The Bahamas Lifeboat (2)

■Book 111 - Roving Over The World 

■Written by GrandMaster Sheng-yen Lu

 

Opening the cabin door, She rushed out with Fuo Qing and disappeared in the crowd.

Sitting on the bed, I was thinking about something:

Why don`t I take part in the survival drill? It is because that I have too much knowledge on this area. When we go to a new place, we must know where we are first, then the surrounding area. If we have no knowledge of the escape route, by putting on the life vest and running around will make a mockery of the survival drill.

I also know the rules to board the life boat:

1. Ladies first.

2. Children first.

3. Injured and elderly first.

People of my age, will be one of the last to board the life boat.

When I was young, I learned the survival skills from being a member of \`The Youth Patriot Brigade.\` 

I know how to open and lower down the life boat. Therefore, the first thing I do on board a ship is to understand the surrounding of the ship, the escape routes, and locations of the life boats.

I had to remain calm if I had no such knowledge. I will not follow the crowd blindly. I do not like to scream and be excited , nor do I like to do a merry go round happily. To me, this amounts to staging a show on survival. The madding crowds were just venting their frustration.

Soon, my wife and Fuo Qing returned.

I asked : \`How do you escape to safety?\`

\`Assemble at the deck.\`

\`Then?\`

\`We were taught how to put on the life jacket.\`

\`And then ?\`

\`When boarding the life boat - ladies, children, the injured and the elders must go first, that is all.\`

I laughed as it turned out to be what I had expected.

My wife said: \`You were right not to take part. We could be stampeded to death, as everything was so disorderly.\`

Suddenly I remembered a Buddhist story on \`Sudden death.\`

A cultivator once asked the Buddha:

\`After daily cultivation and chanting, I am able to concentrate fully. What if I am suddenly hit by lighting, will I be able to be reborn in the Western Pure Land? As you know, when we meet with sudden death, we have no time to chant nor concentrate wholeheartedly.\`

Buddha gave a very unique answer:

\`For instance, there is a tree that grows westward, the trunk is slanting towards the west. If suddenly there is a thunder and the tree was split into two, may I ask you will the trunk will fall to the east or the west?\`

The cultivator understood the message. And happily he continued his chanting.

Nowadays, accidents happen quite often. We heard the news of airplanes crashed, ships wrecked, car accidents, earthquakes, fires, floods, and typhoons.....

There will be victims. Although these accidents are frightening, human beings must cultivate self response to deal with such calamities. Otherwise when the misfortune strikes, we will feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

A true cultivator will have mystic powers in his inner world. In exigency, he will be able to use his potential spiritual power, he will be able to treat life and death equally. His mind will be fulfilled and he can transcend the death.

My firm belief is :

We may have to fight for our survival, but if we have to die, we must face death with dignity.

Since we have prepared for our demise by means of daily cultivation, it does not matter what may come.

 

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