In her years working as a hospice chaplain, spiritual caregiver and author Kerry Egan has rarely found that dying patients want to discuss God or religion. Instead, chaplaincy work for her leans on the quality of the presence she can offer her patients and the compassion and empathy with which she can hold space for them and their stories.
In this short chapter from the Shobogenzo, Sho-ji, Dogen plays with the distinction between the nuances of the two different meanings, life and death being static and self-defined events, which he argues have no substance or existence, and living and dying which are an endless flow of events and dynamic being
Zhuangzi's story of the dexterous Cook Ding who teaches a lord a profound life lesson through the workings of his knife.
Jerome Berglund's poem, Manure, grew from his own practice of sowing and harvesting where he was reminded that compost and dung are always essential to the process of growth and fertilization.
Osip Mandelstam spent many years of his life being persecuted for the views he held and the work he made. 'And I Was Once Alive' was one of the last poems he wrote before his death from heart failure in a transfer camp.
The term between eternity and immortality - our lives - is the subject of Emily Dickinson's poem number 721. It's a gentle vision of life melting and disappearing into a drift and the being itself a 'miracle' as she refers to it in the last verse. She also uses the image of the moon reflected… Continue reading Behind Me – dips Eternity – Emily Dickinson
Fourteenth century poet Hafiz is one of Persia's most celebrated poets. Not so much is known about him, and it's thought that only a small portion of his prodigious work survives. At first glance, many of Hafiz's poems read like heartbroken laments, penned at closing time after a rowdy night at the tavern. However, they… Continue reading On the Lip of Oblivion We Linger – Hafiz