It is with sadness that we let you know that one of the monks of our Order, Rev. Master Chushin Passmore, recently died in his home in Wales. He died of a brain hemorrhage while he was resting and probably was unaware of what was happening. A funeral was held at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in the UK on Monday March 18th. R M Chushin’s sister and niece were able to attend, and several monks who had trained with him in the 80’s and 90’s at Shasta and Throssel, came up and joined us as we said farewell.
The day before the funeral the monastic community and visiting monks sat with the body in the ceremony hall during the traditional vigil for a monk.
On Monday, Rev. Master Daishin was celebrant for the Funeral and burial ceremony. As we circumambulated the Hall and offered incense to R M Chushin we sang two of the invocations he was closely involved with: ‘Crossing the Bar’, and ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’.
R M Jiyu asked R M Chushin to write a final verse to Tennyson’s poem ‘Crossing the Bar’ before including it in our Liturgy. Here is what he wrote:
Dawnlight and morning star
He gently calls me forth;
And may there be no doubt to dull my prayer
When I reply, “My Lord!”
How pure the fountain of His love doth flow!
How deep its treasures are!
All clouds and fears dissolve, as glad I go,
When I have crost the bar.
Rev. Master Chushin was ordained in 1977 by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett, and had been a monk for 35 years. He was one of the original group of British monks who traveled to Shasta in the 1970s to train as disciples of Rev. Master Jiyu. Many of our congregation in the US and UK have fond memories of him during his time at Shasta and Throssel. Amongst the various positions he held over the years were guestmaster at Throssel and the OBC Journal editor. More recently he set up the Dharma Cloud trust in Newport, South Wales (his home town) in 2001, and for some time a meditation group met once a week there.
Many have sent cards and email messages of condolence via Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, for which we thank you. The way he encouraged people through his sense of humour seems to be a common thread running through the many cards, emails and posts on various websites, that offer their appreciation for his teaching and life.