January 16, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

The Art of Living

I started reading Thích Nhất Hạnh’s The Art of Living in an effort to get my life under control. Thanks to Larry Shainberg, I have rediscovered my interest in the Dharma. I’m trying to be patient and breathe. I want to see things the way they are, not occluded by my ego and other false inventions to keep me suffering, and, more importantly, hurt those that are close to me.

So far, I’ve read about emptiness, impermanence, and interconnectedness. My understanding is still so rudimentary.

Emptiness has to do with discarding the notion of an essential self, and see “me” as a vessel that has been created by certain causes and conditions. This relates to impermanence in that nothing is ever the same from moment to moment, like a river. And interconnectedness relates to my recent insight: that everything is connected, so the subject/object dichotomy is a false one. Additionally, everything I do is a result of that which influences me, and all that I do resonates around me, touching especially those who are closest.

The latter is something I need to be especially mindful of, though I see how these three ideas are entwined.

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And here are some hearts that Henry drew.

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And speaking of Henry’s artwork, here’s Dad and Sharon upon receiving some that Autumn just sent them. They’re sending kisses back—at least Dad is.

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