Meditation Helped Me Overcome My Gambling Addiction
By Yuan-She, San Francisco
“With a change of attitude, I’ve found fun with my friends and family.”
Unable to Break off the Gambling Habit
Through a friend’s introduction, I started working in a casino six years ago. The temptations of the casino gradually seduced me into the gambling habit, so much so that I felt the day was incomplete without gambling. Initially, I could limit my stake to $100 a day. However, as I increased my stake over time, unknowingly I went into compulsive gambling, and I either won or lost as much as $2,000 daily. My monthly salary was lower than my stake. Thus, I became a professional gambler.
As my gambling addiction worsened, I lost control of my life. I realised that if this were to continue in the long run, my life would be destroyed. With great pain in my heart, I made a resolution to quit the casino job with the hope that I would free myself from this abyss of gambling. However, after quitting the casino job, my gambling addiction remained; it was just like being possessed by evil spirits that left me confused. I felt the need for wisdom and proper guidance. I felt helpless and empty; I hungered for excitement and some joy in my life. Whenever I was free, I still went to the casinos of Las Vegas or the Bay Area to fulfil my gambling addiction. As a result, I was drowning in debt, and life was a mess of confusion and anxiety.
Meditation Brought Me Back to the Right Path
My mother visited me last spring. When she saw my dejected look, she was distressed and angry. As one of Bodhi Meditation’s pioneering participants, my mother knew that Bodhi Meditation can bring people many benefits. Hoping that Bodhi Meditation would help me to return to the right path, my mother led me to the San Francisco Bodhi Meditation Centre and requested Master Jue-Wu to help me get rid of my gambling addiction. Under the close guidance and attention of Master Jue-Wu, I began my meditation journey. In July and August 2011, I went to Los Angeles and Vancouver to attend the Bodhi Meditation Chanting Retreat and The Second Level Bodhi Meditation Retreat taught by Grandmaster JinBodhi. Every class was an unforgettable experience.
My spirits were lifted by the courses, which enabled me to understand the purpose of life, and the true joy of living. As I persevered with my meditation practice, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my gambling addiction gradually vanished. Winning or losing at the betting tables no longer attracts me, as all such past excitement and pleasures are now replaced by the happiness in meditation and joy of helping those in need. I’ve gotten rid of a heavy shackle and regained my freedom, and discovered that life is so relaxing when one is at ease. I love meditation. In addition to the practice of meditation, I now manage to find time to volunteer at the Meditation Centre. My life has become very meaningful and joyful, especially through helping people.
Bodhi Meditation has not only helped me to quit my compulsive gambling, but it has also taught me to be gentle. Previously, I was extremely quick-tempered, impatient and showed my frustration when things were not done to my liking. In addition, whenever I lost my bets, I used to quarrel with people, especially my son.
After joining Bodhi Meditation, my mind-set has changed dramatically; I now know how to reflect upon myself, and always put myself in other people’s shoes to understand their perspective. I also repent my wrongdoings. I also learnt to be magnanimous and tolerant towards others and my son. This change of attitude has brought me popularity, and my relationship with my son has become harmonious. I have indeed found more fun in family life.
Bodhi Meditation has helped me to eventually overcome the temptation to gamble, find my way back when I was lost, and find happiness in my life and family. To me, Bodhi Meditation is not only the prescription for our physical and mental health, but also the magic key to attaining happiness.