This is a Dharma Glimpse that I originally presented on 1/26/20 as a participant in the Lay Ministry program of the Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism.
I’ve been a School Bus Driver for going on three years now. Prior to our relocation to Hagerstown, MD back in July, my wife and I lived in near Reading, PA in an area that had its fair share of rough terrain. Given the part of Pennsylvania that this is – the area is on the township/municipal-style school system for dividing up school districts, rather than a large county-based one. While I generally enjoyed this as I worked with a core group of people and lived in a “smaller world” when it came to the everything that comes withone’s workplace, there was one major difficulty when it came to this style of districting: Although not generally occurring there were times where one school district could close due to a weather emergency while another next to it remained open. I had to deal with this sort of conflict a number of times.
One morning last year I was driving to my company after a two-hour delay for the district I drove for. A different school district that I had to drive through had chosen to simply close for the whole day, opting to not take any chances. They were certainly wise to do so. While driving on a major state road the sun was reflecting off of any ice found in the area (mostly cleared off the actual road, resigned to the shoulder and side of the roads) and eventually obscured my vision to such an extent that I lost my entire view, leading me to rear-end a pickup truck pulled to the side of the road working on a disabled garbage truck. Thankfully – the extent of the damages was a “bumped” bumper for the truck which no one was in at that moment: On the other hand, I was quite lucky: I emerged with slightly skinned knuckles out of my Jeep Liberty which was totally destroyed at this point.
Despite one’s level of familiarity with Buddhism, one can often hear or read about the Noble Eightfold Path, an eight-sided guide to “right” and skillful living. In hindsight, I’m of the mind that I was not fully practicing these eight guidelines leading up to this ordeal. While I could write a short blurb out examining this scene from the perspective of each of the eight spokes of the wheel I will resign to using a brief summary: If I had I a greater sense of mindfulness of my circumstances at the time, I would have understood that this area was simply unfit and I would have chosen to simply call out of work for the morning, if not the whole day. As a result, I ended up taking a chance which could have easily ended with the loss of life – either on my part or that of other motorists. Thankfully, the worst part of this whole situation was my need to acquire a new vehicle.
As we go about our days, let us strive to bring to practice a greater sense of the Eightfold Path in our daily lives.
Image from SeekPNG.