Tuesday, August 29, 2006


photo by grassrootsmsw

One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?"
"No,” said Buddha.

"Then are you a healer?"
"No", Buddha replied.

"Then are you a teacher?" the student persisted.
"No, I am not a teacher."

"Then what are you?" asked the student, exasperated.
"I am awake", Buddha replied.

"I am awake." How beautifully simple...yet, complex.

I am so aware that the essential work at the end of life is to accompany a patient and their family, side by side, on a journey with no clear destination. This intimate voyage creates an environment filled with many emotions...for the patient, the family, and the professional caregivers. Trust and openness to the unknown...being awake and present in every moment...fully...this is where the simple and complex transforms and heals.

Each of us in this work needs this reminder every now and then. Most of our work doesn't produce tangible outcomes. We need to acknowledge and accept that our "awake" presence to those we care for is actually the vehicle that creates the openings for truth and resolution. Let's stay awake...AWAKE...AWAKE...AWAKE.

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