Peace in My Belly
Translation by An-Lu
Three years ago, 53-year-old Shu-Ying was in poor health, plagued by severe stomach pain. Her two daughters had both gained entry to prestigious universities and though she was thrilled for them, she was also at a loss as to where to put her energy and focus. She was in a state of flux, often feeling dazed, confused and disappointed. Never did she imagine then that a fateful phone call would open her to a whole new world.
With her delicate white skin and short, pixie hair, Shu-Ying looks much younger than her age. But it was only a few months ago that her stomach pain and digestive problems made her wish her time was up.
Eighteen years ago, Shu-Ying brought her two daughters, then aged two and eight, to a new life in Vancouver. Her husband, an engineer, stayed behind in Taiwan, working to provide for their family. She poured all her energy and focus into her daughters’ wellbeing. The adjustment to a new country was challenging and full of hard work, the greatest enjoyment coming from the few occasions a year when the family was able to reunite.
The years passed and eventually Shu-Ying’s insomnia and menopause-related headaches became more serious –– she even dozed off while driving. Digestive problems also signaled her declining health. Acute stomach pain and flatulence had her abstaining from almost all her favorite foods. Then the situation got even worse: Doctors discovered two abnormal growths in her liver.
Shu-Ying had always put the welfare of her daughters before her own and tried to keep up a good front even though she was actually falling apart. “The truth is I was not doing well at all, I was just forcing myself to live with the pain,” she recalled.
Upon seeing that her mom’s health was deteriorating, Shu-Ying’s thoughtful daughter decided to enroll her in yoga and fitness classes. She even engaged a personal trainer to assist her mother in regaining wellness.
“After spending a year and a half at the gym, my muscles had toned up quite a bit. Despite my progress, if I skipped the gym in the morning, an uncomfortable bloated feeling and flatulence would be upon me by bedtime. To alleviate those symptoms, I would have to walk briskly around my house for at least two hours or else I would be kept awake the whole night with the throbbing pain of severe abdominal bloating.
A Fateful Phone Call
What had at first seemed like a very ordinary phone call was the catalyst for major change.
“I was chatting with my sister, who lives in Taiwan,” Shu-Ying said, adding that her sister was a newly enrolled member of a Bodhi Meditation class in Taipei. “She knew about my deteriorating health and suggested that I give Bodhi Meditation a try. She told me that even though she only had time to attend class on the weekends, the detoxification effects were obvious. She had experienced a major digestive cleansing.”
On the second day of a Bodhi Meditation Retreat, an exhausted Shu-Ying noticed that she did not feel any bloating or flatulence. “At that point in time, I was still clueless. I was thinking that it might have been a coincidence.”
On the third day, after completing The Meditation of Greater Illumination practice, Shu-Ying’s appetite grew. She noticed that amongst the complimentary vegetarian foods provided by Bodhi Meditation Center were many of her favorite but flatulence-inducing items, like pumpkin, sweet potato, rice and beans. Her years of digestive difficulties made her hesitant to try any.
She then recalled the words of the meditation master who was leading the retreat. “Let Nature take its course. Nourish yourself with food when you feel hungry, do not eat if you don’t have an appetite.”
Shu-Ying’s growling stomach ultimately made the decision for her, and she figured she could always exercise vigorously afterward to make herself feel better. However, to her astonishment, even after gorging herself on all the “forbidden” foods, her stomach felt fine. All the bloating and pain were gone without a trace.
Pain-Free, Better Health
Obviously, the sudden turnaround in Shu-Ying’s health has transformed her life. “Gone are the days of excruciating stomach pain! This is truly amazing!” she exclaimed, noting that health is cherished most by those who have experienced the loss of it.
Since then, she has participated in Bodhi chanting classes, Second and Third Level Retreats, and a variety of blessing events to complement medical treatments. Not only have her digestive problems been resolved, but her insomnia has also radically improved and her menopause-related headaches are a thing of the past. In March of 2013, Shu-Ying went to the doctor for a medical review of her liver. She was told that both of the growth in her liver, which measured eight millimeters and four millimeters in diameter respectively, had completely vanished. Shu-Ying was not required to go back for any further medical treatment nor medication. The clean bill of health from the doctor finally put her heart at ease and generated self-confidence and a deeper trust in life. She had since stopped her other exercise routine and focused entirely on Bodhi Meditation practices.
“Bodhi Meditation is indeed the best thing that has happened to me,” she said, her newfound health reflected in her broad smile. “It has given me the health and happiness that everyone longs for.”