Meditation & Health #6 Contents

How Meditation Relieved My Years of Constipation

By Sophia Lui, Toronto

Happiness does not always equate with having more. If we have ever had the experience of having lost and later regained something or been reunited with someone, we realize that happiness has been there all along. We have just been too busy to notice, too preoccupied with striving to get ahead, to have more, to emerge as winners in the economic race. If we stop to think, many of our daily routines which we perform without thinking, and which we take for granted, are difficult or impossible tasks for people who have lost their health. Therefore, the happy person is forever grateful. He never takes anything for granted. He gives thanks for everything. He gives thanks for being able to listen to the sound of birds chirping and of babies crying. He gives thanks for the scent of freshly cut grass. He gives thanks for the happy and contented smile he sees in the mirror every morning. He gives thanks for legs that carry him to wherever he wants to go and hands which allow him to touch. He gives thanks for the fine meal he savors today and the ease with which he passes it out the day after.

I remember one summer during junior high school which I spent at a friend’s house. Since it was my first occasion away from home, I decided to take advantage of my newfound freedom. I figured that I would replace my regular meals with ice cream and more ice cream during those two months. With a meal plan laid out, I began a “sweetly sensational” holiday. Upon waking I would have a banana split for breakfast. Then I would whip up a chocolate sundae for lunch in just three minutes. Why would anyone bother to spend half an hour cooking lunch? I wondered. In the evenings I would watch my favorite soap opera and fix myself a bowl of butter pecan ice cream with lots of toppings. Anyway, my ice cream creations were always innovative and I never got tired of them. However, after a month or so of indulgence, I realized that one could not survive on ice cream alone. Although my weight had not ballooned, I began to experience stomach cramps and indigestion. I became constipated. In the years which followed, these problems were aggravated by the pressures of school, a new environment and the pains of growing up. During those years, I dreaded going to the bathroom as it was an exhausting experience, much like combat with a sumo wrestler. Therefore I avoided the bathroom, sometimes for days. Although I began gradually to pay more attention to exercise and diet, my problems with constipation persisted. How I envied those who took only three minutes to finish their business. Given a choice, I would have preferred to be one of them than a million-dollar-lottery winner. I reasoned that if a minor pain or bodily discomfort could easily upset my ability to enjoy life, wealth would be nothing without health.

About a year or two ago, I began to notice further unpleasant challenges to my health. I constantly felt tired and drained. My problems with constipation worsened. I was clueless as to the reason, for I had been eating properly and running every day. I wondered if perhaps my batteries were simply running out, or whether numerous life changes had taken a toll on me. Just when I felt resigned to my condition, a ray of hope dawned. One day I spotted Meditation & Health magazine on a trip to the supermarket and promptly attended a Bodhi class in August 2012. I believed it was a good omen that the second day of class was my birthday, thinking that Bodhi Meditation must signify the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Upon completing the First Level Retreat I began to perform 40 minutes of prostration and an hour of Greater Illumination every day. To my happy surprise, I found that prostration helped ease my bowel movements. Subsequently, after partaking in the Second Level Retreat in October 2012, I added an hour of Bagua, a walking meditation, to my daily routine. The Bagua exercise was equally amazing, as I felt the urge to visit the bathroom shortly after performing it. Now I no longer dread the bathroom experience.

Since then I have also experienced other health benefits. These include being able to keep my hands and feet warm even when the temperature plummets. My digestion has improved, and liver spots on my skin have faded. Although I have not yet experienced spontaneous fasting, I have lost the desire to eat meat and as a result my skin’s texture has improved.

Unexpected changes have also shown up in other areas of my life. New faces have appeared in my circle of friends and acquaintances, people with whom I share my newfound interest in meditation. I also feel more centered and at ease with myself, with less of a need to turn to outside distractions to quell my anxieties. Furthermore, I have lost the need to defend and explain myself. Being right and understood does not matter so much anymore. Meditation is therefore also a shedding process. Each day we leave some of our old life behind in order to make room for a new life which is waiting for us.

I am grateful that I have come upon Bodhi Meditation at a time when I needed it. Having worked in academic institutions, and studied and lived in various countries across Asia, North America and Europe, I have met many people from different backgrounds who, like me, are looking for a better way to live. We seek ways to make our lives more meaningful, better, healthier. Being an avid reader, I have combed through every available book on living well; imagine Harry Potter leafing through old musty oversized books in an ancient library in search of the magic formula. What I have found is a common allusion to a Universal energy which is the cause of all manifestation in our three-dimensional world. In order to change our world, our circumstances and our health, we need to access this Universal energy. After having experimented with various magic formulas, I have found that Bodhi Meditation provides a fast, safe and effective way to access this energy. Moreover, it is a method which is not reserved only for the spiritually advanced or the educated few, but is accessible to all levels of society, and people in various states of health. It is therefore my hope that through our efforts, Bodhi Meditation will transcend race and religion to benefit even more people.

A famed astronomer was once asked about the secret of his success in exploring the mysteries of the universe. He explained, “If you love something enough, it will reveal its secrets to you.” So, it is my intention to continue with this meditation practice, hoping as I do to discover more of its hidden wonders and to share them with whoever is in need of them.

Meditation & Health #6 Contents