July 25, 2014

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Celebrating the life of Yao Feng of Greece

Unexpected news of the passing of Yao Feng (Dimitris Maras) arrived early this morning. Yao Feng was the husband of many decades of Co-Abbot of the Order of Hsu Yun, Fa Lian Shakya (Ayna Maurer). He passed away after a long struggle following a stroke on September 1, 2012. During his 19 day hospital stay he aquired a lung infection which resolved but returned again after returning home. Due to the turmultous state of social and political affairs in Greece it was not possible to acquire home medical care and he passed away on September 27th.

"Some people are uncomfortable even thinking about death. This is only fear of the unknown. I feel peace there, and respect for the past. I feel many things - but not fear." -- Yao Feng, from Uncle's Last Trip, 2002

Yao Feng (Dimitris Mara)

Unexpected news of the passing of Yao Feng (Dimitris Maras) arrived early this morning. Yao Feng was the husband of the Co-Abbot of the Order of Hsu Yun, Fa Lian Shakya (Ayna Maurer). He passed away after a long struggle following a stroke on September 1, 2012. During his 19 day hospital stay he aquired a lung infection which resolved but returned again after returning home. Due to the turmultous state of social and political affairs in Greece it was not possible to acquire home medical care and he passed away on September 27th. During his final days he was fully conscious but unable to speak or move and could only communicate with his eyebrows. "He was calm and had a controlled mind to the end", Fa Lian told me.

MitsosYao Feng was more than a devoted Chan Buddhist, he was an independent thinker, a creative spirit, and a light that shined brightly for all those who dared look. He was an artist, photographer, poet, and explorer. His unique and quirky sense of humor, along with his deeply perceptive inquiries into life, ingratiated him to everyone who knew him. Over the last decade, he honored the Order with a collection of essays reflecting on life and Chan ... and his car and companion, Mitsos: The Lottery Ticket, Uncle's Last Trip, First Autumn Rain, and We're All Buddhists.

I don't like to write elegies, I prefer to celebrate a life that graced our world than to mourn it's passing, for passing is what happens to everything, everybody. It's inescapable and without it we would not have a life to begin with. Knowing this, however, does not lesson the pain we experience when we have to say goodbye ... forever. We celebrate a life that enriched the world and our own, and we mourn it's passing.

Yet within this suffering there is a certain kind of golden lining. Being reminded so clearly of our own mortality has the potential to awaken us to new dimensions of being - to expand our awareness of what it is to be human. Suffering can be transformational. In the writings of Yao Feng, he often reflected on the brief existence we all share and how fear of death is merely fear of a future unknown, not based on anything substantive. In the Buddhist ideal, he transcended birth and death long before his physical departure, and maybe this is something we can all take with us as his last parting gift. To arrive at death's doorstep fearless, with ease of mind, and pass out of this world fully awake, what more could any of us wish for?

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  • dimitri politis

    Dimitris--Mimis--Yao Feng was a multi-talented person,
    an artist of dance and of life itself, but most importantly one of the sweetest human beings I've known. I will always remember fondly his kind nature and smile, and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to see him once again last summer. Our thoughts and prayers now are with his long (long!!) time partner Fa Lian Shakya (Ayna Maurer), another amazing human being, radiant and full of love and
    wisdom.

  • Fa Zheng  - Saludos y meditando en la memoria de Dimitris

    Acompañando a nuestra madre espiritual Fa Lian en estos momentos y recordando la memoria y personalidad de Dimitris como un hombre de una fortaleza grande y de un testimonio de vida lleno de grandes frutos.

    Fa Zheng

    Accompanying our spiritual mother right now Lian Fa and recalling the memory and personality of Dimitris as a man of great strength and a witness of life full of great fruit.

    Fa Zheng

  • Yin De  - Thank You

    Yao Feng will be missed. As he reads his diary and turns in his uniform, I feel gratitude for the gifts he has given us. Especially a final gift I received only today having taken a moment to reread his essays here on the ZBOHY website.
    My thoughts are with Fa Lian at this time. Sorry for your loss Ayna.

    Amitofo,

    Yin De

  • Fa Lian Ayna

    Thank you all for sharing the great lost of my beloved Yao Feng Dimitris.
    Thank you for your kind words that comes from the heart and moves me a lot.

    Mitsos is exactly as in the picture above.. waiting for Dimitris, for a ride...or maybe he is gone too.

  • Fa Yi Shakya

    This is a sad news. My mind is by the people around him and his family. May they be strong, may Buddha bless them all. _()_

  • Fa Che  - Thoughts...

    My thoughts are with Fa Lian Shakya and those close to Yao Feng. I never meet Yao Feng, but through his writings, wisdom has been imparted that I hope to carry forward.

    I will light incense in his honor at my next meditation...

  • Fa Zhao

    May his journey and experience be positioned within our hearts and minds. May we all share in his wonderful life!

  • Fa Jian Shakya  - Condolences

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. Rationally we may cope with death easier than emotionally, but the longer our loved ones share their lives with us, the more painful their loss.

    Life continues in a different form, though the departure of a being from this plane of existence always causes grief. You as well as all those who have known your beloved will miss his presence in this earthly form; but consider, he will always be with you in your heart.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn's rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there, I did not die ...

    (anonymous)


    With deepest sympathy,

    _/_
    Fa Jiàn

    Lotus Zen Temple
    P.O. Box 6154
    Lincoln, NE 68506
    Web: lotustemple.us
    Phone: 402 450 4668

  • Germain  - Thanks

    Marvelous this "I am not there".

  • Fa Gong

    Dear Ayna

    You know our thoughts and our love are with you sister.


    A leaf falls
    Onto the surface of the water
    Then tumbles over the waterfall.
    But the tree is still perfect.

    Next Spring
    The tree will have new leaves
    Dancing in the summer breeze.
    It will be perfect still.

    If I should die tomorrow
    Think of me with love
    ... But do not grieve too much.

  • Fa Chan

    Der Ayna,

    I will specially dedicace our group practice to Yao Feng today.

    πες μου αν χρειάζεσε τίποτα

    με πολλή αγάπη

    Fa chan

  • Fa Lian Ayna

    And again Dear ones, thank you so much for sharing my sorrow and grief, for your lovely poems and also along with Chuan Zhi celebrate Yao Feng's life on this page.

    it is good to be among you all, in our Sangha.
    Buddha Dharma Sangha our only refuge.
    Blessed are all the members and friends of our great, real and forever family.
    Love
    Fa Lian

  • Fa Zhang

    Going on means going far
    Going far means returning

  • Germain  - Ami incomparable

    Dimitris fut pour moi un ami sans pareil. Son attention, sa fidélité en amitié, son humour ont fait de lui un ami (File Mou) que je ne pourria jamais oublier. Il me manquera. Tous les jours, il me transmettais sa joie de vivre, son amitié. Je t'aime mon ami Dim. Contigo. Germain

  • Germain  - re: Condolences
    Fa Jian Shakya wrote:
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. Rationally we may cope with death easier than emotionally, but the longer our loved ones share their lives with us, the more painful their loss.

    Life continues in a different form, though the departure of a being from this plane of existence always causes grief. You as well as all those who have known your beloved will miss his presence in this earthly form; but consider, he will always be with you in your heart.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn's rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there, I did not die ...

    (anonymous)


    With deepest sympathy,

    _/_
    Fa Jiàn

    Lotus Zen Temple
    P.O. Box 6154
    Lincoln, NE 68506
    Web: lotustemple.us
    Phone: 402 450 4668
  • Fa Lian Ayna

    Mitsos
    Epilogue

    Dmitris wrote this in July 2007...

    If we change a song that is in ''minore'' into ''majore'' then add wind musical instruments automatically from Serenade it becomes a Rock and Roll. So it is with Mitsos, from Troubadour he became an Elvis. From a simple thing we add idols, we made him a pseudo-sophist that knows everything and gives lessons to others
    and we mix him up with our pushed off buried ideas.

    Mitsos...
    the only thing he wants is the love of his friend he fears to lose and to remain alone.
    He is just simple, modest, with any ambitions or idols.
    He knows that one day he will become a wreck and that he will be thrown away in a car cemetery, he is not afraid though.
    The only thing he is afraid of is the egoism of the people.....