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The Dharma of Completion

March 26, 2011


My mother's grave in Becket, MA

Imagine living life and talking to people as if it is the last time you would ever see them again. How would you behave and what would you say to them?

When I first started working as the Executive Director of the Kushi Institute I quickly realized that not only did nearly everyone come there to learn macrobiotics because they were facing some life-threatening illness but also that many would not succeed in reversing their conditions and would soon no longer be alive. Such a reality emotionally tore me up inside and in looking for ways to cope with it I developed a personal practice and way of being that I call the “Dharma of Completion”.

I define the Dharma of Completion as the practice of striving to live and breathe every moment of life as if it were the last; as if it were the last time that I would be experiencing the present moment and the last time that I would be meeting someone and be talking to them. Very often it would actually be true as I would learn later of the passing of one former Kushi Institute participant or another.

I am not always successful in my personal practice of the Dharma of Completion but in reminding myself of it, it always brings me back to a sense of profound peace. Anything that is incomplete in my life becomes glaringly obvious and something that I must resolve as soon as possible. When I do remember to practice the Dharma of Completion then it gives me a tremendous sense of freedom and self-satisfaction knowing that I have spoken to and given everything I have within me to last person I met.

You are more than welcome to try it, if you wish. Let me know what you think.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian Madge permalink
    March 26, 2011 8:03 pm

    …Beautifully concieved action plan that creates a wonderful ‘win-win’ result in the lives of both persons involved. Followed, this way of living would also naturally fulfill the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  2. March 27, 2011 1:57 pm

    ” …Anything that is incomplete in my life becomes glaringly obvious and something that I must resolve as soon as possible. ”

    Here is where I begin to have my struggles. Between sensible choices and desires that may seem fleeting or temporary. Urges. Flights of fancy and such…. and being present and able to really be flexible and live life to its fullest without being self destructive or immature (I am very good at being immature ;-).

    For me this manifests more in relationships with women or proposed relationships with women or desires when its most confusing i.e. “I should go and approach this or that woman and try to be with her NOW or I will never get another chance. Although selfish seeming its how my mind works. How do I honor my personal desires and distinguish between healthy and unhealth yones? My feeling is that most actions bring reactions and most investments bring responsibilities. As long as I am willing to accept responsibility then ok but if I am not then…

    I have recently been folowing up and making efforts to contact and resolve bad feelings or debts with people in my life and this has been very … helping me to feel much more grounded and without shadows over my head or in my heart. Being at the institute has been phenomenal for giving me the space to heal and be present and have the options to go out and be social without the sanctity of my healilng space being disrupted or impinged upon. As such I have been able to invest myself in so many beautiful art projects and crafts and little things like collecting seeds to plant in the spring and making gifts for friends and family, write letters… simple things have so much profound power for the person who engages in them.

    Living as though it is my last day and this day is a gift can sometimes leave me feeling a little bit of concern that I am not living ‘fully enough’ yet that aside to trade the experience of this mantra and the gifts it opens me to in my life for ignorance and sloth …. naw.

  3. María permalink
    June 8, 2012 11:42 am


    What can I say after this (I consider) wise vision of living? Thank you.

    Nobody knows where or when death is waiting for us, but for sure all that is alive will die, at least, all that was born here in this world will have an end to this world in the way that was born, the consciousness of it, take us to understand what is really important.

    When I got to understand this, I asked myself, if I was free to choose what I want to do at this moment and all the Universe would be at my hands, will I be doing what I am doing now? will I be where I am now? will I change anything?, to the two first ones I answer Yes, without doubting, to the third one, I said to myself I would add the consciousness I have now because involves with it, the gratitude and the humbleness of knowing that I am doing what I am meant to do in every now, and this is a wave, if I learn how to ride this wave, I will have the capability to teach others to do it, and this will expand,… you got it and you chose it too to give it to others, you call it the Dharma of Completion, I congratulate you for it.

    This way of living is the basement to be here and now and stop the external flow of living in a time that doesn´t exist anymore/yet (past/future). Life can change its external conditions in a blink of an eye, just to test our inner development and basement, this exercise will help us not just to survive to the tests of life in all senses, will give us the tools to strive for excellence.

    This Life as we “know it” has an end but “Life” itself is endless. Just take a look to the Law of the Conservation of Energy that says: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.”

    Just one more detail, one of the steps to get here is to accept who we are as we are at this exact moment, this will help us to accept the others as they are and as a chain will take us to discover many, many little steps that will guide us towards an inner sense of Peace that will be kept in our memories and we will stay truthfully to our just discovered inner commitment for longer periods of time to recover that sense of Peace. But remember we are tunning our bodies to that Peace and we may need some time to get used to its high vibration, then let´s work our day by day doing what we are meant to do and get ready for it. I think it deserves to try.

    And other little reminder, we won´t ever be who we were, we are all the time who we are, …

    Thank you for listening.

    • María permalink
      June 8, 2012 11:52 am


      In the second parragraph, I wrote this sentence: “….all that was born here in this world will have an end to this world in the way that was born” please can you correct it and change it to “….all that was born here in this world will have an end to this world.”

      Thank you.

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