Barry at Ox Herding just announced that Joko Beck has been placed in hospice. Similar to Barry’s experience, most visitors to this blog find their way here through the search engine term “Joko Beck.” It’s not surprising. Joko was the first Zen teacher whose words sunk in and had a profound impact on my life. Her transmission of the dharma brought to me – as it has for many others – a sense of all this being doable, possible, likely in my lifetime.
Here is the message about Joko from her daughter; the complete message is on the blog Clouds:
My mother, Joko, is now in hospice and I don’t expect her to live more than one or two more weeks. I put her into hospice because she was not eating and losing weight. Please know she is completely happy. She gets to lie in her hospital bed and no one is telling she has to get up and walk every hour. No one is asking her to please eat. Now, she will take a few bites of breakfast, and maybe a few bites of her other meals and eat all her vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. She is happy as a clam and, as she told me, will die when she’s ready. She says it’s soon.
Please hold Joko in your prayers and meditations. She leads. We will follow. Such is the path.
Thank you for posting this. Right now I am so worried about my inlaws, who live hours from here, both around 90 years old. A recent report tells of all sorts of concerns and fears, but these are people who will not admit the gravity of their mental limitations, and who refuse to move to a place where they could be cared for. It at least gives some hope to know that now and then someone approaches death sanely and comfortably.
True. I visited my mother this afternoon. At 93 with dementia, she no longer has that compos mentis to live sanely let alone die in such a state. I resonated with Joko’s daughter’s words: I argue for my mother’s right to get up when she wants, eat what she wants, however much she wants. At 93, it’s her right – delusional or not.
I hope that your inlaws’ will find safe haven. It’s hard to wait and watch – and wait.
I was not aware that Joko Beck was ill. Yes, she was one of the first teacher’s I read over and over and whose books offered such humble and practical wisdom. My copy of “Everyday Zen” is one of my very well worn books as is her book “Nothing Special” (I think that’s the name of it?). I will definitely hold her in my prayers. And I am not surprised that a “good death” would be what she will have.
She is so amazing. I might do a weekly set of quotes – depends on how I feel. This is having an interesting effect on me.
Yes, it is affecting me too. Nothing has shown me so clearly the profound value of long practice as her ability to accept dying.
I saw Joko last week and she is radiating Love and was completely unbothered by dying.
Thank you so much for letting us know. It is greatly appreciated!
I meant Anonymous !