Thinking Of Our Beloved Conrad

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Jun 2, 2014
5307 reads  
For more than a decade, Conrad Pritscher has been blessing the work of ServiceSpace. Early on, he would make really thoughtful comments across our various portals, and his resonance for our values really showed in his gentle ways. Bit by bit, we picked up different things about him -- like the fact that he lives in the same same small town in Ohio where Rev. Heng Sure grew up (Toledo), or that he had been a professor for decades. Every so often, he would send in a small monetary donation as well. Everything about him was so measured, thoughtful and sweet.

When he wrote an independent book, Einstein and Zen, he asked us for permission to use material from our sites -- and we happily gave him blanket permission. Along the way, he started development friendships with couple people in the ecosystem -- particularly Somik, around the weekly Awakin readings. Soon, Somik was sharing ideas via Skype calls with Conrad and his professor friends from Ohio! Conrad's latest book is one that he wrote to "broaden the process of education from what Khan Academy and Gates are talking about." He held deep insights into how we learn.

Recently, he had pneumonia. Turns out it was terminal cancer. Below is a note he shared this morning with Somik and some friends, that deeply moved me.
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Conrad Pritscher 
Date: Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Subject: from Conrad

Dear Internet group,

wWhat follows may be looked at as a generation of sadness or, as I see it, a generation of gladness. I have had a very great life with wonderful friends and family. This Internet group has been very important to me.

Many of you know I am a zen Buddhist and a Zen Buddhists believe we are born and die each moment. Many of us also look at ourselves as a wave in a vast ocean. The wave eventually becomes the ocean. I have never been separated. my wave is now accelerating a bit faster than usual toward becoming the ocean and that is not a big deal.

I was recently in the hospital for a week, 1st being diagnosed with pneumonia, then being diagnosed with lung cancer. After more tests and after talking to an ecologist and a surgeon, I find my lung cancer is not operable Partly because the cancer is in my lymph nodes, chemo or radiation would not help much.

I have decided to go with the flow and to do nothing other than take each day as it comes along with painkillers when I need them. I am now very weak and have low energy. I lost over 20 pounds in the last 2 months. My attitude is, from my point of view, fine in that I am accepting everything that comes unless it can be readily changed.

Because of my low-energy Tom Kelly has agreed to be secretary of our Internet group. Please assist him in any way you think you can.
I will be around for our September session, but doctors project I will probably be gone by the end of January.

Thank you for contributing to the great life I have had and will have for a while yet. I have been very pleased to have been in a group with all of you and I hope the group continues.

Right now I have no pain and except for extreme tiredness, I have no complaints of any kind and I am accepting the extreme tiredness.
I prefer no get well cards or phone calls. Please continue accepting things as they are..

Warm and kind regards,
Conrad
--

************************************************
"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it." --David Starr Jordan
"The small truth has words that are clear; the great truth has great silence."
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." --Tagore
************************************************

I chuckled to see an extra 'w' in the first word of the opening sentence. Conrad always joked about how tech unsavvy he was, and I always imagined him typing with two fingers and very a big smile. Across the several dozen emails we've exchanged, the most common phrase would be: "You have my deep gratitude, Nipun". I always felt it. And today, I'd like to say: "Conrad, you have my deep gratitude." I hope he feels it, and continues to feel it even past January.     

Posted by Nipun Mehta | Tags: | permalink


Share A Comment

 Your Name: Email:


Smiles From 19 Members Login to Add a Smile


Comments (19)

  • Bradley Stoll wrote ...

    Conrad sounds like someone I wish I had gotten to meet.

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing this! I've so loved and appreciated seeing Conrad's sincere and thoughtful comments on the Awakin readings. Dear Conrad, even though I've never met you in person, your genuine presence really touches my heart. Thank you for being you. With deep, deep gratitude. :)

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    One of the quotes in his signature really speaks to his grace in such a challenging time: "Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it." --David Starr Jordan A bow of gratitude to Conrad for showing us how to live and how to let go.

  • Liz wrote ...

    I am also deeply moved, sad and changed.
    With love to you all,
    Liz

  • Anne-Marie Bauer wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing. Deep gratitude for Conrad's beautiful spirit, and equanimity. "Please continue accepting things as they are." - with a smile and teary eyes I read this line and made a promise to this as best as I can. Much love.

  • Dinesh Mehta wrote ...

    I am amazed by Conrad's Wisdom and equanimity in the face of life threatening situation. In some ways shorter but more meaningful life may be better!

  • Ram Upadhyay wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing this. This is beautiful!

  • Radha Ivaturi wrote ...

    Dear Conrad , I am so inspired by your equanimity and surrender . I offer my prayers to strengthen your journey.

  • Lavanya Marla wrote ...

    My gratitude goes out to Conrad, for sharing his thoughts through the Awakin newsletters, as well as his equanimity in this situation. Thanks for sharing, Nipun!

  • Pancho wrote ...

    We just feature our beloved brother Conrad in tonight's Awakin Oakland reading, including an anonymous tag from a local artist who got inspired by Conrad's email/story and made that painting:
    [View Link]

    all from his book Einstein and Zen.

    Another ripple, or rather, wave of our dearest Conrad ;-) You have my astronomical gratitude brother! :-)

  • Rahul Brown wrote ...

    What wonderful consistent contribution from Conrad over the years. My gratitude for his beautiful spirit!

  • NIlam Chauhan wrote ...

    Thanks for sharing :) what an attitude towards life ! It's so easy to say to go with the flow but dear Conrad you are actually living it! So much gratitude for showing me the way ! I always read your comments on the awakin reading ! So much wisdome every reading!
    I live about 45 mints from Toledo . Is there anyway I could have the honor of meeting you ? Pl let me know ! I will blessed if I could see you !

  • Conrad P Pritscher wrote ...

    dear Nipun,

    Words cannot express my deepest gratitude. I have never received anything like this in my entire life and I must admit I am thrilled and greatly appreciates Waters said. I would like to email everyone for their kind words and I feel a bit too weak at this time. Thanks again Nipun and Somik, and everyone else in service-based or for making my life so wonderful. I didn't think it could be more wonderful until I read what is said here. I am even more peaceful now after reading this than before.

    Warm and kind regards to everyone,

    Conrad

  • cabbage wrote ...

    I have been moved by Conrad's comments on this site for many years, and am so grateful to him for sharing his profound wisdom. I am deeply touched by the peace and equanimity with which he is dealing with this part of his journey. Wishing him much peace and expressing my gratitude for his being.
    Big hugs to you Conrad--even though I have never met you, I feel like I have known you for years! -Brinda

  • Chris Johnnidis wrote ...

    Wow. I've seen so many of Conrad's reflections over the years. Very moved by his sincerity and humility. And intricacy of acceptance, inspiring equanimity. I'm suddenly reminded of the comment in the empty hands pilgrimage video about a fruit tree giving its greatest bounty in the last season of its life...and of Somik's new year's resolution some years back at an awakin-santa clara circle to give away as much of himself as he could... Dear Conrad, thank you for giving of yourself and inspiring so many of us coming up behind you.

  • Sheetal Sanghvi wrote ...

    Dear Conrad,
    We love you..

  • rushabh gandhi wrote ...

    Beautiful. In the continuous chaos, though in this big world wide web - I dont how service space creates magic of bringing stillness even with when it is a virtual presence.
    Thank you so much. Thank you Conrad for everything.

  • Jagdish P Dave wrote ...

    I could relate to Conard's story clearly. The deaths of three persons had a strong impact on me in understanding and relating to living and dying. The first one was the shcoking and deeply saddening news of Mahtama Gandhi's assisanation. Accepting the unexpected paasing away with words Hey Rama- Oh God-on his lips had a profound impact on my consciousness. The second one was passing way of my dad in front of my eyes. He knew his time had come to leave this world, With full awareness of what was going to happen, he asked all the maembers of our extended family surround him while he was listening to the eighteen verses of the second chapter of the Bhagvad Geeta- the verses describing the characteristics of an enlightened being, the being who is established in one's being. And the last one wa [...] See full comment.
    I could relate to Conard's story clearly. The deaths of three persons had a strong impact on me in understanding and relating to living and dying. The first one was the shcoking and deeply saddening news of Mahtama Gandhi's assisanation. Accepting the unexpected paasing away with words Hey Rama- Oh God-on his lips had a profound impact on my consciousness. The second one was passing way of my dad in front of my eyes. He knew his time had come to leave this world, With full awareness of what was going to happen, he asked all the maembers of our extended family surround him while he was listening to the eighteen verses of the second chapter of the Bhagvad Geeta- the verses describing the characteristics of an enlightened being, the being who is established in one's being. And the last one was two years ago when my wife passed away due to aggressive breast cancer. Two months before she passed away, she held my hands, looked into my eyes and told me, " I trust that you will tell me the truth. Am I going to survive? ". My response came from my heart: " Listen Vanleela. Someday,we all are going to pass away, you, me and all of us we know and we do not know." She related to what i told her with calm acceptance. Before she closed her eyes for ever, she looked at all of us who were surrounding her, touched each one's hand and asked: Is everyone OK?. Even in the last moments of her consciousness, she related to all of us the same way she had related to us all her life with love, kndness and compassion. I am deeply grateful to these three special human beings for teaching me how to live and how to die. Thank you Nipun for sharing such inspiring wisdom. Hide full comment.

  • Robert Alexander wrote ...

    36 years too late. I am certain I squandered Conrad's talent. Gift..

    BGSU. Can't remember the course title.

    After all the years, who do I search for?

    I hope I will be forgiven. ........