Rob Burbea, rest in love and peace and sangha
I’d often heard sangha members mentioning this teacher that they all really respected, but I’d not had the privilege of meeting him not that is until after he had died . . .When Jill mentioned one week that his funeral was happening with a Zoom (because of Covid restrictions) gathering I was interested, both by what a western Buddhist teachers funeral would be and by the zoom space that the times necessitated but on reflection I chose not to attend as I didn’t really know Rob. I hope that others who did will be able to share their experience of this.
During the process of making my decision I spent a fair bit of time on websites, http://www.robburbea.com/ Rob’s had beautiful posts from him and his team during his last months and there were links to his music and some of his teaching enabling me to gradually became acquainted with this amazing man. I am currently working through his last teachings on the Gaia House Dharma seed website.https://gaia.dharmaseed.org/retreats/4496
Despite being very ill and in considerable pain he taught a 3 week silent retreat on the jhanas, which are rare and beautiful advanced teachings. Part of me is envious of those who were able to attend, another realises that this extraordinary archive is available for everyone to work through in our own time at our own pace and I feel sublimely grateful for this.
Three months before Rob died a very dear friend of mine also died after a two and a half year process of living with a brain tumour. There were some similarities with Rob. James was a musician, a quiet non practicing Jew, a warm, generous and wonderful man taken from the world it seemed too soon. But the graciousness of both their passing’s is such a gift for us all, showing us not only how to live but how to die with such love and selflessness for all they touched.
Contributed by Joss
Dreaming the Real
I’m lying down looking at the colour
of sky falling through trees, dreaming
the real, tasting what it feels like to love it.
Why did it take me so long to let go, simply
exhale, so the day could breathe itself in
and open without me standing in the way?
How could I forget the grace of my own body
strong as this blue, tender as the white
of the wild blossom, warm as midday light?
Let me practice a patience bold enough
to hold every weather, trusting the elements,
the beauty of rain, all it shades of grey.
I want whatever’s real to be enough. At least
it’s a place to begin. And to master the art
of loving it; feel it love me back under my skin
Contributed by Alison