Today we went to the stone-setting for my wife’s sister who died 7 months ago, and my father-in-law spoke an (unusual) extra kaddish for the 3000 others who were being remembered today. Just as the prayers were ending, we received the news that a dear friend of ours who practices with me in Brixton had died in the night. Tonight our local Buddhist district will be coming over so we can chant for her on the next stage of her journey.
Standing at a freshly-marked gravestone, preparing my house to receive other Buddhist friends to acknowledge the passing of our strong, vibrant, political, passionate friend, on an anniversary that is being so widely marked, I find myself very grateful that I have my practice in my daily life. The Buddhism I practice defines itself as a humanist-buddhism, with world peace as a core aim, and I’m grateful that it considers the attaining of peace as vital to our humanity. I’m grateful that I have other people to share this practice with, I’m grateful that I practice right in the heart of the community where I live, and I remember the far too many – from 9/11 and the many many other warring negations of life – who do not have graves to mark them, and those do not have people to mourn them, and those who grieve alone.
It is impossible to write about something like this without sounding sanctimonious or pretentious.
I’m writing my gratitude and sharing it anyway.