One Year Later: My Time of Mourning Is Over
time of mourning
is on the left, he said.
small spark kept going,
gave me a
my body ached
Teacher said I could not
consulting contract ran out,
body contorted in pain,
can't pull you up, he said
must get up
The rain and wind pounded my house late on the eve before Easter Sunday. The trees were twisted and shifted by the power of the relentless wind. Blast after blast of cold strong energy. Easter Sunday sparkled from the intensity of the cleansing. Perhaps that long windy night, and the clear light of Easter are a reflection of my year, and yours.
What a year! The silver lining in this rather stormy year has been meeting and spending time with Rama students. Doesn't get much better than that! Okay, so we aren't all perfect, and we can get really full of our many selves, still, what a shiny group of friends!
I wish all of you the very best! May you each find your way, stepping lightly, then sprinting, then resting, and finally flying on your own pathway. As you live your life, hold your teacher close to your heart. He is always there. Each time you greet a fellow brother or sister, smile and remember that she or he is "Pieces of You", and we are all pieces of the light that is Rama!
It’s been one year… So much has happened.
It has been one year since our Enlightened teacher left the body.
There are two occasions that are traditionally celebrated when it come to honoring the Teacher. The birthday is a celebration of their entrance into this reality. The other day is the day of their passing from this reality. The first one is all about the energy that was introduced into this plane of existence. The second is the direction that that energy wanted us to go. There is a powerful doorway available to us at this time. It is a time of celebration, reflection, meditation, powering up for the career jump and, last but not least, partying!
I just got back from NY. I must say that the ones that had anything to do with me, were really impeccable and gracious. They represented the best of what Rama was trying to get us all to do and be.
I think that most of us are still dealing with Rama's death. It is unfortunate that usually what happens when a powerful teacher dies is a great deal of denying and the usual stuff… You know, a few form some power groups and fancy themselves as the "true" students and bearers of the light of Rama... Hum... Sounds like something that Brahma Dung Ananda would do...
Sadly it becomes clear that everyone is either hurt, distressed, angry, grabbing for power, or just plain burned out. All of us have had to deal with this and our reactions have all been different.
I have had students tell me that they believe that Rama isn’t really dead. That he is living in the Cayman Islands. While it is easy to understand why and how they have so much trouble accepting his physical death because of our uncanny connection with him, there comes a time when we must realize that he lives in another dimension. This desire to hang onto him leaves us open to exploitation.
I am increasingly concerned about people "channeling Rama" and the various dreams in which Rama comes to them in dreams and relates something to them. All I can say is that we were all taught how to test to see if who we were visiting on the dream plane was who they said they were and not some impostor. Rama told us in NY several years ago that when he visited us there would be no words, that the information would be sent telepathically and to particularly notice how we felt when we woke up.. Was the room full of light? Were we giggling or laughing?
I have had several dreams with Rama since his passing. Most have been very valid and true, not all of them! After each dream, I would awake as see if my ego was inflated… Did Rama talk during the dream? Was it really Rama? Once these questions were raised and seemed to pass, I would write it down and read it right after a meditation. It all comes pretty clear.
As for the channeling part… I am totally suspicious! I remember how Rama felt about channeling and I find it incredible that he would suddenly change his position after he left the body… More likely someone’s inflated ego making a power grab.
In other words, we all need to individually reconcile this within ourselves. I have had to do this all year as have you. Just get honest and pull back what he tried to teach us. This last weekend in NY, one of the students who lives in California, that has been absent for many years attended a seminar given on Career Development. She phoned me and gushed out that she finally got it! All these years she thought that she was doing what Rama had instructed, but she had never "seen" all the lines, dimensions, and layers that were contained in his teaching. She was so excited! I became excited! Excitement seems to be the one of the hallmarks of touching the enlightenment essence.
I am not the heir apparent to Rama… Nobody is the heir apparent. Each one of us, as we spread the Dharma, becomes the heir apparent to Eternity. Rama said at the Kalachakra Empowerment that he had always loved his students… That he never stopped, no matter what they did…
We are all former students. Even the ones who were studying with him at the end are now former students. One thing binds us together. Rama’s love. He said that he always loved us and would continue. I have to align myself with my teacher. I will love all of you, no matter what. I do not have to approve of all that you do nor do I have to sit back and take any shit… But I must love you… In so doing, my connection with Rama seems stronger than ever.
It is our time to spread our wings and fly. It would be nice if we could work together and support the Dharma. Unfortunately we have always had trouble working together. Love could make it happen.
I have wondered why it seems so hard to determine the exact time of his death. I suppose that with enough research, that time could be established… perhaps it already has. All I know is that no one that I have been in contact with seems to know. One student said several times that everything Rama did was done with meaning. I think that he did not want his death to be celebrated on any particular date. I think he wanted it celebrated during the time between Passover and Easter. A celebration that could span several days or a very intense shorter time.
As I now channel his wishes.. Oops! Sorry, my ego flared up a mite. I plan on celebrating this time with a celebration… Do I hear Rave Party?!?!
One Year Later - A Time to Reflect Upon Our Path
I remember April 12, 1998 like it was yesterday. I was sitting at St. Maria Goretti's Catholic Church celebrating Easter. Even though I'm a Buddhist now, I was raised Catholic, and there are two times a year in which I like to go back to church and celebrate. One is Easter and the other time is Christmas eve. I was sitting at church last year, when suddenly I felt like if the rug had been pulled from under me. I felt totally wiped out. I went home right after the mass and laid down in bed the rest of the day. The following day, I went to work, and I left at noon, and went to see my doctor. I was sure that something bad was happening to me, but I didn't know what it was. The doctor told me that he couldn't find anything wrong with me, and sent me home. When I got home, I had several e-mails from people asking me if the rumor was true. I called some of my friends in New York and LA, and I found out that Rama had passed away.
My feelings over the next few days are hard to describe. I felt lost, sad, confused, but ultimately -- I was happy for him. I knew that Rama had been in a lot of physical pain lately, and that his health was deteriorating. While I wished that Rama would still be among us, I truly believe that he is feeling much better now, without having a body to confine him. I know that Rama is still alive today, he just doesn't have a body anymore. Rama lives forever in our hearts, in his teachings, in his music, and in other realms of existence.
This year has provided different opportunities and different challenges for all of us as students of Rama. I think that his passing has brought us closer together. RamaLila, the Electronic Tribe, the New Self-Discovery Magazine, and Rama Encounters, are all outbursts of the necessity for us to grow together as a group. It is our responsibility, and our legacy, to keep on spreading the teachings of Rama into the world. How we go about doing that, is a very personal choice. Some people might choose just to meditate and develop excellent careers. Others might want to teach, create awesome websites, or just share with others what they learned from Rama.
Personally, I really enjoy teaching and writing. Currently I'm writing a novel, where I keep on meeting Rama in each lifetime. From Atlantis, to Egypt, India, Japan, Tibet, and eventually in the US. I'm trying to include what I learned from Rama in each chapter. Writing about Rama in this sense, has really put me in contact with my previous lives where I have actually met Rama. This is a great opportunity for personal growth.
I also enjoy teaching, and my teaching is about to take me on a great adventure. Toward the end of last year, I had a dream with Rama. I was quietly sleeping when he appeared in my room. The room quickly filled up with white and golden light. He came in and asked me; "Are you ready for a greater challenge?" I said; "Yes" and he disappeared. Then, on the winter solstice, I was meditating outdoors at River Legacy Park with some of my students. It was about 25 degrees outside, and yet we didn't feel cold. The power was definitely up that night. Toward the end of our meditation, I saw Rama standing outside of the pavilion where we were meditating. He looked at me and nodded in a sign of approval. About a month later, I had another dream. In this dream Rama was showing me how nice it would be to move to Houston and teach out there.
In February, I spent Rama's birthday weekend visiting Galveston and Houston. That trip made me realize where I belong. While I was out there, I fell in love with Rice University. Rice looks just like UCLA, and it is located in the hottest area of Houston. I went to the graduate admissions office, and found out that they have a M.A./Ph. D. program in Religion with an emphasis on the Buddhism of India and Tibet -- my favorite topic. I recently applied for the program, and I'm getting ready to move to Houston in the summer.
My goals in this life are simple. To become a bona fide Buddhist scholar, a great teacher and writer, and eventually to reach enlightenment. I know that with the help of Rama, I will be able to achieve all of these things and more.
This weekend, I urge all of you to take some time off from your busy schedules, and reflect upon your life. Rama always encouraged us to do a systems analysis of our lives to see where we are headed. This is also a time to sit down and quietly meditate, to remember our wonderful teacher, and to thank him for coming into this world and helping us.
Always remember, if you want to see Rama again, just close your eyes and meditate. . .
It has indeed been a year since Rama left the body. I don't think I realized, until he was gone, just how deep the bond is between a student and spiritual teacher. Since my teens, I have cried only very rarely, and yet over the last year I have found myself crying a lot as I realize the profound tragedy that Rama's death entails.
And yet, it is only as much of a tragedy as we choose to make it. Rama was someone who had a profound dream, and those of us who have had the chance to study with him have an obligation to do everything we can to see that his dream is brought into reality, or that we die trying. His dream was so multi-faceted, involving material success, extreme meditation, extreme sports, the teaching of meditation, and of course reaching samadhi in our own meditations, and he thought so big in all these areas, that we have an enormous task ahead of us.
We have the energy of our teacher on our side, though. And each one of us has talents and treasures inside of them that perhaps only Rama knows about so far. Working together we will definitely be able to achieve Rama's dream. We cannot be afraid to think big. It would be too easy to say that, well, with Rama gone we need to scale back our goals.
That would be silly. Rama stayed in the body just long enough to position all his students so that they would be poised to carry out the vision that he had in mind. And that's the task which he has left us. I cannot be specific about what his vision was, because everyone would probably see it a bit differently, but each of us knows in our hearts what Rama would have wanted.
The year of official mourning is over. We must fulfill the tasks our teacher set for us or die trying. And we must have the time of our lives doing it!
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