Welcome! I'm glad you're here. I trust you'll find helpful and expansive stuff here, Chris Forsyth

   Now that I've shared my case of terminal cancer, nothing is more relevant than pursuing my goal of maintaining mystical awareness for keeps. I intend to die laughing and will, I believe, should I reach that state.

   I laugh a lot at myself, mostly now, as I relinquish what once I considered essentials, such as my daily reading of the New York Times – the habit of a lifelong career as a journalist/reporter/writer, and voting, and contemplating the state of the world, and consider the mysterious behavior of people and judging whether they’re justified in it. I laugh as I delete almost everything in my Inbox!

   This is freedom. 

   Today, as best I can, I communicate with and from what my Guru has called the Cave of the Heart. Experience has taught me that there are two “times” – human and God’s times – God's time requires patience, and I’m committed to that. It means pausing between each activity, especially between breathing – inward and outward.

    take one step at a time in this space where the mind, the body, and mystical awareness combine in a continuum of happiness. This cave energizes my love, prayers, the highest thoughts, best wishes, everything, and nothing.

   You strive for readiness to die there, as the 11th-century Tibetan yoga master, Milarepa, said.

   I was just now sitting outside feeling a sublime heart connection with the trees, shrubs, the birds at the bird feeder, and the yellow forsythia blooms as spring spreads, heralding new life even in challenging circumstances. In this state of awareness, I know it will always be so. 

  As I related to nature in this way, I reflected on my final preparations for cremation and instructions for the remains to be placed in a biodegradable pot with a sapling tree so the cycle repeats.

   Nature speaks to me when I see fleecy heart-shaped clouds in the sky, reminding me of transcendental love or the form of the Devanagari script outline of the primordial sound, Aum, in the foliage of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Or when I feel deep emotion as I listen to Beethoven, Verdi,  Sibelius, and others, and hear laughter or see a little girl dancing at the checkout as her dad grabs the grocery bag, or dip again into the enchanting little book, God got a dog, and consider invisible forces like joy and lightning.

   This experience of mystical awareness is tangible in how my Siddha Yoga community in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill responds with visits, offerings of food, and blessings. In a broader context, it’s also emails and phone calls, letters, cards, artistic works, and, indeed, prayers, good wishes, and blessings from afar. The response genuinely humbles me.

  My preparation for the end game is meditation. The French call meditation "la petite mort" (a little death), and that phrase feels right. If it's a clue to what's coming, I'm ready. Meditating in the light of my inner being as I do will guide me to the exit. This light, we are told by the great enlightened masters of many traditions, is accessible to all. If this doesn’t strike a chord, then “The Light Beyond” may. With more than 1,000 case studies of people who clinically “died” and survived, this book is by Dr. Raymond A. Moody. “Life After Life,” his 1975 book, describes bright light illuminating near-death experiences.

   Living with death on my left shoulder gives purpose to my time, frees me from distractions, and opens my eyes to what I couldn’t see before.

   Right now, I have a tough decision about continuing care for my wife, June, who has dementia.

   It is to place her in a skilled nursing facility called Signature Healthcare in Chapel Hill, about five miles from where we live now. The hard part is letting her go after 62 married years. But given my situation, it is a responsible move though not exactly one that I’ve absorbed in my heart yet.

   June has been accepted there, and all things being equal, she will move in within a few days.