How did she break out of her loneliness?
Ai Chang lives in Malaysia. She was only 21 years old then but at such a youthful and blossoming age, she withdrew and isolated herself from others, due to severe skin allergy. She did not have friends and she did not communicate with her relatives; not even interacting with her younger sister who lives under the same roof.
Yet she was fortunate. After attending an 8.5-day Health & Happiness retreat at Bodhi Meditation, she was confident enough to share her feelings on stage. She embraces her relatives and friends again and was beaming happily!
#SkinAllergy, #Pimples, #Autism, #FeelingInferior, #BodhiMeditationAndHealthClass”
From the Video:
Ai Chang is the dharma name of Chen Yun-Wen, an ordinary girl from Kepong, Kuala-Lumpur in Malaysia. She used to wear a broad smile in the past, but due to her skin condition, she withdrew and isolated herself from the once glittering world.
(Ai Chang): Because of my skin allergy, I lost my confidence and retreated into solitude! I shunned talking to people especially strangers, for fear of being disliked! I felt unclean and tried to distant myself from others, the further, the better.
Whenever she recalled the strange look of others upon her, she would feel deep sadness. She became embarrassed by her facial skin disease….
(Ai Chang): My facial skin disease deteriorated after I graduated from Form 5 (High School). During the college orientation, I would collect my lunch and ate alone while other students would stare at me, ignored me or walked away. I knew I would be unable to make new friends, and knew they disliked me from their expressions. But this was only the beginning of the college years, and an important period of one’s life. I usually wear long pants and long sleeved blouse in school. When the allergy was severe, I would even wear a face mask and a hat. When queried by the teachers, I would lie that I was sick. After school, my classmates would normally had lunch together, but I would head for home directly.
She was easily upset by what her classmates and relatives said about her, even if they were merely expressing their concern for her, or were just joking.
(AiChang): We are quite close to one of my aunts. Whenever I visited her home, she would quip about my grumpy look. Actually I was not angry with anyone or in bad mood, that was just me, typically wearing an unhappy and disappointed expression…
(Aunty): Before Ai Chang participated in the Bodhi Meditation retreat, whenever she came to my place, she would sit on the sofa and fell sleep, or she would just play with her cell phone. She would not interact with anybody.
(Sister): I thought my elder sister prefers to do her own things and does not like to communicate with others! So, although we share the same room, we have our own separate bed and desk in there and she would do her own stuff and I attended to mine! We do not interact very much.
(AiChang): My uncle would advise me to take more fruits and vegetables. But he usually does this during meals, in the presence of relatives.
Because of her skin condition, Ai Chang’s mother introduced her to the 8.5-day Health & Happiness retreat, and hoped it would help resolve her problem.
(Ai Chang): I knew nothing about the retreat initially and my mother accompanied me. After half a day of class, I could not take it anymore, and told my mother I wanted to quit!
(Mother): When I registered Ai Chang for the course, I told her to accompany her father. At the same time, I told her father to attend for the sake of his daughter. This way, I got both of them to attend. She was reluctant on the first day and kept complaining that she was forced to attend the retreat and wondered what place this is.
The PJ meditation centre was huge and filled with people, particularly housewives and Ai Ching felt awkward.
(Mother): Surprisingly, she attended class on the second day. On the evening of the third day, she told me, ” Mum! I will definitely complete the remaining 8 days classes with you!”.
The sudden change in Ai Chang’s attitude surprised her mother. She was further surprised beyond expectation; for someone who is so reluctant to attend the retreat, Ai Chang volunteered to share her testimonial on stage on the last day of the course!
(Aunty): Initially she refused to participate and just laid down, being very stubborn! She said the course contents were extremely boring! Along the way, I could not recall exactly when and why, but I realized she has started to practice GI (Greater Illumination) along with us. I signaled to her mother! Great! When we started to chant, she joined us. She stopped lying down, and would practice diligently till the end of the 8-day retreat!
(Mother) On the last day, she raised her hand suddenly and wanted to go on stage to share her testimonial. Some teammates asked if I had prepared a script for her. I had not and I was not even expecting her to share! Her sharing was excellent and I was so surprised! As I recall the scene now, I am fighting back my tears!
(Aunty): Ai Chang walked to the front and told the whole class what truly changed her was the 8.5-day Health & Happiness retreat. She thanked her parents, and invited me on stage even though I had scolded her just a few days earlier. We were very touched when she invited me up the stage and hugged everyone of us. At that moment, we were really impressed by her transformation! An excellent change!
(Sister): Around the third or fourth day of the class, we noticed her face turning slightly reddish, but without the itch. Her pale face gradually vanished! Throughout the retreat, she has gradually learn to relax and would even smile to me!
(Ai Chang): I discovered during the 8.5 days class that my parents loved me too! I realized that I rebelled against my parents and they had no choice but became more stern. Their intention was to help me cultivate good behavior! Sometimes, to correct my attitude for my own good, they had to confront me directly despite my resistance.
During the 8.5 days, the improvement for Ai Chang is not just physical but extended to her relationship with her family and friends!
(Ai Chang): Kudos to Bodhi meditation and Grandmaster JinBodhi’s teachings!!! I improved my relationship with my family, particularly my sister. I also made new friends and more importantly, regained my confidence. With confidence, everything is not a problem to me anymore!
The 8.5-day Retreat allowed Ai Chang to regain her confidence. Because of Bodhi Meditation and Master, she found good health and happiness!