Lessons in Living
What would you do if you had 6 months to live? This is the question our doctor asked my husband just before he was officially diagnosed as having terminal cancer. I remember the doctor saying if it were him, he would quit work and spend as much time as possible on the golf course and with his grandson. In this article, I want to share the profound unraveling of my life as I knew it and how my practice of mindfulness and my spiritual community helped me to reweave my experiences into a new tapestry.
When my husband’s doctor asked what he would do with 6 months left to live, my husband took issue with the assumption underlying the question. In other words, he refused to believe that he would succumb to cancer and spent the following 6 months waging war on the illness. I observed and assisted him while I held our family together and began to prepare to live the unimaginable life of a widow with two small children. After 18 years with my husband, I was terrified of losing him and going on...
KeywordsMindfulness Training Mindfulness Practice Spiritual Community Loving Kindness Meditation Retreat
- Bohm, D. (1980). Wholeness and the implicate order. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Gawande, A. (2010). Letting go: what should medicine do when it can’t save your life. The New Yorker, August 2. www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande
- Hanh, T. N. (1988). The heart of understanding: commentary on the Prajnaparamita heart sutra. Berkeley: Parallax Press.Google Scholar
- Hanh, T. N. (1993). Interbeing. Berkeley: Parallax Press.Google Scholar
- Hanh, T. N. (1998). The heart of the Buddha’s teaching. Berkeley: Parallax Press.Google Scholar
- Hanh, T. N. (2007). Chanting from the heart. Berkeley: Parallax Press.Google Scholar
- Hanh, T.N., & the Plum Village Community. (2010). The five mindfulness trainings. Berkeley: Parallax Press. www.plumvillage.org.
- Hilsberg, K. (2008). Be like a tree: Zen talks by Thich Phuoc Tinh. Los Angeles: Jasmine Roots Press.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2010). Interview with Larry Mantle. KPCC-FM, Southern California Radio Station (October)Google Scholar
- Rinpoche, S. (1994). The Tibetan book of living and dying. San Francisco: Harper.Google Scholar