Died – Cristian Cabral, Argentina

Cristian

On Saturday, April 20, Cristian Cabral died.

There is no one in Tashigar South who is not deeply moved, perhaps because, for many years, Cristian shared his life with us and his demeanor always impregnated us with a patina of joy and kindness.  He awakened our gentleness.

Cristian was not old, but he had in his eyes the sparkle of one who has understood that in his life, harsh and hard, there was a meaning… and an opportunity.

He did not want to waste it.

We share with you the poem he wrote some time ago, almost as if it were his own obituary, and a poem as a brief resume of the author:

CRISTIAN

The stoic poet of the meek smile

The stripped one,

who never had the greed to possess

The loving Cristian,

who was never associated with words like anger, conflict,

complaint

He of the tormented body,

who made his weakness the strength of his perseverance.

The practitioner.

Paula De Raedemaeker

MY DEPARTURE

Another dream will come from among the clouds,

it will travel through the transparent years,

it will show itself executioner and decadent

as it tears from me all that I had.

My hands that protect this immense emptiness

this immense emptiness that rumbles

on the black earth of a tomb

while white time unweaves.

The light of the ancient fire that enlivens me

will fade almost imperceptibly,

the saliva will dry in my mouth

and I will hide my face in the invisible.

From the portal that lights my departure

my eyes will run through what I have been;

I will go very slowly from life

entering unknowingly into oblivion.

I will shed an infinite tear

for what I wanted to be, maddened,

the world takes away what it gives,

perhaps I can find myself in what is lost.

I will turn my compass without north

in a soft shipwreck by the height,

and the spectral shadow of my figure

will move away from me, without my caring.

I’ll lose myself in the gray mist

that precedes the definite silence,

this light silence shared

by all these souls that populate me.

My heartbeats will suddenly end,

I will feel ready for the journey

and I will carry only as luggage

what in my life had some meaning.

Another dream will come, as in a prayer,

I will go after what I am without referents,

a very precise and different dream,

a dream from which there will be no return.

Cristian Cabral

from the book “Logbook of time”.

Cristian as a young man

I DON´T CRY FOR YOU, BUT FOR ME

On Saturday morning, April 20th, we learned that Cristian Cabral, Cristian, as the people from Córdoba call him, Cris Cris as I called him, had left us.

The blue gakyil of Tashigar Sur, who had lovingly accompanied his last days, side by side with his mother, guiding shitros, and always keeping us in the loop, let us know immediately.

I read the news with dry eyes, in a thoughtless silence, and felt that I had to get out, walk…. On the second block of my walk, as I crossed a square under the autumn sun, I felt a tear falling slowly, as if it wanted to pass unnoticed, and then another and another …. At the same time, I understood that in fact I was not crying for Cristian, but for me.

To explain it I have to turn to his story, to his book of poems where he writes that story on the wings of the deepest and most beautiful verses. And to the details that Delia, his mother, -practitioner herself and once gekod and gakyil of Tashigar- gave me as a gift in the midst of her pain.

Here I go.

Cristian came to our Community when he was 16 years old. According to Delia, he had read Lobsang Rampa and was obsessed with finding a Master, a lama. At a friend’s house he found a magazine where they talked about Namkhai Norbu and Tashigar Sur. So it was that in 1992 he came to the Gar. The Master was not there, but his senior practitioners, and then he learned the Guru Yoga that he would never stop practicing.

16 years old I said. A dark-haired, slim teenager with big dark eyes and an easy smile. Gentle, affectionate and cheerful. With great facility to win hearts.

However, pain beat in him since he was a child. That pain that would accompany him all his life, like his literature and now, the Teachings of CHNN.

At the age of 9 he had lost his father in a work accident. He tells us about it in the first poem of his book, “The Logbook of Time”, published in 2023.

I remember

He left in silence

wanting to leave

part of his life in my entrails

and he took with him part of my life.

Maybe his memory is still among the pines,

perhaps his eyes look at me from every glimmer

that emerges in a mirror.

When he was 9 years old, he also received his first kidney transplant: his father’s kidney. When he found out, the idea was unbearable for him and his body rejected the organ after 14 days.

Now it is easier to understand the piece of poem I transcribed.

Cristian, against all medical protocol, received 4 transplants in his short life of 48 years. The 2nd, which he also rejected, was at the age of 13 and the 3rd, one year after arriving in Tashigar South. By then he was already undergoing dialysis treatment.

In this case the donor was Delia, his mother. It was not easy for him to accept and allow this donation, he did not want to run the risk of harming her, of losing his mother as well.

That’s what he told her while they were sitting in a flower bed in the pedestrian area of Córdoba with a crowd of people passing by. But a few inspired words convinced him: “I gave you life for the first time and I think I have the right to try again.”

Of course, the process was not easy: they put the kidney in, had to take it out and then put it back in again. But from then on it was the best eleven years of Cristian’s life, according to Delia.

In 1994 he was finally able to meet the Master and stay 3 months with him at the Gar. Cristian always said that the happiest time of his life was always at Tashigar. He was also able to travel to many places, he was able to go to Margarita for his long awaited Mandarava Retreat.

No sooner had he met the Master than he had begun to do the Long Life Practice of the immortal dakini Mandarava. Rinpoche himself had advised him to do it, as He himself did, if he wanted to extend his life. And all of us who know him know, without any doubt, that this was the case. He was only 30 years old, when the kidney donated by his mother stopped working due to a urinary tract complication, and although in 2011 he received a fourth transplant, this one also failed.

In other words, since he was 30 years old, his life depended on dialysis and his practice of Mandarava. The former, periodically and systematically, kept him deteriorating, with countless and desolate relapses, interventions and hospitalizations. The practice, also sustained and persevering, gave him strength to continue, to be reborn again and again.

The poet he admired as a child, Pedro Palacios, nicknamed Almafuerte, begins his poem entitled Piú avanti with a famous line: “Don’t give up, not even defeated”. I think that was Cris Cris’ secret slogan.

We worked together in the gakyil of Tashigar Sur on so many retreats, we shared the printing of so many of the Master’s books and so many of his booklets when Tashigar Sur took over the Spanish edition. We shared so many practices in the gonpa ….

So many times we feared he would die, and so many times we met again with his smile and his unwavering strength!

But his notebook knew …. His verses knew the side of despair.

In the poem entitled Defeat, one line reads:

“Dying a little at a time becomes habit.”

In another:

And I, I keep looking for the meaning of each instant,

so as not to lose myself

in death.

He already knew it for a long time. In 2015 he wrote My departure, the hendecasyllables

that Paula De Raedemaker quoted in her farewell to Cristian. In 2017

he will write a heartbreaking poem titled Death.

And in another poem, The Frost , also from 2015 , he states:

“walk behind the frost and in its fire,

Having the certainty

That to die

Is to transcend its burn.”

Now I can explain, explain to you, what I left pending at the beginning of this article.

Yes, to die is to transcend the burn, as you said Cris Cris. That is why this Saturday, walking through the square, I knew that I was not crying for you but for me.

Because all of us who have known you, all of us who love you we know that at last you no longer suffer.

That there are no punctures to torment your exhausted veins

Nor fainting spells that dull your senses, nor hospitalizations, nor that tiredness

born of the repetition of sufferings.

So much pain purified every chink of your history.

So much practice familiarized you with the light.

The last time we saw each other, ready to go

You told me that all you wanted was silence.

Now, at last, you have entered the silence full of immensity that you so longed for.

So I will only cry for me, because I won’t be able to meet you when I travel to Tashigar, nor share some mates and the sandwiches you liked, I won’t see you smiling with joy when you see me, I won’t listen to you telling me about your literary and musical achievements or telling us our sorrows or our ideas about the country or the community. Nor will I hear your “hello Grigri!” On the cell phone…

My little Vajra brother, I assure you, it will not be easy to get through your absence always

present in the air of Tashigar Mandala.

But don’t worry, although it goes without saying, because all concern is already alien to you.

I repeat what I already told you when I read your verses for the first time and those that in Cavilations say:

“and I wonder if my notebook and I will survive so much oblivion”.

What poet has not asked himself this question, what human being has not asked himself this question, each one in his own way and according to his own circumstances?

And how could we answer it with certainty. But of one thing I am sure of, those of us who have read these poems from The Logbook of time, who have the good fortune to read them in the future, will not be able to forget them or their author so easily. easily neither of them nor of their author.

And much less your family, your friends from Cosquín and your Vajra brothers and sisters who love  and admire you so much.

Griselda Gálmez

 

Cristian dancing the Vajra Dance on the Mandala at his beloved Tashigar South

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