"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Preparing for my Journey...No Rush

Often I get an understanding of who I am...who I would like to be...and who I know I don't want to be again from my practise and from what I read. I'de like to quote something I just finished's from Stan Goldberg Phd. Dr. Goldberg is a teacher, author, and a long time bedside volunteer at a hospice in San Francisco. "Imagine you're preparing for a trip to a foreign country and your limited to taking only what can be carried in a backpack. Your decisions on what to take and what to leave behind will determine the quality of your experience. Too many items and the weight will be burdensome. Not enough of the right ones and you might be forced to neglect some basic needs. We make decisions of this type regularly. Take what's important, leave behind what isn't. But we tend to be oblivious to the importance of these decisions for the most momentous journey of our life....our death." I've learned a little about just what kind of baggage I should take with me on that..the greatest journey. But learning something and practising it is a very different thing. While I have on the one hand the example of my father who on his deathbed, was asked if I should be told said, "No!". That is a terrible load to carry with one on the great journey. For both of us...You see he offered me that load to take on my journey...the choice to pack that or not will be mine. I've learned some about living and dying...I've studied great lessons on just what to tote with me on my journey...and yet a part of me would leave some of the same baggage to my own daughter. I wonder how full my pack will be...and how much I will be able to properly dispose of. Ram Dass speaks of the grinding poverty one sees in India.... people in the streets of Varanisi...the old city of Benares...on the banks of the Ganges river. People he looked on with such sorrow for their situation when he first went to India. After spending a year studying... he saw that those same people...people with nothing to their name but a few coins saved for their funeral pyre were actually looking with compassion on him... you see they had made it. For a Buddhist to die in Benares is a path to enlightenment. Today...that's my die in Benares...and to not leave too heavy a load for you to carry with my name on it. And so it goes I do really try, brinda Namaste

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