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The Teaching on Impermanence

Page history last edited by Peg Syverson 11 years, 8 months ago



For the friends of my teacher


Someday, far from now, you hope,

you will be standing at his funeral

torn by a grief so wild you cannot

contain it, staring your own mortality

in its bloody face. With bitter tears

you will remember this:

the tiny inconvenience it would have meant—

a postponed meeting, a little drive—

to put yourself in front of him today

and any day

he was, as usual, offering himself

without reserve.


The luncheon talks

will all be over, the classes

and the long retreats, the noon

gatherings for inquiry and

this deepest nourishment

that humans can offer

one another: to look deeply,

together, into their lives and the

dreadful abyss they cannot face



Promiscuous, he offers himself

these days

to everyone with open arms.

And everyone he meets moves

even if only for one moment

with that divine fire.

I know you will come over

to where I am standing

smiling and at ease,

and offer your condolences,

and murmur that you wish…



I will be waiting with clear eyes

and the master’s

open hearted, boundless

mind to greet you and to

comfort you, having long ago become

what we have forged

together through all

my years of infinitesimally small


to bring myself fully

into this luminous presence—

just as happily as today


unless, of course, by then

I too have slipped away.

Peg Syverson

October 13, 2008

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