Sometimes, in trying to hold ourselves up and avoid drowning, we may feel the rope burning and slipping through our hands. But we can find unimaginable freedom by letting go of the rope and learning to swim in the drowning pool.
The monkey is reaching
For the moon in the water.
Until death overtakes him
He’ll never give up.
If he’d let go the branch and
Disappear in the deep pool,
The whole world would shine
With dazzling pureness.
Michael Stone with Sylvia Boorstein and Teja Bell, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, 5/21/17
I met Michael Stone, a popular and beloved Buddhist meditation teacher, while teaching at Spirit Rock in May. We had a lovely dinner together and I got to know him just a bit. His death in July of a likely drug overdose resulting from bi-polar disorder was a shock to the international yoga and dharma community. Here I share my reflections on dharma, death and my brief but memorable encounter with Michael.
Notes: The photograph was taken by me at Michael’s request. The formal dharma talk ends at 19:05.