sitting comfortably in a chair, or lying easily in bed, pick up the medicine container or bottle and just feel it in your hand. Feel its shape, its denseness, its texture, its quality of coldness or warmth.

let your hand make contact; feel the sensations generated there.

let your fingers open the container with awareness. Notice any strain or urgency and soften all about it.

feel the pills, as they drop into the palm of your hand. Take a deep breath.

take a moment to look at the pills. Take a moment to notice if you regard the pills wholeheartedly as a medium for healing, or if there is a measure of shame or failure that accompanies taking them. Focusing on the healing quality inherent within the medication, look on the medicine for its healing potential.

let the body open to receive the healing within.

sense the treatment's potential to enter fully into any areas of discomfort, its power to bring equanimity and balance to your situation.

see the pills there in your hand. Feel their weight against the sensitive nerve ending in your palm.

listen to the medicine. Does it have something to say? What is its tone of voice? Is there any sense of helplessness in your relationship to the medicine? Just notice it.

meet with mercy and awareness any resistance you may have previously ingested along with your treatments. Look on these treatments with loving kindness and gratitude.

thank the pills for whatever healing they may have to offer and place them gently in your mouth.

feel them on your tongue, feel the liquid taken to swallow them entering across the lips. Feel the tongue moving the pills into position to be swallowed. Feel the swallowing.

let the pills be drawn past the heart and into the stomach.

sense the movement of the pills down your esophagus, gently received by the body. Feel the medications settling into your stomach, radiating like soft golden light. Feel the medication conveyed into the place of greatest need.

with loving kindness, direct its healing quality to the area of greatest need. Feel the area absorb the healing.

let it in.

receive the medication as a blessing.

find an image which opens you to the healing in your medication. See it as a gift from a great teacher, as a sacred communion between the outer and inner worlds, as a balancing force, or as a smile of unbearable compassion.

let the healing in without resistance. Absorb it.

allow loving kindness to combine with the treatment and direct it into the area which calls for healing.

allow the medication to be drawn in, mercy and awareness binding to each molecule sent wholeheartedly into the cause of suffering.

feel the medication dissolving the resistance of a lifetime, dispelling the tension and difficulty felt around the illness.

feel it enter directly. Feel it melting the injury and illness away. Let the medication help heal and make you whole again.

Written by Stephen Levine, a healer and meditation teacher, from his book Healing into Life and Death (Anchor Doubleday Books, 1987). Reprinted in Healing HIV by Jon D. Kaiser, M.D. Used by permission.

This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).