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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Richard Baker on Tim Buckley

Thank you for keeping me informed about our large Sangha. I was startled to hear of Tim’s death. I had heard vaguely that Tim had cancer, but I had no idea it was serious. I have always particularly liked Tim. I share with him being a Harvard dropout, but me once, maybe you could say twice; but Tim I think told me he dropped out 8 times. Hard to believe, but its possible truth (if I got it straight) says alot about Harvard’s loyalty to the students it accepts, and a lot about Tim’s willingness to persist and simultaneously find his own way.


When I think of Tim, the image of Tim struggling with pain during a sesshin always comes to mind. I was sitting on the left side of altar (on the right of the Buddha) in the old Zendo. I happened to be sitting just above Tim who was in the first seat on the stream side of the Zendo. For four or five afternoon periods during the maybe 3rd & 4th, or 4th & 5th days, unavoidably I could feel and see Tim struggle mightily with the pain, refusing to move, shaking all over sometimes, but refusing to move. I saw and felt and supported as a nearby sitter his intention and exertion. I knew it was possible to get beyond it, but this is impossible to know in the middle of the struggle. And then one afternoon, he came out the other side and sat calmly the rest of the sesshin. 

I was relieved and always thereafter when I was with him, in some other space I felt the beauty of that moment. 

The other descriptive incidence of our friendship and mutual respect (I always felt), was the overlap of our commitment to Harry Roberts and to his writings. Well after Harry’s death, when the manuscript I had promised Harry that I would help to get published, was stuck in ‘advertence', I helped the best I could to get the manuscript freed up and to Tim so that it could be published.[Walking in Beauty: Growing up with the Yurok Indians by Harry Roberts] 

He visited here (CMZC [Crestone Mt. ZC) maybe two summers ago when I was in Europe. Everyone enjoyed his visit. 

Thoughts enough for now. I miss him. I liked the feeling that he was somewhere on the planet. And Maine - my birth and heart place somehow too.

Tim Buckley cuke page