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Kevin Rakusan's present condition

March 11, 2011 by Guest Author

Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Kevin Rakusan's present condition

This post is to inform you all about Kevin Rakusan's current condition. Underneath is the letter from a close friend of Kevin's that was posted on his blog yesterday. With permission of family and this friend we share it with you.

"I have a heavy heart as I write this . . . Kevin's condition has changed so much since his last note in November. As we speak, he is under hospice care and near the end of this long struggle. He is at home, with his family and friends here to support him and each other.

He is being well cared for, and has abundant pain management, as he has wanted.

We would ask that you all keep him in your prayers and devotions - and that you might consider a post to the message board on this site with any memories or stories on how this wonderful man has shared himself with us over the years.

We will read them all to him - we know he can hear us and that the abundance of love will nourish him.

Love to you all, Cathy"

Tenshin Roshi and I went on Tuesday to say goodbye to Kevin and entered a house filled with his children, family, friends and lots of love. Kevin was unconscious since the night before. We sat with him and told him what he meant to us and how we loved him. His daughter and son, the most dear to him, were overwhelmed with all the attention and especially all the love. And it indeed felt like a warm bath. Which I think is so Kevin. For me he was the manifestation of love, so much love for life! So much love for human beings!

The Sweet Water Zen group visited him yesterday and chanted the Heart Sutra for him. It got a strong response from Kevin. He somehow knew to make clear that he wanted  'Gate Gate Para Gate Paramsamgate Bodhi Svaha' repeated.

Right now Yugen, Chigen and Chosui are on their way to say goodbye to Kevin.

Please follow up on Cathy's request and write about your experience with our Kevin.  You can put your stories in a comment below and I'll make sure they get there.


  • Jim Swyler:

    14 Mar 2011 03:20:53

    Kevin though we spoke only once, your compassion and love for all beings shone brightly to me like few others I have ever met. You have been in my mind and prayers daily since I learned of your relapse and I offer the Buddha’s beautiful words:
    “Life is a journey.
    Death is a return to earth.
    The universe is like an inn.
    The passing years are like dust.
    Regard this phantom world
    As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
    A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
    A flickering lamp – a phantom – and a dream.”

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