One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same any place in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear. — Dave Brubeck

Thursday, August 15, 2019

In memory of Tom Marshall, S.J

Monday, March 22, 2010

This morning, after his funeral mass at the Jesuit Sacred Heart Center in Los Gatos, I chanted the Heart Sutra as well as the Kanon Gyo at the graveside of Tom Marshall, S.J., a lay brother of the Society of Jesus, an ordained Zen priest in both the Soto and Rinzai lineages, and a wonderful friend. Here is the dedication I wrote for the occasion:

God that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more,
Listen: We humbly place our feet on the Path of liberation.

May your path continue, dear Tom.
We, the many people whose lives you touched,
Send you on your way with our gratitude.

We remember your many gifts to us,
The books you gave us to train our minds,
Your ready compassion and your sweet smile.

Denis Genpo, Les Keye and your meditation companions salute you.
Your Jesuit brothers honor and bless you.

May your teachers, Shakyamuni, Maha-Kasyapa, Hakuin Ekaku, and Taizan
Maezumi welcome you.

May the Jesuit blessed and saints, Alphonsus, Peter Faber, Xavier, and Father
Ignatius open their wide embrace.

We dedicate any merit from your meditation and chanting
To relieve suffering in all of life and to clear your way, dear Tom.

You are among the bodhisattvas and other great beings,
Wide-eyed in the Cosmos, totally alive, right now.
Earth hears no hurdle,

The door to deep meditation opens yet again.
The teaching goes on without end.

Yes. Just look at It All!

All Buddhas throughout space and time, all bodhisattvas, saints and great beings,
the Mahaprajnaparamita.

[Many thanks to GM Hopkins, S.J. for allowing me, by his silence, to use portions of his poem, “In Honour of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez.” The italicized lines are from Tom's private correspondence.]

We will miss you. We love you.

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