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BJ Miller – April 13, 2016

BJ Miller – April 13, 2016
A doctor responsible for making empathic end of life care for dying patients.
  • We all die, but the method of death can be improved as a society.
  • Being aware of the clock of mortality, makes you squander your time less.
  • Learned from death – learn to make decisions that don’t lead to regret. Dying with regret is terrifying.
  • To fight your anger, you must first learn to recognize it. Mindfulness disempowers the anger.
  • After becoming paralyzed, he learned to appreciate and find mindfulness in life.
  • Loves Mark Rothko paintings.
  • Facing your mortality can free you from inhibitions about day to day life. It reframes your worry to things that are exponentially more important. And gives you joy in simple things, while taking you out of the rules of society.
    • It can be the silver lining.
  • When struggling with anything, just look at the night sky and think about the gravity of the universe around you.
  • Being in the moment is the smell of a Cookie, a melting snowball in your hand, creating art, smelling a scent that reminds you of a happy place. Being in the moment is the amity to take this tiny fragment of time, and make it special, even in the smallest experiences.
  • Article – the trip treatment.
  • Psychoactives can help treat existential stress – finding meaning in the traumatic idea that your life doesn’t feel like it has any, especially at the end of life.
  • – aligning Healthcare systems with psychoactive drug research.
  • Humans are meaning making machines. That is our talent and profound impulse.
  • But carving out a space for meaninglessness is critical for a satisfying life. Live in the moment, and for nothing but the moment.
  • Honor just the joy of smelling a cookie. Prize it. Or watching a ball game.
  • Three recommendations for a dying person – listen to Beethoven, see Mark Rothko paintings, stare into the stars.
  • Movies: Waiting for Guffman.
  • Documentary – grizzly man.
  • Thinking on geologic time when in the mountains or desert, makes you experience mindfulness when faced with the brevity of your existence.
  • Experience and meditate on your inconsequential nature and you will overpower most of your suffering, which tends to come from a self focus.
  • Looks at Oprah as someone who self actualized and then directed it to helping others.
  • Best 100 dollar or less purchase – a bottle of pinot noir he liked. The symbolism of delighting in something that goes away.
  • Billboard anywhere in the world – “don’t believe everything you think.”
  • Learn to take playfulness more seriously.
  • Ambition – does not need to be linked to bad behavior.
  • Requests of audience –
    • Appreciate how much all humans have in common
    • Prize kindness
    • Practice forgiveness
    • Support Zen Hospice project –