Wednesday, June 17, 2009

next life, already by ko shin

next life, already...

It was one of those warm, early summer days…
Thanks God for the fans in the Chapel where the Dharma Brothers meet
and sit, and chant, and walk meditatively and talk…

But this was not a "normal" one
One brother sat with the Chaplain, sad looking, almost in tears

Just heard the night before, "Mom is gone" only 52 years
"I knew she was sick, but I figured (and wouldn't we all)
She would be ok"

"I can't be there", hold my sisters hand, my other siblings don't seem to
care or know what do"

The Sangha arrives, the men are always happy to be together, to sit…
But then I mention our brothers sadness and loss, and another speaks up,
"my mom had a serious stroke two days ago, she's in Mississippi, it is harder not knowing,
than accepting her death…" tears, some anger, "I want to hold her hand, do something,
I can't"

Needless to say, we had a healing sit that afternoon…

What's going on here?
I am not critical of the fact, inmates do not go home for the death of even their parents…
At least not in these medium prisons…there were unskillful actions that they participated in
To get in this place….they know that all too well...

But how does one handle death?
Have you thought of yours? I sure have, at least after this afternoon with my Dharma Brothers…

We are reminded at times like these, "death is not the end"
"Prison is not the end" "Unskillful acts that hurt others, are not the end!"

We are reminded, it’s the path stupid!

It’s the way, sister, brother, whoever…

These confluence of events, mom dying and mom near death
That woke us all up, we are all Buddha's, awakened ones,
Not with answers, or words that take away the pain, the anger, the loss,
or fill the void…but a reminder, this is real, this happens to all of us,
To all creatures,

Can we avoid it, no, but we can journey through these dead filled moments, as life…

We can't fool folks, where one line says she is with God or Jesus,
Then say, he is asleep, at rest in the Lord,
And then say "on the last day…." he and she will…..

This is all very confusing, my loved one is gone, dam….

Bull shit, sorry

The vet said to me when Mickey was put asleep, when I asked is he gone?
"Mickey is already in his next life" Dam, why didn't someone say that to me when Dad died,
or as I help Mom's hand and Karen sang to her as she started her next life? Where was the vet, or the priest?

Hey, Dharma Brothers, I write this because I mourn with you as do all who read this,

Don't fret,
don't worry,
sit brother,
be silent and listen,
and know, in this moment,
You are blessed, you are free,
the bars, the bells, the guards are only temporary,

As are the bars, and the hindrances for all of us…are we always skillful in all we do?

This life and the next are real….

let it go, you are ok…peace…comfort…compassion

next life, already…

Ko shin, Bob Hanson @ June, 2009


  1. That was so touching Bob... ah death.. how polite we are about it, those of us who are left, passed over, asleep, at rest. It must be hard for those who you are with who cant go home and mourn with others... you are a special person Ko shin