The Swimmers

The buddha used to compare the path to enlightenment as a man crossing the river to reach the other side. "Crossing the river" indicates an effort to overcome the difficulties in life (river), to reach the other side. (Enlightenment)

The scenario below expand the "crossing the river" image to apply to today's circumstances.


A man was standing in a camping ground on the riverside of the Missisipi. He never learned how to swim before, but he holds in his hand a "how to swim" book. He turns to the people camping behind him and says:

" Hey! everybody listen up, there is no food on this side, we got to swim to the other side of the river because the HILTON hotel on the other side is offering free food and provision for everybody. "

Then he starts to go down to the river and try to swim while reading the "how to swim" book.

A great number of people follow him and do the same. Some people don't care, they just ignore him, and carry on what they were doing.

A small number of people who really knew how to swim was standing by, but don't know how to talk to the great crowd because the crowd think they all can swim if they follow the swimming manual.

And people who swam out were carried downstream by the river, no one can see if they reached the other side.

1. What would you do if you are the man with the swimming manual?
2. What would you do if you are the people who know how to swim?

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