The Place of Unconditional Love ~ A tribute to Leonard Cohen from Shunyamurti

At this time of the passing of our beloved brother Leonard Cohen, I would like to offer his soul a blessing for redemption, and to be received into the loving arms of God for having completed a very difficult mission with great finesse, honesty, courage, power, and sensitivity to the nuances of the situation in which he found himself and the greatness he showed in publicly offering himself as a seeker of knowledge, one who was damaged, detained by emotional ties of the Other, yet always cutting free, always willing to face danger and despair, never letting go of the thread of learning through suffering, of gaining deeper understanding, of the wisdom of the heart, of the skill required to overcome the narcissism of the ego by using its own desire for prestige as the opportunity to reveal his limitations, his fears, his need, his full humanness in relentless quest of the essential Real of his Being.

Cohen’s genius was his ability to translate his struggle into poetry, into a larger than life career, a living lesson for the world, a legend, a lover, an icon for those recognizing the beauty of the path he scythed through the jungle of signs and sighs, the exquisite metaphors he gave us to unravel our own knots. He worked through his own crucifixion with grace and guilt unabsolved, and earned his right to declare his Hallelujah. May we all appreciate his spiritual achievement and grow from his teachings, his modeling, his failing and his self-overcoming. Leonard Cohen is a great soul.

It has been an honor to study his works and to learn far more than the art of poetry from his profound willingness to live the full catastrophe.



In 2014, Shunyamurti gave a satsang teaching in response to Cohen’s song, "Show Me The Place":

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