By Stephen Levine

ISBN-10: 0609801945

ISBN-13: 9780609801949

In his new publication, Stephen Levine, writer of the perennial best-seller Who Dies?, teaches us the way to stay every one second, each one hour, on a daily basis mindfully--as if it have been all that was once left. On his deathbed, Socrates exhorted his fans to perform demise because the optimum kind of knowledge. Levine determined to stay this fashion himself for a complete yr, and now he stocks with us how such immediacy notably alterations our view of the area and forces us to ascertain our priorities. so much folks visit amazing lengths to disregard, giggle off, or deny the truth that we'll die, yet getting ready for dying is without doubt one of the most obvious and profitable acts of a life-time. it's an workout that provides us the chance to accommodate unfinished enterprise and input right into a new and colourful courting with existence. Levine presents us with a year-long application of intensely useful innovations and robust guided meditations to aid with this paintings, in order that each time the final word second does arrive for every people, we can't suppose that it has come too quickly.

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It is from this mechanical response/reaction that our actions and re­ actions, our kanna, arises. Because noting states of mind as they arise keeps us present, it allows us to meet difficulties at their inception-before they become more real than we are. We note "fear" when the gut tightens in self-defense. We note "mercy" when that state of NOTICING 37 mind embraces all others. We note "resistance" or "distrust" when we are nodding in agreement but have closed our hearts in self-protection. The noting of states of mind offers much of the same prepa­ ration and recognition as The Tibetan Book of the Dead and other afterworld odysseys.

There were some who could no longer speak yet with their eyes and soft smile left behind that same healing message. I have been in rooms where those who were dying made it feel like sacred ground. I have also been with those who could not die in peace or found some deeper truth only as the light in the body dimin­ ished, leaving so much left unsaid and incomplete. I have seen some die blessing all around, and others begging everyone's forgiveness. Although the latter might not seem a "preferable FAMOUS LAST WORDS 27 death" for the person who previously found it impossible to ad­ dress unfinished business, it was an important evolutionary step, a breakthrough access to the heart.

When it's "my" depression, "my" cancer, "my" AIDS, I am isolated from the source of my greatest comfort. I am locked in with my suffering and unable to give it any suc­ cor. But when it's "the" depression, I take it less personally and am not too threatened to investigate it. When it's "my" unwor­ thiness I feel unworthy to explore it. But when it's "the" unwor- 20 A YEAR TO LIVE. thiness-the pain that so many struggle with--compassion flows naturally toward it. It is said that we must love ourselves before we can love anyone else, and this is true.

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