Seung-hee Cho / Public Servant
Throughout my childhood, my parents fought almost every day. By the end of each day, I felt anxious. My eldest sister was always praised by my mother, whereas I was scolded because I wasn’t as good at school as my sister. The atmosphere in the house was always tense and, as a result, I started having nightmares when I was 16. I had nightmares almost every day. I resented my parents and the world, and wondered why I was born and why I lived: living felt difficult.
Sleep disorders and insomnia brought on by anger
As an adult, gradually, my motivation for everything decreased, and I had more issues with people at work. With all the stress from work, I wasn’t sleeping well. My health deteriorated and, at one point, I had to go to the hospital. I was diagnosed with sleeping disorders and insomnia brought on by anger. Because I couldn’t sleep well, my body regularly broke down, and going to the hospital became a part of my routine.
My heart and body were so heavy that I would wake up feeling dehydrated and barely able to move my limbs. My immune system was weak and this resulted in dry eye syndrome and diarrhea. I tried various medicines, but they didn’t help. No matter how many sleeping pills I took, I couldn’t sleep. I really thought that I was going to die. I just wanted to stop all of this pain. I decided to take a break from work and start this meditation which was recommended by my aunt.
After meditating in nature and emptying my mind, my insomnia disappeared
After meditating at my local meditation center for two weeks, I decided to spend some time at the main center where I could practice intensive meditation. As I let go of all that I was carrying, the resentment toward my parents, the negative feelings toward my bosses, and the inferiority I felt when I compared myself to my older sister, my body, mind and heart became lighter. After less than a month of intensive meditation, my insomnia disappeared completely and I started sleeping better.
I think less and do more
When I went back to work, I was able to overcome difficult situations thanks to meditation. My negative mind was the source of all of my illnesses, but after meditating, I became healthy.
As part of the meditation program, I also did action meditation. This is a practice to cleanse the mind by moving the body. As I did action meditation, I realized how lazy I had been throughout my life. This laziness and lack of movement had led to my poor health. As I moved my body more and more, I found myself thinking less and my life became simpler, more effortless. This carried over into my daily life and I found I was thinking less and doing more.
These days, I wonder, “When did I have insomnia?” Now, I always have energy at work, and have much fewer conflicts with people. After letting go of the resentment I held toward the world, I always feel grateful without any expectation or desire. The hospital I used to go to so often is also a thing of the past, and now that my own problems are out of the way, I want to live as a person who helps others.