How to Avoid Being Zombified

‘The Serpent and the Rainbow’, which is supposedly based on a true story (By Wade Davis) tells of a terrifying Haitian semi-scientific and semi-voodoo drug, that can induce a fake death syndrome, where the ‘deceased’ is seen to be thoroughly dead medically, who is not so at all. One might then be buried alive, but springs back to life while in a claustrophobic coffin a few feet underground. Sounds hellish? It is hell. Maybe due to being badly traumatised and cultural beliefs, and/or even truly due to the drug itself, survivors are said to become mindless zombies.

What is the Buddhist solution if one is infected by this drug? Given that you cannot move anything but your mind in the grave, practise mindfulness of (Amitabha) Buddha (nianfo) for divine help! And if one does become relatively mindless after crawling out of the grave, one should still practise mindfulness of Buddha – to rediscover one’s human and Buddha-nature, to regain normal mindfulness at least. And in the worst case scenario that one remains buried indefinitely, mindfulness of Buddha with the right faith and aspiration (and without attachment to the body) will lead to a swift rebirth in Pureland – away from the living hell. Amituofo!