Dear Young Spiritual Seeker,
You asked me in your last letter, “should I fear death?” I cannot ask that question for you, you have to find out the answer to that questions by living and dying.
I will not quote spiritual books to you or speak in terms of academic theology, I will speak from my own truth simple and plain. I do not know what lies after death. However, I do know that our life here is but a blink of an eye; human beings are but children to ancient trees or wise old turtle. Everything no matter how long it lives, will eventually die.
I am not a Buddhist, yet the wisdom of the Buddha’s words rings true, everything is impermanent. And yet, the impermanence of life does not render life meaningless, but each moment is precious and an opportunity to be present.
So my friend, we who live in a culture that denies death, we can be countercultural and embrace the truth of death and impermanence. Also, it does not mean our embracing the truth of impermanence will make our grief any less, when we say goodbye to someone we love due to death. Saying goodbye to a life is always hard, otherwise we would not be human, and yet it does not mean we have to wallow in sadness in pain.
My young friend, live now, so you have fully lived when it is your time to welcome death. For death is the great unknown, when we know not when it will knock at our door. Sit, breathe and inquire with curiosity your fear and find what lies underneath.
It is a joy to be your friend and companion on this journey of seeking and discovering. Be well.
Your fiend on the path.
my dreams have drifted away
lost at sea
my dreams will return
“13 Things I love about you”
(a poem dedicated to my daughter)
I love the way you wrinkle your nose.
I love the way you shrug your shoulders, when I am too silly.
I love the way you laugh.
I love the way you ask for cuddles, before I tuck you and kiss you goodnight.
I love how creative you are, when we play games with our imagination.
I love how you jump out of bed full of energy, and that you wait for me to have my first cup of coffee.
I love how you dance.
I love that you love to sing.
I love that you love the environment.
I love, when you get excited about the rain.
I love, when you get excited about the ocean.
I love that you ask me to read to you.
I love you being you.
my identity is etched into my skin
but unlike a tattoo,
it’s not drawn in with ink.
who I am has been etched into me
by my ancestors, by codes of DNA,
and the prayers of my people.
I am so much more than the labels
society puts on me.
I am forgetful
teaching myself to write everyday
is more difficult than I anticipated.
just for today, I am writing
a free verse about
how hard it is to write. 🙂
fear grips me and pulls me into the depth of dark places
your love pulls me back from the deep of dark waters,
into the light and to the surface where I can breathe
your love reminds me to breathe deeply
and offer myself compassion that I freely give others
(Waterfall in Shenandoah National Forest, picture taken by me)
words cascade down on me like water from a waterfall
they pound down on me fast and hard,
washing away all the tension held in my body.
words with depth and weight like a mountain stream is cold,
the life giving waters wakes me into life
and heals my aching heart.
* We all need words of hope right now, but sometimes the sounds of nature say more than my words ever can. i found this hike to the waterfall renewing. i walked into the falls and laid my body against the mossy walls, and the water cascade over my body.
some days I long for endless sleep
life feels like a dream I cannot awake from
most days it is pleasant, but some days a nightmare
reality feels more like a dream than when i am asleep
when world events feel surreal
and i just want check out
but instead of running away or going into deep sleep
i awaken my heart through compassion
i keep return to my meditation
and go within to the seat of my heart
so i may awaken the boddhisattva within me