Time and mental space to Reflect

It is just two weeks since Rev. Saido’s Funeral and reception and a month since he died. Goodness! Is that possible? I’m still incredulous at this swift turn of events that has me propelled into a set of circumstances nobody could have anticipated or predicted. Least of  all me.

People ask, ‘how are you doing’? People, well meaning people, advise ‘look after yourself’. ‘Doing fine and yes, I’m looking after myself’ is my response. In more words than that.

Now seated in the cafe at Tebay Services, north bound, with chips and coffee. Reflecting…. While my ‘world’ has changed vastly, in circumstance and appearance and my mind is occupied with different concerns, what has changed? Fundamentally?

So this is a question for everybody what ever your life of flux has brought to you. Right now. There isn’t a cut and dried answer, there IS an answer on a fundamental level. That’s to say everything and nothing has changed!

Being action/activity based as we humans are such an answer doesn’t help in the practical realm. For me, right now my next step is to continue driving to Throssel with a car loaded with Rev. Saido’s vestments and other items. Food surplus to my current needs, oh and more that I can’t list now….

So the answer ends up a question ‘what is the next most important thing to do? While tempering that with stopping to reflect. And given the opportunity, to sit comfortably for awhile. We could term that as meditation. It is a not doing, deciding deliberately.

Onwards to the M6 Motorway.

This is for all those known and unknown who are living with difficult mental health issues. I met one such person this very day. Blessings….

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Watch Rev. Saido’s Funeral

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).

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Going on, always going on

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.

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A Saving Grace

Retaining a sense of humour
Is the saving grace
of the religious life

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Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives