Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Life

Following the middle path

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 01 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:0311428
  1. Fiona Pathiraja, fourth year medical student1
  1. 1Royal Free and University College, London

For Fiona Pathiraja, Buddhism provides respite from the hectic medical world. Here she describes the influence that her faith has on her life

With more than 350 million followers, Buddhism is becoming a trendy faith in the West with many celebrities clamoring to take it up. Buddhists do not worship a god, rather they follow the teachings of the Buddha--the founder of Buddhism. The name Buddha actually means “enlightened one,” and enlightenment--a true understanding of the meaning of life--is what all Buddhists are striving for.

A central feature of the faith is meditation, during which you clear your mind and attempt to direct it to a positive state of calm, concentration, and awareness. There are many stereotypes of Buddhists who meditate; one picture is of a man with a long beard, sitting in the lotus position, …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription