We are all so fragile. We are, first of all, so fragile physically. When we are born, we can’t even feed ourselves or survive without continuous attention. And throughout our lives there are so many things that can go wrong, but mostly do not. It is actually amazing that the incredible intricacy of body and mind … Read More
In my experience as a Buddhist teacher and spiritual guide, for many people the first time the deep truth of aging hits is when our parents become ill and die. This tends to happen when people are in their 40s, when they themselves still feel young, still remember college and their first jobs, still are energetic, active, and fully productive. I remember one woman in her early forties whose parent died suddenly. I could see her face change as she grieved and processed her loss; it was as though she was aging before my eyes. … Read More
Nothing happens when you die: Two contemporary Buddhist masters—Suzuki Roshi and the 16th Karmapa—both said this. When the Karmapa was dying—according to people who were there—he opened his eyes and said, “Nothing happens.”
And in Suzuki Roshi’s book Not Always So he says, “Don’t worry about dying. Nothing is going to happen.”
Well. This is the kind of out-there statement that skeptics of Buddhism point to as a way of discrediting it. Of course something happens, they say—you die! That’s something, isn’t it?
Clearly Suzuki Roshi and the Karmapa were talking about dying at a different level. … Read More