Meditation & Health #20-Meditation Releases Physical and Emotional Strain
CHALLENGES: OVERWEIGHT, VARICOSE VEINS, UNBALANCED LEGS, ILL-TEMPERED
Physical and Emotional Strain
BY NING GANG, SINGAPORE
An only daughter to my parents and wife to a doting husband, I was domineering at work and in my personal life. I worked 12 to 14 hours daily. Whenever stressed, I lost my temper. Impatient with people who walked slowly in front of me, I would overtake and bump them intentionally. To release tension, I spent money on name-brand goods and binging on food and alcohol. With this lifestyle, I hit 89 kilograms (196 pounds).
Plagued With Pain
My job in the beauty industry required me to stand for long hours, which caused varicose veins in my legs. My left leg was especially severe. The pain was intense. I started walking with an obvious limp. One leg was longer than the other, throwing my posture out of balance.
Despite the difficulties, I tried fasting, running, swimming, and qigong to improve the condition on my own. Though I lost weight, I never felt truly at ease.
When my son was in high school, I reprimanded him a lot when he played on his computer. He stopped having meals with me, hiding in his room while I drank away my sorrows. Once, upon returning home from a temple, I couldn’t help but scold him. My son retorted, “You just went to the temple and yet now you are criticizing me again?” It dawned on me that I was the cause of our strained relationship. This drove me to seek a way to be free of emotional hurdles.
In late 2013, my cousin sent me a copy of Meditation & Health magazine. Several months later, I decided to sign up for a full prostration class at Bodhi Meditation Center at his insistence. Coincidentally, I met my neighbor who was there doing volunteer work. He convinced me to enroll in the 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat. Little did I know this decision would change the course of my life.
When I began the retreat I needed a chair, as I couldn’t sit cross-legged on the meditation cushion. When practicing The Meditation of Greater Illumination, my mind was undistracted and free from tension, and even my breathing stabilized. This was the spiritual therapy I had been looking for all those years. My soul had found its home. During the classes, listening to Grandmaster JinBodhi’s dharma teachings gave me peace. When I heard Master say, “Unbeknownst to us, the source of all our unhappiness, hatred and pain is ourselves,” I realized that my negativity and frustrations were the products of my own long-held ignorance. From that moment, I began to let go of my arrogance and stubborn ways, embracing imperfection for the first time in my life.
Gifts of Spontaneous Fasting
On the second day of the retreat I experienced spontaneous fasting, a phenomenon that occurs through meditation. Despite little to no intake of food and reduced sleep, one still feels energetic. While fasting, I felt full of vitality and my weight dropped to 62 kilograms (137 pounds). After the retreat, I continued to practice The Meditation of Greater Illumination and at least two and a half hours of full prostration a day. My breakthroughs motivated my husband. He participated in a retreat with me. I experienced spontaneous fasting again and my weight was down to 54 kilograms (119 pounds). I was back to my svelte self. To my delight, I realized that I could sit cross-legged with ease.
I realized that my negativity and frustrations were the products of my ignorance. From that moment, I began to let go of my arrogance and stubborn ways, embracing imperfection for the first time in my life.
In November 2014, I was gifted my fourth spontaneous fasting while attending the Second Level Bodhi Meditation Retreat. I was down to 50 kilograms (110 pounds). At the Third Level Bodhi Meditation Retreat, those around me said I was glowing. What amazed me about practicing The Meditation of Greater Illumination was that I could stand for hours without feeling tired. My varicose veins even started to shrink.
I took up Energy Bagua. Initially, I experienced spasms and pain in my leg muscles. After three weeks, the pain eased. A month later, my legs were more even in length. By the end of the foundational 108 days of Energy Bagua, they were balanced.
The Happiness of Giving
My mind expanded because of Grandmaster JinBodhi’s teachings. These days I’m happy, and have become gentler and more patient. I’ve learned to respect, empathize with, and listen to my employees. My staff commented that I am a positive person now.
I’ve also grown closer to my son. He is happy to interact with me. My spare time is spent practicing meditation, volunteering at my local Bodhi Meditation Center, and giving free haircuts to seniors. Giving brings me joy. My wardrobe staples are no longer luxury clothes. Instead, I favor the comfort of Bodhi Meditation clothes.
I will continue introducing people to Bodhi Meditation, so that they may enjoy health and happiness as I am.