The Clear Light Institute  
of Sukhasiddhi Foundation 

fall/winter 2016

Regret is the opposite of guilt. We acknowledge it, we expose to ourselves that we have done something harmful and how it came about from our ignorance, but we don't get caught in emotions and story lines.

Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, "Realizing Guiltlessness"



End of Life Decisions
November 5, 2016
9 am-1:00 pm

Amitabha Puja
November 30, 2016
7-8:30 pm

Medicine Buddha Puja
December 21, 2016 
7-8:30 pm


of each moment:
An interview with Clear Light Institute director Pat Berube.




DO YOU appreciate
the work of the Clear Light Institute? 

Legacy Letters: A gift of loving kindness

WE LOVE TO HEAR inspiring stories of the dying as they share their insights in coming to terms with their impending death. The sharing of one's personal transformation in the process of dying and reflecting on what is meaningful in life is a precious gift that touches the heart bone of reality. Most of us swim in a self-made reality that goes unchallenged unless we hear ominous news. The jolt redirects our life to a search for meaning that is transformational. Those who are dying share a perspective that teaches us what is most meaningful.

Death bed confessions, sharing values, giving advice and expressing forgiveness have been a long tradition throughout the centuries. Our modern equivalent is Legacy Letters - sometimes called Ethical Will. The healing qualities of sharing our love and reaching out to reconcile hurts helps us to let go toward a peaceful death and eases the way for our loved ones to move on. The gift of a Legacy Letter to our loved ones while we are able, expresses our values and shares what is most meaningful in our life with a wish to be of benefit to the ones we leave behind. 

The writing of a Legacy Letter is encouraged by many attorneys as part of one's estate plan. Although not a legal document, stating our values and what has been meaningful in our life can help guide our proxy to make end of life medical decisions about our medical care when we are unable to speak for ourselves.

Legacy letters can take many forms as they help us move into a more open relationship with our finite life.  Written while we are enjoying health and well being, they invite us to step into the reality that our lives are impermanent and can end at any time. Those who have been able to embrace impermanence while living with a terminal illness report an aliveness and preciousness to their life that inspires. 

Some who are facing a terminal illness have found creative ways to reach out and leave a lasting legacy expressing their hopes, wishes and lessons learned to be of benefit to their family and to all beings. Drs Pausch and Kalanithi are two such examples.

Dr Randy Pausch, a college professor, spent his last months giving 'The Last Lecture" to a variety of audiences. Now on video, it is a fine example of sharing his dreams, enabling the dreams of others and offering life lessons learned in a creative and humorous presentation. It is an inspirational and loving gift for his family, his loved ones and as an expression of his desire to be of benefit to others.

Dr Paul Kalanithi wrote a lovely book , When Breath Becomes Air, chronicling his journey through his last months with terminal cancer as a neurosurgeon, patient, husband, son and father. As he states, "The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live."

Knowing that death is near helps us to sort out our priorities and can open us to the presence and appreciation of each moment. Opening to presence allows us to embrace the impermanence of each moment whether the next moment comes or not. Embracing impermanence opens our heart's expression of love and compassion, easing our mind and supporting a peaceful transition. Writing a Legacy Letter is a gift of love and compassion made complete in the sharing and receiving.

End of Life Decisions
Making Hard and Loving Choices

Saturday, November 5th
from 9 am - 1 pm  

Dying is a most vulnerable time, eased and made meaningful with the support of a loving environment that carries us through the transition. By understanding and being prepared for the types of challenges - and opportunities - this period of life brings, we can give ourselves and our loved ones the great gift of a peaceful and loving end, as well as bringing a sense of joy and freedom to our current life.

Through presentation, video, and discussion, Pat Berube, an experienced RN and former nursing supervisor at Marin General Hospital, will lead an examination of real life scenarios involved in going into the death process, options and likely outcomes. We will learn how to clearly document our intent and decisions for our end of life care. The workshop is open to everyone.

Sliding scale: $35-$55
Members: $25
RN CEs available 


Pat Berube, Director
Jennifer Dunn