July 12th, 2020
July 14th, 2020
There are so many things that are true. There's a heaven, there's a hell, there are many heavens and many hells. People go off into the great baseball game of life. People go into the universe. People are with Jesus and Muhammad and Mary and the Buddha. I mean, I've heard so many people talk about what is true, and to me what's beautiful is that it's all true.
To me, there's no clear consistent reports back. And to me, the beauty of being with dying people and those that love them is that you realize everything's true, to really realize that we don't know. The universe itself is expanding. We don't even know what a universe really is. And so to me, the joyful part is we don't know.
There could be a bardo. It could be heaven, it could be hell and it's all good. What's important to me is how do I be with whoever it is and be with what's true for them. And to me, that is the sacredness of being with people in their beliefs; it is giving full respect and dignity to them.
July 14th, 2020
The important thing here is giving respect and dignity to the person who's inquiring. As a chaplain, I was visiting a lady and the first time I walked into her room, she said, "Hello, Father. Come on in." I was in a black jacket with the white collar. So I said, "I have to tell you, I'm not a Catholic priest, I'm a Buddhist monk." And she said, "Well, Jesus sent you, so come on in."
So I go in and there's the rosary beads in the room, the Holy Bible, the statue of the Virgin Mary. And she said, "Do you believe in God?" And I said, Rosa, of course, I believe in God, look at this room. You have your rosary beads, your statue of the Virgin, your Bible, how could God not be present in this room right now?" For you. And so in those moments, I do believe in God because it's so present.
The day she was dying, she asked me to listen to her last confession, and I said, "I can't do that. Rosa. I'm not a Catholic priest". And she said to me, "You're my priest. Here is my last confession." So is God not present in that moment? For her? Of course he is. And then I can leave the room, and go get my lunch. That's a moment where the divine energy is coming into the room and into our relationship in that moment. So in our relationship in that moment, that's God. And if she believes that she's going to be with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, God bless her.
July 15th, 2020
Faith isn't really evidence. As someone who has escorted a lot of people in death, I have a lot of personal evidence. I've had spiritual experiences that have nurtured my convictions. There are people who search for evidence and find it, but for people who believe, that matters and for those who don't, it's discounted. So we're not talking about the realm of proof.