The 2017/2018 winter has been an awful flu and cold season. It seems that everyone around me has been sick. A few weeks ago on a Wednesday, I got up and went hiking with a friend. By the time I got home, I was sneezing and blowing my nose. Over the course of the day, it got worse, and I expected to wake up Thursday morning with a full-on cold or flu. Instead, I woke up the next day feeling perfectly fine, and went to the zendo as usual for meditation practice. The illness never caught on, except for the symptoms that I had for the one day.
This is very unusual for me. As a child and even as an adult, I was frequently ill with a cold. I would catch whatever was going around. The change of season would always bring on another cold. So avoiding an illness this time is a surprise. I credit my regular, intensive meditation regime with my improved health and immune system.
I have been sticking by my commitment of sitting six days a week. In addition to better health, I have noticed that by sitting frequently my mind is more clear and focused, and my stress levels are lower. Certainly my zazen seems more mindful. Regardless of the tradition, meditation is beneficial for a variety of reasons, to which I can attest.