What does it mean to complete a life?

A student said to Yunmen, “I’m reaching for the light. Please help me.

Yunmen replied, “Forget about the light, give me the reaching.”

Zen Koan


Our final conversation was recorded on July 18, 2018. Doug died on July 30th. The full conversation with only minimal editing is presented below. 

July 18, 2018

0:00 - What does it mean to complete a life?

2:35 - Unfinished-ness

7:35 - Completion, grief, attachment

12:40 - Birth

15:12 - The death I intend to have

18:00 - Trusting reality

20:00 - The body knows how to die

25:00 - Letting go is here

27:15 - Completeness and incompleteness are always here

30:12 - Training to participate with incompleteness

32:30 - Habits of departure

36:46 - The courage to suffer

38:12 - Intensity and presence

40:40 - Goodbye

Questions to consider on your own

How do you say goodbye?

What is your way of responding to heartbreak?

What do you believe a “good life” is?

How would you intend to complete your life?

How can you be peaceful in the face of life being incomplete and undone?