Death & Dying

Powerful end-of-life practices and compassionate care
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    Houn Jiyu-Kennet Roshi Paid Member

    Roshi Jiyu-Kennett, founder of Shasta Abbey, died on November 6, at the age of seventy-two. In thirty-three years of teaching, she guided hundreds of students, and her books, including The Wild, White Goose (1977, 1978) and Selling Water by the River (1972),* are read widely by Western Zen practitioners. In her last years of life, however, Kennett Roshi increasingly isolated herself from other Zen lineages in the United States and Japan. More »
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    Lex Hixon Paid Member

    At the age of 22, Lex Hixon wrote a poem that includes the following lines: all I wantinscribed on the dancing flames of my pyre:the enigmatic phrase,all is light More »
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    The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Paid Member

    The Tibetan Book of Living and DyingSogyal Rinpoche Edited by Patrick Gaffney and Andrew Harvey Harper San Francisco: San Francisco, 1992.356 pp. $22.00 (hardcover). More »
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    Seventeen Syllable Medicine Paid Member

    Waking up in the long indigo shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, my heart is granite. A beloved dharma sister and deep writing friend of 30 years has been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and has just entered an intensive treatment program at the Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center of Northern New Mexico. I have come to keep her company for a week. Outside her home, the first honey blonde columbine of summer push into bloom, a glory I am too numb to celebrate. More »
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    Truth or Consequences Paid Member

    IF THE ANCIENT CHINESE proverb has much relevance today, I would say that I am cursed by living in interesting times. Beginning zazen while wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine thirty years ago, I began to question "authority"—not only the authority of the Marine Corps and ultimately of the U.S. government, but the authority of Zen teachers, and even my own authority, my own sponsorship of and participation in the growing war in Vietnam. A stateside friend sent me an essay by Albert Camus, "Neither Victims nor Executioners," from which I copied most of one paragraph in my notebook: More »
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    Coming, Going Paid Member

    Empty-handed I entered the worldBarefoot I leave it.My coming, my going—Two simple happeningsThat got entangled. From Japanese Death Poems, compiled by Yoel Hoffman. © 1998 Tuttle Publishing. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Read more death poems here. Illustration by Roberto La Forgia More »