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In Praise of Ageing: Awakening to Old Age with Wisdom and Compassion

In Praise of Ageing: Awakening to Old Age with Wisdom and Compassion

by Carmel Shalev


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'In this moving and tender meditation on the process of growing old, Carmel Shalev reveals ageing as a new beginning rather than a shameful ending of life.'' — Stephen Batchelor

Drawing on the insights of Buddhism, In Praise of Ageing invites the reader to meet the challenges of growing older with an open mind in order to age with grace, understanding and wisdom. Written by an Israeli human rights lawyer who specialized in bio-ethics, including end-of-life care, the book looks at the current cultural context of youth versus age, and weaves the author's personal experiences of her own and her parents' ageing with ancient Buddhist wisdom that accepts growing older as a natural process. All phenomena appear, fade and disappear. So, too, our lives proceed from birth to death.
The four parts of the book address reality, vulnerability, identity and meaning. We can acknowledge reality, see the impermanence of the weakening body, and accept that we are subject to ageing, sickness and death. But we also must deal with the social prejudices against ageing that bring new vulnerabilities, such as the questions of identity that arise when we retire from the workforce. This book shows that it is nonetheless in our hands to shape our place in the world and find meaning as elders with love, compassion, joy and equanimity.
Ageing, indeed, has its hardships. Yet we have a choice how to relate to our experience - with animosity or friendliness. If we open our minds to ageing with a compassionate, curious and courageous heart, we can find treasures of wisdom to share as our heritage to future generations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786783875
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 09/29/2020
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Carmel Shalev has a doctoral degree from Yale Law School. Her professional and academic work has focused on women's rights, human and health rights, and the bioethics of medical reproduction and end-of-life care, and she has published two books and dozens of articles on these subjects. Since the 1990s she has been practising meditation and studying the dharma, and she is as a founder of Wisdom of Aging, a movement for conscious ageing with a Buddhist worldview.

Table of Contents

Foreword 1

Reality 5

1 Going forth 7

2 Change 14

3 Discontent 19

4 Illness 27

5 Life and death 36

Vulnerability 45

6 Transparency 47

7 Retirement 55

8 Loneliness 65

9 Worry 75

10 Regret 83

Identity 91

11 Forgetfulness 93

12 Becoming 103

13 Friendship 114

14 Elderhood 125

Meaning 131

15 Courage 133

16 Freedom 142

17 Awareness 150

18 Compassion 159

19 Joy 165

20 Wisdom 173

Notes 185

Acknowledgements 193

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