The image is of Ananda, the cousin and disciple of Gautam Buddha. He was at Buddha's side constantly, attending to his every need for forty-two years. When Buddha died, the story is told that Ananda was still at his side, weeping. The other disciples chastised him for his misunderstanding: Buddha had died absolutely fulfilled; he should be rejoicing. But Ananda said, "You misunderstand. I'm weeping not for him but for myself, because for all these years I have been constantly at his side but I have still not attained." Ananda stayed awake for the whole night, meditating deeply and feeling his pain and sorrow. By the morning, it is said, he was enlightened. Times of great sorrow have the potential to be times of great transformation. But in order for transformation to happen we must go deep, to the very roots of our pain, and experience it as it is, without blame.
Yesterday our beloved Pépé passed away. He was such a beloved grandfather and greatgrandfather. A very special man. Witty, humble, wellspoken, tender hearted and always a pleasure to visit.
He will be missed.