January 2: Death Poem

sitting_w_body_123113_x450Steve's body is laid out in a room dedicated for sitting with him at his home. The room, once used as a zendo by both the former home owners and briefly by Steve's Dharma Eye group, opens onto a courtyard with a koi pond and soothing fountain sounds. People can continue to sit with Myogen until 4 pm today, when the funeral home will come to take the body.

A public ceremony will be offered at the funeral home Monday morning at 10 am. At some point during this ceremony, family and dharma heirs will step out into a small adjacent private room for the cremation while the assembly chants in the chapel. Sojun Mel Weitsman will preside. All are welcome at Pleasant Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary, 1700 Pleasant Hill Road, Sebastopol, California (707-823-5042).

Details for a larger, more formal funeral at Green Gulch Farm will be forthcoming as soon as they can be confirmed.

Below is Steve's "death poem," which is on the altar in the room with his body. Many Zen priests follow a form for writing death poems such as this, sometimes even with regularity throughout their lives. Downloadable PDF

DEATH POEM

This human body truly is the entire cosmos
Each breath of mine, is equally one of yours, my darling
This tender abiding in "my" life
Is the fierce glowing fire of inner earth
Linking with all pre-phenomena
Flashing to the distant horizon
From "right here now" to "just this"
Now the horizon itself
Drops away—
Bodhi!
Svaha.

Myogen
12/27/13

6 thoughts on “January 2: Death Poem

  1. Michele Casazza

    You gave beauty to my heart and life when I met you seven years ago and now you leave me with more beauty then I every could have imagined as I transcend along with you knowing that you will always be in my heart and walk with me each day.

    In Deep Gratitude
    With Big Bows
    Michele Casazza

    Reply
  2. Judy Friedsam

    To what shall
    I liken the world ?
    Moonlight, reflected
    In dewdrops,
    Shaken from a crane’s bill

    ~Dogen

    Myogen,
    my deep gratitude for sharing yourself, sharing your wisdom, and your love of life with the world. Gone beyond…

    Deep bows.

    Reply
  3. Naima Shea

    I did not meet you in this body, Roshi, but what deep gratitude I feel for the sharing of your final journey. This is a gift and a blessing for us all. Journey well and truly with tender mercies.

    Reply

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