Dear Friends and Family,
Today we celebrate Erik Weiss, Rik as he liked to be called. His birthday is September 10, 1977. I thought it fitting that I send you a copy of the speech at the Memorial Service that was held in Los Angeles in 2004. This was a friend of Erik’s who also happened to be a member of the Self-Realization Fellowship as Erik was. I send this in hopes that you will remember all your loved ones that have passed into the light. Just think of them doing what they loved best. The idea of Erik surfing the heavens and having no more pain gives me much solace and peace. I like to think of them cheering us on until we meet again.
Emma (Rik’s mother)
MEMORIAM FOR ERIK (RIK) WEISS
A tribute read at a Memorial Service from a close friend at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, California. The SRF follows teachings of Yogananda, who established the famous center in Los Angeles. You may or may not agree with teachings of Yogananda, but this is an interesting take on life after death.
When I first met Rik Weiss, there was an immediate connection we both felt. If we live just this one lifetime, such a bond is difficult to explain. If we come back to life over and over again, our love and friendship must surely remain from one life to the next. Yogananda said whenever you meet people, be watchful notice your first reaction to them. When you feel in your heart a deep harmony with another person, then you know you knew each other in a previous life. My friendship with Rik spanned several lives. The same is true of each of you. You would not be here today if you only knew Rik in this lifetime.Rik Weiss knew the value and importance of friendship. Rik was a true friend to each of you. Some of you became friends with Rik while serving together in the Peace Corps. Rik was friends with his close relatives, which is quite an accomplishment. Some of you became friends while serving together in this temple. Many of you traveled a long distance to be here today and this is a testament to the depth of your friendship and love for Rik Weiss and his love and friendship for you.
Yogananda said that friendship is the highest form of love. In friendship there is no compulsion; it is born of the free choice of the heart. Friendship is God calling souls back to unity with Him. There is no forced attachment in true friendship. It is an unconditional relationship between two souls. Love gives without expecting anything in return. Love cannot be had for the asking; it only comes as a gift from the heart of another. Rik Weiss gave freely of his love—all of us have been touched by that love.
The treasure of friendship is your richest possession, because it goes with you beyond this life. All the true friends you have made you will meet again in the astral heaven, for real love is never lost.
If you do not want to wait until you reach the astral heaven to contact heaven to contact Rik, you can use a technique Yogananda has given us for sending our thoughts to our departed loved ones. By sending Rik your love, you can help the progress of irks soul and Rik can help you.
To send your thoughts to Rik, sit quietly and meditate upon god. When you feel his peace within you, concentrate deeply at the Christ-center, the center of will between the two eyebrows. Visualize Rik at the Christ center. Send him your vibrations of love, strength, and courage. If you do this continuously and with intense concentration, Rik will receive your vibrations. Such thoughts will give Rik a sense of well being, a sense of being loved. Rik has not forgotten you any more than you have forgotten him.
When you want to feel a response from Rik, concentrate at the heart center. When you concentrate deeply enough, Rik may first appear in dreams. If`your mind is calm and attuned, you will know Rik is trying to get in touch with you through that dream sometimes you may have the same significant dreams several times. As you develop spiritually, Rik may appear to you in visions un meditation.
Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to Rik as often as you feel inclined it to do so, but at least once a year—perhaps on some special anniversary. Mentally tell Rik “we will meet again and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another. If you send Rik you’re your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet him again. You will know that this life is not the end, but merely one link in the eternal chain of your relationship with Rik.
I spent a fair bit of time with Rik during the last year of his life when he was battling brain cancer. There were times when everything seemed to be going well and there were times when life was very challenging for Rik. Near the end of his life, the cancer was taking its toll on Rik’s physical well-being. I was with Rik three hours before he died. I spent that time praying deeply to God to take Rik soon because he was in great deal of discomfort and pain. God quickly answered my prayer.
Sharing time with Rik during the last days of his life was a great gift for me. I learned that death is not something to be feared. Whatever your tests are in this life, you must pass them bravely. When you conquer here, death comes as a reward. It is the end of suffering. When people hear that someone is in great agony, they think, how dreadful. And if he dies, they feel sorry he has to go. But they have the wrong idea. I saw firsthand that death rewarded Rik with freedom from all suffering. Rik is much better off than those he left behind. Rik no longer has to endure pain and discomfort. Rik is happy, Rik is free.
Rik is now in the astral heavens. Yogananda, in chapter 43 of his autobiography, provides a very vivid and uplifting description of what life is like in the astral heavens. How glorious is life after death! No more does Rik have to lug around that bag of bones with all its troubles. Rik is free in the astral heaven, unhindered by physical limitations. The astral heaven is not off somewhere in the clouds; it is another dimension of infinite beauty and variety hiding just behind the grossness of this physical universe. In comparison, this earth is a bedlam; in the astral world Rik can create anything he wants merely by thinking about it. If Rik desires flowers, they are there immediately, just by willing them. When Rik no longer wants them, he removes the thought and they are gone.
In his astral “car” Rik can travel any distance instantly. On the astral plane, Rik can do consciously all of the things we do subconsciously in dreams.
So remember, death is nothing to fear. You are in the movie house of God and when the show is over, don’t cry about it.
Yogananda has given us a number of techniques to help cut the chords of the soul’s attachments. The first of thee is titiksha—the art of remaining even-minded while watching and analyzing bodily changes. This teaches endurance and an objective nonattachment, thereby producing a superconscious state. Rik was practicing titiksha throughout the last year of his life.
I spent many hours with Rik during his last year and not once did I hear him complain about his cancer. Not once did Rik complain about the fact that the cancer hit him in his youth. Not once did Rik talk about the pain and suffering the cancer caused. In fact, the only time Rik ever spoke about his cancer was to tell me that he was the poster child in his cancer support group due to his miraculous recovery from brain surgery last August. Rik was a living example of how one should live a life—with courage, strength, calm acceptance, and even-mindedness. The dignity and peacefulness with which Rik accepted the ravages wrought by the cancer is and always will be a great inspiration for me.
Rik lived his life the way Yogananda said life should be lived. “To the last day of your life, be positive, try to be cheerful. Even at the very end, don’t thin, “I am finished”.
Instead of pitying yourself, you should be thinking, “O yea who are left on this desolate shore still to mourn and deplore, it is I who pity you.” Death will not give you any trouble if you have a clear conscience; and if you go with this thought: Lord, I am in Thy Hands”. Yogananda has promised, when death comes and no one can be there to help you, God and guru will be there. God and guru were there for Rik, both in death and in his new life in the astral heaven.
We are walking on this earth as in a dream. Our world is a dream within a dream, we must realize that to find God is the only goal, the only purpose for which we are here. For Him alone we exist. Him we must find. Rik was able to see this life as God’s dream. Rik was able to say: “There is no birth or death or tragedy. I am not afraid of these delusive changes made of light and shadows, for I am Thine immortal child.” May we live our lives as Rik Weiss lived his life—with calm acceptance, courage, strength, and evenhandedness. As Rik was a yogi in death, may we be yogis in life. Jai guru.