A. Everyday mindfulness.
A. I have a Buddhist prayer tacked up on my wall:
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that hold some close and others distant.
In truth, I have no idea what perfect happiness is or whether it's possible to attain. But if it is possible, I suspect that these four aspirations point the way to it.
A. Tristram Shandy
A. I've often wished I could work the early morning shift in a bakery.
A. I would love to be able to sit down and have a conversation with Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion in which I was raised. He's one of the most enigmatic characters in American history. To non-believers he's nothing more than a charlatan; to believers he's a genuine prophet of God. Personally, I don't think that he was either a prophet or a mere
charlatan. I want to know (it's a psychotherapist's question) how he held himself in his own mind. I would be so curious to know whether he was capable of authentically reporting his own experience, or whether he was caught up in performing the role that he had created for himself that he could no longer escape from its confines. I suspect that it would be an exceptionally aggravating conversation, but I would love to have it anyway. If nothing else, it might help me fulfill my long-held fantasy of writing an opera about his life.