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    a teacher & computer programmer

Mrs. Winnie Ma is a Chinese teacher in her late twenties. She graduated from University of Taiwan. In the United States, she taught Chinese language at Columbia University in New York City. Recently she started to work at Blue Cross as a computer programmer.

In my university years, I had to take sleeping pill frequently. If I couldn't fall asleep, I would feel very tense all night and nervous all day next day. I have always been nervous. I was born like that. When I was nineteen, I started to take sleeping pill. The doctor in the School Health Service gave me different pills at different times and warned me of the addiction potential. I stop taking sleeping pill abruptly when I was twenty-two, having been convinced that sleep-pill is poison. However, I still couldn't sleep well. Tossing in bed all night, I would feel chronically tired and nervous. I couldn't concentrate in school or at work.

Six years ago, I suffered from arthritis, giving me knee pain, back pain and neck pain. Somedays, the pain was very bad. I saw a doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, New York. The doctor took several X-rays and told me that it was nothing serious. He prescribed aspirin for me every visit, without too much benefit. In the beginning, aspirin really helped. After a while, my stomach started to get upset. The arthritis pain got progressively worse everyday. The joints of my fingers started to swell up. The fingers felt like pins and needles at tiroes. I felt worse in the morning----- my joints aching all over. It was a drag to try to get up in the rooming.

A few years back, I started to hear about meditation. I went through all the available books in the university library and started to practise it myself. After three months, my insomnia and nervous condition improved. I continued on my own for two years until I met SiFo Kwong who taught me Tai Chi and some basics of Chinese Tao Meditation.

Soon after that, I met CH'AN Master SHENG-YEN at the CH'AN MEDITATION CENTRE. After six months of CH'AN meditation, I felt rouch calmer, sleep much better and the knees and fingers hurt no more. However, my back and neck still hurt off and on.

Then, I heard about Master Chia who teaches Chinese Tao Esoteric Meditation. I practised with him for another four months, and even my back pain and neck pain went away. Nowadays, I practise meditation two hour a day and sleep six hours. I have a full working day and very busy, yet I feel great ---- very calm, relaxed, easy to concentrate and full of energy.

Occasionally, I still get a nervous episode ----You can't avoid it in this busy worlds However, as soon as the anxiety arose, I could caIn it down immediately by concentrating at my navel (the acupuncture point: Darn Tin). The anxiety just melts away.

I have been studying with CH'AN Master Sheng-Yen for three years now, and with Master Chia for nine months. I am continuing with both teachers. The teachers know that I am practising both methods at the same time and they approve of it.

When I first studied Ch'an meditation, it was for my physical health-----my arthritis. How, it becomes my religion. With Master Sheng, I aim for spiritual advancement. With Master Chia, I aim for physical improvement. My body was weal, and I had to practise one

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