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Our Deepest Condolences to Our Former Abbot John

Abbot John’s dearest wife, Nanci died on New Year’s Eve after a long struggle with illness.
Dear Abbot John,

We send you our deepest condolences on the wings of two poems from masters  who offer what they have to offer in the heartache of your loss of your dearest Nanci.


Don’t run away from grief, o soul,
Look for the remedy inside the pain,
because the rose came from the thorn
and the ruby came from a stone.
~ Rumi

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,

and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke (Translated by Robert Bly)






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