AGING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE by Lewis Richmond

AGING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser

KIRKUS REVIEW

A Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher offers “a user's guide to aging well” by celebrating “the joys and rewards of aging” while accepting the inevitable losses that accompany it.

Richmond (A Whole Life's Work: Living Passionately, Growing Spiritually, 2005, etc.) believes that diet and exercise are only part of the story. He provides a refreshing road map for facing old age optimistically but without the illusion of a fountain of youth. In his mid-60s and having suffered two life-threatening illnesses, Richmond draws on a depth of personal experience about the reality of overcoming fear while recognizing that certain changes are irreversible and certain options are closed to us as we age, even if we are not ill or infirm. The author describes four stages in the “journey of aging,” and he emphasizes that true contentment comes from looking inward. “The spiritual life is all about connection…to oneself as well as others,” and spending time with “your closest and dearest friend—yourself.” While Richmond applies traditional Zen techniques, he does so from an ecumenical standpoint. Each chapter is filled with anecdotes from contemporary life about how people he knew have dealt with the challenges of getting older. Referring to Erik Erikson's “groundbreaking 1950s book Childhood and Society,” Richmond suggests that we often fail to appreciate the wisdom that comes with age and what the elderly have to contribute as mentors.

A spiritual affirmation that provides a welcome alternative to the prevailing belief that maintaining the appearance of youth as long as possible is an antidote to aging.

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-592-40690-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Gotham Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2011




NEW SELF-IMPROVEMENT BOOKS FOR 2012:

NonfictionFEED YOURSELF, FEED YOUR FAMILY by La Leche League International
by La Leche League International
NonfictionHEART 411 by Marc Gillinov
by Marc Gillinov
NonfictionAGING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE by Lewis Richmond
by Lewis Richmond
NonfictionTHE HAPPINESS OF PURSUIT by Shimon Edelman
by Shimon Edelman
NonfictionTHIS WILL MAKE YOU SMARTER by John Brockman
by John Brockman

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTHE WONDER OF AGING by Michael Gurian
by Michael Gurian
NonfictionNEVER SAY DIE by Susan Jacoby
by Susan Jacoby
NonfictionTHE SHARED WISDOM OF MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS by Alexandra Stoddard
by Alexandra Stoddard