Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser

Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser

by Lewis Richmond


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The bestselling author of Work as a Spiritual Practice presents a user’s life guide to aging well and making every year fulfilling and transformative.

Everything changes. For Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher Lewis Richmond, this fundamental Buddhist tenet is the basis for a new inner road map that emerges in the later years, charting an understanding that can bring new possibilities and a wealth of appreciation and gratitude for the life journey itself.

Aging as a Spiritual Practice is a wise, compassionate book that guides readers through the four key stages of aging—such as “Lightning Strikes” (the moment we wake up to our aging)—as well as the processes of adapting to change, embracing who we are, and appreciating our unique life chapters. Unlike many philosophical works on aging this one incorporates illuminating facts from scientific researchers, doctors, and psychologists as well as contemplative practices and guided meditations. Breath by breath, moment by moment, Richmond’s teachings inspire limitless opportunities for a joy that transcends age.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592407477
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2012
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 158,281
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lewis Richmond is a Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher whose three previous books include the national bestseller Work as a Spiritual Practice. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Table of Contents

Foreword Sylvia Boorstein ix

Growing Older and Wiser 1

Introduction: Growing Older and Wiser 3

1 Lightning Strikes 11

2 Stages of Aging 24

3 Elderhood 40

4 "I Like Growing Old" 52

5 "I Don't Like Growing Old" 68

Contemplations On Aging 85

6 The Science of Healthy Aging 87

7 What Buddhism Teaches 106

8 Conquering the Five Fears 124

9 Giving Back 141

10 Touching Divine Nature 157

11 What Doctors Know 173

A Day Away 189

12 A Day Away-Preparation 191

13 A Day Away-The Morning 200

14 A Day Away-The Afternoon 216

15 Final Thoughts 231

Acknowledgments 239

Notes 242

What People are Saying About This

Thomas Moore

"As someone who recently turned 70, I ate up Lewis Richmond's words on seeing growing older a spiritual practice. The book is fun and enlightening. I'll never forget some of the stories and the sharp formulas the author uses to remember how to age with some pleasure. The Buddhist point of view is especially fresh and useful. There's some Zen in all of us, deep down."

From the Publisher

"Life can be challenging at any age and spiritual practice can be beneficial at any age. However, as Lewis Richmond makes crystal clear, these benefits may be especially important and valuable with aging."
-Roger Walsh MD, Ph.D., University of California Medical School, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

Tara Brach

"This book guides us in navigating aging and reaping the blessings of happiness, openheartedness and inner freedom. Lewis Richmond writes from the radiance of his own discovery-he is fresh, clear and wise. I'm recommending this to all my aging friends!"

James Hollis

"Embedded as our culture is in the fantasy of control and management, our deepest distress rises from being separated from natural process, and our inevitable failure to manage, even defeat aging and mortality. Lewis Richmond speaks to the summons aging brings us, and offers a practical, step by step set of attitudes and practices which open the reader to philosophical maturation, a proactive engagement with the meaning of one's changing state, and the attainment of personal dignity through our shared journey into mystery."

Jack Kornfield

Thoughtful, truthful, loving, Lew helps us bring attention to the mystery of aging with great kindness and wisdom.

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