Tuesday, March 25, 2003

So, I found the book Lolly gave me, under my bed, covered with dust.

I had attempted to read it, but it is a heavy book, considering the
slimness of the volume. It is called Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth
and Death: Buddhism in the Contemporary World
by Daisaku Ikeda.

I picked it up, amazed at the title, and fanned through the pages.
Here is what caught my attention:

...Most people involved in medical care today are well versed in the
physiological processes of death but they seem to have very little
knowledge of its emotional and psychological aspects -- that is, the
internal experiences of the dying person. It is perfectly understandable,
therefore, that some people reject the idea of being taken into hospital,
preferring instead to die at home in a serene, loving environment.
The only trouble is that, almost always, family members too do not
know how to care compassionately for the dying person.

Clinical death is thought to occur at the moment when death becomes
irrevocable, a moment signalled by physiological symptoms such as the
death of the brain stem and the cessation of breathing and the heartbeat.
It is at this moment that the individual is believed to be experiencing death.

If relatives and friends continue to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo after this,
the dying person is helped to pass peacefully through the process of death.
At this moment the individual's mental and physical energies, such as the
five components of life -- form, perception, conception, volition and
consciousness -- all become dormant and are subsumed into the sphere
of alaya-consciousness. Hearing the chant, the life of the deceased in the
intermediate existence, if not already on its way, begins the journey
towards the pure land of Eagle Peak - which represents the life of
Buddhahood in the Universe.

....So - this tells me that Lolly courageously chose to die at home, consciously -
and that Harley in his great love and strength, allowed her to do that, and respected that choice,
even if he didn't know it was really happening at that moment.

...And that she was chanting her way across, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
to the Pure Land of Eagle Peak -- of this I am certain.

She soars, of this there is no doubt. She took the plunge
into the Lake of the Heart.

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