Give attention to
the Living Presence
while you are alive
so that when you die and have
the desire to do so
you may have the power to attend.
Translation: Lynn Bauman in
The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin
The First Response:
We are so much more,
than a mosaic,
color tiles of memory,
held with running lines of grout.
It’s not that we haven’t shattered,
cut our fingers on the sharp bits
or tried to glue ourselves together
but look at the way light plays
with all the colors,
can you hear it?
a child’s laughter runs like veins,
into living gardens and
the slip of a naked body
into cotton sheets
or warm, spring ground.
Journey through Logos:
I am always struck by this logion because it could have come straight out of the Bardo Thodol, better known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Or as one writer translated it, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Much of the text is an admonition explicitly and implicitly that we learn to pay attention now so that when we die, we are able to wholly pay attention then as well. This makes of death a wonder, a fascinating final movement of life, rather than something to be feared and dreaded.
The year I am writing this, I have been hospitalized eight times, and am facing one more surgery. When we simply attend, even our suffering becomes manageable, and rooted in a much more spacious reality. Nursing staff and doctors become humanized, food (yes, even hospital food) seems like a feast, and the simple act of walking down a corridor even with an IV pole tagging along is an incredible taste of freedom. Trouble and wonder can dance together if we allow it to happen.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
It is easy to talk on religion, but difficult to practice it.”
“If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you.”
What state of mind do you wish to try to hold as you die? Can you draw it or describe it today?
We are filled with Wonder when our daily practice of awareness becomes the way to approach death without fear.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: