November 25, 2013
November 25

Dear Friends,

Lane_James_112513_x350There are moments of grace in our lives, and sometimes when we are quiet we are witnesses to them. Right now seems to be one of those times. Abbot Steve is no longer plowed under by pain, nausea or the chemo drugs. He is able to walk and sit in a sunny backyard and talk to family, friends, students and sangha. His energy can be allocated in ways that inspire him rather than dictated by the demands of cancer or chemical. A terminal diagnosis can be a gift in a strange, unimaginable way—a gift that allows time, each fraction of a moment, to be precious in a way that it rarely is when we think that we have unlimited moments.

Robin_Hannah_112513_x350Abbot Steve’s daughters, Hannah and Robin, and son, James, were here this past weekend. The family were together looking over family photos and telling stories. It was wonderful to hear the laughter.

Thank you, each and every one, for your expressions of love and support. May they extend to all beings.




  1. Jim Hare

    I’m happy to hear this news which confirms the recent choice to end chemotherapy. These are beautiful days.
    Jim Hare

  2. John Renwick

    Hi Abbot Steve and Mary and Family …

    I too am glad to hear of the easing. I recall hearing that when Philip Whalen was in his last months, he revisited his decision to be a palliative patient. Just as I deeply respected your sharing with us your wish to end therapeutic treatments, I would also respect your wish to start again.

    Abbot Steve, I want you to know that when you bought a friendly looking little grey Jizo Bosatsu Rupa at the end of the practice period a year ago, I bought a matching one. After being on my altar for a little less than a year, last Friday it was given to the teacher and students of World Religions at Brebeuf Jesuit College, a publicly funded Catholic High School for boys in Toronto. After the Rupa sat on a make-shift altar, I left it with their teacher to place with the images of Ganesha and Christ. Two classes of 16 year old young men practiced walking and sitting meditation. The most lively question was whether people do religion just to feel good about themselves.

    Love to you, love to Mary, love to Lane and your kids.

    May these days of ease and joy continue!

  3. Cessna Kaye

    Dear Steve,

    My inner promptings keep telling me to write this, so I will finally listen:
    “Ad astra per aspera!””
    I hope it brings you a smile.

    Love to you and to all your dearest ones,

  4. katharine.cook

    How lovely, how inspiring. . . would that this special time could become available to all of us when we need it. I will treasure this note for the rest of my life. . .

    Katharine Cook

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