Remarkable happenings happen when a person is close to death. Not able to see or hear a woman hears and speaks – to her daughter. Then passes on. Amazing. Remarkable the bond between parent and off spring. Remarkable too is the impact of the offering of prayers and spiritual merit. A young man close to death miraculously back to life against all medical odds. Then to make his offering of healing to others, live for a short while. And then die. Over the years very many such events, differing details, come to my ears. Fill my heart.
To all who grieve. For those who continue to grieve. (There’s no time limit.) For those who offer their lives wholeheartedly for the benefit of others while at deaths door (My Luminous Friend). Reflecting now it is clear the distinction between oneself and other selves fades in the face of unconditional love.
The unknown, the Unknowing. Falling. Falling over. Hurt. Old body, seen life. Falling. Falling over. Hurting. Much water passing, many clouds wafting.
Through a keyhole. Surgery. Saintly surgeon. The unknown, the Unknowing. Then. A Mallard Duck. Motionless in a glass cage. Stuffed? Later gone. Up through the top of the cage. Gone. Just like that.
Wonders never cease. Do they? Slip a card into a slot, a slit. Later. Cash! (Sorry, no receipt.) Yes, plastic bag please. Crossing the road. Not getting run over. Coins. Money. Purchase. Food cooked and eaten.
Been around and about. Now back.
When people you know and love are on the brink, in danger of passing away. At least the possibility. Simple things come into sharp focus. Crazy things like the trapped duck in the middle of a hospital. Leave a lasting impression. Just everyday living, just for a short while, is deeper than you’d ever think.
How does it go? There is an ‘unknowing’, that goes on for ever and ever. And is even now.
At Throssel last Sunday for the day, Buddha Day, celebrating the birth and enlightenment of the historic Buddha. The Enlightened One.
The main altar was sparkling, the flower bower over the baby Buddha, inspired. One after the other in procession during the celebration ceremony we ‘bathed’ the Buddha. We ladled pure water over the golden statue, and walked on.
Many times over the years I have participated in this ceremony. This year was different for me. ‘Where is the joy’? I asked myself casually. In the singing? The abundance of flowers or people or children? Being with the monastic community?
Writing is for:
Eternal ‘not knowing’
There are people we meet in life who help bring about a profound change. A change in ones life direction, thinking and most especially take one deeper than ones own mind. Just so. My first writing at my now transformed writing desk was about just such a profound meeting which came through the medium of television.
At age fourteen I witnessed, I was to discover later, my teacher Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett being interviewed for British TV soon after she arrived in Japan to study with Zen Master Koho Zenji. She was standing with shaven head and flowing robes, resolute, in a garden in the grounds of Soji-ji Temple, Yokohama Japan. As the interview concluded up into my mind came, If she can do it, I can do it too. That’s all it takes. A thought unbidden, seemingly out of nowhere which in my case lead me towards ordination as a Buddhist monastic. At the time I was not in the least bit interested in religion. Far from it.
Anyway, my first piece of writing at my transformed desk was for the OBC Journal, and I will publish the short paragraph after the Journal is published.
For all the people who have come into our lives, for all the twists and turns they have brought about which have us here now. We are alive, breathing. For that, and much more, we can be grateful. But who’s counting?
And the day came
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took
I love what I read on Listening Ear. This article Asking for Help, Risk and Reward was in the monthly newsletter, where I picked up on the above quote. Thanks Megan. You are a blossom one and no mistake. As are all the budding blossoms in the world. That would be all beings. Note I wrote budding blossoms pointing out our lives are not bound by time. Shakyamuni Buddha is, was and will be Enlightened TOGETHER WITH all living things. And with the historic Buddha in mind……
We are coming up for the time of the celebration of the Buddha’s birth and enlightenment, known as Wesak. This Sunday I’ll be at Throssel to celebrate. If the snow isn’t too deep!