The Comfort of Others

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  • AlanLa
    Member
    • Mar 2008
    • 1405

    The Comfort of Others

    My neighbor John died last week, a very sweet man. He was also a Jehovah's Witness, and I just came back from his memorial service. There were some funny stories and then a fairly long sermon about God's promise of hope and a resurrection, stuff I no longer believe in. But it was a nice message, and I find myself comforted that all those in attendance likely found comfort. Does that make sense?

    It occurs to me that memorial services are probably multi-religious affairs, at least compared to your standard weekly religious gatherings. Thus they are a nice place to practice, and death is a good thing to practice on. Death used to really bother me, which is really odd because I don't think dying bothers me much at all. But then I finally realized it's not death but the saying good-bye, and that's why I went to that service today. I need practice on saying good-bye to the dead.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39451

    #2
    Thank you Al, and peace to all who have parted from a friend.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Geika
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • Jan 2010
      • 4980

      #3
      I'm sorry about your neighbor.
      求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
      I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

      Comment

      • Joyo

        #4
        I too am sorry about your neighbour.

        Gassho,
        Treena

        Comment

        • AlanLa
          Member
          • Mar 2008
          • 1405

          #5
          Thank you. My approach to this has been through the Heart Sutra. No old age and death, no cessation of old age and death. From dust he came and to dust he returns, as they said at the JW service. John's emptiness filled the lives of many. The church was packed and the reception was standing room only. So he is gone, but not really. Besides the fact he left so much of himself behind, he is/was/will always be beloved by all those people.
          AL (Jigen) in:
          Faith/Trust
          Courage/Love
          Awareness/Action!

          I sat today

          Comment

          • Nameless
            Member
            • Apr 2013
            • 461

            #6
            Alan, that's very true. Even though he's gone, he's not really gone. His momentum is perpetual. Saying goodbye is never easy, but death is good practice in non-attachment. It's easy subscribing to Zen practice when things are going smoothly, it's when things get tough that we are truly tested in our foundation.

            Gassho, John

            Comment

            • Geika
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Jan 2010
              • 4980

              #7
              Nice, Alan.
              求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
              I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

              Comment

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