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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Grief and Praise For The Dying and What Lives

A note from Carl:

It seems there have been many losses in the last weeks. There are many losses everyday, yet sometimes that fact shines through more clearly.

One that has been particularly moving for Erin and myself this week is the death of Stephen Levine.

Grief and Praise For The Dying and What Lives

Stephen was such a poetic writer and teacher about the essence of what it means to live and die with awareness, with kindness, with love.

I have such appreciation for the series “To Love and To Be Loved: The Difficult Yoga Of Relationship,”  that Stephen and Ondrea did through Sounds True. (PS- I just checked Sounds True, and the download is only $35- crazily worth it) Erin and I listened to those tapes for thousands and thousands of miles driving to various retreats and trainings- San Francisco… Crestone…..Santa Fe. There are particular valleys or mountain passes where I recall Stephen offering a gem of essential instruction, a meditation around softening the belly, or bringing a perfect, loving humor to a tense, tender place that a participant in the workshop was experiencing, and feeling the whole room lightening…We have cried, laughed, softened, opened all around the West with those two…Stephen and Ondrea have been such powerful teachers for us in using relationship as a path of awakening.

I love the line from Theodore Isaac Rubin “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of that is the beginning of wisdom.” And Stephen truly embodied that.

There are so many poems, teachings, gems from Stephen that I would like to share, but this passage get to the essence:

There is a grace approaching
that we shun as much as death,
it is the completion of our birth.

It does not come in time,
but in timelessness
when the mind sinks into the heart
and we remember.

It is an insistent grace that draws us
to the edge and beckons us surrender
safe territory and enter our enormity.

We know we must pass
beyond knowing
and fear the shedding.

But we are pulled upward
none-the-less
through forgotten ghosts
and unexpected angels,
luminous.

And there is nothing left to say
but we are That.

And That is what we sing about.

-Stephen Levine

Thank you Stephen for what you brought and continue to bring, to this world.

Much love,
Carl

PS – registration is now open for Russell Delman’s workshop March 19-20 with a public talk on March 18.
PPS –  Women Embodied 2016 is full, and there are still a few spots open for Embodying The Masculine

 

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