Lost At Sea


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List of people who disappeared mysteriously at sea

Many hours on a meditation cushion have spotlighted the subtler psychologies of exiling myself from myself. So do we all. Convinced that I could break free of the turmoil bequeathed to me, I fled my East Coast roots at 17, a wide-eyed seeker on a pilgrimage looking for a spiritual home to fill a chasm in me I could not name.

Like the classic orphan figure of folklore, I set out on a quest.

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Perhaps peace would find me on a Colorado commune, or in the deserts of the Southwest, or walking the length of the Swiss Alps solo, or in a martial arts dojo in Japan, or skirting the heights of the Himalayas. Hiking alone in Nepal during these years, I made my way along a thin path above a gorge and a foaming river far below. A Tibetan Buddhist monk walked toward me headed in the opposite direction.

Even amid the drama of these peaks that kept me craning my neck to admire them above the clouds, his crimson robes startled me. I carried a large backpack, yet he bore nothing but a small bag slung over one shoulder. When we closed in on one another, he caught my gaze, smiled brightly and kept walking. I stopped to take in the moment. What did it take to be able to smile at a stranger like that? And at life? My compass toward the dharma was set.


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For decades I believed I could outpace my legacy through spirituality, mountaineering, therapy, marriage and parenting, through careers in media, social work, and education. I reclaimed my birth name and shed my adoptive moniker of Gagney so I could start anew. But grief is infinitely patient and never static.

Lost at sea: the man who vanished for 14 months

The arc of my life circled back to what it knew best: the habit of separation and orphanhood. When I reached middle age, my relationship with my sisters—already troubled—fractured; I found myself being abandoned by not a few dear friends and associates; and the relationship I had with my Spokane sangha of 20 years ruptured. We fence ourselves off from one another despite a primal instinct to belong. We also become experts at abandoning ourselves. When I breezed through the first page of my memoir-in-progress aloud to a group of writing companions—the page that recounts the simultaneous loss of my parents and grandparents—just as affectless as I had been for years with others, my friend Julia reached out and put a hand on my forearm.

I was ready to move on and talk writing craft, but no one spoke. They all knew better.

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Julia had invited my grief to the table, and my ghosts were congregating around us. The group held me unmoving in that space, in that roaring, swallowing, sea of silence. We held our breaths and waited until I, too, at last began to cry.

For a mercurial moment. For the first time. The trembling, fearful child who had waited for me. She was an orphan twice abandoned. But now the group witnessed it. Now I knew. Now that orphan knew. The dharma offers us hundreds of modalities to reverse the habit of experiencing ourselves as separate from the world and each other.

Ajahn Sucitto of the Thai Forest tradition enjoins us to bring a sympathetic intimacy to all that arises in our field of experience. There are thousands of stories, suttas, and methods from every tradition that can affect this turn toward inclusivity, but we have to practice and know them well enough that they begin to saturate our awareness away from a default to aloneness. I have found that embodied awareness is my greatest truth-teller and my ever-present touchstone of solace.

My Profile News Home Page. Most Popular Military News. Nicholas Petren, head of the 90th SFS, was removed "due to a loss of confidence" in his leadership.

ICS | Lives Lost at Sea

Marine Corps Finds Unprofessional Command Led to Fatal Midair Crash that Killed 6 A report found that inadequate training also contributed to a deadly refueling mission; four leaders were fired. View more. More Military Headlines. The two men survived for several months by eating — raw — whatever fish and birds they could catch with their hands, and drinking turtle blood and rainwater, according to the Telegraph. Majuro, The Marshall Islands. The Salvadoran fisherman survived 13 months adrift on the ocean.

watch He was dehydrated, dishevelled, and confused. The islanders began nursing Alvarenga back to health, and NBC helped him to get in contact with family and let them know that he had survived.

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