We scattered Sensei’s ashes among the wild poppies of Antelope Valley on April 8th. Over the years, many of us brought him to view the poppies (about 4 times myself) so we felt it was a good place for him. While Buddhists believe a variety of things occur after death, one is that we go into an intermediate state of consciousness called the bardo, until our next rebirth. I believe that Sensei is in a realm with long periods of silent oneness, and I wonder if he has enough attachment to return or if he attained Anagami. April 8th was the perfect timing, as that is Hanamatsuri, the Japanese flower festival celebrating Buddha’s birth. This month (April 6th) we also had the Pink Moon, named for the N. American wildflower – Flox, and with all the rains we’ve had, the wildflowers are everywhere now. Then the next day was Western Christian Easter, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus and provides hope for spiritual salvation.
Sensei told me of a Japanese death poem of a defeated man forced to his death that went something like: “Lightning cuts the Spring breeze”, indicating that he cannot die because he is a Spring breeze. We often referred to merging into Nature with that metaphor, so in one of my last conversations with him, I told him he would be a Spring breeze. I put together some of his writing for the 7 of us at this occasion which you can read here. May we continue to live Sensei’s message to meditate, just breathe nicely, and be happy and strong. Many bows.