All conditioned things are impermanent,
arising and passing away;
when this rising and passing also ceases,
this then, is the bliss of perfect peace.
May 24, 2014
I haven't written to you for a long time now it seems. For those of you whom I haven't seen recently, I hope the transition of springtime into summer is finding you well, the path unfolding where you are, beautifully, in the way that is just right for you.
Today, May 24, is the memorial day of our dear friend, Mettapanna Nancy Gil at Insight Santa Cruz. Ayya Suvijjana and I met Nancy when she visited the Bodhi House several years ago, interested in exploring temporary ordination as an eight-precept nun. We talked over her aspiration, practiced the precepts together, and explored plans. Then her husband became ill and passed away. By then we had moved off to the hermitage, which was then even more rugged than it is now and whose hillside trails seemed too steep for Nancy, then in her eighties. Recently, I heard from friends in her women's Dhamma circle in Watsonville that Nancy had entered hospice care with late-stage liver cancer. She wished to have a goodbye party with all her sangha friends. And, she still very much wished to ordain, so we chose the following day. Friends sewed her a set of three white robes, and prepared to help me get down from our vihara in Santa Rosa to Watsonville by stages. It was a very good time together, so gladdening my heart.
|Ayya Tathaaloka with Sister Mettapanna|
She died as a white-robed nun, as she wished. This was a profound thing for her community. For although such an aspiration is not so uncommon and is revered in Asia, it was not at all common in her family or amongst her friends, and it touched them very deeply, as it touched me too, with much loving-kindness and a sense of true blessedness.
Sister Metapanna passed away quietly only a few hours after her ordination with the blessings of her sisters in our women's monastic community at Aranya Bodhi, our Dhammadharini Vihara, Aloka Vihara, her women's Dhamma circle, teachers Bob Stahl, and Carla Brennen ~ a presence of peace, dear Dhamma friend, kalyanamitta.
May she go quickly to Nibbana, or have her wish to come back and be with us once again sharing in Dhamma, growing in the path, as a presence of great support and blessing to all those who know her.
And for us she leaves behind for now, may we too be a presence of peace, for ourselves, our hearts, and our world. It was good to have her here with us.
With great heart of metta,
and much loving appreciation,
From Dhammadharini Google Groups; reprinted with permission.
Ayya Tathaaloka: Bhikkhuni
Photo 1 by pareeerica via Compfight cc
Photo 2 courtesy of Ayya Tathaaloka.