Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Ready Before It's Too Late

Sitting just now, I experienced much unpleasantness in body and mind. I also felt great joy, from having the practice to carry me through. Knowing that the trick lied not in hoping for a better experience, but in being with everything, including what did not feel so good.

I thought about conversation I had once with Bryan, one of the residents at Zen Hospice, shortly before he died. Bryan knew he did not have much longer, and fear had taken ahold of him. In the middle of the night, he had gotten up to play music on his keyboard, and for the first time his fingers had refused to cooperate. Bryan, a professional musician had reached a place of no return. "I wonder what happens after death. They say Jesus came back from the dead. Did he really? That whole story about the stone being rolled back, and him stepping out and meeting the women, I don't know . . . What do you think? You are a Buddhist." I sensed the urgency in his voice. "Well, I don't know either. What I notice is right now, you are being in your thoughts, and in the future, and there is a lot of fear there, and I wonder if you could suspend the thoughts for just a moment, and just be with the present experience? Feeling your body, and your breath, and the thoughts coming and going, and the whole atmosphere." Bryan got angry. "What do you mean, being in the moment . . . It's taking me forever to put on just one shoe. There is nothing good about this." He was right, there was not much pleasant about the moment. I realized right then the importance of getting ready for the final goodbye. 

Practicing, every day. Being with the ebbs of flows of life. Even minded . . .

14 comments:

  1. You might find this an interesting read...
    http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/Books/five_visions.htm

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  2. Another touching honest post Marguerite, thank you.
    What's funny, is my post for tomorrow was written before I read yours today, and my post completely ties in with yours. We must have some type of karmic connection! ;-)
    I hope if you get a chance, you will read my Blog tomorrow.
    Metta
    David

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  3. Thanks Lori, I will read. Thank you also for sitting with me earlier.

    With much metta.

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  4. David, thank you. I will. Maybe you can post link here also.

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  5. Nice post. I think about death all the time, every day at least once. I'm going to write a post about it soon as well. Most days I think about how easily this body could pass and how fickle it is ... we walk out onto a road without being mindful and BAM this body is no more. It reminds us to be present and to practice.

    Metta,
    Dean 'Jagaro' Crabb
    http://themindfulmoment.blogspot.com/

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  6. Yes, impermanence, in our face, all the time. Working at Zen Hospice has helped me realize it even more, at a deeper level.

    Thank you for sharing your personal story on your blog by the way. I very much enjoyed reading every bit of it. This is quite a journey you have had . . .

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  7. Here is the link to my post on this subject Marguerite. Thank you again for sharing.
    http://www.wellhappypeaceful.com/2011/01/04/even-death-is-not-to-be-feared/

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  8. Thank you David, for sharing. I will make sure to read and leave a comment.

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  9. I would really appreciate any comment from you Marguerite. Thank you.

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  10. wonderful work you do...benefitting so many through love, compassion and patience.

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  12. Very good Marguerite, you are so mindful.
    I wonder if you could give me suggestions on how I could become certified to offer hospice care? I would like to start this for my Temple.
    Metta
    David

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  13. What a beautiful intention, David!

    I would ask the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization:
    http://www.nhpco.org/templates/1/homepage.cfm

    Metta

    marguerite

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