Sunday, June 12, 2011

Joko Beck is in hospice

The above clip came my way on Monkey Mind, the blog of James Ford, Zen Teacher and Unitarian minister. It is a pleasant little quiet time to watch it.  Joko seems so - ordinary, and that is the name of the sangha she founded independent of the (largely masculine) Zen traditions. It is called Ordinary Mind Zen School.  If you don't know of her, even if you don't care a bit about Zen, check out the link, and you'll understand why I have liked her.  A strong-minded independent woman.  Her books are simple and lucid.

Is it this that had me thinking this morning about how much more life I myself can expect?  More likely I'm still thinking about Friday's news about my very bad back.  In my fooling-around time with my morning cup of real coffee (after that I have to go to decaf, or I'll be able to thread a moving sewing machine) I looked up my life expectancy.  It read 17.55 more years. If I were that non-existent average 68-year-old woman I’d have 6405 more days.  That would be optimistic, with the array of health problems I have, but I like to be optimistic.

Not that I feel entitled to those days, or even this one. It has been very ordinary so far. I hope it continues to be.  No unpleasant surprises.  But if they come, I'd love to take dying with as much equanimity as Joko reportedly has. Here is a post that includes a message from her daughter about Joko's attitude toward dying. And an hour or so writing this - that's how I used part of my possible allotted 6405 days.

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