Love Is a Universal Language
By Asima Kazi, Toronto
A Light in the Dark
On January 18, 2013, I walked into the Toronto Bodhi Meditation Center for the first time, not having the least idea that I was taking my first step in a new spiritual journey. I came to inquire about the meditation program that the center was offering. I was given all the information along with a calendar and a schedule for January to March which detailed all the classes, and was invited to attend a session on the 19th of January. As I was about to leave the center, I saw a picture of a serene gentleman dressed in a yellow robe. I wondered who this man was, and I decided to return the next morning to find out more.
The next day we were greeted by very kind hosts who led us to the meditation hall. The atmosphere was very tranquil and relaxing. All the people around us were kind, helpful, cheerful and caring. We were made comfortable on our maroon lotus cushions, and the interpreter gave us earphones so we could listen to the English translation of the Mandarin lecture being given by Master Guan-Zhi. Though the lecture was good, some details were lost in translation and I still had many questions. But as we were leaving the center I once again caught sight of the poster of the man in the yellow robe. Something about him made me decide immediately that I would come back the following weekend for an English-language class. I felt a strong energetic pull to do so.
I was going through a painful period. A month earlier, I had been hurt by two important people in my life on the same day, which left me heartbroken. I felt dejected, rejected and worthless. My will to live wavered, but I had to survive for my children. Life felt meaningless. After that day of heartbreak, I was sick for the next 10 days, consumed with grief.
For the first time, I didn’t celebrate Christmas. But I gathered whatever strength I could muster and made a New Year’s resolution: I am not going to let people hurt me emotionally, nor allow people to take me for granted; from now on I will live my life as a better, healthier me.
On January 26th, I began a weekend retreat. My children were disappointed with my decision, as they had planned my birthday celebration for the 27th. I told them that meditation was what I needed for my birthday. I wanted time for myself, time away from the emotional distress I was going through. Our Bodhi instructor, Kate, was amazing and she explained the concepts of Bodhi Meditation extremely well. All the videos shown were meaningful to me. I thought to myself, this is what I need; this is the peace and calmness that my soul has been longing for.
From the moment I was taught The Meditation of Greater Illumination there has been no stopping me on this path. Initially, I could not fully raise my hands or keep them up for a long time during the meditation. In fact, I was unable to hold my hands up even for a few minutes. My shoulder was in pain; my neck muscles became hard as rocks. I was in excruciating pain and didn’t know what to do. But Kate informed us that Greater Illumination heals the body, so I resolved to carry on.
Toward the end of the day, I asked a Bodhi staff member, Sylvia, if she could help me relieve the pain in my shoulder and neck. I didn’t know why I chose to ask her, but I now believe I was guided by some sort of higher energy, as we connected immediately. She was very willing to help, tapping on my shoulder and neck muscles before informing me that there was a lot of cold air in my body, especially in the neck area. Little had I known that along with meditation I would receive energy healing. Sylvia assured me that I’d feel better after a while, and by the time I reached home my pain was waning. By bedtime the pain was almost completely gone.
I couldn’t believe it and my soul thanked Grandmaster JinBodhi for his healing powers, brought to everyone through The Meditation of Greater Illumination. By then I had learned that the serene man in the yellow robe pictured on the poster was Grandmaster JinBodhi, and I had been very touched by his article “My Journey of Buddhist Practice.” His philosophy of tapping into the cosmic energies resonates deeply with me. Although my body was tired from doing meditation all day, I slept like a baby, without aches and pains. For the first time in years I went to bed without applying any analgesic ointment or taking a painkiller.
The next day, my birthday, I got up happy and set off for day two of my spiritual journey. It was indeed a special day for me. In my heart, I forged a friendship with Medicine Buddha and I made Grandmaster JinBodhi my spiritual guru. At the end of the day, after practicing both Greater Illumination and The Meditation of Purity, we had a special healing session. First, trained practitioners worked with us on a one-to-one basis, and then we were brought further healing via a CD of Grandmaster JinBodhi’s chanting and music. I didn’t know that music could heal me, but I relaxed, focused and waited for magic to happen.
Magic did happen. At one point, the music sharply pierced my blocked energy spots, not one but four. I had been taking physiotherapy treatments for the past four years since taking a tumble in the winter of 2007 that broke my spine. No treatment had helped. I was shocked that the healing music could penetrate my areas of stuck energy. I instantly felt the power of healing energies infusing the parts of my body that had troubled me for years. I could not believe that on my second day on the Bodhi path I was experiencing such miraculous results. On my way home, I felt like a new person. I had no pain and felt renewed, rejuvenated. I was full of energy, happiness and peace. For the second day in a row, I went to bed without painkillers or hot water bottles or analgesic ointments.
Since then I have not had to use painkillers of any kind. I have attended classes for beginners, chanting classes, and classes for instructors. During one of the chanting classes, I end up experiencing a great deal of belching and hiccups, and this continued even after the healing session. When I reached home I felt like throwing up, and my family thought I had food poisoning. But according to some Bodhi practitioners, an ailment in my belly was being healed. Indeed, they were right. I’ve had a duodenal tract infection since 2005 that would be triggered by any change in my diet. Certain types of cheese in particular tended to trigger a flare-up, and prior to Bodhi Meditation I had relied on antibiotics to relieve the pain.
By now you must be wondering how many illnesses I had. When I first walked into the meditation center, I didn’t have a bag of problems, I had a suitcase full of problems. My gratitude to Grandmaster JinBodhi and all the senior practitioners runs deep. I had no idea when I started that practicing Bodhi Meditation would heal me of all my ailments. I committed to learning various chants, meditations, Bagua and prostration. I believe that if there is a will, there is a way. People were surprised at my deep commitment and expected that the language barrier would make things difficult. I told them that love is a Universal language, as is meditation. Love and meditation are two sides of the same coin.
A New Path of Strength and Compassion
In May, I officially became a disciple of Grandmaster JinBodhi and was given the dharma name “Da Bic.” I am proud to have chosen this path, as it has taught me to forgive, to let go, and to be happy and peaceful.
Having accepted this path, I want to make myself and others free of all worries and sufferings and achieve total health, joy and inner peace. At that point, I had been talking to Buddha on a regular basis and meditating diligently. You need dedication in order to deeply connect with the Universal energies that are waiting to assist you, but if you commit to seeking, you will reap enormous benefits.
I now begin each day by reciting some of Grandmaster JinBodhi’s “Golden Words.” His positive affirmations give me strength, and his teachings align with many of the greatest minds of our world. The words of two great minds resonate with my Bodhi path:
“Our task must be to free ourselves….by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of Nature and its beauty.” Albert Einstein
“The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.” Henry Miller