In some ways the end of time came for me on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, when my mother passed away. My dad had passed away six years ago and I just knew time had stopped for me then, but oddly enough mother needed more time from me since she had Alzheimer’s and, unlike dad, needed someone’s full attention to survive. Survive and thrive she did. Although mother had her ups and downs she was resilient and was always able to bounce back. Not so last Wednesday the bouncing stopped and she fell into a deep sleep that sent her into eternity with dad.
Although time stopped for her on planet earth as Dogen wrote, “This is the timeless moment to attain buddha ancestors’ infinite life. All of you aspire and practice within this timelessness. Endeavoring to follow the way, you must actualize one phrase. When timelessness is realized, you are powerful. When timelessness is realized, you are alive (page 94).”
Mother has reached her aspiration of timelessness and come into her real power. My mother was a Methodist who loved Psalm 23 and counted on it in times of difficulty—this is for mom.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul;: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
“[After a pause Dogen said:] The buddha ancestors’ body and mind are timelessness. Your true face is a great jewel forming in heaven. How long have you awaited timelessness? This auspicious day knows the increasing light of opportunity (page 94).” She waited 92 years to enter into her timelessness. I can only wonder with awe at the opportunities my mother is taking in timelessness now. She has ended the great adventure here to find her true face as the wondrous jewel formed in heaven, the perfect reflection of her heavenly work done on earth.
You too are the perfect reflection of timelessness—show it and share it every day.
Things to focus on this week:
1. I will begin each day trusting that “my cup runneth over” with good.
2. I will remind myself that time is fleeting and only love prevails.
3. I will remember to keep my eyes and ears open for any and all opportunities to use my time wisely to be a gift and not a burden.
4. Lastly, I will keep a journal of the opportunities that have been presented to me so I can keep track of my progress and my opportunities for growth.
Iona Louise Bishop 1920-2013
Women’s Army Air Corp WWII
 Tanahashi, K. Levitt, P. (2013) The Essential Dogen, Writings of the Great Zen Master. Shambhala: Boston, MA