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August 4, 2010

Service is our Dharma.

“I’m up late admitting patients to the inpatient hospice unit.

Just when I think I’m too old for these late nights without sleep, a person in all their rawness, vulnerability and pain lays before me and as my hands explore the deep wounds in her chest and my ears open to her words, my heart cracks open once again…. and this night a sweet 36 year old woman with her wildly catastrophic breast cancer speaks of her acceptance and her hope for her children, and she speaks with such authenticity and authority.

And her acceptance comes to me as the deepest humility a person can experience and then again, once again, I remember why I stay up these late nights and put myself in the company of the dying.”

~ Gary Pasternak, MD

For more on this theme, click over to Roshi Joan Halifax’s article at Upaya Zen Center.

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