toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone.
Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and
the moon sets, but they're not gone..."
I'm certainly grateful that the subject of Death has been a focal point of Practice, study, and conversation in my life recently, because yesterday I found myself in the emergency room of the local hospital with oxygen tubes at my nostrils, wired to a couple of machines listening to the someone crying down the hall.
Laying there, I hadn't recognized that sound as crying until the young woman who arrived to take blood samples said, "She's really having a hard time of it." I had just experienced the sound as another background sound among the whirrs, buzzes, clicks, and beeps of this busy small town medical center.
Surprised, I answered that I was fine and she proceeded with her tasks, labeling the vials. I closed my eyes and relaxed into meditation again, being present to the sensations of my own body and breath, then resting in the vast spaciousness of open awareness. In a few moments I began Tonglen again.
Originally posted, May 2, 2014. Revised.
P.P.S. Two years down the road. It's about the same. Stay tuned. I still am.