In A Mindful Life, a retired RN, hospital administrator, business owner, and military retiree maps a course through a world of distress and disappointment toward a life of mindfulness, clarity, flexibility, and freedom through 101 short lessons.
Homeless in his teens, Tom Dickerson joined the U.S. Air Force and began his formal education toward a career in medicine but also a spiritual journey toward a life of self-acceptance and equanimity. Deployed in Okinawa, he met a Buddhist monk who saw an eager seeker open to Eastern philosophy. From there, Dickerson studied the Greek philosophers, Nietzsche, Freud, and modern-day New Age masters to learn how to reject “status quo slavery”—blindly accept[ing] and follow[ing] the choices and egocentric demands of others”—and embrace introspection to “stand firm against societal pressures” and “live with integrity, mindfulness, and meaning.”
These are just two of the strengths he hopes readers can achieve using the practical methods he provides in his brief essays here. The subjects include saying no to letting go, egocentric thinking, greed, happiness, “panoramic mindful meditation” and more.
Dickerson has compiled many proven strategies from centuries of philosophical inquiry and his own hard-won happiness. Reading it in one sitting is a challenge, however: it’s repetitious and his thoughts drift randomly from one paragraph to the next.
Even so, readers can easily find issues they are struggling with in the table of contents. It only takes a few minutes to get Dickerson’s perspective on the issues’ negative effects and how he counteracts them. For example, he writes that anger is “extremely detrimental to communities and individuals…. We can choose [instead] to search for the humor and lighter aspects of every situation; then use this lighter attitude to reject anger and hate.”
While a thorough edit would enhance this offering, read in short bursts prompted by concerns of the moment, it could prove useful for building resilience, coping with many modern-day challenges, and creating peace out of conflict.
Also available as an ebook.