Man Saved by Meditation

Chinese construction worker, Wang Jianxin, used a Buddhist meditation technique to  survive after being buried under six feet of mud. The 52 year old man was trapped for two hours with only 5 minutes worth of air.

"It was suddenly dark and I realized what had happened, and found that there was a small air pocket in front of me. I knew it would not last, so I made myself relax and concentrated on slowing down my breathing by meditation. It was very quiet down there and I was surprised that despite facing death how easy it was to focus my mind and bring about the inner clam needed for meditation.”

“Later it became very hot and suffocating. I thought I might not make it back but then I heard voices and digging and suddenly could see again. It was the longest two hours of my life."

Jianxin used a small pocket of air trapped in his safety helmet to sustain him through the ordeal.  His colleagues dug him out by hand; afraid that shovels might injure him.

In the space where so many of us might have panicked and wasted our precious life sustaining oxygen, this man was able to remain calm, focused, and present.  Aligning himself with the experience and becoming aware of the tools that were offered to him at that moment.  I can only imagine that years of practice and dedication allowed this approach to come so effortlessly.  What a testament of the power of practice. 

How has your meditation and/or yoga practice helped you cope with a difficult situation?

Comments 2

  1. Hi – This is a remarkable story. I use meditation to overcome fear that takes hold – to help me push through when I have mental blocks.

    Here’s one of my favorite stories from teaching kids yoga called Standing in the Hallway about meditation:

  2. I read the whole article and while this is really interesting, the main story seems to be ignored. “The country has a woeful record of safety in the workplace with 101,480 people killed last year (2007) in work-related or road accidents…” How is this not news? Chinese construction employers cut corners and disregard their employees’ health consistently and no one does anything? Instead, it’s considered a miracle when one man of very many happens to know how to control his breathing…

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