Buddhism, the Beats and Death

When Ginsberg talked to Chogyam Trungpa about his father Louis' death, Trungpa said (approximately), "I extend my thought that your father enter Dharmakaya. Please let him go, and continue your celebration."
An important part of Buddhist thinking, at least as I understand it, is that too much grieving can be distressing to the recently deceased, who's travelling in the bardo realms and hears everything that is said--feels everything that is felt--by his or her loved ones, only greatly magnified. And if they become distressed, it will affect their chances of a positive rebirth because they won't be able to follow the correct path towards the next life.
After Ginsberg's death, so Beat legend has it, Burroughs and some friends gathered for a Bardo burn in which all manner of mementoes of Allen were collected and burned to help free him from any lingering attachment to Allen Ginsberg, and go on to rebirth. But the latter idea is highly repugnant to Christian people--or so it seems. I have discussed it with people of a Christian persuasion and their discomfort at the idea of burning photographs, in particular, of the departed was obvious.
Well, I didn't have to test my Buddhist beliefs in this regard when my mother died (ten years ago, incredibly, on July 1st), because for some reason I've never been able to properly fathom, all of the photographs of my mother except one disappeared around that time, and have never resurfaced. Only one of your esteemed author as a child survived the inexplicable disappearance too--which sometimes makes me feel as if my life had been cut off at the knees. Now I return to the old days and the dead in dreams and flashbacks, and I am haunted by my inability to connect with them as real.

Comments

working blue said…
Sorry to hear about your friend. I like to think that life should pass through us and not around us. If grieving is where your heart is at right now, that's the thing to honor, yes? Eventually, it will pass through you. And then, finis.