Honoring Loved Ones: A Night of Remembrance

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Thursday Evening Online Program
February 24, 2022, 7:00 to 8:45 pm

Dear Still Water Friends,

Although funerals and memorial services offer solace and support, they are no substitute for sharing our memories and grief in a mindfulness community.  Each year as I prepare for this annual event, I am reminded of the beauty of our sangha and our practice, especially for the tools and support to face our greatest losses head on, to work with them, and transform them.

When my sister died suddenly in 1997 I did not know the language or practices of mindfulness. What I knew was an earthquake of pain and disbelief, a pain that led me to mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching on Interbeing, and oceans of compassion.  She died by her own hand, and I appreciate the opportunity each year to openly call attention to suicide. May we all be vigilant in reaching out to those who suffer suicidal thoughts. (The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 — 800-273-8255.)

My thoughts this year turn to my Aunt Rosie, whose memorial was postponed to this spring due to the pandemic. She was special to me for so many reasons. She lived nearby and her house was a home away from home. I remember her as always ready with home cooked Lebanese specialties, ready to focus her attention on whatever was on my mind. Never mind the demands of her own children, her medical practice, her political activities, and the multitudes of committees on which she sat, she was generous with the great gift of presence. She could be counted on to feel and to share emotions without flinching.

Aunt Rosie didn’t mind being the center of attention. Her exuberance was infectious. She danced with every guest able-bodied and willing at her 75th birthday party — a party attended by fifty of her loved ones. How fortunate I was to have my aunt nearby to love and to learn from.

This Thursday, after our meditation period, we will share memories of loved ones who have passed away, and we will give voice to our passages through grief. We will especially make space for those who have lost loved ones during the past year.

You are welcome to screen share a photo as part of your remembrance. If for technical or other reasons you prefer to have someone else share the photo for you, please email it to ZoomTeam@StillWaterMPC.org.

We all recently experienced the transition of our guiding teacher, the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) on January 22nd. In addition to celebrating his life during our Thursday gathering, Still Water will honor and remember Thay with a A Silent Walk and Gathering on Sunday, March 13th. More information is below, as well as Thay’s “Contemplation of No-Coming, No-Going.”

Bowing your way in gratitude and anticipation,

Mary Beth Hatem

Honoring and Remembering Thay — A Silent Walk and Gathering

You are warmly invited to join the Still Water community on Sunday, March 13th (10:00 – 11:30 am) at the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Woodend Sanctuary for a silent walk and ceremony honoring the passing of Thich Nhat Hanh. In the Vietnamese Buddhist tradition, special ceremonies of mourning and spiritual support are held daily and weekly for the forty-nine days following a person’s death. This walk and gathering honoring Thay will be one of many ceremonies that will occur world-wide on the weekend of the 49th day. We hope you can join us. More information and a registration link is on the Still Water website.

Contemplation of No-Coming, No-Going

by Thich Nhat Hanh from Chanting from the Heart

This body is not me,

I am not limited by this body.

I am life without boundaries.

I have never been born,

and I have never died.


Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,

Manifestations from my wondrous true mind.


Since before time, I have been free.

Birth and death are only doors through which we pass,

sacred thresholds on our journey.

Birth and death are a game of hide-and-seek.


So laugh with me,

hold my hand,

let us say good-bye,

say good-bye, to meet again soon.


We meet today,

We will meet again tomorrow.

We will meet at the source every moment.

We meet each other in all forms of life.