According to research on human diseases by a study group of world famous experts and medical doctors, among the causes and precaution measures of diseases, hereditary reasons account for 15%, social reasons 10%, medical reasons 8%, weather and geographical reasons 7%, while human behaviors and life styles account for 60%. (Source: Health Guide Eastern Publishing House Beijing 2003) From these figures, we can see that most illnesses are caused by unhealthy behaviors and life styles. Thus changing or getting rid of our unhealthy behaviors and life styles can treat most illnesses or even prevent them from occurring. Nearly all living things on earth are going on a progress of evolution; only human life and health are on a process of degradation, with more and more cases of strange diseases. Human desires and wants are the causes, worsening of life and health the effects. This is ridiculous enough; even worse, most people do not know about the reasons of Nirvana. They kill and are killed by others; they do evil things to each other; they have no idea of what is right and what is wrong. Conditions are getting worse day after day. When we have a closer look at this society, we can see that economy is developing, people’s overall living standards are improving, technology in medicines is far better than the past; but we do not see a decrease in the number of diseases that threaten human health. And as a whole, the general health conditions of mankind do not show great improvements. On the contrary, new viruses appear, like SARS, various kinds of so-called Civilized Diseases or Wealthy People Diseases occur in greater number. Our hospitals are becoming more beautiful, our hospitals are equipped with much better instruments, but human does not become healthier. According to US Health Department statistics, in the fifties, about one out of every fifty people died of cancer; in late seventies, about one of every twenty people died of cancer. But in 2006, about one out of four people died of cancer. Every one has his or her natural life span, but in modern society, few people would die of natural death. When we look at the reasons, most people’s health problems come from their own selves. The main reasons for their sickness might be extreme poverty, lack of food and poor living conditions. These reasons are truly main factors to poor health, but poor living conditions do not form the key factors of fatal diseases. At present, the key lies in unhealthy life habits. Burning desires either for material things or sex are hidden causes that threaten human health. But as we look at the world, how many people are aware of their unhealthy behaviors and life styles?
The World Health Organization defines health as something like “not only without illness and weakness, but an overall condition of physical, mental and social health”. A wise man knows that without health, material life is meaningless. Health is the greatest wealth of life; true happiness comes from long life without sickness as well as mental health. In ancient Chinese history, people paid a lot of emphasis on how to prevent sickness from occurrence; the idea of going to see a doctor is not as good as having guards against sickness. Every one shall know about precautions, otherwise, you are doing bad things to your own physical body. The best doctors help people to gain longevity; the second best let other to keep away from sickness; only the third grade doctors treat patients’ illnesses. Among those doctors who treat illnesses, there are another three grades. The first grade doctors just look at the color of your face or listen to your voice, and they know about your illness. The second grade doctors shall ask, look, listen and talk to the patients. The third grade doctors try to listen to your pulses and touch your body. To be a doctor, treating illnesses and saving lives, is a profession of loftiness. A doctor should have good virtues; he should have a clean and calm mind, be honest, caring and have great mercy. Without these good qualities, one can never understand the depth of medical science. But a great pity, in this world of material desires, how many doctors are virtuous with fine qualities?
Actually every one is his own best doctor. If every one of us realizes our own unhealthy behaviors and life style, and begins to do the right things, he becomes his own best doctor. An old saying says illness starts from the mouth. According to a report by the World Health Organization, over 80% of human diseases are somewhat associated with eating（same source as above）. Statistics show that bad eating and drinking habits causes many of the non-contagious diseases like arterial sclerosis and cancer. Eating too much high fat and high caloric food can cause hyper-lipidemia and obesity, and increase the chances for cancer, cardio-cerebral vascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, gall-stone, etc. Many cases of cancer and modern “civilized illnesses” or “Wealthy people’s illnesses” are caused by eating too much meat. Return to a life habit of more vegetarian foods and mixture of grains can reduce the chances of getting ill, and is a good way of precautions against diseases, and to build stronger physical body and thus to live longer. Talking about the roots, we can say that all illnesses are associated with your mind, and to maintain mental and spiritual health is fundamental to physical health.
Before 40 years of age, I lived with unhealthy behaviors and life habits that resulted in serious hepatitis, allergic rhinitis, suppurated ulcerative colitis, repeated hemorrhoids, as well as seasonal colds and fevers. I made up my mind to change my unhealthy behaviors and life habits completely, to get rid of my greed, bad temper and foolishness, to free my mind from the ideas of killing, stealing and sex desires, and become a vegetarian. After about three years, my illnesses that caused me lots of sufferings gradually disappeared, and I recovered to good health. I learned from my past lessons and experience, and took another step forward to confine myself to Buddhist rules and ideology. I also practiced meditation. All these have helped a lot with my health recovery. My experience can be an example for fellow brothers and sisters. And in this booklet, I am trying to tell more about basic medical science and about health issues. There is nothing very difficult here for us to understand; they are just simple reasons and easy methods for everyone to follow, as my sincere offerings to my fellow brothers and sisters.