Posts Tagged ‘Sogyal Rinpoche’

“…when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.”

~~ Sogyal Rinpoche

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“We are what we think. 

With our thoughts we make the world. 

All that we are will rise with our thoughts.”

~~Sogyal Rinpoche

With mindfulness, we touch our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. 

We give pause. 

We create presence to all that is. 

As you breathe in and breathe out, what are you creating? 

Is it the world you want to be creating for yourself and others?

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Longaker has a wonderful book, “Facing Death and Finding Hope:  A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying“.  She has worked for years with Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibetan teacher and author.  Christine helped to establish two important institutions in our country . . . Hospice of Santa Cruz County and Rigpa Fellowship (US).  She also helped Sogyal Rinpoche to develop the Spiritual Care for Living and Dying Program.

She has an incredible poem in the abovementioned book that she wrote shortly after the death of her husband.  Next week we celebrate love and relationships.  Maybe we’ve gotten to a place where it is pretty commercialized, painting everything pink and red or getting “the” reservation at the hottest restaurant or the perfect getaway spa weekend but when it all comes down to it, none of that really matters.

What matters is our connection, our ability to be present, our desire to be compassionate, and our earnestness in trying to understand and love.

The week coming up is, for me, always bittersweet.  2/13 is my grandfather’s birthday and he would be 98 years old.  It is also the birthday of a beloved family friend who died before I ever left Connecticut.

2/14 is when my brother was put into a coma 17 years ago and when my mentor and dear friend Lois began the process of helping him to relax into his dying with a white light meditation and relaxation.

2/15 at 10am was when the doorbell rang and Michael’s home health nurse was at the door to tell me to come to the hospital; Mike was ready to transition.  I “knew” about 15 minutes before that he was slipping away but he had the gift of being with our parents for the last time. . . just the three of them, just as he had started out in this world before I came along.

The American Psychiatric Association and other people, some in my own professional organization, would give us two weeks to grieve before giving us a diagnosis.  I guess the lot of them have never really loved anyone.

During the week to come, spend extra time being present to those who you love the most.  Listen to the quality of their voice, how the sun shines on their hair, the pitch of their giggle, the wrinkles on their hands. . . spend less time searching for that card at Hallmark and spend that time giving your loved one that mindful attention.

You will not always be together, as we change, age, grow ill, and die, as Longaker experienced with her husband.  Create memories now and enjoy the moment-to-moment love you share.


You Can Grow Less Beautiful

Your hair is falling out, and

you are not so beautiful.

Your eyes have dark shadows,

your body is bloated:  arms covered with

bruises and needlemarks;

legs swollen and useless.

Your body and spirit

are weakened with toxic chemicals

urine smells like antibiotics,

even the sweat,

that bathes your  whole body

in the early hours of morning

reeks of dicloxacillin and methotrexate.

You are nauseous all the time —

I am afraid to move on the bed

for fear of waking you

to moan

and lean over the edge

vomiting into the bag.

I curl up fetally

withdraw into my dreams

with a frightened back to you —

I’m scared

and I’m hiding

but I love you so much;

this truth does not change.

Years ago,

when I met you, as we were falling in love,

your beauty attracted me;

long, golden-brown hair

clear and peaceful green eyes

high cheekbones and long smooth muscles

but you know

I fell in love with your soul

the real essence of you

and this cannot grow less beautiful.

Sometimes these days

even your soul is cloudy

but I still recognize you.

We may be frightened

and hiding our sorrow

it may take a little longer

to acknowledge the truth,

yet I would not want to be anywhere else:

I am here     with you

you can grow less beautiful to the world

you are safe —

I will always love you.

~~Christine Longaker for her husband Lyttle.

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