Thursday, November 18, 2010

That Is the Truth

(Back from two and a half week retreat with Ruth Denison, at Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center, I am devoting the next few weeks to sharing Ruth's wonderful teachings.)

The Natural Law of Impermanence.

For the past two days, our house has been permeated with deep sadness. We found Bailey dead in the morning, from a massive heart attack, just like that. A cold, furry lump, that seemed to be sleeping still, except for her eyes, opened. The night before, she had still gone out on a walk with our other two dogs. 

I have been thinking about Ruth's many talks about impermanence.

Bailey coming into our lives, and leaving us. Making very clear the natural law of impermanence. 

"We need to realize - It is only for a short while."
~ Ruth Denison ~


  1. Oh Marguerite, so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you were spared the act of euthanasia and that she did not have to suffer. One of the harder things about going on retreat is leaving my arthritic and oh-so-sweet dog behind. The one thing I ask is that I can be with Paloma at her end.

    "It is not your efforts that brings liberation, but the Truth." Indeed.

  2. My heart goes out to you, such a sad thing to wake up to. The loss of a family member is a desperate thing, furry or otherwise. Even though all is impermanence, it still hurts to lose a loved one.

  3. Marguerite, my heart broke reading this entry. I don't have much trouble with the idea of my own impermanence it is others that I struggle with try as I may.

    “Nothing really dies,” I told him. “It just turns into something else. Everything is always changing form. Do you remember the pumpkin that rotted into the earth in your garden? Tomatoes sprouted where it used to be. This bird will go back to the earth and turn into lavendar flowers and butterflies,”--Anne Cushman

  4. Dear Marguerite,

    This is from Thich Nhat Hanh's book "no death, no fear" - may it bring some ease.

    "This body is not me, I am not caught in this body,
    I am life without boundaries,
    I have never been born and I have never died.
    Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies
    All manifests from the basis of consciousness.
    Since beginningless time I have always been free.
    Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out.
    Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek.
    So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye.
    Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before.
    We shall always be meeting again at the true source,
    Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life."

  5. Many prayers for you and yours and dear Bailey and the merit of my meditation today. I remember the depth of grief when our cat died. And the wonderful vet we had at the time reminded me what an act of generosity that we take these animals into our hearts and homes, knowing they will most likely leave this world before we do.

  6. Thank you all, Dharma brothers and sisters for all your loving kindness.

    In gratitude,


  7. Marguerite -

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Even writing this, I feel a tightness in my throat, tingling in my stomach and shortness of breath....a feeling of deep sadness and empathy. I too have a dog, that I love unconditionally and reading this makes me think of the shortness of the lives of these beloved family members that we hold so dear...and impermanence in general.

    My thoughts are with you on this day. Much metta to you.

  8. Thank you Nate, very much.

    I wish you much well and peace, also :)