Meditation & Health No 12 - Table of Contents


Sweet Success

      By Michael Bishop   San Francisco


Meditation, Not Medication


      Picture yourself healthy. This is the promise and the practice of Bodhi Meditation. I recently completed the 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat and am happy to report: “It works.” My body feels lighter, cleaner and more firmly rooted in the present. My back is straighter, my skin smoother, my tendons looser, and I can sit comfortably cross-legged for longer periods at a stretch. One experienced meditator told me that a regular daily practice is the best form of health insurance, a real alternative to prescription drugs. “Meditation not medication,” he said. 


Rebalancing Type 1 Diabetes


       Before I enrolled in the retreat I knew that, as a dia–betic, I needed to pay more attention to remedying my out-of-control blood sugars and high cholesterol readings. After just one day of practice, I suffered a seemingly unrelated scare when I turned over in bed the next morning and felt a sudden and terrifying vortex of dizziness. My head spun like crazy, as if I were falling into a bottomless well. And although I recovered quickly, this was not the end of this episode. For the next few days, each time I stood up I was unable to walk straight, lurching to the right like a drunken sailor on a listing ship. When I asked the teacher what was happening, she explained that the body was rebalancing and not to worry. Sure enough, after five days or so, my ship righted itself, and I could walk normally again with my feet more firmly planted on the ground.

       Although being able to walk in a straight line again didn’t seem like much progress, my wife, who is an acupuncturist, explained it was a significant blessing indeed. The dizziness may have been a sign that there had been hidden blockages forming in the tiny veins inside my head. I am thankful I am not about to find out. What I did register clearly was the need to reduce my daily medication dosages to avoid the low blood sugars that were occurring due to my body’s heightened receptivity to insulin.


Lasting Benefits


        The 8.5-Day Retreat is called a health retreat for good reason. The Meditation of Greater Illumination and accompanying activities are more physically engaging than other forms of meditation I have encountered, and are ideal for anyone such as myself who needs bodily movement and exercise no matter what their age or health condition. But the lasting benefits of the retreat were beyond the physical and came in the form of a strengthened resolve to take better care of my health and happiness.  From this bright new attitude and sense of confidence, I surmise that it was not just the physical body that began to balance during the practice of Bodhi Meditation and Grandmaster JinBodhi’s compassionate teachings, but the mental and emotional states too. The Medicine Buddha Mantra that we chanted one day perfectly expressed the fresh wellspring of love in my heart: “May all beings everywhere be happy, peaceful and free.”



Meditation & Health No 12 - Table of Contents