My Mother’s Miraculous, Beautiful Death!


Arjuna writes about his mother Vipassana’s passing.

Irene Hogue, a loving disciple of Osho, who named her Ma Dhyan Vipassana, left her body on Friday Morning, July 15, 2016 at 10:30 am. I was reading to her Osho’s discourse on ‘The Inescapable’ from the Ta Hui Series of discourses. The Inescapable is what remains for a true meditator to encounter and dissolve into once all that is false and illusory is illuminated by self-observation: the inescapable Truth that eternally abides, transcendent!

Arjuna and Vipassana
Vipassana, Arjuna and brother in background
Vipassana cr Meg Hodgetts

For six days she mostly lay like she was sleeping, eyes closed, her breathing constant, rhythmic, deepening as the days passed. Yet, most of the time she was acutely present, nodding when addressed. Answering questions with a nod of “yes” or “no.” Sometimes her eyes would open a little letting their smiling luster peer through her heavy lids and she from time to time would move her lips and I’d put my ear up to them. Her discarnate sounding whisper reminded me of voices on audiotapes that spirits are said to record. She would tell me, like the first time her eyes opened after two days into this process, “I’ll be OK.”

“Vipassana” is the name of the meditation Gautama Buddha primarily used in his six-year work to let go and let godliness descend into his great Enlightenment. It fundamentally means “breath spiritual practice [i.e., meditation].” You simply watch your breath going in, you watch the pause, and then you watch it going out. It is like “birth” inhales and the let-go of death exhales in us, every moment. And in the pause: miraculous insight! This most simple of meditations can make one a host for the profound and transcendental.

I could follow Vipassana’s process into death by listening to her breathing passing into different stages, ever drawing breath in and out from deeper and deeper levels.

By Friday morning her breathing took on the quality of the “Final.” Gasping deep the last “births” and deeply sighing out the last “Let Go” of life with each longer and deeper utterance.

As I read ‘The Inescapable’ to her, her exhalations expressed more and more “ahhhs!” of understanding and joy. I reminded her what Osho said about death being the moment when we are more ready than any other moment in life to shed all identity with our body, and with the cycle of birth and death. Death is the time we can break free of the body “and” the spiritual body. We are not these bodies. We are consciousness, mirror-like as it reflects the world with no identification for or against what is reflected. In Death, one can be reminded and then death becomes a point when the Essence can understand that it is “no-body” at all. Free! Forever!

As I reminded her of this, Vipassana’s out breaths suddenly became epiphanies of ecstasy, as a great presence filled the room. From my inner eye I witnessed her luminous presence ascend, and expand to match THAT which had come in the room, and then be absorbed into the Great Presence. I looked at her lifeless, radiant face and my inner eye beheld rays emanating from her head, reaching out towards me like outstretched and loving hands, touching my face with a great and tender thankfulness.

The circle was complete.

Sixty years earlier, a small baby, cradled in her arms, only a week or so old, had suddenly displayed an awareness in its eyes – a recognition that widened them. The baby boy was recognizing more than a mother, but a beloved soul mate, in a new form, now come as “Mother.” The mother smiled ecstatically back as the baby, who, unblinking, stretched out his little arm and cautiously, yet decisively, extended his little fingers to touch-tap slowly her chin in full recognition.

When I was born, my mother heartily laughed. My first experience of Life was filled with laughter. Sixty years later, while my face was touched by ray-like fingers of inner light, reaching out to touch me as an afterglow of her experience of liberation from birth and death, I sang slow and long the Buddhist Gauchami prayers. After I was through, my first reaction to her beautiful and miraculous death was to heartily laugh!

From laughter at birth to laughter at death, our bond has wrapped  around full circle within the Eternal.

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Arjuna 150 x150Arjuna (John Hogue) is author of 600 articles and 33 published books (1,170,000 copies sold) spanning 20 languages and counting and is sought-after for radio and TV talks shows. He has another 61 books in various stages of completion and has released in spring another book in the New Age/Prophecy genre. Arjuna presently lives in the Pacific Northwest on Whidbey Island, USA and welcomes e-mails from fellow travellers.

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