The missing MH370 – Time to Practice the Dharma?

19 Mar


Amidst the flurry of messages all over social media calling for people to pray for MH370 and various speculations as to what happened to the Boeing plane, there were some Buddhists telling people to “practice the Dharma while we can”. If you are Buddhist, you would instantly recognize the meaning behind this simple statement. If you are not, you’d be wondering what’s the connection?

Missing MH370 and practicing the Dharma… is there a mystical connection?

Well, the missing plane represents one of the bane of our existence – the insecurity of our impending death. We are not sure if our next breath, next minute, next hour, next day, next week, or next year could be our last. Hence, it is imperative as Buddhists or seekers of the truth to seize this moment to make the best of what we have – a sort of spiritual carpe diem. That I am sure makes this mystery of the missing plane all the more gripping and a huge play on people’s fear and imagination. I have heard many who normally would take this overnight flight to Beijing saying that they could have been on the plane…

Understanding the uncertainty of life or as Buddhists calls it the nature of impermanence, we delve into what the Buddha offers with his teachings that’s popularly called the Dharma. Often translated as the law, the truth or even the teachings, it invokes upon our universal responsibility to act in ways that makes us closer towards becoming a fully enlightened being. The more evolved we become, the better we are at benefitting others. In that way, we make our short existence on this planet meaningful. The more we understand the Buddhadharma and practice, we make our lives meaningful so when we do meet our ‘end’, our lives would be in vain. In the Buddhist sense, it is a life spent towards shoring up merits and good karma for our hereafter like a sort of spiritual investment….

Hope my explanations help. All these were in my head and I thought I attempt to convey the connection between a missing plane and the the call to practice the Dharma. I know my explanations are a little skewed towards Buddhist view… Please feel free to share your thoughts or if you have any questions.

One Response to “The missing MH370 – Time to Practice the Dharma?”

  1. likheng March 19, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks David for this simple yet loud call to live. A reminder to awaken us from our arrogance and slumber that our presence are so impermanent. I go to Shanghai for business every month and for the first time, I was conscious of the possibility that I might die on this flight. This awareness prompted me to appreciate the moments before flying with my father and nephews. This is probably why Buddhist master advise us to meditate on death as that can make us truly live.

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