Meditation & Health #23 – Regaining My Memory
Regaining My Memory
Challenges: stroke, memory loss, diabetes, stiff neck
By Zhong Zi Shan, Malaysia
Translation by Dan Huan
Once more, I could recall the tunes and played the flute in the most relaxed manner, just like in my younger days.
At first, I did not know I’d had a mild stroke while sleeping. This was in 2008, and life seemed as usual as I drove to work the next day. I only realized something was amiss when my speech became incoherent and I couldn’t control my hand movements when signing documents.
Memory Loss and Diabetes
A medical exam confirmed that I had suffered a mild stroke. Although my life returned to some semblance of normality, there was a five-millimeter blood clot lodged in my brain which caused both a delay in processing my thoughts and stammering speech. My short-term memory was also affected —
I couldn’t remember the most recent events. For example, I would already have forgotten what I had just read before I finished reading a short article. When the doctor told me my condition would not improve, I plunged into despair.
When I was about 30, I was diagnosed with diabetes. I often felt lethargic and sleepy. The condition worsened when I was in my 50s. Very often, I experienced blood-sugar levels of between 9 and 12 mmol/L. Despite having slept for hours, I would still feel worn out and foggy. I also had to refrain from all my favorite sweets.
Clarity of Thought
In May 2017, my wife and I came across a copy of Meditation & Health magazine. The meditation journals in the magazine captured our attention. Intrigued, I participated in the Energy Bagua foundation class the following month. Although the movements were not rigorous, I perspired profusely. It was a wonderful feeling.
In August, I joined Bodhi Meditation’s
8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat. On the second day, I felt more alert and there was clarity in my thoughts. On the third day, while driving to the meditation center in the morning, I was struck by a sudden desire to lead the recitation of Grandmaster JinBodhi’s Golden Words during class. To my surprise, I managed to memorize every line within 30 minutes. I was totally joyful when I was leading the recitation. In the afternoon, I threw up some foul-smelling phlegm which contained small solid pieces. My throat felt cleansed, soothed and comfortable.
On the fourth day my stiff neck, a condition which had plagued me since I was 40, became more flexible. I used to have to turn my entire body to look in another direction. But on that day, I could turn just my head without moving my body. On the seventh day, I was able to sit in lotus pose, a cross-legged position, while I meditated.
A New Beginning
I began spontaneous fasting on the second day of the retreat. (Editor’s note: Spontaneous fasting is a phenomenon during meditation that allows one to go with little water and food for many days consecutively and still feel energetic and comfortable.) I felt invigorated and my body was relaxed. In the past, I had to take medication twice a day to keep my blood-sugar level between 7 and 9 mmol/L. During the retreat, despite not taking medicine, the level never exceeded 9 mmol/L. I have stopped taking diabetes medication altogether. (Editor’s note: Bodhi Meditation does not advocate reduction or discontinuation of medication and treatment without seeking a doctor’s advice.)
It was my personal experiences that convinced me of the real benefits one could receive from meditation practices. On the final day of class, I played two songs on the bamboo flute, a long-forsaken activity which I had been unable to do for at least a decade. Once more, I could recall the tunes and played the flute in the most relaxed manner, just like in my younger days. Bodhi Meditation has given me a joyful new lease on life.
The intent of the testimonial is to offer wellness information of a general nature. Individual results of practice may vary.