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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
This “user’s guide to aging well” draws on Buddhist principles to address the challenges of growing older. “Aging is not just change, but irreversible change—for better or for worse,” writes Richmond, a Zen Buddhist priest, meditation teacher, author (Work as a Spiritual Practice), and columnist (Huffington Post). “The real question... is: What do we do about it?” He weaves current scientific findings with the stories of older adults, including his own, to illuminate aspects of aging. Useful information includes the stages of aging; what kinds of worry are helpful and what are not; the function of elderhood; and the essence of Buddhism. The book’s range is wide, and Richmond’s insights exceptionally acute. Especially strong are his recognition that individuals experience time’s losses and gains very differently, and his analysis of the need to seek out new identities. Richmond draws from multiple Buddhist traditions, especially the wisdom of Zen master Shunryu Suzuki. Each chapter ends with a contemplative practice; the book concludes with instructions for a one-day “personal retreat.” This compassionate, hopeful book is a valuable resource for the inquiring adult coping with the passages of aging. (Jan.)