Yesterday I saw a sad news about a 10-year old terminally ill girl’s dying wish. Here is some excerpts from the news:

“HUNTINGTON BEACH – Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old with a rare form of cancer, was staying alive for one thing – a movie.
After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.get_well
The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie.
Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.”

You may check this link for more details and photos: bin/fg.cgi? page=gr&GRid= 38511395

This news story makes me think of ways to make this “departure” process easier for the sick children.

In some classic Chinese legends about people who had travelled to heaven and backed to earth, they had always mentioned about the time differential between earth and heaven, like a few days in heaven is equivalent to a few hundered years on earth. But there were no exact figures about the ratio.

A few years ago I ran into a book written by a respected Chinese monk. In November 3, 1967, “Living Buddha” Kuan-jing (宽凈) went to a mountain cave in China to zen-meditate. He was “disappeared” and his body was not found.

When the monk “came” back from his meditation May 1, 1973, he said he was always inside the cave, just people could not see him somehow. He said that he was led by a deity to do a visit of Nirvana (Buddisht name for heaven).

He reported that he felt that he had been in Nirvana for about 20 hours. By the time he returned, earth time had “moved” about 6 years and 5 months.

From these numbers, we can figure out that one day in heaven is equal to 7 years and 10 months of earth time.

Using Colby Curtin’s case as example, adults may tell her that Heaven is fun and painless, but separating from her parents will be a big concern for almost any child. Nothing beats telling her that her parents will come within a few weeks (heaven’s time) and definitely not more than a month.

Two weeks of heaven’s time is 2x7x 7.8 or over 100 earth years. Colby’s parents will be around 120 years old by that time if they live that long.

Same principle can also be used to comfort our departing aged parents. We can tell them to wait for us at heaven gate in a week (of heaven time). It will be a short separation and quick reunion in heaven.

Ken, how can you be sure that one will go to heaven and not hell?

According to this respected monk, unless one has done something very bad like murder, one is likely to go to at least the lowest level of heaven. The important thing is “getting into the door” and work our way up later. You don’t want to be reincarnated or going to hell. Even in the lowest level of heaven, you can still really “think and get it!” (that’s why it is heaven).

RIP Colby.

Ken Lai

NOTE: updated the time differential to 7.83 years after locating the original book (6/22/09)