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You sit on a plane that is about to crash

NamadaNamada Veteran
edited March 2017 in General Banter

If you are on a plane that is about to crash within 10 minutes. What thoughts would have gone through your head? Your family and friends are not on the plane and you can not contact them.

Would you be ready to face death and accept it?


  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    Currently I'm too wrapped up in judging the present and all my hope is staked on the future. So I would mourn the loss of that future. But I would also think about all the people I've met and things I've done. And I would try to keep a visualisation of the 3 Buddhas. I think when faced with death, knowing there is no alternative, we are forced to accept it, or resign ourselves to it. It would comfort me knowing everything dies and I am not alone in dying, even if it feels that way.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited March 2017

    One doesn't have much choice, but to accept the inevitable. The alternative is to go screaming bonkers in the middle of a crowded plane, or to sit quietly sobbing, or something. People who have survived plane crashes (imagine what went through the minds of everyone on the plane that landed on the Hudson River!) say they were regretting not being able to say "goodbye" to loved ones (others managed to leave a voice message), but there's not much else one can do, but follow instructions and assume life will be over shortly.

    Stories from Near Death Experiencers who were in plane crashes are interesting. We imagine the worst; that our last minutes will be horribly gruesome and painful, but one person said that as the plane was going down, an angel appeared at their plane window, and told them it was there to take them away. Somehow, the passenger followed the angel, and escaped the final moments. Of course, the person's body didn't escape it, but the person's conscious awareness did.

    ...if that makes any sense.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I really am not sure. hope that as the plane falls out of the sky I quickly lose consciousness so I don't have to deal with it spiraling towards the ocean, lol. I think I would do my best to attempt to prepare for a smooth yet abrupt transition to death and rebirth, but I'm not very sure how likely I would be to keep my state of mind about me to remember to do so. Thus, I practice, lol

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @Namada said:
    If you are on a plane that is about to crash within 10 minutes. What thoughts would have gone through your head?

    Reruns of LOST, lol. :p

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Perhaps there might be some sense of the uselessness of using too much time on what-if questions. True, it's easier than enjoying life as it is, but leading a life in hypothetical camouflage ... ????

    Well, perhaps I would scream my head off ... or maybe not ... is it time for recess yet? :)

  • Well said @genkaku

    Don't mention 'I scream' or @SpinyNorman will be demanding a killer portion ...

    ... and now back to the sensible

  • This would be a horror of fear and acceptance, ultimately. This would be the challenge of a lifetime - to be present, clear and aware at the splintering moment of my death. The hardest part would be my screaming being drowned out by all the screaming go on around me......

  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @IronRabbit "the splintering moment of my death" was very poignant and powerful word choice

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    If I'm honest, I have absolutely no fekkin' clue what I would do, think, say or react with.
    I'd be wondering how the Pilot must be feeling though. I had that thought during a rather bumpy, turbulent (understatement of the year.....) flight home over the Alps from Italy, and I also remember thinking that clearing up the debris in the Alps would be a hell of a job, particularly as it would be on the cross-border between Italy and France....

    Ah, how the mundane becomes the most important thing, in a moment of crisis.

    A woman my mother knew when I was younger, almost drowned, and recounted later that her life did NOT flash before her eyes as has so often been opined of drowning victims. Her final thought before she lost consciousness, was that she had forgotten to take out the shepherd's pie from the freezer, for supper that night.....

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited March 2017

    Some think about angels other think about sheperds pie, dose it really matter what kind of state we are in when death occurs?

    I know Dalai Lama is contemplating death everyday through meditation, and it is important that you have one tranquil and accepting mind when you meet the end. Pherhaps not so easy in a plain crash or other sudden death situations.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    In Tibetan Buddhism, it can matter, but has more to do with your overall state of mind leading up to and not just at the moment of death. But if you can be in a calm place the transition is smoother. I don't know how to explain that very well, Tibetans usually believe in a series of states of existence called Bardos and the time between lives can be influenced by your state of mind at the moments before and at death. I can't say I understand it all that well. But they do frequently believe that your state of mine before and during death does make a difference, which is why they have so many instructions on what to do for people who are dying.

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited March 2017

    New invention to save people from airplane crash, does it work in real life?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What thoughts would have gone through your head?

    "Uh-oh...Here we go again".....

    Would you be ready to face death and accept it?

    "I" would never be ready ....but "non-self" couldn't care less :)

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    My main concern would be whether I would deal with all the screaming people. Really, it's just a ride!

  • @Namada said:
    If you are on a plane that is about to crash within 10 minutes. What thoughts would have gone through your head? Your family and friends are not on the plane and you can not contact them.

    Would you be ready to face death and accept it?

    I'd probably be worrying about whether I turned off the gas. :p

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    Interesting question. Assuming that I knew I had 10 minutes left and that the plane was definitely going to crash (thus I would not be spending the 10 minutes trying to save myself and everyone else), I'd like to say that I would take a couple of minutes to compose myself and tell myself that now is the time to put things in to practice. You cannot change the outcome so why pain yourself over it?

    I've had these thoughts lately of what I would do if told I had 3 months to live. Again I'd like people to give me a few minutes to overcome the initial shock and then deal with the rest in a rational way.

    I can kind of talk from experience having been diagnosed with a brain tumor aged 26. This was before Buddhism found me and my reaction was beyond my control. Immediately on finding out my condition deteriorated and I became weak, vomiting, severe headaches and no rational thought. I had major brain surgery within 24 hours. I'd like to think that I could deal with the same situation again in a much more controlled way.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    How are you doing now, @Lee82?

    I don't like "what-if" hypothetical situations.
    I am too rooted in the present moment to even remotely consider what I'll be doing in the next hour.
    And then, I am pretty sure no-one ever reacts the way they think they are going to react...

  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco Explorer

    Honestly, I'd grab hold of the hand of whoever's sitting next to me and talk with them for as long as possible. I used to have extremely bad flight anxiety, where I got to think about this exact situation many, many times over, and this is precisely what I wanted to do whenever the panic rose to its highest pitch. The only thing that stopped me from doing just that is that the person sitting next to me usually wasn't feeling the same fear that I was, but in the face of certain death, our walls start coming down. We all go into death alone, but there's no reason we can't take advantage of those moments of fear where we're most vulnerable to have one last chance at genuine connection.

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    I'm very well thanks @DhammaDragon. There was no lasting physical effect on me.

    It's been nearly 9 years now and will have annual screening for another 5 years or so before bring formally discharged.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    It's kind of funny the intense fears we develop for no good reason, especially when most people both drive or ride in cars, and have relationships with people. Either of those things are so much more likely to result in our deaths :anguished: My dad is a pilot so flying is not something I was ever afraid of. He used to do engine stalls when I was a kid, it was like an amusement part ride! But ever since I can remember, for no reason, I have had an intense fear of someone breaking into my house and killing my whole family. Even when I was very young and we took trips to hotels, I would stress over whether I wanted to sleep by the door and be the first person to die or the other bed and see my parents get axed to death. While the logic is better, the fear has not improved all that much as I've gotten older. I feel a bit better having a dog who barks if a leaf blows by the window. But if noises wake me up, I am often up for the day. I keep a machete, an axe, several knives and baseball bats in our bedroom though so I'm ready for a fight ;)

    Actually they are functional tools we use all the time and just keep in our room so the kids aren't messing with them. But they will probably still be there even after the last one leaves home ;)

    But trying to imagine what one would do is very different in that case than the airplane scenario because your choices on a plane are pretty limited as far as action goes.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @yagr have taken the liberty of posting your story on the story section of insighttimer.com.

    Know you will not mind. <3 Thanks for sharing. B) Wonderful story.

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