I hope that all is well with you and those close to you.
My family is facing a challenge at the moment, as my 99 year old mother seems to be facing the end of her life. She is in hospital with her family by her side on a rota system. She does have some episodes of confusion and panic, but is very reassured by our presence. She is also cracking lots of jokes and telling us all how lovely and perfect we are. In turn, we try and surround her with love. I tried telling her all the things she has done for me over the years – but there were just too many. She tried then to list the things I had done for her.
I am working with two sayings at the moment “Grief is unexpressed love” and “Today is a good day to die as everything in my life is complete” which I found in the excellent book “Who Dies” by Steven Levine. The latter is from the Native American tradition. I am changing the latter to “Today is a good day for my mother to die as everything in her life is complete”.
From a Buddhist point of view being around death and dying can remind us of the pain and suffering caused by attachment, and also the reality of impermanence. It is all to easy to stick our heads in the sand in our private deluded fantasy world.
Here are some other interesting quotes that I found:
“You only lose what you cling to.” – Buddha
“The root of suffering is attachment.” – Buddha
“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.” – Buddha
“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.” – Buddha
Milarepa: “All worldly pursuits have but one unavoidable and inevitable end, which is sorrow; acquisitions end in dispersion; buildings in destruction; meetings in separation; births in death.”
Milarepa: “When you are strong and healthy, you never think of sickness coming, but it descends with sudden force like a stroke of lightning. When involved in worldly things, you never think of death’s approach; quick it comes like thunder crashing round your head.”
Milarepa: “The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.”
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche: “Do not encumber your mind with useless thoughts. What good is it to brood over the past and fret about the future? Dwell in the simplicity of the present moment.”
Anyway why not come and join us at the Hertford Buddhist Group one Tuesday evening.
Coming up we have:
11 Jul 2023 Keith
18 Jul 2023 Samudraghosha
25 Jul 2023 Padmajata
01 Aug 2023 Mangala
08 Aug 2023 Katey
Also coming up on Sunday 9th July in Cambridge is Dharma Day. This is one of the three main Buddhist festivals of the year ( https://www.cambridgebuddhistcentre.com/DharmaDay2023 ). Several of us are going up from Hertford. These festivals are always a great day out, and an opportunity to see old friends, and meet new ones 🙂