Many students were initially very reserved and quiet at the start of the retreat. As the retreat progressed, the time allocated for group discussion was barely enough as fellow group members were so keen to share their improvements through the days! On Day 8 of the class, a number of students came forward to share the remarkable benefits they had gained.
I used to be hot tempered and was easily agitated when things did not go according to my plan. Through the dharma talks in this retreat, I learned to be calmer and take things as it comes without being annoyed. I had suffered from more than 2 years of insomnia. At its worst, I would have no sleep at all over 3 to 4 nights. Since the first day of this retreat, I can get into deep sleep easily and managed to sleep for about 7 hours!
I could not stand still for more than 5 minutes in the past due to the pain caused by the pressure felt at the sole of my flat foot. With the practice of Meditation of Greater Illumination in class, I can stand still for 1 to 2 hours! I used to think negatively and would speak harshly to my children. From the teachings in this retreat, I learned to think positively and am contented with having my lovely wife and 3 lovely children. I began to speak gently and expressed my love to my children through emoticons in our phone messages. I could feel something is changing, and would continue to be a compassionate person.
I used to be emotional and cry easily. For example, I would tend to cry when watch touching movies. I also used to think that I may cry during prayers. Through the retreat, I realized that prayers can indeed be a happy experience! I chanted happily to send my love to my children without shedding a tear.
I could not sleep well for almost a year. It was a torture to toss on the bed through the nights. However, I had been sleeping well for 7 hours since the first day of class! Also, my legs were so stiff that I could not sit cross-legged during the class. Since the third day of class, I could sit cross-legged comfortably!
I had tension in my right shoulder and neck muscles for about 4 to 5 years whenever I felt stressed. These symptoms had caused me to be unable to take deep breaths. As such, I had looked into different remedies to relieve the tension but they only helped temporarily. Apart from the meditation practices, the energy blessings received during Day 6 of the class really relieved the tension. I felt my muscles relaxed, I could take deep breaths and it felt as if a big load had come off! The dharma teachings taught in class made me realized that I have not been practicing what I knew, for instance as a person I should be kind. I started doing so by giving my mum who was attending the class with me a hug and telling her that I loved her. Back home, I also gave my husband and children a loving hug. I hope that this expression of love for my family will become part of my daily life!
At the end of 2016, I was diagnosed with cataract and retinal deterioration for both eyes. Although I had my left eye operated last year, my far vision was not clear and I would wear glasses at times. On Day 6 of the class, I cried a lot while chanting for my late father who passed away 8 years ago. Thereafter, I felt calmer as I finally released my emotions built up due to the sudden departure of my late father. That night, I realized that my vision had improved significantly, as I was able to read the small font sized subtitles clearly while watching the TV program!