On Death…

When ordinary people die they are out of control. Because they have not trained themselves during their life, they are overwhelmed by the experience of death and bewildered as their bodily elements go out of balance and cease to function harmoniously.

~ Lama Thubten Yeshe

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This quote inspired such an amazing moment of awareness and compassion in me.  On a lot of levels, I already knew what the Venerable Lama Yeshe said, but it was good to read and think on this separately.   (Especially as, one of these days, as soon as I can, I want to get involved in hopsice work.  It’s a place I genuinely feel I could help.  And it sort of “runs in the family.”)

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Oh wow …

…I really missed the boat on this one. Talk about not being present….

Here’s a lesson in impermanence, and in the need to stay connected.

There once was a man who had a major impact on my life. I don’t know that he ever knew what a huge effect he had on me. He was a coffeehouse owner, a hobo, a poet, and a wonderful percolator of creativity and unity. It’s hard to find words that haven’t already been used to describe him, and better….

Suffice it to say that his slow, genuine life is something that both my husband and I honor in our lives. We mention him fairly frequently, and will continue to do so.

When I left New Orleans after college, I knew I was leaving an important and formative part of my life behind. I was also leaving a city and people I love behind, and I didn’t know when I would be back. When we filled up at the gas station that day, I broke down and cried. I had to face impermanence head on, and just accept change.

Things change, time passes, people live and die. Bob Borsodi died, just as we all must. However, to learn that he was so racked with the pain of metastasized, fatal cancer that he leapt to his death from the Hale Boggs Bridge, into the Mississippi River…and not only that, that I missed his passing by more than four years….well, it’s just given me food for thought. What a mindfulness bell…. I’ve got much to think about…..

A Cage Without a Bird — Bob Borsodi

I have a dove that dwells

Within a cage without a door.

(I took the door off years ago.)

And pretty girls have asked,

Their minds full of externals,

“Is it safe?”

And how perhaps he needs a door

To protect him

Lest he sneak away somehow to the city outside

And be lost.

And compounding their request,

If he needs a mate

That he might want for friendship

In his prison without a gate.

Well, here it is.

The dove and I have achieved this rare liberty

Only after many years,

A tedious story of near disaster experiences,

Murky and dreary, too unkind to recall.

The surest safety

Comes from a source deep inside,

Deep inside the boney cage,

From a peaceful feeling there

Which I would do harm to explain.

And the sweetest friendship likewise

Comes from a free feeling there, deep inside,

That I would do harm to tame.

Yet peaceful and free

We do no harm to be.