Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

December 3, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

Things That Fall

Everywhere I go, things that fall find rest. (Do they fall, or let go?) Today, as promised, I’ll feature further selections from Gordon Peerman’s Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists About Suffering. Today’s passages offer practical suggestions. From “Bearing Suffering”: …Suffering nobly borne may lead to wisdom, or redemption. But some suffering leads to neither. The Buddhist teacher Ajahn Chan wisely said that …

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November 19, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

There is No Cure for Hot and Cold

Gordon Peerman’s Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists About Suffering has been a life-changing read for me. It is helping me learn how to get some distance from my emotions and approach discomfort and even suffering from a position of acceptance rather than resistance. I’d love to share some passages with you over the coming few weeks. From there, I’ll turn to the …

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November 13, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

The Last Himalayan Kingdom

 I went to Bhutan to visit my friend, Linda Leaming (Married To Bhutan, A Field Guide to Happiness). I went by myself to know that I could. I went to learn more about Buddhism.  About halfway through the trip, I shared some impressions with a friend… “Life in these stunning mountains and valleys produces a rugged and meditative people and culture… I have a few …

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October 1, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

The Restless Dead

I miss Hilary Mantel already. And I think: it is already later than we think.  Today I’d love to share a few reflections on her life and work… From Maggie O’Farrell (“Hamnet”), in The Guardian: We have lost another monarch this week. Mantel was queen of literature, and her reign was, like Elizabeth II’s, long, varied and uncontested. She leaves behind a huge, unfillable vacuum, …

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August 20, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

Listening to Your Life

Swimming in rough seas, it can be hard to find the shore.  You swim as hard as you can, as long as you can, and there it is, finally – the shore!  You’re back. You almost can’t believe it.  You walk on the beach and it’s all so glorious and such a relief.  Everything is beautiful, even the seaweed that’s washed up. And then a …

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July 9, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

The Inner Voice of Love

A friend of mine shared some profound life advice with me yesterday. “You cannot hate yourself into change,” she said.  “Wow – that’s deep. The idea that maybe you could love yourself into the changes you want to see. I don’t think I’ve ever tried that. I want to think about what that might look like,” I said. “Where did you read that, or hear …

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July 2, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

For Every Parent Who Fails

Dear William: A Father’s Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, Love, and Loss, by David Magee, came to me on the wings of a friend’s recommendation. The epigraph reads: “For every child who is lost and every parent who has lost a child.” I would say it is for every parent who has done their best. And has, in some ways, failed. (Is that all of us?) …

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June 18, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

When Covid Came Calling

Covid came calling, an unwelcome suitor, but some part of me said yes. (Isn’t that always the way? Be careful, I tell my daughters.) He brought all manner of unpleasantness. I felt pretty low. A friend brought sprigs of mint and flowers in a jar, and I realized that Covid had taken away my sense of smell. That made me mad. I’ve been showing him …

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