A Yogi Story: "Practice after Health Issues"
The following narrative continues the story of a Mexican meditator who has been in Burma for many years. This is the ninth entry, and her entire story up until now can be found here.
"I kept practicing at the monastery and slowly the teacher helped me to see the difference between nature and concepts. This made a radical change in the practice and in the perception of reality for me. So then it was possible to investigate reality directly and to see the patterns in it. It was a very interesting time for me.
But it was around this time that I had a lot of health problems. They were mainly related with food and poor hygiene. At the beginning I had problems with digestion, and the precept of not taking food in the afternoon was very difficult because I had previously had gastritis and colitis, so the body was reacting a lot. The same problems happened in Kalaw with a lot of diarrhea but in Shwe Oo Min Yangon was even worse. I need to learn about local medicines because the medicines that I had were not working very well. So I try many things and I asked local people for help and advise. Most of the time local people were extremely kind and helpful. They really try to take care as much as they could.
The food in Myanmar tended to be extremely oily. It is the way they protect the food from fungus because of the heat. However, the quality of the oil is very bad. Normally is the cheapest oil they could afford. So many foreigners we struggle a lot with digestive problems. It can be constipation or chronic diarrhea. I needed to go many times to the hospital to take various kinds of tests.
The quality of the hospitals is very low as well as the hygiene. I could get some good information thanks to the doctors, who most of the time were very kind and willing to help, however, the standard is not very high at least in allopathic medicine. The best medicine in Myanmar in my experience is the local medicine. Is the one that works for diseases in the country. So what I ended doing was to ask mothers what medicine they use to give to their babies when they got strong diarrhea and that is the medicine that could relief the pain, symptoms and the problem.
Is good also to have supplements because in monasteries we only eat two times and the quality of the food sometimes is not very good because of hygiene and because of the amount of oil. Garlic helps to reduce cholesterol and to improve the immune system. Spirulina helps to keep one strong. Probioticis helps with chronic diarrhea. Ginger is good to improve digestion and heat in the body. Magnesium is good for constipation. I recommend to know local medicine and to learn form Ayurveda or Tibetan medicine. Those medicines are base on food. They will balance the body with alimentation, so is easier to find the products and just take them. In my experience this is what have solve the problem not antibiotics.
I kept meditating there until hot seasons and then I move again to Kalaw because of the heat. There I had the opportunity to keep practicing in an environmental that I already knew with new yogis. After it I needed to go out of Mynamar and I came back to Shwe Oo Min Yangon to keep practicing."