Aging with Wisdom: Reflections, Stories and Teachings

Aging with Wisdom: Reflections, Stories and Teachings

by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle, Larry Rosenberg

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How do we find beauty and meaning in old age? How do we overturn the paradigm of ageism? How do we age consciously and cultivate an inner life resilient enough to withstand the vicissitudes of old age? An extended meditation on how to age consciously and embrace life in all its fullness and wonder, Aging with Wisdom answers these questions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939681720
Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 558 KB

About the Author

Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle is a writer and dharma teacher. For over forty years she has devoted herself to spiritual practice, primarily Buddhist meditation, which has deeply influenced her professional life, in particular how to integrate psychology and meditation.

After practicing as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples, and groups, she taught in the field of Behavioral Medicine where she pioneered the integration of meditation, yoga, and cognitive therapy with traditional Western medicine. As a Teaching Fellow at the Mind/Body Medical Institute, she developed and taught training programs for health professionals in new approaches to health and healing through Harvard Medical School. During her career, she has introduced contemplative practices in a wide variety of settings: government agencies, businesses, hospitals, organizations, churches, and most extensively in school systems to both teachers and students.

Her first book, "Ten Thousand Joys&Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s", is an award-winning book that has sold close to 15,000 copies and has been translated into four languages. As mentioned earlier, she has done extensive promotion; many talks, conference keynotes, book events, radio and TV interviews as well as written articles and other pieces (introductions, chapters, etc.) for books and periodicals.

As part of her commitment to contemplative life, Olivia has served on the boards of three organizations whose missions are to encourage Buddhist teachings and practices in the West: Insight Meditation Society, Trijang Buddhist Institute, and Dharma Friends. With her enduring commitment to peace and social justice, she was a founding board member and board chair of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. A lifelong educator, she was on the board of the Putney School and the Karuna School.

Now an elder with two grown children and four grandsons, she lives in Massachusetts and spends as much time as she can in Vermont where she grows vegetables, welcomes family and friends, and steeps herself in the glories of nature. She is also an artist committed to exploring the creative, spiritual, and healing dimensions of our lives.

Table of Contents


Part I Aging: Reflections, Stories, and Mysteries

Tectonic Shifts
A New Vision
Honoring the Life Cycle
The Cycle of Life
Archetypes of Aging
The Mind of Great Compassion
A Grandmother’s Gift
The Mystery of Time
A Wordless Encounter
All You Need

Part II Wisdom Treasures

Lighting the Way: Personal Weavings
The Sacred Circle
Know Your Refuges
A Jewel of Wisdom
Practices of the Heart
The Moments in Between
With Softness and Ease
Who Are You Now?
How to Dance in the Rain
Compassion for Yourself
Pure Perception
The Old Woman and the Starfish
Memorable Messages

Part III Passages: Dying Into Life

Life, Love and Death: Personal Weavings
Dhumavati: Goddess of Aging and Death
The Five Remembrances
The Ultimate Mystery
Between Realms
The Thin Place
Who Spoke?
The Gift of Death
Bleached Bone
A Gift of Life and Death

Part IV Wayshowers

Personal Weavings
Polly Thayer Starr For All Shall Be Well
Emerson Stamps Brought Here To Love
Stella Fox The Gift of Recognition
Alice O. Howell Living the Symbolic Life
Maud Morgan The Search For Freedom
Father Bede Griffiths Overwhelmed by Love


End Notes

Selected Bibliography

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Inviting and encouraging, Aging with Wisdom offers great inspiration to all those who would like to use their later years to ripen spiritually, to awaken.” —Kathleen Dowling Singh, author of The Grace in Aging, The Grace in Dying

“Opens the door to aging’s wisdom and love in a beautiful and heartfelt way.” —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

“This book is like a multi-colored jeweled necklace, each brief chapter distinctive in its brilliance, wisdom, and heart-moving content. It is honest about the tribulations of aging while inspiring each of us to find meaning as we move toward death and the light. Olivia’s stories and perspective are so exquisitely written; you will find yourself in tears and laughter, bringing you to face your own journey of aging in new ways.” —Natalie Rogers, author of The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts As Healing

“Olivia Hoblitzelle’s wise and beautiful book shows how becoming an elder can be full with awakening and grace. Let this book be your companion through the season of letting go, and discover the ever-deepening love and mystery that is possible in our unfolding lives. A treasure of a book.” —Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“Caution! Do not attempt to read this book rapidly. It is essential to pause and ponder after each brief reflection. For Olivia Hoblitzelle is a rare person and this is a rare book. The reader will be rewarded with a new paradigm to the challenge of aging with a treasure trove of inspirational insights and wisdom. A gem to be treasured!” —Rabbi Earl Grollman, author of 27 books including Living When a Loved One Has Died

“Olivia Hoblitzelle is a very wise woman and this book is a reflection of her deep experience with aging, illness, living, and dying. A combination of ancient wisdom, practical pointers, and tender stories, this is a book to cherish—a guide to a rich and challenging time of life.” —Joan Borysenko, New York Times Bestselling author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

“Once again Olivia generously shares with us her wise woman and spiritual elder perspectives on aging and sageing, with grace and wonder, loving-kindness, patience and humility. Her unequalled passion for exploring and cultivating the positive opportunities of aging without turning away from the gritty and painful parts of the process is an instructive inspiration to us all, an awakened vision which can transform our later years. Those of us who’ve walked this path long enough recognize what she’s talking about, helping us to more clearly perceive and internalize the mindscape and heartiness of the inner life. These are timeless and timely life lessons not to be overlooked, while simultaneously opening to the great mystery of existence, of love, and of being alone yet connected here together through birth, death, and onwards.”

—Lama Surya Das, Founder of the Dzogchen Meditation Center and Dzogchen Retreats, and author of Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World

“Powerful and deeply wise, Olivia Hoblitzelle’s voice in Aging with Wisdom rises to meet a growing cultural need: new ways to relate to aging. Olivia sheds light on a skillful relationship with aging by sharing from her own experience and by turning back toward the teachings of the Buddha. This is a wonderful book, much needed, and I highly recommend it to mature and young readers alike.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

Customer Reviews