Some of you might remember @Robert_Grosch, who passed away last Monday after many years with a crippling and degenerative illness.
Robert was a great supporter of Bhante Analayo while he was still living in Germany. He also translated many of his books into German and organized retreats.
Robert also supported all monks (M/F/X) who came to Hamburg like Ajahn @Brahmali and Bhante @sujato. Myself, Bhante Sujato and Ayya @sabbamitta (as well as some of the people on this forum) met him last during our stay in Hamburg in 2019. He came for an evening talk but had to lie down as sitting up for long periods of time was already too hard. It was the last time we saw him but we did not expect it was going to take another 3 years.
He was also instrumental in establishing Tilorien Monastery but was unfortunately already too ill to ever come and see it.
His kindness was heart-warming,always giving and helping without building an ego or expectations out of that. A giver of time, love and kindness rather than a taker in every way. And so totally respectful and supportive of bhikkhunīs in every way.
He dealt with his disease and pain with such a great level of love, dignity and optimism, living in the present moment and enjoying each moment he was still alive. He has put his whole heart and energy into the practice. He was an extraordinarily kind, generous, warm and upright person, and such an embodiment of the best qualities of an exemplary lay disciple of the Buddha. He was a great example of kindness and caring, always ready to help others, even when he was already quite ill. His wife told me he died with a smile on his face.
May you be well and happy, Robert!
With love for the whole world,
unfold a boundless heart:
above, below, all round,
unconstricted, without enemy or foe.
I got to know Robert in 2013, when I first organized events for Bhante Sujato in Germany and other places in Europe. It was the first time I did such a thing, and I was very unsure how all this would work out.
One station on Bhante’s trip would be Hamburg, and at that time I didn’t know anybody there. I managed to host Bhante with the Buddhist society of Hamburg, but they did not have a driver to pick him up from the airport. So I asked among those who had subscribed to our retreat if there is someone from Hamburg who could do this. Someone volunteered, but said he has no car, so we had to rent a car.
And then out of the blue came an email by a guy I didn’t know, who was not on the list of retreat participants (he couldn’t participate because he had to work), but who said, “I’d be happy to pay for the rental car”! This guy was Robert.
This is how I got to know him.
And ever since I’ve known him as equally kind and helpful.
May he harvest the fruits of his kind deeds—I am sure he does!
I met Robert on a retreat led by Ven Anālayo in the UK in 2018. Robert was travelling with Anālayo and attending to him. I was impressed by his kindness and open heartedness, which made a big impression on me. I heard he was ill as he could not attend another retreat led by Anālayo in 2019 in Portugal. Thanks Ven Vimala for sharing the news of his death, so those of us who knew him slightly as I did can think of him and rejoice in his qualities.
I had not seen this when you posted but a friend pointed me to it.
I knew Robert through our ongoing e-mail exchanges and friendhsip we had beginning in 2011 (with one of Ven Analayo’s courses) until the last several months when he was unable to correspond due to the severity of the illness. I can only wholeheartedly agree with your wonderful tribute to him. Thank-you so much for expressing so beautifuly and eloquently the wonderful qualities Robert embodied–so open-hearted, kind, generous, supportive, humble and deeply committed to the Dharma and practice in every condition. He bore illness with incredible grace and dignity.
I’ve been re-listening to Ven Analayo’s lectures on Ven Ñāṇananda/s Nibbana Sermons over the past month or two (listening alternately to Ven Ñāṇananda’s recordings and Ven Analayo’s reading and exposition) and I’m reminded how much Robert contributed to the discussion group. Ven Analayo often quoted his posts in his introductions. Robert’s comments certainly added a lot to those courses.
Yes! I was thinking of his contributions to the Nibbana course and the other on-line courses as well (BTW, I don’t think you and I have ever met but I remember your name from the discussion group–greetings to you).