Posted by Meditation USA on February 3, 2021
Sohee Shin / Office Worker
When I was in college, I went to China to study and had to fly several times a year. Unfortunately, I had a fear of flying. The moment the front wheel lifted from the ground, my hands and feet became cold and a cold sweat broke out. A few years later my sister was going to be married in the US. When I went there to visit her, I suffered with constant anxiety for ten hours on the plane.
Throwing away the fear of an airplane crash and enjoying the flight
Later, I didn’t even want to look at an airplane anymore and I gave up traveling out of Korea. The following year I started doing meditation. In Meditation they explained, “we take pictures with our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and senses as we live, and that becomes our conceptions and view of the world.” The moment I heard that, I could see the cause of my flight phobia.
In fact, as I looked back at my life, I realized that when I was in high school, I loved flying. One day, my cousin had been on a business trip to Japan and told me about his near-death experience of an out-of-control airplane. “We were flying and all of a sudden we were falling for about 3 seconds, and I thought I was going to die!”
My cousin vividly conveyed the horror of his experience. When I listened to it, it reminded me of riding a scary rollercoaster, and that feeling settled in my mind.
Since I heard my cousin’s story, I started to develop fear of airplane travel. Before that though, I had enjoyed flying. I thought that if I could just throw away that picture in my mind, I might be able to change myself. I threw away the pictures of my mind about the plane, what I had heard, saw, and felt. Even when I was actually getting on the plane, I kept discarding the thoughts that I was sitting in an airplane. Then I was able to feel comfortable as if I were on a bus.
Fear of death was also a cause of my flight phobia. When I was seven years old, I watched my father die of a stroke and I somehow became obsessed with the thought of dying. After meditation, now I can go anywhere without experiencing the debilitating fear of death and I have confidence to try anything. I feel so free as if the invisible shackles were released.