Saturday, March 10, 2007

Remembering Tommy Robinson

Last week, a friend I had known since childhood, with whom I had shared many formative experiences in the Boy Scouts, passed away. His death is not only sad because he was so young, well loved, and yet had much to give to us all. It is also tragic because he decided to take his own life, wrapped up in the torment of his own experience.

I had the special opportunity through a friend here in Mcleod Ganj, India, where I am attending 10 day teachings on the attitude of awakening beings, being given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I was able to make a donation and prayer request directly to the Dalai Lama, who personally made prayers on Wednesday for Tommy.

When I return to Kathmandu I will sponsor a death ritual for Tommy at a local monastery. It will be designed to help recognize the natural state of his mind (his Buddha nature) while he is between rebirths, and to influence his next rebirth in a positive way.

My next post will include some teachings His Holiness has given this week...


Daniel Tierney Smith said...

very touching bro

i was in central kham visiting a student (daofu county) when i found out about tommy. i was checking your blog for your phone number when i received lamar's email. i tried to call you but during the lunar new year most towns around here pretty much shut down, and every phone i found was restricted from international calls.

i got a little drunk that night, more for the birthday, and poured a little beer out for the kid the next day at a wedding.

it's hard to know how to feel.

michael smith said...

Thanks for the reply. I read your last post, it was pretty hilarious.

Yeah, it's hard to know how to feel; suicide is a fucked up thing, right? It gives me the feeling that in some way I failed, that there should have been something i did or said that would have helped... but then again, that is pretty irrational due to the circumstances. feelings are irrational though.

The Dalai Lama addressed this the other day, actually, and I've been meaning to write about it but I don't have my notebook with me. He basically said that as we get older, more and more of our friends and relatives will die. We should use those occasions as an opportunity to meditate on death and impermanence. That is, according to him, "how to feel."

More on that soon.

Jane said...

Just wondering... where was Tommy from?

Jane said...

Nevermind. I see you've joined his group on facebook. Thanks for this blog. I moved across the country during high school and only saw Tommy once after he graduated. I just found out about him passing away recently and knew it was a "tragic" death, as people said. However, I didn't know what happened. Good, yet bad, to know.