Dear friends of Mimi,
Greetings from Toronto! It's been wonderful seeing so many of you here at the New Kadampa Tradition fall festival, and receiving your loving concern, well wishes and prayers for Mimi in person. I'm concentrating strongly on visualizing both Mimi and Richard here with me during the festival empowerments and teachings, and I'm sure that many of you here are also doing the same. How wonderful and powerful that we can carry our friends and family into this remarkable mandala with us!
I had a long phone conversation with Richard this evening, and he updated me on a few developments with Mimi. As you know, the gross levels of Mimi's body and mind are greatly deteriorating. However, a few of the things that Mimi has said recently indicate that she's still using her subtle mind. For example, during a visit yesterday from a hospice massage therapist, Mimi said, "I've lost the path and I can't seem to find my way back." Given the experiences she's been having lately with her body and mind, this statement seems to suggest that Mimi is actually forgetting about how her gross aggregates function. In fact, at times she even seems to be unaware of their existence. Also, when the massage therapist had first arrived at the house, Mimi told Richard that she needed some time to get herself together. Richard took this to mean that she's dissociating her identity from her ordinary body and mind. She needed a few moments to remember how to attach her "I" to the collection of parts that everyone else agrees are Mimi. These are such good signs to have as death approaches: she'll be ready to let go when the time comes.
While a large number of Mimi's local friends are here at fall festival, many others are stepping up to support her and Richard. We are so grateful for their kindness! Wherever you are in the world, I hope you can feel the cherishing and blessings coming from Seattle and Toronto.
In Eight Steps to Happiness Geshe-la says "'Self' and 'other' are relative terms, rather like 'this mountain' and 'that mountain ... 'This' and 'that' therefore depend upon our point of reference. This is also true of self and other. By climbing down the mountain of self, it is possible to ascend the mountain of other, and thereby cherish others as much as we presently cherish ourself."