Gifts Within and Without
Gifts Within and Without
By Joseph Tan
I came away from the March, 2010 Bodhi Meditation Retreat in Singapore with a terrific sense of achievement. The peace and happiness that had long eluded me were bubbling within.
Various powerful sensations throughout my whole body caught my attention during much of the Retreat, with the sensations being particularly pronounced while I enjoyed the post-lunch rest periods when the healing music was played. Whenever the Master spoke, sang or played instruments, I experienced profound energy in my entire body.
There were moments during meditations when I was immersed in light. And there were times when I saw my whole self illuminated, sparkling like the stars in the sky – those are among the most blissful moments of my life.
The mantra chanting sessions were unforgettable. They inspired a peaceful sense of closeness with my family, even those members who are deceased – my mother, father, grandmother and father-in-law.
Then the real breakthrough came – one of my greatest achievements. During mantra chanting to living loved ones and friends, I saw a smiling image of my daughter, her face warm and open as if she was acknowledging and accepting my apology. She and I were not the best of friends. We routinely had differences that would erupt into heated fights. Yet that night after class, her attitude was vastly changed – she was calm and approachable. From that point forward, I’ve been able to connect with her more easily.
It has been over three months since that breakthrough. My relationship with my daughter has continued to improve day by day. Although there have still been a few disagreements, we’ve managed to get along for the most part. We are now, to quote my wife, “like brother and sister.”
In early 2009, I was suffering from kidney and prostate problems. X-rays revealed that there was a stone in one of my kidneys, and if it persisted surgery was to be the next step. After attending the Retreat, I went for my medical check-up. The doctor told me that the kidney stone had vanished along with my prostate issues. Another remarkable turnaround that I attribute to Bodhi Meditation.
I used to have a fiery temper. I would get upset over anything that didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. Now, I’m significantly mellower. Admittedly, there have still been occasions when I got irritated and angry but not nearly to the degree that I used to explode, and I contained myself very quickly. I continue to humbly seek higher guidance, that I may maintain this new, calmer self now and in the future.
My wife has taken note of the improvement in my behavior and outlook on life. She recently attended the 2-Day Retreat, and plans to participate in the 8.5-Day Retreat. Surprisingly, my daughter came to the Center for the Vesak Day (Buddha’s birthday) celebration. What a joy it was to see the bonding taking place in my family!
All of these gifts I attribute to the positive aspirations I’ve gained through Bodhi Meditation, which includes chanting and teachings from Grandmaster JinBodhi.
I pray that I am able to participate in the Second Level Retreat and steadily advance my progress. Sharing the joys of Bodhi with others and volunteering my humble services are but small tokens of my enormous gratitude for the many wonderful changes in my life that have resulted from this practice.