Meditation & Health #20-A Renewed, Radiant Person
CHALLENGES: SPINAL DISPLACEMENT, DEPRESSION
A Renewed, Radiant Person
BY CHENG LI, VANCOUVER
Originally from Singapore, my family and I moved to Vancouver. Besides managing a busy household, I often find time to make pastries for my two daughters to share with their classmates, and for my friends and me to deliver to seniors’ homes and charity organizations. Knowing that people enjoy my baking gives me immense happiness. Simple pleasures bring me joy, and having a happy family life makes me feel I am the most fortunate woman in the world.
Into the Depths of Pain and Despair
A car accident in January 2010 changed my life and plunged me into the depths of pain and despair. It left my spinal cord severely displaced. Although there weren’t visible external injuries, the incessant pain tortured me day and night.
My injured spine pressed on my nerves, numbing the left side of my body. I had to give up driving. To converse with someone beside me, I had to turn my body in order to make eye contact. Daily activities such as washing my hair or climbing a flight of stairs left me gasping for breath, and I had to rest for a few hours to recuperate from the effort. The accident damaged my jaw, causing great pain when I opened my mouth and when eating.
I spent two years seeking various treatments for my condition. Unfortunately, none of the modalities worked on me. My body became listless and I couldn’t find the energy to converse with anyone. With each painful day, I fell deeper into depression.
Blooming With Hope
In August 2012, a friend introduced me to Bodhi Meditation. Desperate to improve my condition, I took my first step into the meditation center. The moment I saw the portrait of Grandmaster JinBodhi, a sense of familiarity and joy overflowed in me. I signed up for the next available 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat without hesitation.
The warmth of Bodhi Meditation, the friendliness of the dharma brothers and sisters, their care and affection encouraged me to spend the next year fervently involved in the various classes the meditation center had to offer.
In February 2014, I took up Energy Bagua. Initially I felt cramp-like pain in my arms and fingers, but I didn’t give up. After two months, the benefits became apparent to me. I no longer felt cramps in my arms and fingers. I could turn my head with ease. My body felt stronger and rejuvenated, full of energy. Through conscientious meditation practice, I felt like a parched seedling being nourished by the goodness of rain and blooming with hope.
As I practiced The Meditation of Greater Illumination, Energy Bagua, chanting, and full prostration, my understanding of the meaning of life became clearer. Slowly, I began to let go of my troubles and attachments. My heart opened up and my emotions no longer weighed me down. With a year of practice, I overcame depression. I now live each day with joy and happiness.
During the last four years I’ve made steady progress. The pain in my body gradually disappeared. Now I can turn my head with less effort. Conversing with others requires less effort. My spine has made an 80 to 90 percent recovery. I can drive again. After washing my hair or climbing flights of stairs, I no longer need to take a rest.
Happiness Is in Helping Others
I observed that the dharma brothers and sisters take time out of their busy schedules to help in the meditation center. I realized also the meaning of life lies in delivering love and in helping the needy.
This spurred me to volunteer on the meditation center’s food-and-beverage team. I conducted cookie-baking lessons at a retreat for parents and kids. Seeing the children’s faces light up when the treats were ready, I was overwhelmed with joy.
In order to share the benefits of meditation with more people, I distribute the magazine Meditation & Health and other promotional materials from house to house. Having always centered my life on my family members, elevating this love and effort to a larger altruistic scale was transformational for me. It brought me a special warmth and happiness I never had.
Now I lead the Energy Bagua practice at Vancouver Bodhi Meditation Center. My voice is loud and clear as I give the cues. All signs of my former weakness have disappeared. In their place is a radiant person glowing with energy. To lead Energy Bagua better, I am working on my Mandarin pronunciation. My wish is for more people to be relieved of their suffering and regain their health. If I can be instrumental in the wellness of others, it would be a joy and an honor.