Do you know about Mind Cancer?
Updated: Nov 13
Cancer is an increasingly common and leading cause of death nowadays, prompting extensive research into the correlation between specific foods, lifestyle habits, and the disease.
In my meditation practice, I often contemplate the idea that the stress in our minds can be likened to Mind Cancer.
Just as cancer cells damage our bodies, negative thoughts have a destructive impact on our minds. In this meditation approach, we use the analogy of a camera to elucidate how the human body and mind function. Much like a camera captures images, our body operates as a five-senses camera, recording everything it experiences. When the camera captures an image of an apple or a hundred-dollar bill, the image itself is not real—it's merely a representation on paper. Similarly, we store pictures of our experiences in our minds, containing thoughts, judgments, emotions, and feelings.
Just as the body eliminates unnecessary nutrients after consuming food, the mind, which continuously processes and stores information, also needs to clear out the accumulated images. Failure to do so can lead to mental constipation, analogous to the physical discomfort caused by the body retaining waste.
If the body doesn't eliminate waste, it acts as toxins, damaging the body and manifesting as physical pain symptoms. Similarly, an overloaded mind, filled with an excess of 'pictures,' can act like toxins, resulting in symptoms such as anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and panic attacks—akin to experiencing mind cancer.
I observe that not only do people suffer from physical cancer, but many also grapple with mind cancer, characterized by their own negative thoughts and unhealthy emotions.
Just as we need to eliminate cancerous cells from our physical bodies for a healthy life, we must rid our minds of unnecessary thoughts and attachments for mental well-being.
I began practicing meditation in 2004, in my late twenties. Reflecting on these years, I am grateful to have learned the method of emptying the mind. Without it, I can't imagine where I would be now with all the accumulated negativity.
If you experience symptoms of mind cancer—such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or insomnia—I highly recommend trying meditation.
It's not a quick fix like providing instant food for hunger; instead, it's like learning to fish for yourself, ensuring well-being for the rest of your life!
*If you are studying Korean, please check out my Korean blog!