Fly High, Fly Free
Fly High, Fly Free
By Taipei Center
Translation by Austin Yeh
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying with us and welcome to Taipei…”
Captain Johnson Zhang has made that announcement countless times as he touches down at Taoyuan International Airport. He has flown to hundreds of destinations all over the world but finds the most comfort in welcoming travelers to Taipei, as it means he is returning home – home to his loved ones, and to Taipei Bodhi Meditation Center.
In the spring of 2009, fifty-year-old Captain Johnson became ill with the flu, which left him with an intractable cough. While out shopping one day, a special edition of Health magazine caught his eye as it featured a series of articles about coughing. But after flipping through the magazine, Captain Johnson was most intrigued by an article from Bodhi Meditation that included a picture of Grandmaster JinBodhi. About ten years earlier, he had been introduced to a different kind of meditation practice through a religious organization. But he didn’t stick with the practice and subsequently had found it difficult to find a credible meditation master. But something about the photograph of Grandmaster JinBodhi touched him – his intuition told him that he was looking upon a great meditator. Spurred to action, Captain Johnson enrolled himself in an Introductory Meditation and Chanting Class at Taipei Center.
Before setting foot in the Center, he switched to a vegetarian diet in an attempt to purify his body and mind. After completing his first Chanting Class, he noticed that his cough had vanished without medication! Since then, he has practiced Bodhi Meditation on a regular basis. Other unexpected health benefits have delighted the captain. Severe neck injuries suffered years ago had mostly been healed by intensive treatment, but from time to time he was still plagued by neck pain and insomnia. To his relief, after practicing meditation for a period of time, his nagging neck pain is a thing of the past and he sleeps better than ever before.
In November of that same year, he participated in the Second Level Bodhi Meditation Retreat. His instant faith in Grandmaster JinBodhi made intuitive sense to him, as the Master’s radiant appearance conveyed his enlightenment in a way that touched the captain’s heart. The Master imparted healing skills during the Retreat, and they proved very useful during one of Captain Johnson’s flights. In the midst of a red-eye, a flight attendant rushed into the cockpit to alert him to the presence of a very ill passenger. With one-and-a-half hours left to go before reaching the final destination and no doctor on board, he had to make a decision. Prior to Bodhi, the captain would simply have made an emergency landing at the nearest airport and sought medical help. But this time, given his newfound healing skills combined with the fact that they were at a smooth cruising altitude, he decided to hand the controls to his co-pilot and walk to the cabin to see if he could help. The gentleman in distress was in his mid-fifties and holding an oxygen bottle to his chest, his eyes shut tightly. His breathing was labored, his head was shaking, and it was clear that he was too weak to stand on his own.
Captain Johnson asked nearby passengers to move so that the ill man could lie down. One of the flight attendants held the oxygen bottle while the Captain began a healing session based on what he had learned from Grandmaster JinBodhi. As he worked, Captain Johnson ignored the strange looks that some passengers were throwing his way. “I didn’t care what people thought,” he recalled. Five minutes into the session, Captain Johnson saw that the sick passenger was more relaxed and able to breathe easier. After ten minutes, the man’s breathing had stabilized and he appeared to be asleep. After fifteen minutes, the healing session came to an end when the captain saw that the passenger continued to breathe well and sleep soundly.
His healing skills were once again called into action at Osaka International Airport in Japan. After almost all the passengers had deplaned, a mother and her young daughter remained onboard, seemingly unable to exit. In answer to his inquiry, the daughter told Captain Johnson that she was suffering from such severe spinal pain that she wasn’t able to move. To make matters worse, there were no doctors on duty at the airport. With her mother’s permission, the captain began to utilize his healing ability. Five minutes into the session, the daughter could lift her foot. After fifteen minutes had passed, the girl declared that she was fine. After many thanks to Captain Johnson, the mother and daughter were able to exit the plane as though nothing had been amiss.
Once again his crew was flabbergasted, some joking that the captain was a hypnotist. But of course hypnotism had nothing to do with it – rather, the secret and powerful healing techniques Captain Johnson had learned from Grandmaster JinBodhi were at work. Word spread throughout the airline that there was a special captain in the company. “It’s wonderful flying with you,” some of his colleagues told him. “Even if we have sick passengers, we don’t have to make an emergency landing thanks to your ability.”
The Meditation of Greater Illumination is an integral part of Captain Johnson’s daily regimen, regardless of whether he is at home or abroad. “I’m very healthy and happy now, and every day I look forward to serving people, and becoming more compassionate, tolerant and alert,” the captain said with obvious gratitude. “I used to be short-tempered and I didn’t have much patience. Now, I recognize that I have control over my reactions, and things don’t affect me anymore, no matter what happens.”