Finding Peace in the Chaos
I greet the day with a walk on the beach in my hometown of White Rock. To get to the beach I descend a steep set of stairs. And yes, I climb up on my way home. These stairs are a challenge for anyone to climb, regardless of their physical condition. When I first moved here in September 2013, every step, from the bottom to the top, was painful. I used the railing to pull myself up. I accepted this discomfort and moved through the pain, ever mindful of the experience. I wasn’t always so awake and aware. Today, I climb those stairs with ease and now regard them as representative of my journey in life.
My mother died in November of 2011. My mother was emotionally and physically abusive to my dad and all five of us children throughout her lifetime. She taught us to fear life. I lived a life of being told to shut up. As a teenager, I had many reasons to think that life is not worth living, but I didn’t know then how to end it. My mother kept her life a secret from us. We didn’t even know the year she was born or the year she got married. At 90 years old, she still said I was good for nothing. A few years later she sobbed when I asked her about her life. I learned to understand that hurt people do hurt people, not always intentionally.
Pain is not an energy we must attack. It is a messenger calling attention to an area of our physical or emotional life that requires healing.
Who doesn’t become addicted to the need for approval, especially from parents? I felt I had spent my life seeking to make my mother and everyone else happy. I must have done something wrong to not be loved and adored by my mother.
On December 20, 2012, I fell and shattered my shoulder. I had never experienced so much physical pain and I never imagined that one part of my body could immobilize me. Every movement induced pain. Eight months later I fell again. I broke my wrist and sprained my ankle. My gut instinct told me I needed surgery to set the wrist, but the surgeon said no. Today my wrist is deformed.
I was broken physically, emotionally, and spiritu–ally. I prayed for a master to help me heal. A few days later, as I walked through the fishing village of Steveston, I picked up a Bodhi magazine outside a store called Serendipity. I entered the store and the owner said, “Trust me, you will love that one.” I read the magazine cover to cover. One story told of a woman whose injured shoulder was healed after practicing meditation. I picked up the phone and registered for the 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat. That was July 2013.
I sat on a cushion at the Bodhi Meditation Center and let everything come to the surface. I experienced persistence, a willingness to surrender, a desire to transcend all that holds me back in life. I learned to sit with myself and accept myself without judgment – not an easy undertaking. Since then I have attended two more 8.5-Day Health Retreats and two 3-Day Retreats. As often as I can, I attend the Thursday-night English Meditation class. The Bodhi Meditation Center is a place where I find a deep, abiding peace amidst the chaos of the world.
Today, through the healing power of meditation, I can raise my arm and lift heavy objects painlessly with both hands. I no longer walk with a limp. My heart shifted from sadness to a greater appreciation for life. I now trust myself and don’t need to look to others for approval. I had a blockage in my throat, where I held my anger. The Bodhi Meditation tools and techniques continue to help me release the blockages in all my energy centers.
My bedroom is lined with books, tapes, CDs, and DVDs on energy and spirituality. I read, watched, and listened to stories about people who overcame adversity and not only survived but thrived. Their stories gave me hope. And then I came to Bodhi and my hope was realized. The experience for me is all about surrender and giving up all the questions of why. My pain and suffering had developed out of my wanting to know why. Why did my three marriages end the way they did? Why couldn’t my mom love me more than she was able to? Why did people I trusted betray me? I quit asking those questions when I realized that there isn’t an answer. Bodhi Meditation healed these emotional wounds.
My most profound meditation experience occurs during chanting. When I chant I can surrender because I don’t have to concentrate on the words. The collective vibrational energy of the chanting courses through me as if I had stuck my finger in a light socket. My heart lightens and opens. There is no sense of time. My worries fall away and I tap into an inner realm of possibilities. Anything becomes possible. Life continues to offer challenges, but I now remain calm and peaceful. As the Master says at the end of meditation, there is still more work to do.