Tears of Happiness
By Cheng Xia, Vancouver
Not only could I take care of myself, I could do household chores too. I felt useful again.
Ten years ago, at the age of 70, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The thought of having to spend the rest of my life taking medications for an incurable disease and making frequent hospital visits was too much to bear. Hopelessness and helplessness overwhelmed me. Soon, I fell into a depression.
Days of Tears
My daughter did her best to help, bringing me to countless specialists in Vancouver. The medications were costly but failed to bring my illness under control. My limbs were seized by tremors, and I had difficulty walking. I struggled to perform daily activities: drinking, eating, brushing my teeth, and dressing.
The illness completely crushed my dignity. Mealtimes with family used to be lively and enjoyable, but became painful and embarrassing. I didn’t have the strength to hold the chopsticks and bowl. I had to rely on my daughter to feed me. At times my condition was better and I could scoop up some rice, but more often than not, I spilled the majority of my food.
On countless occasions, I swallowed my food mixed with bitter tears. The pain of being a burden to my family seared me. I was falling apart, crying every day, and soon my depression became severe. I had to take three antidepressants daily. The many side effects of long-term medication — dizziness, mental fog and insomnia — added to my problems. In addition, I required sleeping pills to manage three to four hours of sleep every night. I was devastated at my condition.
In 2012, my daughter heard from a friend that Bodhi Meditation might be able to help me. Finally, a ray of hope. In March, accompanied by my daughter, I participated in the 8.5-Day Health & Happiness Retreat. On the morning of the first day, I felt bored and wanted to leave. However, I was encouraged to stay for an afternoon practice of The Meditation of Greater Illumination. I was glad I heeded the advice, for I have never felt so relaxed. I decided to regard the retreat seriously.
I also attended a life-changing Bodhi Meditation Chanting Retreat. My daughter was surprised at my improvements: My voice grew stronger, I was able to carry dishes, and I could walk up the stairs unassisted as my legs had strengthened.
As the class progressed, I began to experience happiness. My emotional pain was released. During an energy-blessing session, while listening to the music, I burst into tears and started to cry uncontrollably, releasing all the years of anguish and agony. An unspeakable sense of comfort transported me thereafter.
Subsequently, I continued to attend every available program: Health & Happiness Retreat, chanting retreat, Energy Bagua, Second Level Retreat, etc. In June 2013, after completing the basic Energy Bagua, I could walk without canes and travel to Bodhi Meditation Center independently. Not only could I take care of myself, I could do household chores too. I felt useful again. I became free of antidepressants and insomnia drugs. As for Parkinson’s disease, my drug dosage has been reduced to half a pill.
Rays of Optimism
Bodhi Meditation is a brilliant sun that shines light into my heart. I was given the dharma name “Cheng Xia” by Grandmaster JinBodhi. I want to live up to Master’s hope for me: At 80 years old, I have the chance to be the glow of sunset which illuminates and brings positivity to other Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
The intent of the testimonial is to offer wellness information of a general nature. Individual results of practice may vary.