Many years ago, I met monk who taught that there were 2 causes of diseases like cancer:
1. Due to element imbalance.
In traditional healing, we have elements like fire, water, wind, earth. If these elements are not balanced or some are in excess, it will manifest into illness or physical discomfort.
2. Due to kammic causes
The illness is the kammic consequence of previous deed(s) commitment- whether from current or from past lives. If the disease arise from kammic causes, then conventional treatment would not be effective.
I always remember what he said- if a person is not going to get better, no matter how rich he is and even he goes to the best specialist in the world, he would not be cured. But if a person is due to be cured from cancer, and too poor to afford treatment- and the old people asked him to drink his own urine, he can be cured by drinking his own urine.
A person who constantly does good, help others, have a sincerely kind heart and is generous would in turn, receive life energy and usually, health and vitality. Everyone would undergo certain ‘danger’ period at least a few times in their lives. Sometimes, the person survives- like an attack by robbers, an accident or an illness. Sometimes, he may not. It depends on whether the life force energy is strong enough to sustain the person- and in scenarios like these, even all the investments and insurance in the world would not help. In fact, a person who invests regularly in stocks and mutual funds as well as buy adequate insurance should consider investing on one very important commodity – himself or herself. One who takes from Mother Nature or from life should consider giving back to it so that there is no deficit in the balance.
Once, there was a surgeon in Singapore who had breast cancer. Her own colleague, another qualified surgeon operated on her. The moment the surgeon opened her up, he knew the cancer had spread to all directions- and sadly told her that she had only about 3 months to live.
She then met a nun who advised to go for Buddhist observation- where she wore white and observed 8 precepts accompanied by meditation and chanting. She was told that her causes were kammic and together with the conventional treatment that she was doing. The nun stayed with her a few days and taught her how to do it (in fact in Thailand, it is the usual norm for Thais, whether men or women to go for even short ordination or to just stay in the temple to observe precepts on either periodical basis or during downtimes in life). She practiced it diligently because even as a qualified surgeon, she knew there was no hope that conventional medicine could offer- and she had nothing much to lose.
Much to the surprise of her own peers (the surgeons and specialists), her cancer cells which were aggressive in nature, stopped spreading. She got better but decided that she wanted to concentrate on raising her children. So she quit her lucrative job and made the decision to really slow down in life.
Just like we would invest regularly for old age and protection, we should consider investing in our ‘merit’ account. Just a little every day and it would come to our help when we most desperately need it. Regardless of your religious beliefs- all you need to do is to practice what your religion teaches you with faith.