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January 6, 2020

Lessons Learned

by Seijaku Roshi

In a few weeks it will be my birthday. I will be older than I ever was in this lifetime, and younger than I will ever be again. Today my friend and brother asked me if having cancer has in any way altered or added to my view of life. I don’t know. The past is now a blur to me. I recall living it, but as for the details they are like a visionary flower in the sky.

I will say this. I believe more than I have ever believed that, Love is all there is. Love is all that matters in anyones lifetime. Whence we are born we begin to intuitively move towards Love. For some mysterious reason, unknown to me at least, as we grow older, other desires seem to get in the way. Then, for some of us at least, we grow old and at the same time find ourselves returning to that intuitive desire to Love and to Be Loved. If we are lucky, time and experience has transformed us by then to become Lovers.

“In the Beginning was The Word,” and that Word was Love. It created all sentient beings and the myriad forms of its only offspring, which is Life, precious, precious Life. It is Love which created the world and which sustains it. We humans are but only one form of Its expression. If today, given our current events, we do not wake up to the reality of Love, we will be gone. And I believe that the Universe will simply recreate itself in Its own Image. That image is – Love.

I do remember that when I was younger so many things mattered which today I realize was just youthful ignorance. I took so much for granted, especially time and the space I occupied within it. There is a Buddhist Dharani which remains dear to my heart. I recite at all public gatherings at the end of each gathering. “Allow me to respectfully remind you, Birth and Death is the Supreme Matter. Everything is of the nature of Impermanence. Gone, gone, forever Gone. Opportunity is too often lost. Do not, squander your life.” Oh, if only I had learned the full meaning of this Dharani earlier than I did. But, we are not to dwell on past failures or mistakes. Only to learn from them.

“Birth and Death is the Supreme Matter.” We are to reconcile our way of living, of being in the world, with the One un-negotiable, undeniable, Truth. We are Born, and we are sure to Die. Death comes to all of us. Buddha’s, Christ’s, Prophets, Good, Bad, this Truth does not discriminate. “Time” is merciless, and it too does not discriminate. Everything, everyone, is of “the nature of Impermanence”. From the moment we are Born we begin our path toward Death. Once Death arrives, we are, “Gone, gone, forever gone.” This life, this body, this person, I have come identify with and experience as fixed or permanent, is not.

Because we resist this reality more than anything else, “Opportunity is too often lost.” Too often lost! The opportunity to know Love. The opportunity to express Love. The opportunity to Be Love. The opportunity to be Loved. For it is Love which fulfills me. It is Love which satisfies me. It is Loving other which completes me. In our ignorance we “Squander” so much time, space, and opportunity.

One day we all arrive at that day we are, “Older than we ever have been in this lifetime, and younger than we will ever be again.” The Buddha taught that “every moment” “every now” is an opportunity to “Purify past Karma, and eliminate its effects on the present moment and the future.”
So, every moment, until the day we die, is in fact an opportunity to “learn the full meaning of this precious Dharani. “Carpe Diem,” “Seize the Moment” “Now”. If not Now, When?


I Love you,

Seijaku Roshi

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