Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: The Nurse - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 762 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: The Nurse - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: January 24, 2016, 01:18:26 am »

The Nurse

The little nurse who seems incapable of putting even a faint smile on her stiff face just came in. “How many bowel movements did you have yesterday?”

Since I was hospitalized here more than a month ago, she has asked me the same routine question every day. There has been no other greeting from her, which I feel is quite ridiculous: “You have been asking me only this one boring question all along, why not ask me how I am feeling?” She tilted her dignified head, glared at me, and walked away, leaving me with a mind rushing with thoughts.

Oh well, indeed it is a time of the five degenerations. Some hospitals no longer deem saving lives and healing the sick as their main purposes; quacks are found everywhere, so are fake medicines; people’s hunger for money is at its extreme. The image of the nurse as an “angel in white” is long gone; to some people, the health sector is a synonym for corruption. I have witnessed the sad situation where some dying patients are denied admission due to insufficient funds to pay for medical fees.

In Buddha’s previous lives, he assumed the responsibilities of doctors and nurses; he took tender care of patients suffering from long illnesses and relieved them of misery. He offered his own medicine collected over 12 years when he himself was a patient. Shantideva, a Bodhisattva, makes these aspirations in A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life: “For all those ailing in the world, until their every sickness has been healed, may I myself become for them the doctor, the nurse, the medicine itself.” Many great Buddhist masters also have devoted themselves totally to benefit beings, without the slightest concern for their own safety or welfare.

Such altruism is not limited to Buddhists only; people with high ideals in the world also have made their wishes such as:

How can I build thousands of big houses with plenty of rooms?
I’ll use them to provide shelter to all the poor scholars and make them smile happily…
Even if my thatched hut is the only one destroyed by the elements and I am to die from freezing cold, I am willing.

How I wish Buddha’s teaching would penetrate the minds of people, such that the world will have one ounce more of goodness and one ounce less of ugliness!

4th of January, Year of RenWu
February 16, 2002


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