AVELINE KUSHI – In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory of Aveline:

Aveline was one of the first people I met when I arrived in Brookline from Los Angeles in early April, 1985.  Within minutes of asking my name and from where I had come, Aveline extended to me a gracious and generous offer to move into her home at 64 Buckminster Road for the duration of Level I studies.  I politely declined, having made previous arrangements to board with Steve and Linda Devine, but Aveline was persistent, and as Level I studies came to a close, she asked if I would relocate to Beckett to help with the reconstruction, renovation and transformation of the Beckett property.  I accepted immediately and the rewards were substantial – hard work, great meals and most of all the company and support of a diverse and unified group of people.

Aveline was an adventurer.  When I told her of my walks down the hill to the railroad tracks, then along those tracks and back up through the forest before returning to the Beckett house, she insisted on making the journey.  When I explained that the route was a 2 1/2 hour, often difficult walk, she didn’t flinch.  I brought the water, Aveline brought the rice balls.  We made this walk many times, sometimes the two of us, sometimes in a large group.  With Aveline, steps in the forest took on new meaning – there was no rush, no hurry, only the simple act of recognizing the moment.

My most profound memory of Aveline took place one late night on the road from Beckett to Brookline.  Aveline asked if I would drive her back to Buckminster Road.  Having just made the drive from Brookline to Beckett an hour earlier, I was tired, hungry and ready for a rest, but not wanting to disappoint, I said yes. She insisted on cooking me a meal. We had made the drive many times together, and she would often nap the entire distance.  Not once did she ever comment on my driving skills or ask that I slow down, but this night proved to be different.

We were zipping along a Berkshire back road, about to reach its crest after an uphill climb, when Aveline suddenly, surely and wordlessly reached out and squeezed my right arm.  Without a word I braked, downshifted and crested the top of the hill and there was a mother deer with her three children standing bewildered and still in the middle of the road.  It was that close. Without Aveline’s wordless warning, the situation would have been tragically different.  Her intuitions and abilities were that strong – she had the ability to peer into the darkness and assess the future.


Doug Lewis

Kushi Institute, Level 3, Class of 85


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