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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 briThe 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....

Title : Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781592407477
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

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

  • Donna
    2018-10-09 01:21

    I liked this, which is really saying something, because I didn't like the audio narration. It was so annoying. The author is Buddhist. I found his outlook interesting. Some of it felt enlightening and certainly gave me food for thought. But with that being said, some of this had me rolling my eyes as well. So 3 stars.

  • Joan Winnek
    2018-10-05 23:18

    This book immediately grabbed me with its chapter on lightning strikes. My own lightening strike happened about six months ago, and had several forks.This is a book to keep and reread for its many insights into aging and the clearest explanation of Buddhism I have found. The writing is engaging, and the contemplative reflections are activities I want to work through, slowly.

  • Yelda Basar Moers
    2018-09-30 19:36

    Buddhist priest and teacher Lewis Richmond is his latest book Aging as a Spiritual Practice begins with what he believes are the four stages of aging. The first stage “Lightning Strikes,” is a realization that we are growing old. The sensation comes out of nowhere, unexpectedly, like a bolt from above. I am only thirty-five years old, but this is exactly what happened to me recently, before I had even been assigned to read this book as a Library Thing Early Reviewer. Naturally, I was drawn to the book.This was my recent “Lightning Strikes” moment. Since I’m pregnant, I can’t color and highlight my hair, and about a month or two ago, while it was up in a ponytail, I found myself face to face with an anomalous site: a bunch of gray hairs, stubbornly held together by their own thickness, on the side of my head, far too many to pluck. Feeling tired and sluggish from the pregnancy with that gray spectacle before me: lightning struck, just as Richmond said. I realized, yes, I am only thirty-five, but I’m turning a corner to a place I don’t want to go. This is Richmond’s gift, his ability to make his story relatable to anyone who has left youth’s golden walls. His book, a mix of self-help, inspirational and meditative guide (Richmond suggests specific meditative exercises such as “Gratitude Walk,” “Calm Lake,” “The Loving Kindness Prayer,” and “Resting in Awareness”), comprehensively explores the connection between spirituality and aging. After giving a brief overview of the next three stages of aging, Richmond discusses elderhood, the feelings of growing older, all the while illuminating his narrative with the Zen fables of his mentor Buddhist master Shunryu Suzuki. The author also includes the present day science of healthy aging and the Buddhist approach.In his discussion of lifestyle factors that contribute to healthy aging, including diet, exercise, relationships, stress management, and spirituality, Richmond includes lesser known factors such as time in nature, service to others and flexibility in attitude. I found the importance of time in nature the most fascinating. Citing the research of Dr. Roger Walsh, Richmond writes that in an industrialized world where we don’t have healthy time in nature, we can suffer from disruptions of mood and sleep, impairment of attention and greater cognitive decline as we reach the elder years. Equally compelling is the “biophilia hypothesis” movement among environmental scientists, calling for the need of regular exposure to nature to maintain normal mental health. Without it, our minds don’t function well. When it comes to spirituality itself, Richmond mentions various Buddhist contemplative practices to help with aging, such as mindfulness of breath, compassion, gratitude and spacious awareness. Meditation, he writes, is at its core focus and insight, but it can also be seen as surrender, a state of spacious awareness because it feels like a clear blue sky or a boundless ocean, or a time to simply relax and rest into the light of who we are on a deeper level. A regular practice also quiets the inner dialogue of our minds; it can stop all that thinking about aging.I found Aging as a Spiritual Practice a heartfelt, yet intelligent guide for those contemplating aging on their spiritual path. It’s a lovely read, well thought out and edited, lacking the simplistic writing, trite concepts or lazy regurgitation that can plague many self-help books. Ultimately, Richmond’s positive spin and Buddhist approach gives hope to aging. It’s worth the read if aging is on your mind too.

  • John Kaufmann
    2018-09-21 00:24

    I originally gave this two-stars, but have upgraded it after re-reading it (i.e., listening to the audiobook.) While not full of gems, it was full of a quiet wisdom. The book also provides numerous mindfulness/meditation exercises, which appear to be tailored to those of us who are aging.

  • Ellen
    2018-09-18 18:26

    I am currently part of a meditation group named from the title of this book and informed by ideas and suggested practices in it. The book is rich and dense. Having just finished reading it and taking notes, I will need to take the time to digest and integrate its perspectives and offerings. I have no doubt that at some point in the near future, I will also reread it, more slowly. Overall, I am feeling more hopeful about aging, more committed to proceed as gracefully as possible, focused on living in the present, moment by moment, accepting the burdens and the blessings of aging, with loving kindness toward myself and all creatures.

  • Sara
    2018-10-08 22:47

    I was fortunate to win a copy of this book through Goodreads.This book is a great resource for those of us that are starting to realize we aren't "young" anymore, or at least as young as we used to be. Richmond goes through the different phases of aging, the first of which is "Lightning Strikes" - that first moment you notice things aren't quite what they used to be (a grey hair, creaky knees, kids going off to college, illness, whatever). He uses examples from his personal life and illnesses to help drive his messages home, as well as uses friends and acquaintances experiences. He discusses Buddhist ideas about change, attachment, kindness (towards yourself as well as others) and provides a great overview for those early on the Buddhist path, or those even just interested in Buddhism.The latter part of the book is called "A Day Away" and it is very specific instructions (where to go, what to bring, what to eat and drink etc) as to how to hold a one day retreat for yourself in order to explore how you feel about aging and where you are in the process. I think this section was incredibly helpful, and helps take the "mystery" out of the Retreat process, and shows that it is something that every person can participate in. For this alone, I recommend this book. This book will retain a spot on my bookshelf, and I would imagine that as I continue to grow older (knock on wood!) that it's information will become even more valuable. As a sufferer of a chronic illness, I already had "lightening strike" for me, but the rest of the phases haven't happened yet - I think this book will help me navigate them.

  • Joann Amidon
    2018-09-23 20:18

    Two things happened this year: my friend, Janet, mentioned Atul Gawande's book, On Being Mortal, and I turned 75. As a result of these two events, I have been reading many books about dying and this book is one of the better ones. It is based on the spiritual and brings to the reader a calm approach to the inevitable. I highly recommend it to anyone who might be feeling unsure about the direction of their life now that they are "retired" and in the final part of their life. The encouragement within the book will be helpful to many. It is, after all, just one breath after another until the final breath.

  • Linda Robinson
    2018-10-06 01:46

    The interior of this book is as soft-focus as the exterior picture of the lotus. If you are aging at the same speed the rest of us are, and have not yet made some measure of peace with that, this is the book for you. Richmond handles the inevitability that aging has an end point with Zen calmness, and he shares the feeling with his prose. The book is organized by issues related to getting old, and a reader is free to roam and contemplate. That's how I'll handle the remaining years I have. Roam and contemplate. And adventure.

  • Dpdwyer
    2018-09-23 18:45

    Even with a twenty-plus year zen practice, I found useful practice ideas in the book. It should prove more helpful to those without a meditation practice. Quotes:Shunryu Suzuki (About dying): "Don't worry. Nothing is going to happen."Stephen Levine: "Don't worry. Dying is perfectly safe."

  • Tom
    2018-10-05 21:30

    "The awareness that you are here right now is the ultimate fact."

  • Susan Rothenberg
    2018-10-05 18:31

    A thoughtful book about some of the issues of aging and ways that spiritual practices can help with the transitions along the way. Though Lew is a Buddhist priest, his suggestions are universal.

  • Melanie Rigney
    2018-09-17 22:44

    I devoured this book on my 61st birthday. Richmond's examples of struggling with aging... and finding some comfort in faith, regardless of one's tradition... are well told. I met the next day with a Trappist monk about my age who noted that our generation in some ways is forging new ground, as many of the wise spiritual writers were dead by the time they were our age. He said he wondered why no one is writing about this. I said, "There is!", gave Richmond as an example, and passed on my copy.

  • Maureen
    2018-10-01 18:46

    Engagingly written.. strong Buddhist thread, unsurprising since the author is a Buddhist priest. Love the many resources. I'm planning to do all the exercises over the next few months. A treasure!

  • Bonnie Cowan
    2018-09-30 20:47

    Aging from a generic Buddhist perspective .... some practices to develop ...and how to face mortality with peace and grace ... enjoyed it!

  • Sherri
    2018-10-04 01:30

    4 stars

  • Ninon
    2018-09-25 01:46

    Lewis Richmond is someone I consider a friend on my spiritual path. Forgive me as I become a little sentimental. I met him around 2002 as I was just coming out of the dark ages of my Fundamentalist Christian experience. I was a wreck and was avoiding any aspect of Spirituality. I limped into a bookstore in Sonoma, CA and happened to hear him speaking about his first book, "Work as a Spiritual Practice." It was an idea that had never occurred to me. I was inspired and got the book, but it had a green Buddha and that freaked me out (anything unknown frightened me due to my religious conditioning). I persevered through my fear, reading parts of it and took it around with me through lots of work world stress with it always sitting on my desk. It was always the thing that helped and inspired me in the work world...sort of a lifeline. Its been eons Spiritually for me from there to where I am now and I have done a lot of healing. Lewis helped me recover my Spiritual self. Now that I am on the "cusp" of aging I am grateful to have this truth and another wonderful book to travel with me. Again,the concept of "Aging as a Spiritual Practice" is really one that had never occurred to me. There is something uniquely sincere and meaningful in Lewis's writing and for only the price of a couple of Cappuccino's...don't miss this! Full of kindness, light and love, which are all aspects that Lewis helped me find in my spiritual life, and for which I am incredibly grateful. I can't speak to the future about how this book, "Aging as a Spiritual Practice" is going to change me, but as I confront the death and illness of friends and my own struggles I find that knowing this book is going to go with me...is quite comforting. Thank you Lewis and may many more find you and your wisdom in this life! I have read some other books that are similar, but as I said, there is something special and enlightening with Lewis's writing that I have not got from any other book on the subject. Practical, useful and inspiring!

  • Clara
    2018-09-26 22:23

    For me, this book sits somewhere between the available ratings of "It was OK" and "I liked it." Lewis Richmond writes ably enough about the value of living comfortably with aging. He offers exercises to help us do this; he suggests rituals to put us in a receptive frame of mind, and he uses the example of his own near-death illness to good effect. But, as I'm won't to say when it's difficult to find examples that illustrate my general feelings of "reviewer ennui," "it didn't sing to me."In other words, the author didn't shed enough new light on the topic to merit a recommendation. I've been reading quite a lot lately in and around the area of personal growth, and I extend this fact as a disclaimer. Perhaps, as a result, I've set my standards a bit too high. And yet, I've had the experience of reading books dealing with often-traveled subject matter that managed to knock my socks off.I haven't seen many contemporary books that specifically discuss applying contemplative practices to aging. Purely from that perspective, readers who are interested more about this may find Aging as a Spiritual Practice a useful read.

  • Mark Soone
    2018-09-17 20:26

    I very seldom give a 1 star rating, so I feel I need to offer a reason. I won this copy on goodreads, based solely upon the title. I guess I should have gone ahead and read the write up on this book. I assumed (I know you should not do that!), off of the title that it would deal with Christian principles towards aging rather than a more universal term of SPIRITUAL! I won't waste my time or yours debating the principles that guide my life and those that are depicted in this book, just leave it that they do not necesarily coincide. On another level I really did not find anything illimunating or revealing about the aging process, nor how to come to grips with that outside of the spiritual differences.On the plus side it was well thought out and well written and is a fairly easy and light read...It just did not resonate with me nor meet me on a level where I am. For its intended target audience this may be a very good and worthwhile read, the author and I just were not in a compatible realm.

  • Elaine
    2018-09-21 17:32

    If you are new to personal contemplative spiritual practice this book will help you enormously. There are prayers, rituals, and practices easily performed almost anywhere. There is a thoroughly described guide to one day retreat you can do at home. If you are new to buddhist concepts this is a good overview of their application in relation to aging. If you are not new to personal contemplative spiritual practice, this book offers some good suggestions on applying your practice to the aging process.Chapter 11, "What Doctors Know" describes hard realities of aging. Those of you not quite so spiritually inclined may enjoy beginning with this chapter.I liked the prayers, meditations, and full day retreat suggestion best of all. Even though this is a short book it was a longer read than other books of a similar length because it requires a lot of thought and contemplation. A nice companion to this book would be "The Wisdom of No Escape" by Pema Chodron.

  • Kate Lawrence
    2018-10-08 20:31

    This has much that will be helpful to the over-60 as well as to younger people who are caring for aging family members. The text is interspersed with the author's reminiscences of studying in his youth with famed Buddhist teacher Shunryu Suzuki, and "Contemplative Reflections" that assist in looking at life in helpful ways quite different from mainstream viewpoints. Not just for Buddhists or meditators, though, the book provides comfort for anyone dealing with aging-related issues. The author, in his mid-60's, has experienced severe illnesses himself, including two weeks in a coma, so writes with understanding of facing physical and mental difficulties, yet remaining positive. A similar book to read alongside is This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity, by Susan Moon (2010).

  • Meg
    2018-10-15 21:39

    I was drawn to this book by its title. We may as well approach aging as growth rather than loss. As I got into it, I enjoyed Lew Richmond's reminiscences of his time with Suzuki Roshi, his own struggles and insights around illness and aging, and his honest and informal conversations with people and their learnings on aging. There was lovely insight on what it means to be an "extraordinary elder", keeping open and alert to life's wonders, no matter how your path rolls. It is written for those not necessarily familiar with Buddhism, and offers guided meditations at the end of each chapter to explore deeper into various aspects of aging, presence, assumptions, etc. I didn't follow those exactly, but did use them as guidance for contemplation which was rewarding and helpful.

  • Patricia
    2018-09-28 17:26

    I got some useful tidbits from this book, and I'm glad I read it, but it will not sit at the top of my heap of inspirational books. I think Richmond made a mistake trying to address the book to readers of spiritual persuasions other than Buddhism. The tactic kind of watered down the Buddhist aspects, and I doubt if it will actually win very many readers of other persuasions. For the most part, I enjoyed his examples, especially the ones that told his own personal story. My favorite was the one about 105 year old arthritic painter. Now she is a model for aging as a spiritual practice. It's a quick read, so if you want some feel good examples AND a few ideas about how to be more accepting of and effective in using aging to your best advantage, I recommend it.

  • Christine Celata
    2018-10-06 23:39

    I rate this book really highly because I found it to be so interesting and useful. I've read a bunch of Buddhist books and this one is one of the best. It is not written for Buddhists, however. It is useful for anyone, and written in language that won't offend or make you uncomfortable. It doesn't rely on reincarnation to make you comfortable with aging and death. It does, however, include really good practices for including in meditation or just using to think over your life and possibly change the way you are aging. I am 65 y.o., and it is just what I need. It wouldn't be interesting for anyone not concerned with the older phases of life yet.

  • Tennyson
    2018-09-19 19:37

    Enjoyable, quick read. Very basic in relation to life changing information. Very easily followed If you haven't read many books on the Buddhist lifestyle. If you have, you may actually be a bit disappointed in this. THe author relates Buddhism to many other spiritual practices and often doesn't seem to go in depth enough to make this feel like you want to know more.For a Sunday morning, coffee book... well done.For a contemplative, make me want to know more and change my life book... eh.

  • Heather Fineisen
    2018-10-17 21:27

    This is a gem of a book that applies to any age. I have been telling my mom about it and am finally passing it on to her but I want it back, Lewis Richmond gives the reader a nice balance of Buddhist principles, anecdotes, and research concerning the aging process allowing for applications in other areas of life. This is a goodreads giveaway copy--and I hope they keep the cover for the release in January--lovely. Worthy of a spot on the shelf for future reference!

  • Dan Secor
    2018-10-03 20:34

    Not a bad book, especially if you are new to Buddhism and haven't grasped the richness of Buddhist philosophy. As for a guide on how to deal with aging, which is something I am grappling with in my practice, the book left me wanting more. Granted, there were many nuggets of wisdom but I felt that it stalled almost halfway in. I do recommend it, but only cautiously if your Buddhist practice is already firmly established.

  • Anne
    2018-09-16 21:19

    Lewis Richmond is a Western Tibetan Buddhist and this book is written from that perspective. It is very accessible to all and respectful of other outlooks. I found it relaxing and stimulating at the same time. There is not too much available that addresses this topic, and this book is a good option.

  • Craig Bergland
    2018-10-02 19:35

    A very good and thought provoking look at our response to aging. I gained many insights from reading this book, and would recommend it to anyone confronting or interested in the changes that occur as we age and our reactions to them!

  • Lauren Davis
    2018-09-22 01:22

    It was a nice meditative afternoon read, but I didn't find much new or groundbreaking in it. If you know anything about Buddhism and/or are older than 40, you probably aren't going to be terribly enlightened. Still, it's a nice reminder.

  • Warren Liebeman
    2018-09-18 17:31

    Interesting first half but the activity suggested at the end was too specific to practioners of Buddhism. There was no suggestions for alternate activities for non practioners. I made notes in my ebook version for future reference.