Embraced by the Medicine Buddha
Embraced by the Medicine Buddha
By Christina Nunez
Photography by Dawn T.
During the summer of 2009, I was sitting in the waiting room of one of my many doctors when I came across a pile of magazines advocating various holistic and alternative medical approaches. I stumbled upon an article about Bodhi Meditation and the benefits it provides to individuals with back pain, depression and other health challenges.
I had been suffering from chronic back pain and depression for a few years and was scheduled for back surgery at the end of the summer, so I was instantly interested. At that point in my life, I had tried various medications, medical procedures, alternative treatments and religious approaches, so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying yet another path. I was hopeful that I would experience some relief from my back pain and depression, but believed any improvement would be minimal. The last few years of my life had consisted of attending various medical appointments, taking my six-year-old daughter to and from school, and lying in bed.
After two attempts and a year later, I was able to attend the 8.5-Day Meditation and Fitness Retreat in September of 2010. On the first day of the Retreat, I was not sure how long I would be able to endure the session and since I had no prior experience with meditation, I had doubts that I would be a good candidate for the practice. But as the days progressed I found that Bodhi Meditation was extremely easy to learn and to practice, and everyone was so warm and welcoming. I was amazed at how quickly I experienced relief from my pain and how my body was able to sit, stand and bend in ways that it had not been able to do in years. I felt energetic and peaceful, and long-term insomnia melted into sound sleep. My emotional state was transformed in a matter of days.
At the conclusion of my second day, I stayed behind to receive a blessing from two Bodhi Meditation teachers which relieved much of the stress and tension that I had been experiencing. After that, my six-year-old daughter Natalie noticed an improvement in my demeanor and temperament. I shared Bodhi Meditation with her and told her that someday I would like her to join me, but was unsure if she could stay focused. I played one of Grandmaster JinBodhi’s chanting CDs and she said, “Look Mommy, I can do it!” She then proceeded to sit in the lotus position for fifteen consecutive minutes. I was surprised and excited about her newfound ability.
At the end of my fourth day, one of the students who had befriended me acted as my voice when we humbly asked Master Guan-Hai if he would help me with my back pain. He graciously gave me instructions on what immediate action to take, and what to do that night and the next morning before returning to the Retreat. As I drove home afterward, I had the amazing experience of sensing that my car was being illuminated from a source of light in the sky – indeed, I felt that everyone around me could see it, too. I followed Master Guan-Hai’s instructions and the next day felt an overwhelming sense of peace, tranquility and well-being.
On my sixth day, I had an extremely spiritual encounter with the Medicine Buddha. When he appeared to me, I told him that I was sorry for taking so long to come to Bodhi Meditation, and that I was deeply grateful for the physical and emotional healing that I had received in such a short time. I could see a deep compassion in his eyes, and could feel his arms embracing me as he said, “Don’t worry, my child, what’s important is that you are here now.” Being that I am American of Mexican descent, raised in the Catholic religion, this was a very unexpected yet powerful experience. Every time I speak about that incredible moment with the Medicine Buddha I am consumed by the same overwhelming emotion that surfaced when he embraced me.
Thanks to Bodhi Meditation my life has been dramatically transformed. Just two months after participating in the Retreat, I completed an eight-week exercise program – something I thought I would never be able to do again. I have found a whole world of opportunities to look forward to. I now know that I can and will be the mother I had previously only dreamed of being. My daughter is extremely happy that we are able to participate in various activities outside the home. In fact, when we stop for a breather now she wonders why, as she knows constant rest is no longer something I need. Words cannot express my profound gratitude to the compassionate Medicine Buddha, to Grandmaster JinBodhi for creating Bodhi Meditation and wanting to share it with the world, and to Master Guan-Hai for his compassion and healing energy, and for being open to everyone regardless of religious background or nationality. I would also like to thank all of the wonderful language interpreters – without their help, my life would not have been so deeply touched. Thanks to all the teachers, disciples and the entire Bodhi family at the Alhambra Meditation Center and surrounding Centers.
Affectionately and with deepest gratitude,