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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

A friend of mine has made the argument to me that you learn as much from fiction as you do from non-fiction.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats supports that argument because it relates to things I’ve covered.

On attention and the focused life:

You must attend to every movement and every breath. As soon as I become careless or let my mind wander, my senses lead me astray. They play tricks on me like ill-mannered children looking for attention. Whenever I am impatient, for example, I want everything to happen more quickly. My movements become hasty. I spill the tea or the bowl of soup. I don’t hear properly what others say because I am already elsewhere in my thoughts.

In praise of slowness:

She was mystified by people who were always hurrying things along. A time of waiting offered moments, minutes, sometimes even hours of peace, of rest, during which, as a rule, she was alone with herself. And she needed these breaks to prepare herself for anything new, for any kind of change.

On psychology and mental models:

Because we only see what we already know. We project our own capacities – for good as well as evil – onto the other person. Then we acknowledge as love primarily those things that correspond to our own image thereof. We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes us uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language.