A. If you have a short-term illness such as a cold or “flu it is probably rather futile to try and meditate if your condition doesn’t allow you to breathe or sit properly. Practice throughout the rest of the day may also not be possible because you feel under the weather. What is the use of struggling just for the sake of it, or do you think that you should practise in all circumstances, whatever they may be? I think a temporary incapacity such as this could unwittingly be presenting you with the opportunity to see just how attached you are to your practice and likely thoughts of making “progress”. I”ve met people who like to say (with some pride?) that they haven’t missed a day’s sitting for months or even years. Is it this that drives them? – not to break that record even when the body (and common sense) is telling them they should be resting and taking it easy when they feel ill. A short illness could well be a golden opportunity to display non-attachment to “your” practice! Never lose sight of the fact that the practice of Dharma, which is a practice of learning to become unattached, can ironically become the firmest of attachments and possessions.

A more long-term illness or even physical disability will be quite different, as you will have to learn to work with circumstances. The human condition is quite a remarkable one as we are the most adaptable of all animals on Earth. We can live in the hottest and coldest climates, in any type of environment, and adapt to whatever type of food is available. And so it is with practice. To accept and work with wholehearted commitment with physical limitations, and crucially the mental relationship with those limitations, will, I’m sure, bring abundant Dharmic fruit.