Svein’s whole life had been affected by congenital heart troubles. They were a door that brought him to the practice. Through the awareness of his beating heart, he learned to practice mindfulness and taught many others to share in the practice. He spent many summers at Plum Village with his wife Eevi and their son Kyrre. In 1994 he received the lamp transmission from Thay and became a Dharmacharya. In 1999 his book of poetry, Plum Poems, was published by Parallax Press. He also translated many of Thay’s books into Norwegian. He led Days of Mindfulness in the Netherlands and France as well as in Norway. Together Svein and Eevi gave special support to children in Vietnam who needed heart surgery. With some friends he wrote a story of the Buddha for children in Norway.
Svein had a very close relationship with his son Kyrre. When Kyrre was about one and a half years old, Svein and Eevi and Kyrre came to visit Boston. Svein explained that he was in no rush to teach Kyrre lots of words. He wanted him to experience life as it was without words getting in the way. One of Kyrre’s favorite words was “moo” which he used for all animal sounds. In Norwegian it sounds like “meu.” Kyrre took great pleasure in every animal he saw. We agreed that he was having a wonderful time living in the present “meu-ment.”
That was how Svein lived. His cardiologist, Dr. Michael Landzberg, commented that he had never seen a patient come to him with so little fear. Svein was ready to have an operation the next day if it would make things better. No fear, no worry. Only the present moment.
Svein knew how to have great joy in every moment. And he knew how to teach that through his poems and dharma talks, through his smile and his beaming eyes. Even now he is teaching us. We are blessed to have such a teacher in our lives.
Elizabeth Wood, True Good Birth, practices with Boston Old Path Sangha in Massachusetts.
Tears Your tears in my eyes My tears in your eyes On this path where joy and sorrow merge — amazing! Each raindrop makes a greener leaf.
Grace There is a stillness simpler than silence, a peace deeper than calm. There is a shimmering in the dark soil, shades of trees, in old moss, and the twisted forms of branches, that hold us, carry us and nurture us. In a flash of the eye, laughter, or a tear. No effort needed, no self to seek, just grace remains.
--Svein Myreng, True Door