About Spiritual Cultivation


16/05/2024 | About Spiritual Cultivation    
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Master Jun Hong Lu: Once, a television station in Germany organised an activity in its attempt to solicit a “10-second hair-raising shot” and was offering a handsome prize money. The footage must contain a series of terrifying moments. What can we do in 10 seconds? This is precisely what a German father did and his 10-second action sent shock waves across the globe.

He was a switch-tender based at a railway station in Germany. One evening as usual, he was preparing to turn the switch for an oncoming train at a time when another train was pulling into the station from the opposite direction on the other side of the track. By right, this should have been a run-of-the-mill manoeuvre that involves a timely turn of a switch.

However, right at this moment, when he looked back, something caught his eye that made his blood run cold. His four-year-old son was playing on the railway track of the train that was pulling into the railway station at great speed. Had he sprung to his child and rescued him, those few seconds would have caused the two trains to collide. He also knew that if he did not save his son, without a doubt, his son’s body would be ripped to pieces.

Reduced to making a choice between life and death in 10 seconds, he screamed at the top of his lungs to his son, “Lie down!” as he triggered the turnout. He might not have dashed forward to snatch up his son, the boy did as his father commanded. He made a split-second drop to the ground, while both trains thundered over him as they moved onto their designated railway tracks.

This hair-raising moment was captured by a photographer who happened to be passing by. The shot, which is named “Lie Down”, won the top award. When the story was broadcast on television, everyone was moved to tears.

The switch-tender’s son was an intellectually disabled child. On numerous occasions, his father had forewarned him, “My child, you don’t get to do that many things in life. Hence, you must excel in one particular thing that you do”. Although the child didn’t really excel in his life, whenever he played war games with his father, every time his father shouted, “Lie down!”, the child would immediately fall flat on the ground and this had been his most excellent move.

By now, all of you must be pondering if an intellectually disabled child was able to obediently heed his father’s instruction at such a critical moment, what about a normal child? Shouldn’t they be able to adhere to the rule of law? Similarly, as Buddhist practitioners, shouldn’t we comply with the teachings of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas? Shouldn’t we be even more strict in our adherence to the Buddhist precepts and more diligent in our spiritual cultivation?

To be useful to society, one must focus on contributing, and not expecting anything in return. Only by adhering to the rule of law can we ensure the peace and stability of our households and society at large. Only when we love our country and its people can we integrate Buddhism into our families and the social order, hence contributing to national harmony and world peace.

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20 October 2019

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