It's been an interesting time here on the island. It's been a time of both renewal and of mourning. Of saying goodbye and of starting over.
Yesterday was my birthday. Today, I attended the second, more public memorial for a dear friend's husband, a reclusive but leading community member here in Boracay and an-all-around legend. And through out the month of May, I've been assisting in a month-long yoga program, which I see as a platform for transformation.
Birth. Death. And Life at it's fullest. Not just one or the other. All of it. All at once. The distinctions between each couldn't be more clear and at the same time couldn't be less so as this current of sameness weaves in and out of each state of being. The cycle of birth and death encompasses everything.
The memorial today, for example. On the altar: Boss Dieter (that's what I liked to call him because he was the Boss!), well, his ashes and his dashing and intelligent Rogue magazine photo. Many of us cry, directing our energy at his remains. Yet, at that moment, he couldn't be more alive, as his loving wife Mo-ching led us in song; as his household helper Dorothy recollected how this man, known for his fieriness, never once raised his voice at her; as his manager Abey recalled the quiet generosity of this man-behind-the scenes to his beloved employees who joined the gathering. Death, a reflection of life. And what a life Dieter Schrottmann lived!
As his friend Bhairavi stoked the ceremonial fire puja (offering)--a process which Dieter loved--we said our goodbyes in The Vessel, Dieter's last project, a stylish and uniquely beautiful events center which was a gift to the island and it's residents and also heralded a new phase of life for his baby Mandala Spa and Villas. Like a phoenix rising up from the ashes, this vessel in keeping with the simplicity and inherent beauty of the island is going to hold space and give birth to a myriad of new possibilities. Yes, there is death here. But new life also.
The spirit of this man does not die with his body. I think this is true for all of us. So with death, we celebrate life. And with life? If we live in full acceptance that our end will come, how can we not live fully? How can we not engage in the cycle of birth, death and everything in between with our whole hearts, whole mind, whole body?!
And, of course:
Thank you, Boss D. Thank you for this lesson. Thank you for creating a space for us bliss bunnies (a loving but slight-of-hand term Mr. Schrottmann used for his wife's yoga practicing friends). Yes, yes, I know, it's not just for us! But I thank you anyway. I see you! I feel your brilliance! I feel your love!