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Thread: We're All In This Together (29) - Overture, Sound, Finale, Silence

  1. #1

    We're All In This Together (29) - Overture, Sound, Finale, Silence

    My dear Uncle Robert, an orchestra conductor in the US and UK, died this weekend after a short battle with Covid. He was 90.

    In fact, a symphony presents a lovely image of birth, life and death for the attuned Buddhist ear. Our life is like a single vibrating string, passing through movements, yet each note just this single moment followed by the next note in its single moment. All are just the play of the present moment. Life begins with a first note, and ends with a finale, but the entirety is the total music of the universe playing on. All our instruments are blending together, a great harmony though sometimes heard to clash. There are happy movements and sad movements, healthy and sick movements, rises and falls, flowing one into the other. Whether we make beautiful music with the instrument of our own life, or play it without skill and balance, is greatly up to us. A skilled musician can turn even difficulties, obstacles and surprises into something beautiful.

    The end of the music depends on the start and middle to come before, and the beginning of the music would be meaningless without a climactic end. The vibrating waves of life seem to rise from nowhere, and fade away at the end, but the string and its potential for sound remains. Ultimately, the single string is the whole orchestra of the universe, and the whole universe is each single string. The one player has no meaning without the whole concert, the whole is just composed of all its players. We do not know where the original music first began, if it began at all. Perhaps, after a pause, the string begins to vibrate again, a new melody following from what came before ...

    My teacher, Nishijima Roshi, offered a talk a few years ago on the meaning of life and death. I feel that Nishijima's message of life and death as just their own moments, each the present moment, and life like waves rising and falling from the sea, is a similar message. Nishijima also died a few years ago, although we can still hear him here. He speaks of something timeless in this talk, all while holding a ticking watch. Listening to this helps me feel my uncles passing as moving music.

    I think that the music goes on and on, so somehow no loss and no gain even though there is sound interspersed with pauses ...

    Bravo, Uncle!


    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-27-2020 at 04:48 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Deep bows, may we learn well these teachings about the Great Matter. Iím so sorry for your loss.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  3. #3
    Here is my Uncle Bob, by the way ...



    I think that the music goes on and on, so somehow no loss and no gain even though there is sound interspersed with pauses ...

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-27-2020 at 10:24 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Here is my Uncle Bob, by the way ...


    Attachment 6431

    I think that the music goes on and on, so somehow no loss and no gain even though there is sound interspersed with pauses ...

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  5. #5
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    May 2019
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST
    穏 On (Calm)
    火 Ka (Fires)
    aka Anna Kissed
    Resident Anarchist.
    Pronouns:She/Her They/Them.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods. No Masters.

  6. #6
    Thank you for sharing, lovely talk, and I love that he's holding a watch the whole time.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday/LaH

  7. #7
    Much Metta,

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sat
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  8. #8


    Ghasso
    Bobby
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  9. #9


    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  10. #10
    Thank you to all for the warm sentiments.

    I feel that it is possible to mourn and cry, and to smile and laugh at this marvelous world, all together at once, as one.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  12. #12
    I believe that I listened to Mr. Mandell's recordings with my parents. Metta to all, and may his memory be for a great blessing. _()_ _()_ _()_

    gassho
    shonin sat today and lah
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

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