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“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.”
—The Buddha

Stephen Levine: Healer, poet, sage and beloved teacher (1937-2016)

I can hear Stephen Levine's loving voice counseling healing awareness — soft belly, compassion, and mercy within mercy to all who came to see him and his beloved partner, Ondrea. Their students brought everything, their spiritual longing and beauty along with their trauma, loss, brokenness and encounters with death. Stephen and Ondrea welcomed them all with unbounded tenderness and heartfelt courage. A wise, poetic, vast Dharma brother, Stephen has died in his home in rural New Mexico. He was ready and willing. As a beloved friend and colleague, Stephen perennially inspired me, deepened my understanding of how to practice in the fire and how to stay open to love.

He sat with death a thousand times, wrote poems for a year in the wilderness, created whole new forms of healing, spoke to several generations through his writings and recordings. He was a cosmic dance partner for Ram Dass and Kubler Ross and many fellow sages and healers, and his and Ondrea's voice, love and undying wisdom remain a part of us all.

To my heart friend who wrote "Who Dies?", wherever you are Stephen, O Nobly Born, as you let go into the Clear Light of your own true nature, your home, remember these words of the Buddha: "A star at dawn, a drop of dew, an echo, a rainbow and a dream." 

Oceans of love and gratitude,
Jack Kornfield
Spirit Rock Center, 2016

 

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