in memory of Bill Scheffel (Western Mountain)

News of your fiery departure reached my tender eyes tonight.

I gasped in utter disbelief.


My heart-mind lunged forward as if tied to a great galloping garuda.

What fell from my eyes next I still do not know.

Tears? Sparks? Stars?

I'm left with the question, Bill:

Now, where will you go?


I light a stick of hinoki incense, earthy and pure.

It reminds me of all of my teachers along this way of ways within the greater Way.

I had studied meditation before.

You taught me how to sit like a warrior.


Midnight comes and goes like a forest without fireflies.

I pour a large cup of sake

and drift yet again through your 'vertical time yoga'

and all of the excellent films you made about

masters reflecting on the life of your teacher,

conscious dying,


the troubles down in New Orleans post-Katrina,

and precious memories of your mother,

whom you go to meet.


All I can say now is:

May we all craft a life with such heart, tenderness, and attentiveness.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) /

sound: "Real-Life Mystery" / They Grow Layers of Life Within / Alio Die

Liner Notes:

Bill Scheffel was a poet, artist, filmmaker, and teacher of meditation in the Shambhala tradition. He chose to self-immolate in early July 2018.