If one had the meditation alone and not the philosophy and teachings, it would likely not lead to much of value unless you are about to enter an operation.

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