Chapter 10: Vipassana Meditation relieves Life’s Crisis
by Phra Rajsuddhinanamongkol
Today I am going to tell a special story about how vipassana meditation relieved a man’s life crisis.
Mr. Krai pattanantayard worked at the State Office of Tobacco Farming and Trading in Changwat Petchaboon as a warehouse manager. He was from Changwat Phrae, to the north of Petchaboon. He started working as a clerk and diligently worked his way up to warehouse manager. At time passed, more buildings were built. He did his work honestly in recording and bookkeeping. He did not know that the general manager and the associate manager did not get along. Later the auditor found that there had been an abuse of building materials and that the general manager had committed this offense.
The State Office of Tobacco Farming and Trading ordered the general manager temporarily relieved of his duties and had the case investigated. Mr. Krai was very worried about this case.
“I have to be a witness. How should I testify? If I tell the truth, my boss will be jailed. He is my boss. I don’t want to cause him that much trouble. The truth will expose the manager, who is good to me. If I tactically testify, it means that I cheat the country. Oh! I don’t know what to do. I have diligently worked from a low position until now I have a good salary. I have three children and there is one more on the way. What should I do? He thought.
He was very depressed because he was an honest man. He had no way out of this situation. Finally, he decided to commit suicide. So he told his family that he was going to Bangkok. He packed up and got on a bus to Tapanhin in order to board a train to Bangkok. He was so upset that he got off the train at Changwat Lobpuri, which is still quite far from Bangkok. Later, this turned out to be his good fortune!
That night he was so sad that he could not eat anything. He stayed at a small hotel. At that time, the town provided local electricity but was insufficient for the whole town’s consumption. Under the dim light in his hotel room, he wrote a suicide letter telling who he was, his address and the reason for his suicide. He prepared a poison and was about to drink it. The light suddenly became so bright that he was startled and dropped the poison.
He regained his mindfulness and reflected,
“It was midnight an hour ago and the light was dim but now it is 1 a.m., the cinema is over and people are using less electricity. Therefore, there is more light in my room. Why did I do this? My parents are good Samaritans. They always lend a helping hand to the temple. Why should I end my life like this? What should I do?
That night he did not sleep at all and came up with an idea to find some place to learn vipassana meditation. He checked out of the hotel in the morning, had a cup of coffee and started walking.
While he was walking, an old fashioned passenger truck passed by (At that time, there was no bus.) He got on the truck. After paying the one baht fee, he found out that the truck was heading to Singburi. The traveled for some time when the truck broke down at Bang Nga. He got off the truck and waited in front of the only convenience store near by. The owner asked him where he was going.
“I don’t know where I am going. May I have a cup of ovaltine, please?” he asked. When he finished drinking, the driver still had not fixed the truck. He had a feeling that he should leave the truck. So he retrieved his bag from the truck.
“Could you please show me the way to any temple that teaches vipassana meditation?” he asked the store keeper.
The store keeper knew that I taught vipassana meditation.
“I will take you to a temple that teaches vipassana meditation. The trip will cost you five baht,” he answered.
After Mr. Krai paid five baht for the trip, the store keeper helped him carry his bag and started leading the way to Wat Ambhavan. Strangely enough the truck driver could then start the truck engine and drove away as if there had been nothing wrong with the truck before. When Mr. Krai arrived at Wat Ambhavan, I was at the old Uposatha hall not this new one. There were a lot of shrubs and only three small buildings for practicing vipassana meditation.
“Where are you coming from?” I asked him.
He did not answered my question but lied to me.
“My name is Boon Pattana”
I knew that he was lying but I asked,
“Do you want to practice vipassana meditation? Please go to the small building and have a shower”
“Yes,” he answered. After he finished his shower, he came back to me.
“Before learning vipassana, you should listen to my teaching.”
I taught him a story that coincided with his own trouble. He cried and told me the truth from the beginning to the end.
It’s all right. You should stay here and practice vipassana meditation for seven days and maintain the Eight Precepts (training rules),” I said.
I told him that he had to fight for himself.
“You are grateful to your boss and you cannot testify the truth against him for it will send him to jail. At the same time, if you do not tell the truth you could be accused of collusion in the corruption. You should firmly set your mind to practice vipassana meditation while strictly maintaining the Eight Precepts and dressing in white. When your meditation is good enough you can radiate loving-kindness to the investigator and your boss, for their happiness and well being. Your good wishes should also go to the associate manager who asked the top management to investigate the abuse of building materials, so please be happy. Firmly set your mind to heartily practice vipassana meditation. If you can successfully do it, the resulting virtues can help you out of this crisis. You should practice vipassana and radiate loving-kindness every day.”
I taught him how to practice vipassana meditation and let him practice near me in the temple, starting with one hour walking meditation, follow by one hour of sitting meditation. At the end of each session he radiated loving-kindness to his bosses. He continued for the whole day for seven days.
A strange thing happened on the sixth day of his meditation. His radiated lovingkindness worked! If you heartily do it, it will work.
The big boss in Bangkok headquarter sent a telegram to Petchaboon regional office ordering Mr. Krai to repot to him within seven days. If he did not obey the order he would be considered guilty.
His wife looked for him in Bangkok, phoned all their relatives and friends but could not find him anywhere. She did not know how to get in touch with him. Luckily, she had an uncle who practiced vipassana meditation regularly and he offered to help her finding Mr. Krai. Before starting the quest, he meditated and made a determination that by virtue of vipassana meditation he would find his niece’s husband.
The uncle boarded the train and had an intuition that he should get off at Lopburi. He asked several people along the way as he walked towards Ta-po. He got on a passenger truck that was the same truck Mr. Krai had boarded before. The truck again broke down at Bang Nga, the same place that it broke down seven days before. This was quite a coincidence!
He walked to that same convenience store. His mindfulness told him that he should go that way and keep on asking people. His mindfulness was well trained because he had practiced vipassana meditation for fifteen years, since his ordination as a monk.
“Have you seen a man with such features seven days ago? He asked.
“Yes! I saw him and he carried bag. Are you looking for him? The store keeper asked.
Then he was hired again for five baht and started leading the uncle to Wat Ambhavan. After the uncle paid five baht, the same truck could start and run again!
When the uncle arrived at Wat Ambhavan and told Mr. Krai about his urgent business. Mr. Krai broke down in tears because he was glad. He came to thank me and said that he was sure that his vipassana meditation could help relieve his crisis.
“Dear Luang Poh, I am returning to work. If the crisis is resolved and my work returns to normal, I will donate money to seven temples and provide lunch for monks for seven days. Will you please join in my merit making.”
Before he left, he stopped by a store and bought a kerosene lamp for Wat Ambhavan (We did not have electricity at that time).
“I came here and received light from you. Now I would like to return the favor by another kind of light to Wat Ambhavan,” he said.
He left with his wife’s uncle. Later he told me that the investigator and the big boss had sympathized and understood him, and allowed him to continue working but with a salary demotion by two grades. As for the manager, he was suspended from work and later transferred to another post in another office.
Mr. Krai’s crisis was resolved. This is the result of radiating loving-kindness after practicing vipassana meditation. The big boss had a good attitude towards him and understood his awkward situation.
Later he invited me to Petchaboon. I stayed over night at Wat Chondan and had a chance to meet the Abbot of Wat Chondan, who had been appointed by General Por Phiboonsongkram during World War II. After lunch the next day, there were many people who asked me how Mr. Krai could resolve his crisis. And I told them. After listening to the events, they were very interested in practicing vipassana meditation. Especially, the abbot of Wat Chondan and several monks came to Wat Ambhavan to learn vipassana. Later they began teaching vipassana meditation at Petchaboon, and continue to do so to the present.
This is a true story of Mr. Krai, who is still living. His small children are now graduated with bachelor’s degrees. This is an incredible story!
I want to emphasize the benefits of vipassana meditation. It really works if you can meditate successfully. Mr. Viggo Brune, a Norwegian, is another example. He ordained as a monk and practice vipassana here. He could radiate loving-kindness and offered any merit to his grandfather and his parents, who were in Norway. In his telepathy, he wanted them to answer him by mail if they received his loving-kindness. They did receive it and replied, as he had wanted them to do. I will tell this story later. I want you to understand that you can train in mindfulness and gain wisdom by practicing vipassana meditation and you can radiate your loving-kindness. You cannot gain wisdom by practicing tranquility meditation because you gain only concentration and peace.
Finally, I am glad that you have come here to learn and practice vipassana meditation. Many people have come to help teach so that others can learn the Buddha’s teaching as well. May all of you have god life, good health, wealth and happiness.
Wat Ambhavan, Singburi
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