Remembering Big Wave Dave
Dear friends, family, supporters and frequenters to Samahita: At some point in the past few years you would have arrived at Samahita, been shown around, perhaps first have gone to your room, and then made it to the dining area. More likely than not one of the first persons you would have met would be a tanned, blond-haired elderly gentleman who may have asked if you just arrived, joined you for company over dinner, and told you all about the island, the local area and Samahita itself. You probably would have heard Hawaiian phrases and stories of surfing, California in the 60s and US national parks.
I speak of our friend and family member, Dave. The man who walked into a diner in Ojai, California, 12 years ago and spotted a lively silver haired lady with boundless energy and pizzazz. Dorien nonetheless. Initially Dave worried that she had already left and he had missed his chance to connect with her. But the stars aligned and before long the rest of us at Samahita were introduced to Dorien’s “new boyfriend”, Dave. As he told me many times, his life in Ojai had finished then and miraculously he was transplanted into a new life of love, friends, activity, purpose, support, and community. Dave liked double layered gelato ice cream. But more so he loved to connect with people and help where he could.
Within time Dorien and Dave, as a young happy couple much in love, decided to marry, a celebration, presided over by our own Irish Jack, held in the main yoga shala, where I got to walk Dorien down the yogic aisle to hand her over to Dave to keep, love and cherish. At the same time we recorded Samahita Live where Dave played the harmonica, then and at many New Years events at Samahita. As the years went on Dave transformed the tropical garden at his and Dorien’s house and took many a Samahita guest on a walk along the beach to temples that stand at this southern tip of Koh Samui.
Recently Dave started to show discomfort around the abdomen with ice cream one of the first things to go. Within time, just the beginning of this past September, we discovered it to be cancer. Dave was clear and simple in his wishes. He told us he wanted a natural birth into the next life. Dorien took him to the hospice in Chiangmai where our friend Dave passed on October 24. We send our love and support to Dorien who has lost her heart love yet lives with the beautiful experience it was, and has many more years to spend with us all. Our thoughts and prayers float up with Dave in his upgraded natural new form. Dave, we love and miss you, but you will always be remembered and with us. Paul and all at Samahita
A Life Well Lived
by Gill Breetzke
I moved to Samui 3 years ago, life’s circumstances had shattered my heart wide open and I felt vulnerable and unsure of how to make sense of the pain.
My good friend Dave was there to greet me with a warm, “Welcome home Honey”, his bear hug, beaming smile and a basket of seashells,
I settled in, got busy teaching, working and being. The pain was still there and so was Dave,
His face always lit up when he saw me, really saw me, his hugs were always true, always 100% present. He told me I looked beautiful when I couldn’t have felt any further from that and graciously lent me the ear and comfort of his beloved Dorien. He gave us so much space to enjoy the beautiful friendship I so cherish.
Dave was there, always present: dinners shared, music, stories, laughter, precious full moon fires on the beach…slowly rebuilding my trust in the goodness of the human heart.
It’s interesting to look back and reflect on the defining part that some people subtly and naturally play in our lives.
When Dave first shared his prognosis his decision was clear. He accepted the news with, as Dorien expressed: “the humility, grace and good humor that had always been who he truly was”.
He told us that he had found a place of true peace and quiet in the hills of Northern Thailand where he could have a “natural birth”.
Love poured out from Dave’s many friends around the world, his global family, and now tributes flow sharing stories of a life well lived…my story is one of many. Dave touched lives and hearts wherever he lived.
Before leaving for Chiang Mai, Dave distributed all he owned to those he knew would need it. He left with a small duffle bag of belongings in hand, no debts, no skeletons in the closet.
Dave prepared his beloved Dorien’s home so she could return without the stuff…a clutter of memories but rather with the true, unfading knowledge that she was deeply and truly loved by an extraordinary man…
On one of those precious evenings, before he headed North, Dave shared that he had got his heart broken so many times it finally stayed open…
In The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Chögyam Trungpa writes:
‘The genuine heart of sadness comes from feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. You would like to spill your heart’s blood, give your heart to others. For the warrior, this experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.’
Our Dave was a true yogi, a warrior with a clear, open, tender heart.
I know, in time, Dorien, will share her heart.
For now I leave you with these beautiful words her daughter Trine so eloquently shared:
Please! Continue to joyfully navigate this New Birth….
returning wholly to energetic essence.
Yet, if you have a moment to spare
in your ecstasy within Gods Gracious Embrace.
Perhaps send us a wave here, in clear communion…
rainbow prism lights, calm currents, soothing whispers from within
Especially for my mother….
especially, sacredly, for her heart,
in the way only you know how.
Wherever else you may be…
I see you… here…
in the star, in the newborn’s eyes, in the child’s courage, in the healing hand …..
Where the wisdom is.
Where it counts.
Your new language lapping at the edges of form and formlessness
From my limited perspective, It’s all so unknown.
Yet for you
so close to reality,
the Unknown creates concentric circles…
from the inside out
the way a tree grows on Earth.
the way a pebble drops into a pond
Comforting, Steady, Resonant.
Thank you for coming though my life like a shooting star.
So many souls you have touched!
Your love echoes through us all…
Thank you for cracking my mothers heart open
so she could receive a love beyond logic
Walk with us and lets do this!
Lets get this Earth Ascended!
Sacred and Sovereign!
I know you will assist tirelessly from behind the scenes…
Help me learn my lines and do my part
with strength, courage
and a “Big Wave Dave” kind of heart.
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