last words

A few weeks ago, a police officer was killed in the line of duty.

He was in the parking lot of a local hospital emergency room when he was attacked and stabbed.

Paramedics nearby rushed to his aid.

It is reported that he said two words to them as he died.

“Thank you.”

Fundamentally, no matter what kind of circumstances we may have fallen into, we are always in the midst of enlightenment.  To the extent that we live in the world of letting go of all our own puny ideas, we live in the middle of enlightenment.  As soon as we open the hand of thought and let go of our own insignificant ideas, we begin to see that this is so.

from Opening the Hand of Thought by Uchiyama

Thank you for practicing,


5 thoughts on “last words

  1. 🙂 to both of you.

    Barry, the last weeks with my Dad were beautiful (and painful) as he and I sought repentance. In the end, there was only the out-breath.

  2. Oh dear. I feel that, in such extremity, what might arise are the words “F*** off!” No less valid, surely, much less cuddly and warm, maybe feistier, maybe more realistic.

    Just remember: an enlightened asshole is still an asshole.

    • 😀 Well, enlightenment allows us to see our assholedness and then not brutalize others with it. But I have seen my share of teachers who squander their enlightenment by redefining it as assholedness.

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