Meditation & Health #13-Meditation Is the Flower of Life
Meditation Is the Flower of Life
By Cheng-jian, Vancouver
Failure to Thrive
In September 2011, my husband Da-shuai and I decided to put our lively and cheerful daughter, Da-sheng, in a French-immersion school in order to give her the best education we could. However, just a few weeks after school began, Da-sheng was labeled slightly hyperactive by her teachers. From then on, our daughter was often criticized and punished in front of the class by the teacher. Gradually, I realized that my once-happy daughter now lacked confidence and joy, and her marks were lower than average.
I was bothered by my daughter’s struggle. I wondered if our decision to send her to a French-immersion school was a mistake. Would this experience affect her whole life? As a full-time mother, I was full of guilt: Did I not take good care of the children? I became depressed and this gloom affected our family.
I had insomnia every night. With only two or three hours of sleep, I often woke up and felt that joy and happiness were beyond my reach. Exhaustion led to despair and I felt helpless. I’d ask the Heavens, ‘What have I done wrong? Why does my daughter have to struggle with everything?”
In order to help our daughter adapt to school life, I brought her to some psychology and child-education classes, but all proved useless. Then one day in June 2012, I remembered the “Feminine Health Day” mentioned in Meditation & Health magazine. I was desperate, so I thought, “Why not try meditation?”
Strength and Courage
I walked into the Vancouver Meditation Center and participated in an 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat. During the first six days of the retreat, nothing special happened. Thousands and thousands of thoughts popped up during my meditation. Then one day, as I practiced The Meditation of Greater illumination, a thought occurred: In fact, everyone is like a flower; there is no distinction between ugly and beautiful, tall and short; even if growing at the edge of a cliff, a flower can be hardy and bloom toward the sun. At that moment, I felt as if I had obtained a great deal of energy. I decided to be a strong mother and face everything courageously, even the current family trauma.
This change of mind transformed my world. Since then, I never asked myself the same silly questions of “What have I done wrong?” and I never had insomnia again. In my husband’s words, “She falls asleep faster than me.”
We found another school for our daughter. The new teacher’s patience and the friendliness of her classmates helped her quickly adapt to her new school life. The past unhappy school experience dispersed like a dark, heavy cloud. In a short time, Da-sheng’s school marks improved tremendously and her confidence grew. Once again, our daughter was happy and carefree. In my eyes, my daughter was like a beautiful sunflower, blooming under the light and warmth of the sun.
My husband Da-shuai, an art director of a prestigious flower shop in Vancouver, noticed the changes in me and our daughter. In 2013, after much gentle encouragement, he joined us at Bodhi Meditation Center. Gradually, his perception and attitude have also changed. He has learned how to truly relax and his soul has become purer. Every time he finishes The Meditation of Greater Illumination, his chaotic thoughts have left and he’s full of energy and inspiration. His floral designs are now full of creativity and imagination, and he no longer thinks of his fellow competitors as enemies. He is also always ready to help those who are in trouble immediately. He tells me that it is meditation that makes him understand love and compassion more deeply.
For my family, flowers represent spirituality and poetry. They are indispensable ornaments in our life. Now, meditation is like a flower, opening us to a brand new world of reflection, compassion and beauty.