The Game Of Bingo

■Book 111 - Roving Over The World 

■Written by GrandMaster Sheng-yen Lu

On board the \`Big Red Ship\`, all of us like to play the game of Bingo. By the way, what is Bingo?

It means `I got it!`.

Maybe this is the utmost bliss and magnificent happiness as recorded in the Sutra.

The smiling hostess will announce the numbers picked rapidly. She waves her hand continuously. All the players will concentrate fully, their moods will swing according to the numbers called. Suddenly, someone shouts \`Bingo\`, and this is followed by joyous scream and clapping of hands.

This is how Bingo is played:

On a piece of paper, if the hostess decides the number of the first row on the right should be the winning combination, then if all the numbers on the first row on the right of your paper is called, its `Bingo`, and you emerge the winner of the game.

The winning combination can be anything from the first row on the left, to the numbers appear diagonally on the paper.

Of course, the contest is fierce and tough. The most difficult combination is for all the numbers on the paper to be called, it will take a long time and receive the highest payoff. As Bingo can be played in many ways depending on the choice of the hostess, it is very exciting indeed.

Its not an easy task for the Orientals to play Bingo with the Westerners. The difficulty lies in the language used.

As the hostess speaks English rapidly, We must remember the winning combinations by heart. To win the contest, all the conditions set must be met; nothing should be left out.

Once all the conditions are met, we must shout Bingo immediately. The first person who shouts `Bingo!` will be the winner if there is a tie. This is a lively game that uses the duration of time to decide the ultimate winner.

We have the following handicaps:

1. Low listening ability.

2. Do not understand the traditional ways of playing Bingo.

3. Engage in gossiping. Moving around too often.

Two mistakes were committed:

1. Ms. Chian Hui Yu of New York thought she won and shouted Bingo. Only to find, the winning combination was changed a few minutes ago, the new combination was horizontal numbers instead of vertical numbers.

2. My wife Guru Lian Xiang also made the same mistake. She shouted \`Bingo\`. The problem was the winning combination was all the numbers on the paper must be called. 

These were clearly attributed to poor listening ability.

It is not easy for the oriental dharma to be circulated in the West. Take my books as an example:

Those who translate my books must be first class English writers. (Fluency)

They must know Chinese. (An expert in Mandarin)

They must understand Buddhist dharma. (At least the oriental philosophy)

They must know me. (Follow my flow of thought)

Language is a common communication barrier.

It is difficult if not impossible to find such talents.

Among my disciples, there are many with doctoral degrees. They have good foundations in English as well as Chinese language. They know the dharma and mingle with me well. But they are not writers, what they write is not to the taste of the Westerners.

There is a Taiwanese saying: \`Excellent in one but not two.\`

It means we cannot excel in everything. That is why communication is such a difficult subject.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words: \`Human relations quite often become irreconcilable because of miscommunication. Language cannot be emphasized.\`

Buddha once told Ananda :

\`Living in this Samsara world, all the calamities stem from our mouths. We must guard against our mouths as if we are guarding the burning flame. For it will raze our earthly wealth and ruin the seven-saint wealth in no time. The misfortunes of all the sentient beings can be attributed to their mouths. Mouth can be considered an axe to destroy our bodies, and a knife to kill ourselves.\`

Therefore, we must cultivate a habit of telling nothing but the truth. He who does so will accumulate countless merit.

 

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