I participated in the Death and Dying workshop that Maneesha facilitated in Marin County, California, back in February 1994. It was a difficult time in my life as I was just coming out of a very traumatic experience, and participating in the workshop had a tremendous impact on me.
Even though many years have passed since then, I still remember very clearly a lot of the exercises that we were asked to do. These exercises helped us to look at our patterns and habits in order to see what was keeping us from living more fully.
We approached the weekend as if it was the last two days of our lives so we had to tie up all our loose ends, such as taking care of unfinished business with our friends and families. It was very strong indeed for all the participants and for me. It allowed me to really feel deeply and to finally be able to cry, which I hadn't been able to do in many years.
Throughout the process Maneesha guided us with tremendous skill and compassion, and I will always be grateful for this life-changing experience.
The issue of death, more than any other, has always evoked questions and fears that no doctrine, spirituality or religion were able to answer satisfactorily. After doing the Death group with Maneesha in Varazze, my experience has been (and is) to no longer feel death as something separate, or opposed to life, but as part of the whole process of existence. I began to perceive death as being complementary to the birth, as its natural evolution and consequence. This produced in me a deep relaxation, and many fears and neuroses related to the perception of death have simply disappeared like clouds blown away by the breeze.
Another aspect of my experience has been to realize that death is constantly present in every moment of everyday life, and that my existence in this form may cease at any moment. Instead of scaring me, all this led me to consider the value of things which I now live, and especially the value of the people I love: my wife, my children, friends. I enjoy their presence as something very precious, and totally love them NOW, because this is the time and no one knows if there will be another. For me, death remains a mystery, but no more terrifying, but something to be ‘lived’ fully
A heartfelt thanks to Maneesha for making this possible.
there are no words to express the wonderful support & guidance you gave me in this past year [when it seemed that my mother was dying]. Caring for an elderly parent is such an intimate, intense journey but one I would have not missed for anything. I am grateful to know that you were & are there for me, offering comfort & kind words of insight & wisdom. Mother is flourishing for this moment, just celebrated her 89th birthday, as it is totally living in the moment. Our relationship is so sweet.
The crisis has passed for now & I feel by practicing your suggestions she is in a good space. I know it will change, so each day when I say goodbye, I know the full meaning of it. There is more to come as I come to grips with letting her go. The love is becoming compassion – such a wonderful space.
Much love to you
In gratitude, & with gratefulness & love