We're coping with all that goes with caring for someone in hospice. Full-time work it is, indeed. Nevertheless, we have some moments of normalcy. For instance, Linda is an accomplished pianist and she's been practicing in the afternoons and it's truly wonderful to have live music. She's playing La Fille aux cheveux de lin (I think right spelling) at the moment. She's also been playing Satie, Mozart, and Chopin. Last Friday afternoon, two performers from across the street came over and did a concert for Rob. The woman guitarist is also a singer with a soft blues repertoire. The other was a bass player. A truly beautiful and heartwarming moment to have them in the living room playing soft jazz/blues with the amazing background of the Bay Area view. So, we're having some fine moments of living in the midst of coping with pain and the body becoming tired and unsettled in the process of disease.
I'm going to post here a chant that Rob and I developed, taken from The Five Precepts as written by Frank Ostaseski, the founder of Metta Institute which provides education for hospice caregivers and provides live-in space for those who are dying. Rob is not with the Metta Institute, nevertheless he was shown these precepts by the chaplain from the Kaiser Hospice.
Rob and I thought they would be wonderful to chant so we adapted them for a greater musicality.
Here they are.
FIVE HOSPICE PRECEPTS CHANT
(adapted from "Five Precepts" by Frank Ostaseski, founder, Metta Institute)
WELCOME EVERYTHING, PUSH NOTHING AWAY
Welcome everything that arises. Neither approve nor disapprove. Trust, listen, pay careful attention to changing experience. Cultivate fearless receptivity.
BRING YOUR WHOLE SELF TO THE EXPERIENCE
Open to both joy and fear. Draw on strength and helplessness, wounds, and passions to discover a meeting place.
FIND A PLACE OF REST IN THE MIDST OF THINGS
Discover rest in the middle of chaos. Bring full attention, without distraction, to this moment. This place of rest is always here. We need only turn toward it; an aspect of us that is never sick, is not born, and does not die.
CULTIVATE DONT-KNOW MIND
Cultivate an open and receptive mind not limited by agendas, roles and expectations. Not- knowing is most intimate. Listen carefully to the inner voice, sensing urges, trusting intuition. Learn to look with fresh eyes.
Don't miss what this moment has to offer. Open to what the future holds for us, and opportunities that are before us. Waiting for the moment of death, we miss moments of living. Don't wait. If there are ones you love, tell them now. Enter fully what's most important. The precarious nature of life will show you the Way.