Tag Archives: death

13 Years Since 9/11–What it Means to Me

In 2008 and again in 2011, I posted commentaries on 9/11. It is time to do so again, adding a different perspective. At the outset, I offer my profound sympathies to those who lost friends and loved ones to the actions of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist followers. Today it is ISIS or ISIL who would target America as well as people of Iraq and Syria. While death comes to us all, it is  disturbing when it comes unnaturally at the hands of another. From my Buddhist perspective, this is a function of karma–the effects one receives as a result of causes one has made. Calvinists might have a different perspective–predestination or what others call fate. It seems preferable to the minds of most, I suspect, to absolve the victims of any blame and place it squarely on the terrorists who commandeered the planes and flew them into their targets. Blame is undeniably correctly put on the terrorists but that is missing the point–they are the instrumentality of one’s karma. There are those people who rush to get onto a plane that turns out to have a mechanical problem that causes it to crash, killing all aboard. At the same time, others are delayed by traffic and miss the plane. Different than a terrorist plot? Yes, in terms of how it happens but not in result.  Continue reading 13 Years Since 9/11–What it Means to Me

Memories of a Mother’s Death

Perhaps I should have noted it then, but in posting my comment on the passing of Martin Luther King and mentioning my mother’s teaching me about the evils of racism, I missed the fact that she died exactly five years before King. As I came to visit her in the hospital that day in 1963, two weeks before my 16th birthday, I nonchalantly walked into the large ward in Hennepin County General Hospital. Continue reading Memories of a Mother’s Death