The Grace in Aging
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Learn to use your later years for awakening and spiritual growth. Encouraging, inspiring, and practical, The Grace in Aging invites all those who have ever experienced spiritual longing to awaken in their twilight years. Since aging, in and of itself, does not lead to spiritual maturity, The Grace in Aging suggests and explores causes and conditions that we can create in our lives, just as we are living them, to allow awakening to unfold -- transforming the predictable sufferings of aging into profound opportunities for growth in clarity, love, compassion, and peace. Kathleen Dowling Singh streamlines vast and complex teachings into skillful means and wise views. Straightforward language and piercing questions bring Singh's teachings into the sharp focus of our own lives; the contemplative nature of each chapter allows for an uncommon depth of inquiry. Examples from our lives and from the chatter in our own minds touch the reader personally, offering the chance to absorb the implications deeply and do the work of freeing his or her own mind. Ecumenical in spirit, tone, and language, Singh offers wisdom from teachers from a variety of spiritual backgrounds: Thich Nhat Hanh, the Apostles, Annie Dillard, and more. Lessening our attachments, decreasing our aversions, unbinding what binds us, we bear witness to the possibility of awakening for all beings. The Grace in Aging offers guidelines for older individuals of any wisdom tradition who wish to awaken before they die; no need for caves or seven-year retreats. This is spiritual practice for the lives we live.
In 1986 Dr. David Snowdon, one of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease, embarked on a revolutionary scientific study that would forever change the way we view aging—and ultimately living. Dubbed the “Nun Study” because it involves a unique population of 678 Catholic sisters, this remarkable long-term research project has made headlines worldwide with its provocative discoveries. Yet Aging with Grace is more than a groundbreaking health and science book. It is the inspiring human story of these remarkable women—ranging in age from 74 to 106—whose dedication to serving others may help all of us live longer and healthier lives. Totally accessible, with fascinating portraits of the nuns and the scientists who study them, Aging with Grace also offers a wealth of practical findings: • Why building linguistic ability in childhood may protect against Alzheimer’s • Which ordinary foods promote longevity and healthy brain function • Why preventing strokes and depression is key to avoiding Alzheimer’s • What role heredity plays, and why it’s never too late to start an exercise program • How attitude, faith, and community can add years to our lives A prescription for hope, Aging with Grace shows that old age doesn’t have to mean an inevitable slide into illness and disability; rather it can be a time of promise and productivity, intellectual and spiritual vigor—a time of true grace.
Aging with Wisdom and Grace explores the contributions faith can make to optimal aging, providing a Christian perspective on such topics as: loss and diminishment, loneliness and suffering, death and dying, regrets and unhealed wounds, gratitude, and generativity.
A groundbreaking approach to aging from one of France's best- known clinical psychologists. How should we accept growing old? It's an inevitable progression and yet in Western society the very subject of aging is often taboo and shrouded in anxiety and shame. Not anymore, says Marie de Hennezel, an internationally renowned clinical psychologist and bestselling author. Now that our lives are longer and richer than ever before, it's imperative to demystify our greatest fear and cultivate a positive awareness of aging. In this timely and essential book, de Hennezel offers a fresh perspective on the art of growing old. She confronts head-on the inevitable grief we sustain at the loss of our youth and explains how refusing to age and move forward in life is actually what makes us become old. Combining personal anecdotes with psychological theory, philosophy, and eye-opening scientific research from around the world, she shows why we should look forward to embracing everything aging has to offer in terms of human and spiritual enrichment. The Art of Growing Old is a thought-provoking, brave, and uplifting meditation on the later years as they should be lived.
Bestselling author Kathleen Dowling Singh (The Grace in Dying) presents an opportunity to view and reflect upon our lives in a new way—as an already unfolding awakening. Kathleen Dowling Singh invites us to enter into an awakened relationship with our lives by exploring our own spiritual biography. Her thoughtful reflections and exercises guide us through the process, step-by-step, of recognizing the ever-presence of grace in our lives and learning to trust it and live from it. This book also offers accounts from renowned teachers, including Rodney Smith, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, as well as other long-time practitioners. These intimate first-person accounts offer rare glimpses into early spiritual yearnings, struggles, and realizations—and serve as encouragement and inspiration for us to rediscover our own.
From the revered author of the bestselling The Hidden Life of Dogs, a witty, engaging, life-affirming account of the joy, strength, and wisdom that comes with age. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has spent a lifetime observing the natural world, chronicling the customs of pre-contact hunter-gatherers and the secret lives of deer and dogs. In this book, the capstone of her long career, Thomas, now eighty-eight, turns her keen eye to her own life. The result is an account of growing old that is at once funny and charming and intimate and profound, both a memoir and a life-affirming map all of us may follow to embrace our later years with grace and dignity. A charmingly intimate account and a broad look at the social and historical traditions related to aging, Growing Old explores a wide range of issues connected with growing older, from stereotypes of the elderly as burdensome to the methods of burial humans have used throughout history to how to deal with a concerned neighbor who assumes you’re buying cat food to eat for dinner. Written with the wit of Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and the lyrical beauty and serene wisdom of When Breath Becomes Air, Growing Old is an expansive and deeply personal paean to the beauty and the brevity of life that offers understanding for everyone, regardless of age.
An invitation to everyday mystics: unbind yourself from the causes of suffering and step into grace. “We all want the freedom of sanity and peace, the undefended inclusiveness of love. We all want refuge in grace.” —Kathleen Dowling Singh, from her introduction to Unbinding Unbinding is a spacious and sophisticated unfolding of one of Buddhism’s subtlest foundational teachings—the truth of dependent origination—offered in an utterly intimate voice. Kathleen Dowling Singh offers lyrical reflections on timeless truths and contemplative exercises accessible to anyone, opening the door of insight to all. Drawing on the language and teachings of Buddhism, Unbinding invites everyday mystics from all traditions—or none—to encounter the sacred and experience grace firsthand. Singh shows how illusions of ego obscure our true, unbounded nature and trap us in suffering—as she helps the reader move ever more deeply into living from gratitude, wisdom, and love.
In Ripening Time: Inside Stories for Aging with Grace, Sherry Ruth Anderson presents a new perspective on aging. In her latest book, the bestselling author of The Feminine Face of God and The Cultural Creatives invites the reader to engage the aging process through the art of inner inquiry. She guides us beyond our culture's mind traps through stories where elders face into the lies, the losses and endings, the tender and bittersweet and ferocious truths of growing old. Giving us an indispensable compass, she shows how growing into old age can be a fruition, the genuine grace and gift of human ripening.
Aging With Grace is designed to revive girls and women who desire to grow gracefully in the Lord. Stephannie E. R. Solomon dares to share what many Christian women discuss and want to hear more about as they follow Christ. Sex, parenting, the other woman, self-image, forgiveness, freedom, and victory are some of the topics showcased in Aging With Grace. Every reflection reveals that the grace of God is at work in the lives of female Christians as they sojourn on Earth. Sandwiched between the covers are compelling, challenging, conversational, and contemporized chapters that are introduced by eye catching and inter-generational titles. Surely Aging With Grace: Reflections That Revive Women is another gift and tool that is sure to be a blessing to the Body of Christ.
This book is a guide for caregivers and for the elderly. Holm advises how to live longer, the wisdom of avoiding poly-pharmacy, the danger in being a boomer, and how to understand medical ethics. He explains how to understand dementia, how to avoid physical and emotional abuse, how to make a living will and how to face dying and death without fear.
In this brilliantly conceived and beautifully written book, Kathleen Dowling Singh illuminates the profound psychological and spiritual transformations experiences by the dying as the natural process of death reconnects them with the source of their being. Examining the end of life in the light of current psychological understanding, religious wisdom, and compassionate medical science, The Grace of Dying offers a fresh, deeply comforting message of hope and courage as we contemplate the meaning of our mortality. While the prevailing Western medical tradition has seen death as an enemy to be fought and overcome, Singh offers a richer and more rewarding path of understanding. Combining extensive training and education in developmental psychology with profound spiritual insight, she balances expert analysis with moving accounts drawn from her experiences working with hundreds of dying patients at a large hospice. Singh moves beyond the five stages of dying revealed in Kübler-Ross's classic On Death and Dying, and finds in the "nearing death experience" even more significant and forming stages of surrender and transcendence. These stages involve the qualities of grace: letting go, radiance, focusing inward, silence, a sense of the sacred, wisdom, intensity, and, in the end, a merging with Spirit. Through this intense process, we come to experience at last the reality of our true self, which transcends our finite ego and bodily existence, and our merging with the source of being from which we originated. Dying is safe. In clear, nontechnical language, Singh reveals the transformations that come with dying, using the vocabulary of growing Western, as well as Eastern, wisdom. Written for those aware that their life is coming to an end, those who care for the dying, and, ultimately, for all of us who inevitably face our owndeath and the deaths of the people we love, The Grace in Dying reveals that dying is the most transforming, powerful, and spiritually rich of life's experiences.
Explains the aging process based on the Buddhist tenet about the inevitability of change, with descriptions of the four key stages of aging and advice about awareness, adaptation, and acceptance.
All around us, older women flourish in industry, entertainment, and politics. Do they know something that we don’t, or are we all just trying to figure it out? For so many of us, our hearts and minds still feel that we are twenty-something young women who can take on the world. But in our bodies, the flexibility and strength that were once taken for granted are far from how we remember them. Every day we have to rise above the creaky joints and achy knees to earn the opportunity of moving through the world with a modicum of grace. Yet we do rise, because it’s a privilege to grow old, and every single day is a gift. Peter Pan’s mantra was “never grow up”; our collective mantra should be “never stop growing.” This collection of user-friendly stories, essays, and philosophies invites readers to celebrate whatever age they are with a sense of joy and purpose and with a spirit of gratitude.
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.
More than thirty years ago, an entire generation sought a new way of life, looking for fulfillment and meaning in a way no one had before. Leaving his teaching job at Harvard, Ram Dass embodied the role of spiritual seeker, showing others how to find peace within themselves in one of the greatest spiritual classics of the twentieth century, the two-million-copy bestseller Be Here Now. As many of that generation enter the autumn of their years, the big questions of peace and of purpose have returned demanding answers. And once again, Ram Dass blazes a new trail, inviting all to join him on the next stage of the journey.
Bianchi's wide-ranging book draws together insights from the social sciences, the humanities, and religion to establish a holistic framework for a spirituality of aging. He argues that middle life and late adulthood present opportunities for turning inward for a deeper contemplative life within the context of active, worldly endeavors. This can also augur a reform of social relationships--beyond individual development alone--toward the creation of a more cooperative, just society. In this way, physical decline is countered by a spiritual ascent. He summons aging persons, fortified with universal values and concerns gained from age and experience, to return to the centers of decision making. Throughout, the author ponders such questions as personal power, identity, fear, freedom, contemplation, sexuality, the church, faith, suffering, and hope. In candid interviews, older religious leaders reflect on their early value formation, personal traumas, choice of careers, midlife transitions, experiences of old age, and the prospect of death. In dwelling mainly on human spiritual dilemmas of the aging cycle, Bianchi offers a strong, clear message of hope--one that stands against the tide of our culture which tends to shunt older people to the outer eddies of life's stream. Aging as a Spiritual Journey is immensely valuable to all laypersons and those in the helping professions who are concerned about the quality of the aging process.
Portraits of elderly African Americans supplement quotes by the subjects sharing memories, words of wisdom, and thoughts on aging.
Carl Honoré captured the zeitgeist with his international bestseller, In Praise of Slow. Now he tackles another rising global movement: our revolutionary new approach to a human inevitability--ageing. A revolution in how we age is on its way. Yes, ageing is inevitable: one year from now we will all be a year older; that will never change. What can and will change is how we age--and how we can all take a much bolder approach to doing it with vigour and joy. The time has come to cast off prejudices and to blur the lines of what is possible and permissible at every stage of life. In other words: we need to learn to re-imagine our approach to later life. Emboldening ourselves in older age demands big structural changes. For a start, we will have to tear up the old script that locks us into devoting the early part of our life to education, the middle chunk to working and raising kids, and whatever is left over at the end to leisure. In an age-inappropriate world, these silos will dissolve. We'll embrace the idea that we can carry on learning from start to finish; that we can work less and devote more time to family, leisure, and giving back to our communities in our middle years; and that we can remain active and engaged in our later years. Carl Honoré has travelled the globe speaking to influential figures who are bucking preconceived notions of age, whether at work or in their personal lives. He looks at the cultural, medical, and technological developments that are opening new possibilities for us all. Bolder is a radical re-think of our approach to everything from education, healthcare and work, to design, relationships and politics. An essential and inspiring read for everyone interested in our collective future.
“As a writer, Wearing is all luscious texture and running narrative.” — The Globe and Mail Moments of Glad Grace is a moving and witty memoir of aging, familial love, and the hunt for roots and belonging. The story begins as a trip from Canada to Ireland in search of genealogical data and documents. Being 80 and in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Joe invites his daughter Alison to come along as his research assistant, which might have worked very well had she any interest — any at all — in genealogy. Very quickly, the father-daughter pilgrimage becomes more comical than fruitful, more of a bittersweet adventure than a studious mission. And rather than rigorous genealogy, their explorations move into the realm of family and forgiveness, the primal search for identity and belonging, and questions about responsibility to our ancestors and the extent to which we are shaped by the people who came before us. Though continually bursting with humor, Moments of Glad Grace ultimately becomes a song of appreciation for the precious and limited time we have with our parents, the small moments we share, and the gifts of transcendence we might find there.
Fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds in this celebratory and uplifting art book. A beautiful and fascinating exploration of what it is like to be over 100 years old, Aging Gracefully invites readers to look into the face of a century of life experience with portraits of centenarians captured by the compassionate, minimalist lens of photographer Karsten Thormaehlen. The striking photographs are accompanied by short bios of the centenarians, featuring quotes and wisdom on love, food, humor, and living with grace.