Working with the dying is like being a midwife for this great rite of passage of death. Just as a midwife helps a being take their first breath, you help a being take their last breath.
Pain is the mind. It's the thoughts of the mind. Then I get rid of the thoughts, and I get in my witness, which is down in my spiritual heart. The witness that witnesses being. Then those particular thoughts that are painful - love them. I love them to death!
In our Western culture, although death has come out of the closet, it is still not openly experienced or discussed. Allowing dying to be so intensely present enriches both the preciousness of each moment and our detachment from it.
The stroke has given me another way to serve people. It lets me feel more deeply the pain of others: to help them know by example that ultimately, whatever happens, no harm can come. 'Death is perfectly safe,' I like to say.
It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.
When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be. It's a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It's a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body and our psyche, on to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification.
We come into relationships often very much identified with our needs. I need this, I need security, I need refuge, I need friendship. And all of relationships are symbiotic in that sense. We come together because we fulfill each others' needs at some level or other.
My guru said that when he suffers, it brings him closer to God. I have found this, too.
Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object.
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