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"No Death, No Fear"

Posted Sep 07 2008 7:56pm

I've just learned that Jason crossed over this morning.

My immediate thoughts went to Tish. Next I thought of Jason's family and how they must feel to lose a young man just barely into his 30s.

The good news is that Jason's essence will always be with us, so he is not lost to us. We can touch the memories he left with us at any time.

Every time we have a happy memory, every time we laugh thinking of one of his jokes, and each time we remember the nice things he did for us, we can touch Jason and he can touch us.

I won't blog too much about this today. Instead, I will leave you with a wonderful story from one of my favorite books, "No Death, No Fear," which is a meditative and philosophical look at life, death, and all that falls between the two. It's basically about abandoning fears, in general, to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

When I read this book several years ago, I found within the covers a beautiful story that says far better than I can the way to look at death. The ones we love never really leave us, there are there for us at any time.

Enjoy this story by Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who was also one of Martin Luther King's and Thomas Merton's good friends.

Peace, Jason.

from "No Death, No Fear":

"The day my mother died, I wrote in my journal, 'A serious misfortune of my life has arrived.'

I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died.

When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.

I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tenderly, very sweet... wonderful!

Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine alone but a living continuation of my mother and father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors.

These feet that I saw as ‘my’ feet were actually 'our' feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.

From that moment on the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time."

~Thich Nhat Hanh, "No Death, No Fear"~
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