Monday, Apr 19

Coping with age-old pain with Water Repentance

December 05, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

For most senior citizens who participated in the Water Repentance Text Adaptation, kneeling is a challenge, but they were able to hurdle thru this discomfort and go on with the performance. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • Despite their conditions, senior citizens show their willingness to bear their physical pain by joining the Water Repentance Text performance. They felt temporary relieve when they were practicing their parts.


A large number of participants of the upcoming Water Repentance Text stage adaptation are senior citizens. All the walking, running, and sign language involved can definitely take a toll on their body. But knowing full well of the risks, they kept pace with the younger participants for the success of the performance.

When he joined the rehearsals for the first time, James Cheng had to struggle to bend his knees due to an accident years ago, and the problem persisted since he does not have any active exercise.

But after a few rehearsals, his knee problem was eventually mitigated. It even reached to the point that he rarely thinks about it every time he rehearses. In his words, his knees and the Water Repentance Text were “coordinated.”

“Inspiration-wise, you don’t think about your knee anymore; you think about the Water Repentance and what we should do,” said Cheng, 70 years old.

Lucy Co, also 70 years old, suffers from a far worse condition: fibromyalgia. This means that she feels pain throughout her entire body. Not only her knees but she feels pain in her arms, shoulders, neck, torso, and hands. Treatments like stem cell therapy have been ineffective in mitigating the pain or even lessening her aches.

Upon joining the rehearsals, she’s managed to do things she never thought she can do due to her being in constant pain. Her condition is now manageable due to the constant practice on her part.

“My sister insisted that I join the performance, although I was hesitant because of my condition. She said: “Your never know, your pain might go away.” Normally, I have difficulty going down stairs, but here in the Water Repentance I could do it with ease,” explained Co.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen believes that the elderly are still capable of doing great things if they put their minds to it. They may pass the baton to the younger generation, but it doesn’t mean that they have to retire. She urges everyone to do their best until their last breath, and work for the good of the world.

  • Volunteers grouped together to practice their part of the adaptation. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Lucy Co (right) tries her best despite suffering from constant body pain due to fibromyalgia. Constant rehearsal has allowed her to manage the pain. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Since joining the rehearsals, James Cheng has been able to kneel despite his knee problem. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】