Experience – Health and Relationships

Earlier this year, I shared my experience about my struggle with relationships and health. It was published in the SGI Australia magazine in Sep 2019, titled “Chanting for Absolute Victory”. Here it is!

I started practising Nichiren Buddhism in 2013 in the depth of my despair. I was very sick and suffered from digestion problems. I had seen several doctors with no success. I kept trying to figure out what might help me. I was reminded of my university roommate from 2008. She had mentioned chanting, meetings and Soka Gakkai. Although I did not like her as a person, I recollected how things seemed to work in her life. Soon, I started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo using Youtube. In the first week of chanting two minutes twice a day, I found a helpful health practitioner and became hopeful. 

I moved to Australia in 2014 and consulted doctors locally. In December 2014, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Having a five-minute phone conversation made me bedridden for days, draining me completely. I was all alone and continued to work full-time to support myself. I couldn’t even chant and felt trapped and hopeless. I felt like a lifeless corpse that was somehow still breathing. I tried any and every treatment that showed in front of me. In this time, my group leader’s unceasing support kept me connected to the practice.

In 2016, I was also diagnosed with widespread but changing food allergies. I followed a strict rotation diet and medicine schedule. This regimen consumed all my energy. Determined to not be defeated, I started carrying my food to team outings. I really struggled with my reality. I looked at others felt envious that they could eat what they liked or go for a walk anytime. I felt lonely, disconnected and hopeless. I chanted to find a life partner to relieve my loneliness.

In 2018, my prayer was answered. I met my lifelong soulmate. I dreamed about a future where I had someone to love and share my life with. However, three months later in July 2018, he broke up with me on the phone, saying that things weren’t working well. I felt shattered, heartbroken and lost. I felt I wasn’t good enough for anyone to love me, reliving my emotions from having had a traumatic childhood.

Continue reading “Experience – Health and Relationships”

Buddhism mirrored in Foodie terms

I am a self-confessed foodie, former picky eater, former vegetarian, former vegan. A few years ago, I started having trouble with food. I developed various digestive health issues and food sensitivities. I had to change my diet and lifestyle to manage my forever-changing health condition. I had to learn to cook and eat meat and fish in a span of days. I had to learn to do a very regimented rotation diet.

However, throughout all of this, I could lean on my love for food. Not once did I say that, hey this is so hard, I will just starve myself instead. I love my appetite for food and sometimes it gets mirrored in my appetite for life. “Eat, Pray, Love” at its best, eh? 😀

This morning as I was chanting, my mind started to craft this post. Lately I struggle to communicate the different elements of my Nichiren Buddhist practice as a Soka Gakkai member to new people, to be able to explain how the different elements work in tandem and to see profound change in one’s life they are all important. I started to think about how I might describe these from my foodie’s perspective who has had some challenges in the food and digestion area.

Here’s my attempt, I think it’s hilarious, by the way (no kidding!):

Continue reading “Buddhism mirrored in Foodie terms”