SFYAD continued its podcast appreciation on 27th June, where members listened to the podcast Episode 50: Better off Blind by Bodhi Light Tales and discussed the lessons contained in the podcast.
The episode talks about a couple who overworked themselves and had migraines. They turned blind after consuming an over-the-counter medicine without seeking proper medical advice and reading the labels. For 30 years, they relied on each other with their hearing and touch. After regaining their eyesight through surgery, they were shocked to see each other's appearance for they had aged. Their youthful memories of each other’s beautiful and handsome looks had been robbed by the harsh reality of time passing and the aging of the human body. No matter what everyone else said, they refused to believe that they were husband and wife.
We discussed two morals from the story: Right View and impermanence. Participants discussed the importance of Right View as it brings about the right attitude and right action after. Taking the couple as an example, having the right view means to understand that we are not experts in medicine and should seek professional advice regarding our illness or symptoms. Even when taking medications, we should follow the instructions and read the labels carefully—this is the right attitude. Consequently, we will be fully informed about the information we obtain.
The current situation was also brought up where some news or information may not be true. Everyone thought that having the right view, mindset and attitude are important as they bring out the right action and right mindfulness about the information we have before us. Participants also brought up the importance of checking with expert consensus regarding wearing masks; we should be responsible not only for ourselves but also for the community as we live in the community. Therefore, we should respect, show empathy and concern for everyone by being responsible for our actions, our health, and the health of the community.
Another moral discussed was permanence and impermanence. During the discussion, participants brought up the function of the universe and time as key players in impermanence. We discussed why what seems permanent is only permanent relative to a timeframe. For example, from the standpoint of where we are right now, it may seem that our location is permanent; however, as the Earth is rotating and also revolving around the Sun, our location is in fact impermanent. Another important concept that was discussed was the expectations of wanting things to last or end right away. Participants discussed how we can face impermanence: with an open mindset, accept the situation, and not have any expectations. Then, we would be able to cherish and be grateful for the circumstances for they will present as opportunities for change. This will also help us turn the fear into courage to embrace impermanence.
Impermanence, from the story, may seem scary to many since we want some things to last. However, Venerable Master Hsing Yun said, discovering the beauty of impermanence may open a new door for us. As we have the proper understanding of impermanence, we would have the right attitude to face impermanence and make our future brighter.