Here is the recording of Rev. Saidō’s funeral on the 18th March, 2023. It hardly seems possible that Rev. Saidō is actually dead. Last time we talked on the telephone, perhaps a week before he died, I was trying to find a word or words to refer to the fact of his imminent demise. “You mean dead!” he said. Not mincing words, and I’m following his lead on that one.
This morning, as if I actually needed a reminder, I collected his cremated remains from the undertaker’s office. They are now placed on the altar here at Telford Buddhist Priory, awaiting a suitable recepticle, eventually to be interred in the grounds here (in the recently constructed stupa).
Phew! Its just an hour before the Funeral. This is what I have to say. You are the first to listen.
While we carry with us a diversity; of backgrounds, memories, living conditions, life conditions, it’s now our time to allow them to fall into the background of our consciousness. To allow ourselves to know in the depths of ourselves that Time, Space and Form lose their ordinary everyday meaning. That truth will articulate in your own religious or non-religious affiliations. It is up to each of us to plumb the depths; no teacher, master or guide, or spiritual friend can do that for us.
Let us not pity or grieve or imagine a loss or pine for the past, or worry about the hole in our lives that a loss brings, or indeed have ideas about what happens when the life goes out of us or the life goes out of our nearest and dearest.
At death as in life fundamentally we go on alone AND, big AND, we have the hearts – minds -and hands of those near and far. Not as a crutch, not at all, more that, the heats, minds and hands are that which give us wings to set us free.