Meditation & Health #13-A Story of Transformation
A STORY OF TRANSFORMATION
By Dolar Sidpra, Vancouver
I was born in Uganda, but moved to England where I graduated with a BSc and then worked in clinical biochemical research. When I moved to Canada, I continued this work at the University of British Columbia. I was introduced to Bodhi Meditation at a friend’s 90th birthday party. During a discussion with one of the guests, I learned that he also suffered insomnia due to restless legs. He told me how meditation had helped. The next day, my yoga teacher handed me a copy of Bodhi Meditation’s Meditation & Health magazine. The Universe was showing me the way. When I entered the Bodhi Center, I had no intention of meditating; I just went to purchase meditation music (Projna Mantra) for my insomnia. A volunteer gently persuaded me to practice The Meditation of Purity to help with the Insomnia. When I played the hack at home I loved the gentle meditation. The insomnia — caused by restless legs — occurred less and less until I eventually slept soundly for four hours, which, as any insomniac knows, is heavenly. My Bodhi path had begun.
Working Through the Layers
I say that my insomnia is the reason I found Bodhi Meditation, but I discovered that we are like onions — we have many layers. As with any new concept I must experience it for myself before I can fully accept it. Sure enough, I began to see the benefits and changes in my life. Friends told me that I was more communicative, more sincere. And my energy level increased.
The first Thursday evening English meditation class I attended was in August 2012. The stories people told of their personal transformations inspired me to sign up for the upcoming 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat. I was particularly intrigued by Barbara’s story. Eight years earlier Barbara had overcome her allergies to citrus fruits within two weeks of practicing The Meditation of Greater Illumination (GI) and for the first time in 25 years, she ate an orange.
I suffered from itchy skin, a side effect of my thyroid medication and exposure to the sun. Within two weeks of practicing GI and listening to the Prajna Mantra, the itching subsided by 50 percent and after the retreat I was able to slowly come off anti-itch medication and reduce my thyroid medication by one dose. I realized that another layer of the “onion” had been peeled away. I also suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and lived with symptoms such as bloating, digestive issues, diarrhea and constipation, and headaches. I had the most profound experience during o Second Level Class. As soon as the chanting music began, I felt intense pain and cramping in my lower intestine. The pain became almost unbearable, but then suddenly released and left me feeling lighter and better than I had before. Intuitively I knew that my digestive system received healing. I can now happily eat everything. I realize now that I had adapted to a low level of health. Bodhi Meditation healed ailments that I didn’t even have an awareness of. More transformation followed for me.
On a sunny day in August, a friend asked me to hike the Grouse Grind, a steep climb up a North Shore mountain. In the past, I had always said no, blaming a lack of energy due to my thyroid condition and my aching feet from orthotics. Meditation practice and listening to the Projna Mantra had drastically improved my energy. This time, when my friend invited me to do the hike, I agreed without thinking. This hike is no small feat for anyone, let alone a 60-year-old woman who could only walk short distances. While hiking, I used a tree root to aid me up a particularly steep incline. As I did so, I felt boundless energy, as though the tree had refreshed me. I finished the hike in three hours (average time is 90 minutes). Later, while practicing the walking meditation Energy Bagua at the Bodhi Center, I learned about the energy and lifeforce within trees and plants.
Joy of Sharing
Although I don’t consider myself a Buddhist, I do follow the teachings of Grandmaster JinBodhi and I have vowed to help all suffering souls. As well as practicing three to four hours of meditation daily, I volunteer at the center, answer the English information phone line, sit with those who come alone, and conduct one-on-one healing sessions. While distributing magazines one damp and cold day, I didn’t understand why I felt such joy. As I went from community centers to retail shops, I realized that the joy came from giving a gift from the Master. I also felt that joy when I shared GI with my family and their friends in Kenya and Uganda, who all embraced the guided meditation.
I continue to practice yoga, something I’ve done for 20 years. The difference is that Bodhi enhances yoga and I notice the benefits. I play badminton, do aquatic exercises, play bridge with seniors, and feel like I live a balanced life. I am also training to be a teaching assistant in the Vancouver Bodhi Center. When asked how I can volunteer so much of my time, I say that the biggest impact of Bodhi was the opening of my heart. I always knew there was energy in the Universe, but I didn’t know how to access it. When I opened my heart, everything fell into place. Now I feel that I am full of energy from the Universe, and I am joyful.