I am Life Without Boundaries

Posted on June 18, 2009

“This body is not me. I am not caught by this body. I am life without boundaries. I have never been born. I will never die. Look at me. Look at the stars and the moon. All of them are me, are manifestations of me. So smile to me, take my hand, say goodbye that we will see each other right away after this. We will see each other in every walk of life. We will recognize each other again and again, everywhere.” “All in One, One in All” Thich Nhat Hanh

Someone much more learned, much wiser than me put this quote before me just a few days ago. Instantly, I was struck by the beauty, the freedom, the unlimited possibilities this belief gives to ones life. I have not been able to get the thought out of my head. Thich Nhat Hanh is a venerated Buddhist monk – I am just a southern woman. I am not sure of all that his teachings entail, but I mean to find out more. He is a poet as well I think because those words are certainly lovely – or is it that universal truths, with their simplicity are just beautiful? I’m not sure which.

Reading this just before Fathers Day made me start thinking. My own father is gone for more than a dozen years now. He loved Thoreau, I have a feeling he would have liked this quote as well. Perhaps it is because of him being gone and my own children being parents now that I started weaving thought about them in and out of and all around that quote.

I know that Thich Nhat Hanh is right – the older I get the less I believe in real death. Oh, we go all right – but it’s not as final or glum as folks make it out to be. Sure, I miss my own Pa – I would give the world to be able to wish him Happy Fathers Day in person or just have a chat with him. On the other hand, every time I see my son doing anything with his son – whether lifting him up on his shoulders to carry him about or having to correct him for doing something wrong – I see my Pa. When the boy I used to have to harp after to get up in the morning to get to school on time is up and at it and taking his son to summer camp in the morning – I see my Pa.

When one of my grandsons picks up a piece of wood and a hammer, I know who is right there with them, learning to drive a nail into a piece of wood. When one of the grandchildren is hurt or sick, I know who is holding us all up until the ambulance reaches the hospital and we get the news about how serious it is. When two of them graduated from pre-K and there were awards ceremonies for the two first graders, I was sure who was sitting there right on the front row – making pictures with memories and clapping louder than anyone else.

When my daughter picked fruit from a neighbor and put them in her truck, then drove to distribute her pickings in the poorest neighborhood she could find to children who didn’t have fresh fruit to eat, I know he put her up to it.

When she started a girl scout troop at a school where there was none because they could not find a leader – i knew he had a hand in that.

Not long ago, my son did some volunteerism for the American Cancer Society. One of the things he did was enter a contest to see who dressed up as the cutest ‘woman’. Of course, he went all out and won – a $100 gift card. When he turned around and handed it to a beautiful little girl fighting cancer to live, I know that his grandpa goes on and on and on. When my son is gone – there will be his son and the next and the next.

How can we miss this simple truth that Thich Nhat Hanh lays out? How can we try to balk because it doesn’t fit into the typical ‘heaven is in the sky and you float around on a white cloud’ mold?

Personally speaking – I can’t buy into that one! I much prefer the one espoused by Thich Nhat Hanh. I personally don’t have any intention of dying once and for all either – just because my body gives out on me. I, too believe that I will be everywhere – in the stars and the moon – all around and that if we have to say goodbye, we’ll see each other right afterwards – if our minds are open enough to look and really see all there is – and not just a piece of sky.

Happy Father’s Day –

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1 response to I am Life Without Boundaries

  1. Good words, good thoughts, at 04.45 on a working morning.
    I have also thought it unlikely that all we learn, all we experience, all we become…. is lost for ever at the moment of death. We know little of what will exactly pass, but I have long sensed strongly that death is a door, not a lid.

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