Lifelong Career: Firefighting (07:48)
Dennis Gordon became a firefighter at 21. He describes the disciplined military-like fire academy and the risk involved in the job; adrenaline and a direct ability to help people motivates him.
Fear and Perspective (08:03)
For most of Gordon’s career, youthful energy and peer pressure have helped him face fears and take risks. As he gets older, his fear and caution grow, and he realizes how lucky he has been. Gordon describes being trapped in a room and escaping out a window; sometimes he has time to think, other times he does not.
Mindfulness Practice (07:29)
Gordon explains how training, preparation, and meditation help him maintain calm in dangerous situations. Through reading and Tibetan meditative practice, he found a way to deal with anxiety and loneliness. Buddhism allows Gordon to focus and be present; he suggests teaching meditation in school.
Meditation and Children (06:02)
Gordon's son is rebellious and uninterested in mindfulness. Buddhist practices help him manage feelings of helplessness with regard to his son. Jeremy Safran describes his beginnings in Buddhism.
Creative Pursuits (06:12)
Gordon describes breaking into abandoned buildings to to take pictures; he is building a scale model of the decaying city. His interest in American industrial architecture is rooted in his background in the East Village and Bronx. Gordon discusses other hobbies and explains how meditation can be useful in everyday life.
Family Dynamics (03:27)
Gordon plans to continue creative projects after he retires from firefighting, and buy a house in upstate New York. He signed his son up for fire department entrance exams. Gordon and Safran agree that society will always need firefighters and Buddhist meditation is helpful when dealing with parents.
Credits: The Firefighter (00:04)
Credits: The Firefighter
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