The Art of Dying — A Self-to-Non-Self-Portrait

The Art of Dying (aka My Journey into Stillness), is (until such time as I have perfected the art) a living (pun intended) document, shifting under my feet as I continue to ponder this life and put fingers to keyboard.

It is a portrait of many colored fragments gathered from a life that now, in 2018, is pushing an unlikely, and not a little scary, seventy years.

Initially inspired by the famous Leonardo Da Vinci quote “While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die,” and further propped up by my personal realization that, yes, that is in truth what I, too, have been doing, this self-portrait takes a long and good look at how I have lived this thing.

And when I say fragments, I mean to convey that this is not a narrative starting at birth and ending at death (or as near to death as I can get while still in charge of my fingers), but rather a patchwork quilt of what memories, anecdotes, essays, and vignettes I feel paint a true picture—some, I admit, rendered in more fabulous colors than others (some lies do tell the truth).

This much said, I have divided the overall trajectory into these ten segments:

Fresh Legs — early childhood
Clever Boy — my school years
Moving South — three cities
Searching — my spiritual search begins: 1968 - 1969
Our Prince — ten Sea Org years
City of Angels — my Los Angeles years
Casting About — Long Beach, Sea Org again, Coeur d’Alene
Stirring — awakening to Buddhism (they knew all along)
The Path — the Theravada path
Facing Death — my later years

So, saddle up. To begin this journey, click the Fresh Legs link above. I hope you’ll have a good and (hopefully) rewarding time.