Endure – Joyfully


It was November 6Th, 1996. Around 2.00 pm. I leaned over the railing outside my Masters house watching the golden leaves fall from the Lindon Tree in the garden at Shasta Abbey. I was commenting to the monk beside me that I felt no sadness. There was a sort of joy, almost elation in the air. How could this be? My Master had just died. Breathed her last. He commented something to the effect that it was like another leaf falling from a tree. Then I went indoors and got on….

And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. There is that which endures, joyfully.

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5 thoughts on “Endure – Joyfully”

  1. The entry for Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett in Wikipedia is litered with inaccuracies. So don’t count on the details, or quote from it either.

  2. I heard Beowulf chanted in Anglo-Saxon at the British Library a few weeks back, and in the surtitles, was struck by the word “death day”. It’s resonated with me ever since: birth day to death day such is our span. As the Japanese Masters wrote death poems, the Venerable Bede wrote a death song:

    “Before that needful journey which none may avoid
    No man becomes more wise in thought than him who, in need, considers,
    before his going away, about how his soul, its good and evil, will be judged
    after the death day.”

    My best wishes Reverend Master.
    In gassho

    (As for Wikipedia, an episode of the Simpsons on the return flight had Bart say to his Homer (his father), “but that’s not what it says in Wikipedia”. To which Homer replies, “Don’t worry son, we can change it when we get home”).

  3. I loved that quote from the Simpsons. I’ve been repeating it all day, at every opportunity. Raises a good laugh.

    Hum, death day. Yes. Death days are interesting. All the significant people I know who have died have left me with their death day, memories of their death days. And I have to say some fairly odd memories at that. I remember comparing gold fillings with my dad the evening my mum died, and baking a Christmas cake…. There was my dads death day, which I’d been prepared for for years. I’d got a PDA all charged up with his date of birth, place of birth, full name etc. etc. ready for the moment. The police were thunderstruck by my efficiency under pressure, and in grief!

    A death song sounds fun. I’ll have to do one…it’s good to be prepared.

    Thanks Walter, thanks so much.

  4. I remember Rev. Master Jiyu’s ‘death day’ very well. It was my 41st ‘birthday’ and the day that Rev. Master Daishin came to Telford to look at a property with me and another Telford congregation member. I remember there was joy in the air. Rev. Master inspected the property enthusiastically and gave his stamp of approval on the purchase of ‘Old Meadows’, now Telford Buddhist Priory. Later that evening, after taking a phone call, he told us that Rev. Master Jiyu had died. Giving the ‘go ahead’ for a priory in Telford was one of the last official duties that she performed in her remarkable lifetime. I am deeply grateful for her ‘going on’, for your ‘going on’, Rev. Mugo and for mine – it feels that there is nothing else for it – ‘joyful endurance’.

    With bows to all,


  5. Karen, Thanks for leaving this comment to the post now quite old itself. I knew that RMD was with you on that day but I had no idea it was that very day the priory building was decided on. An auspicious day. As you know I am deeply grateful to you and Dave and especially what you said to me while out walking during our family camp under Glastonbury. You gave me, one of Rev. Master Jiyu’s disciples, your vote of confidence to carry on the teaching after her death. I think we are doing a reasonable job. It is never easy for the following generation when the founder dies. We are doing our best. Thanks for your continuing support.

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