The heat radiating off the asphalt today was unbearable. It was upwards of 80 degrees. At this temperature, I turn into a toddler, too hot to do anything but lie down and sometimes with a little effort whine and complain. I haven’t regained the momentum or motivation to do my school work yet. Since returning from spring break, I am not fully prepared for each day of school. Hopefully the feeling will turn itself around with only 7-8 weeks remaining of the semester.
This evening, I attended a lecture at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) which is like the 92nd street Y in NYC. This evening’s talk was called, “Death as a Part of Life”, with panel guests, the wife of a deceased New York Times best seller, “When Breathe Becomes Air”, and BJ Miller, the director of the Zen Hospice Center. The audience seems noticeably older, dressed for a summer office meeting, bear arms seen everywhere. The talk was sold out, with some 500 people spending their hot evening in a cool air conditioned auditorium.
BJ Miller talked about suffering and how we need to lean into it, approach the fear. He described suffering as the gap between the world that you want and the world that you live in, that gap is to come to terms with it and live in the present. Be fully living in the present, cultivating moments in the every day. Enjoy the smell of cookies and the sun and air on your skin, avoid regret changes the perception of death.