Meditation & Health #25 Contents

Free From the Shackles of Pain

#fibromyalgia #trigeminal neuralgia

By Emily Michelanko & Danika Smith, Canada



Throughout the retreat, she received energy blessings, felt warmth and saw hope of recovery.

My mom, Emily, was once tormented by pain. But through practicing at the Vancouver Bodhi Meditation Center, her life has radically changed. I’m so happy she found health and happiness in Bodhi Meditation.

Painful Days

On a day seven years ago, my mom felt a sudden strange tingling in her face. In the weeks that followed it became worse, growing into an unbearable constant stabbing pain. She was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. This condition compounded an already difficult situation. Twenty years earlier, my mom was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and had been treating it with painkillers and antidepressants.

When the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia was made, she was put on a mix of painkillers, anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants, yet still rushed to the hospital to receive morphine intravenously. The extreme pain drained her physically and mentally. I knew she envied those who could go about life normally. Seeing her in pain, I so wished she could become healthy and live happily.

The First Encounter

My mom first encountered Bodhi Meditation through the Meditation & Health magazine given to her by her sister, Marion. She was amazed by the testimonials of meditation practitioners who had experienced great health turnarounds. She told Marion the very next morning that she wanted to attend a Bodhi Meditation class, so my aunt and I gladly accompanied her to a half-day introductory class.

Her first 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat was in April 2016. On the first day, every cell in her body was screaming out in pain. The care leaders responded to her situation by showering her with love and care. Throughout the retreat, she received energy blessings, felt warmth and saw hope of recovery. Halfway through the retreat she experienced extreme mood swings. Once the mood swings had passed, her emotional and physical burdens felt lighter despite the lingering physical pain.

Agony used to be her daily reality. Today, she is leading a new life filled with happiness.


The Blue Lotus

Two months later, my mom attended the 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat for the second time. During the retreat, her pain felt like heavy iron shackles around her body. Halfway through the retreat she received an energy blessing. The next morning she woke up with an image of a luminous blue lotus flower in her heart. The image stayed with her all day, and the shackles of pain began to fall away. Since then, her faith in meditation has grown stronger. There was notable improvement in her health.

During the retreat my mom stayed with her sister. She was able to help Aunt Marion install a curtain rod, a strenuous endeavor that would previously have caused extreme fatigue. This time, she felt energized.

The Pursuit of Happiness

My mom attended more meditation retreats as she mentally prepared for a brainstem operation that would relieve pain from trigeminal neuralgia. This was her second surgery. The first time my family was so nervous and tense. Prior to the second operation, we were more composed and could even joke. We were aware that this calm state of mind was brought about by meditation. During the surgery period, our fellow Bodhi Meditation practitioners made light-offerings and said prayers for her. Her recovery from this operation was speedy.

A year later, my mom’s health had further improved. She made a resolution in 2018, which was to practice meditation continually for 108 days. Although she missed 10 days she stuck with it until the end and felt she was taken to another level of wellbeing. Her pain level is now much lower, averaging around four out of 10, and she is able to manage it without medication.

Agony used to be her daily reality. Today, she is leading a new life filled with happiness. I am truly grateful to Bodhi Meditation for shining light into her life and the lives of my family members. I am now a part of Bodhi Meditation and I pay it forward by introducing Bodhi’s practices to as many people as possible, in the hope that others can embrace health and happiness too.

The intent of the testimonial is to offer wellness information of a general nature. Individual results of practice may vary.


For those who embrace all hardship, success awaits.

—Master Jinbodhi


Meditation & Health #25 Contents