Meditation & Health #21- Journey of Love
Journey of Love
By Lu Yi Lin, Malaysia
Gradually, I could take control of my body. Having experienced the torture associated with Parkinson’s disease, I have great empathy for the deep despair of sufferers.
In 2006, at the age of 56, I decided to retire. Although that meant forgoing a good salary as a manager of a company, it also happily meant exchanging enormous pressure for the chance to enjoy my favorite activities: traveling, singing, dancing, and playing sports.
Deterioration and Isolation
In 2011 my right leg began to tremble, so I sought medical advice. The diagnosis was Parkinson’s disease. In that instant, I plunged from bliss to abyss. My wish to enjoy life upon retirement now seemed unfulfillable.
My health continued to deteriorate. I often felt dizzy and nauseous. Left with little strength, I couldn’t even twist a bottle cap. My voice was weak, and my movements were slow. I had frequent nightmares and thrashed in my sleep. Once I dreamed that I was fighting with a thief and hit my wife unintentionally.
My hands and legs shook uncontrollably all the time. Thinking of the days when I gave instructions to my subordinates, I felt despair that I couldn’t even control my basic movements. I tried all sorts of treatments, from taking supplements to stem-cell therapies. The efforts were futile despite the high costs.
The disease caused stiffness in my muscles and limited my facial expressions. Since I was unable to smile, people mistook me for a grumpy person. By the third year after the diagnosis, depression consumed me. There was no way out for me. The road ahead was filled with chronic deterioration. Feeling ashamed of my condition, I refused invitations from friends and relatives. The state of my health worsened through isolation.
My family felt helpless. My wife spent her days trying to hide her tears from me. I often thought of ending my life and pondered ways to die with dignity.
Surging Wave of Hope
When I had given up hope of recovery, a friend who also has Parkinson’s disease introduced me to a lady who had suffered similarly for 10 years. I was told she had recovered remarkably well after practicing meditation at Bodhi Meditation Center, and would be participating in a marathon. I was skeptical. Nevertheless, with a glimmer of hope, I called her and she gladly shared her experiences and journey. I felt greatly encouraged after our conversation.
On July 23, 2016, my friend and I participated in the 8.5-Day Bodhi Meditation Health & Happiness Retreat. My friend walked to the center with the aid of crutches but happily put them away on the third day of class.
I felt positive changes in me too after the seventh day of class. Initially, I couldn’t stand for more than half an hour before exhaustion overwhelmed me, and my trembling hands couldn’t be lifted above my head. Toward the end of the retreat, I was able to lift my hands above my head while practicing The Meditation of Greater Illumination, and could bend to touch my toes without strain.
I felt a surging wave of hope.
Following that, I enrolled myself in seven Health & Happiness Retreats as well as a chanting retreat. Gradually, I could take control of my body. Having experienced the torture associated with Parkinson’s disease, I have great empathy for the deep despair of sufferers.
With continued daily meditation practice, I’ve experienced significant improvement in my health: I speak with better clarity, twisting a bottle cap no longer poses a challenge, my smile has returned, and my limbs tremble less. My confidence has risen. Headaches and nightmares no longer haunt me.
Once again, I can experience the beauty of the world. My heart is gentler, and I’m more broadminded and empathetic. I truly appreciate the joy of returning to good health.
Journey of Love
To my knowledge, there has not been a recorded case of a patient cured of Parkinson’s disease since its discovery more than 200 years ago. However, I’ve witnessed many who have recovered through various meditation practices at Bodhi Meditation.
As Grandmaster JinBodhi teaches, “When only one person is free from suffering, it is grief; when everyone is liberated, it is happiness.” Since regaining my freedom, I’ve introduced many Parkinson’s disease sufferers to Bodhi Meditation. As in the lyrics of my favorite song, “Journey of Love,” I sincerely wish for them to regain healthy and happy lives.