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Ldp09 News

Ldp09 News

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Published by Dew Nada

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Published by: Dew Nada on Dec 09, 2009
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winter 2009
G r a t i t u d e
 Dear Friends,
For many years the Living/Dying Project oered all o ourclient services ree o charge andcovered its basic operating expens-es through individual donationsand a ew grants. Basically we werenot a business. Almost all stang,including my work as ExecutiveDirector, was done without salaryon a volunteer basis.Due to nancial pressures romthe weak economy and particularlyto my own personal nancial situa-tion, the Project has had to developa new business model in order tosurvive. The heartelt and gener-ous outpouring o donations wereceived earlier this year enabledus to weather the immediate crisisand thus have the time to begin thetransition into an organization thatcan continue to oer its basic clientservices without charge, while atthe same time generating enoughincome to support me and theactivities o the Project. We are nowa stronger, more vital organizationthat is serving many more peoplethan beore.I have begun to acilitate ongoingsmall groups in Berkeley on Mondayevening, in Sebastopol on Tuesdayaternoon and Tuesday evening, andsoon in Marin. These groups, calledHealing at the Edge, are supportivecommunities in which we explorethe interace between our humanand divine dimensions and how thetension between them determinesthe ruits o our search or reedom.Also I have begun to see indi-vidual clients who are exploringend-o-lie issues or want to deepentheir spiritual practice. Theseindividual sessions are availableeither in person or via telephoneor Skype/Internet or those who donot live nearby. Both the groupsand the individual work are or ee,on a sliding scale at moderate rates.
 Barn's burnt down—Now I can see the moon.
 Just as parents care or their children, you should bear in mind the whole universe.
Our Web site, livingdying.org,has been redesigned and I encour-age you to take a look. The site ismuch more graphically pleasingand user accessible. The site nowrefects the evolution o the Project,rom an organization that oersspiritual support to those withlie-threatening illness and to thosewho care or them, to an organiza-tion that also acilitates healing,healing that arises rom a moreopen and honest relationship withour mortality. We plan to add morecontent, user orums, andwebinars, to create online anauthentic community.I we truly accept that we all willdie but we don’t know when, thatlie is truly precious, and that whatwe do has a real eect in the world,then how are we motivated to act?How much passion and alivenesscan we bring to this moment? Canwe eel compassion rather than judgment or the supposed imper-ections that we see in ourselvesand in those around us?The more I work with groups andindividuals, the clearer it becomesthat many people who have a deepcommitment to inner growth andto healing are still blocked in theirgrowth by subconscious patterns.Recent brain studies have shownthat about 98% o brain activity issubconscious and 2% is conscious.Again and again our best consciousintentions are overwhelmed by oursubconscious patterns, patternsormed early in our lives when wewere emotional beings. These pat-terns interrupt, limit and derail ourdevotion, our worship, our medita-tion, our very aliveness. Typicallythese patterns are not examined intraditional contemplative practicesthat have their roots in the Eastbecause it is assumed that peopledo like themselves and know howto care or themselves, an assump-tion that does not hold or many o us in the West.To avoid detours and blind spotsalong the way, a oundation thatincludes an embodied,centered stance in lie is crucialbeore we begin the work o dis-identication with ego structure.We practice an integrative spiri-tual approach to the transormationo suering that includes passionatedevotion, working with patterns o energy in the body, and workingwith patterns o conditioning in themind. Healing is experienced byresting in the non-dual, that whichis deathless, the One in the All, theAll in the One.We can eel compassion andalso taste joy to the depth thatwe have encountered our ownsuering. This depth can be experi-enced through loss, through illness,or by spiritual practice. The mostproound loss or most is theapproach o death. The mostbeautiul Americans I have evermet were soon to die.Yet even though I supportedeach o my parents as they diedo cancer, and guided many otherloved ones and clients as theydied, intimacy with death did notorce me to conront and acceptmy ear and my mortality ashonestly as did the sudden losso almost all my resources. Themovement in my lie rom greatear to genuine gratitude has beenthe result o more deeply realizingthat I am not the doer and that myrole is to surrender the ruits o my actions to God, to my Beloved.What relie! The Dark Mother hasbeen a ullling yet demandingcompanion. Sometimes called Kalior the Black Madonna, She is theeminine aspect o the divinity thatdevours and destroys until She isunconditionally loved.True healing happens when oursuering comes in direct contactwith the Sacred, with that which isChangeless. Our conditioningoten prevents this contact andinstead we identiy with the parto ourselves that is suering,becoming xated on externalcauses o suering, rather thancourageously relating to the part o ourselves that creates the suering.Hence we eel stuck and never ullyencounter our pain.The openness and vulnerabilityo my individual clients and themembers o the groups I acilitatehas brought me to tears and hasnurtured me. Gratitude or my newlie o busyness/business grows andsurprises. Working with people atthe end o their lives has alwaysbeen a privilege. This new work,bringing the wisdom and intensitythat an intimate relationship withdeath cultivates to spiritual supportor those on a path o explorationand contemplation, has been ablessing or me.We are enthused that the Projectis moving orward in new and vitaldirections. You are invited to par-ticipate in our ongoing small groupshere in the Bay Area or to haveindividual sessions with me.
With love,
Dale Borglum
 I the only prayer you sayin your lie is "thank you,"that would sufce.
—Meister Eckhart
Both Sides
Twenty years ago, Joe, a sculptor, called me as his ather was dying. Over the phone I helped him guide and support his ather as he died. Joe and I became riends and, even ater he moved to Detroit, have stayed in touch.While in Detroit he had been working in the design department o one o the Big Threeauto makers until he recently was downsized out o a job. Last all, when Joe’s mother started dying, he and I began talking and writing requently. Below are some o the emails he sent a month ater his mother died.
—Dale BorglumHi Dale,I have been noticing that when I look at the world without thoughts, I see orms,the lines and shapes o things, as i I am looking at them or the rst time. It is likeI am in nature. here in Detroit in gasoline alley. When I was looking at my motheras she was dying, I saw her and the emptiness, the mystery, all o what I don’tunderstand or know. I experienced a sense o awe and wonder. I have ound thatI have been stopping whatever I am doing lately and just looking and eeling theadumbrations o God. There is nothing to worry about; then I start to worry.The last ew hours that my mother was in the hospital, she kept saying, “Let’sgo,” but the phrase she used in her native dialect implied “Let us go together,” as i it were an order. She motioned me to pull back her bed covers, then she tried to situp but could not. There was nothing that I could do but look at her. Her willulnesswas getting thin and my desire to respond thinner. The silence pierced through herpersistent determination and my dogged obedience to respond. All the anger that Ihad and all the anger that she had, dissipated. The person she was and the personI was went up like a og in a morning sun. There was a silence like the silencebetween two claps o thunder. All we knew was the love between us.I may have told you that I don’t eel like doing anything. I am nding that I justwant to sit. I think o things to do but I am not doing them. It is as i my mind isrunning around trying to do things, but another part o me just wants to be still.Even thought I just want to sit I am not sitting. Maybe I am, but just little sittings.I recall hearing or reading Soygal Rinpoche saying something about doing multipleshort meditations throughout the day. I guess I have been sitting. But I haven’t been.* * *When my mom died, I told youthat I elt that I was solid on bothsides, this ego side and the otherside. I elt as i I were helpless tohelp my mother on this side. On theother side I couldn’t do anythingeither, but I could love her. I washelpless in her presence, but on theother side she didn’t need any help.Death and loss are such creativemoments. Moments o real beautyand excitement. The ego mournsand cries but the spirit jumps up.It almost seems that the greaterthe depth o the loss, the greaterexperience o the other side.Maybe I am not making sense.It is almost three AM here. I couldn’tsleep.* * *I recall reading once, though I don’t recall rom what tradition, that in thebeginning there was nothing and in a corner o that nothingness a space cameinto being and in that space God came into being and the rest ollowed.All the ideas o hurt, joy, conusion exist in that corner and all these ideas o emotions keep bouncing o each other, so I thought that this was all that existed.Part o me knew that this was not so, but part o me was convinced that the ideaso hurt and anger were true and solid. When my mother died I saw that emptinessexisted, and I saw that one o those little constructs o emotions disappeared as i it didn’t exist. Part o me disappeared. One o those constructs o emotion stoppedbeing. Through the gap which was the space that was my mother, I saw emptinesspeer through. I there is a uture lie or a past lie, emptiness still exists. When Itouched into emptiness, it didn’t matter that there was a past or uture, becausethe underside o everything is emptiness. I elt this in my body. I wasn’t trying tounderstand this. I knew it.I elt that I was tired o all the ear that I have elt all my lie. I just didn’t wantto do that any more. I was tired o eeling hurt by my sisters. I could no longer behurt by my mother, she wasn’t there. Even when she was alive she wasn’t there.Emptiness kept looking through. I could see through those tight little constructs o emotions. I eel such a sadness about all o this, but it doesn’t have to do with onlythe loss o my mother. I disappeared as well. I seem to be mourning everything.There is beauty here too. I think that I only see beauty in orms or in nature whenI see emptiness looking back rom the other side.Does this make sense to you? I eel like I am babbling. I wrote this the other dayand I didn’t send it because I elt like I was babbling. I don’t know how to talk aboutthis. A gap opened up when my mother died; the whole world poured through. I sawmysel die when she died. This doesn’t make sense. The rush o emptiness that blewthrough that gap elt like a git. * * *I eel like I know something, but a part o me does not wish to admit that it istrue. It is like being in love with a beautiul woman whom you know is poisonor you, you know that as soon as you touch her she will leave you puking in thegarbage. You know that you should never talk to her again or be in a room with her,but then when you see her you can’t stop rom ripping her clothes o and trying toswallow her body whole.Fear is like that or me. Odd, I never said that beore. I never compared therelationship to ear as a relationship to a seductress. What strange words.When my mother was dying she was kept in a room which had glass walls sothat she could be observed. Once when I was leaving I turned around and saw hermotioning with her hand or me to come back in. She wanted me to help her leave.It was as i her body wanted to stay alive, but another part o her knew it was timeto die. When I looked into her ace, there was ear and rustration there. I elt that Iknew what she was eeling. When she died that gap appeared and emptiness rushedin. That is when I knew that I could drop this emotional tie into ear. The proundityo emptiness dimmed the attraction o ear and rendered it unimportant.So it is strange now that I nd mysel hat in hand, standing on ear’s back porch,knocking on her door, waiting to see i she will want to go out with me or a drink. 
Nothing worth doing iscompleted in our lietime,Thereore, we are saved by hope.Nothing true or beautiul or good makes complete sense inany immediate context o history;Thereore, we are saved by aith.Nothing we do, however virtuous,can be accomplished alone.Thereore, we are saved by love.No virtuous act is quite as virtuous rom the standpoint o our riend or oeas rom our own;Thereore, we are saved by the fnal orm o love,which is orgiveness.
—Reinhold Niebuhr
 Fear is the cheapest roomin the house. I would like to see youliving in better conditions.

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