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Aging for Beginners (Paperback)
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We all grow old. This book teaches us how to take advantage of a new phase of life: a phase of renewal and inner exploration.
We’re all beginners when it comes to aging. And although the fact that we are in new territory can certainly contribute to the difficulties in dealing with getting older, it can also have a very positive side. Aging can be seen as a new phase of our life: a phase of renewal. Nowhere is this more evident than in our opportunity to devote more time to reflection and inner exploration. The result, regardless of whatever physical limitations we may be experiencing, is the possibility of cultivating and living increasingly from kindness and gratitude—two of the essential qualities of a life of satisfaction and equanimity.
With techniques that are both simple and richly unfolded, this book will help readers:
• learn the subtle art of being with pain
• uncover the fears that amplify suffering
• tap into the true sources of meaningfulness and joy
Winner of the Spirituality & Practice Best Book Award in 2019.
About the Author
Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamilton have each been practicing meditation for over forty years and teaching since 1995, including leading retreats in the United States and abroad. They currently co-teach at Zen Center San Diego.
Ezra is the author of seven books, including Being Zen, The Authentic Life, and Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts). Elizabeth is the author of Untrain Your Parrot and has led numerous workshops at hospice.
“This groundbreaking book is a comprehensive manual on the joys and sorrows of aging. In this sense, Aging for Beginners does double duty. For those who fear the sorrows that inevitably accompany aging—from the loss of loved ones to the loss of physical and perhaps mental stamina—the book offers practices for accepting and even embracing these sorrows as part of the human journey. And for those who fear that getting older necessarily brings with it a lessening of life’s joys, the book illustrates that this need not be the case, offering many tools and practices for finding and nourishing that joy. Aging for Beginners has been a great help to me personally. I highly recommend it for people of all ages.”
— Toni Bernhard, author of How to Be Sick
“In Aging for Beginners, Ezra Bayda provides wise, caring guidance in turning toward the realities of aging, sickness and death, showing us how to find meaning and authenticity—and even thrive—in their presence. Bayda balances honoring their inevitable pains and complexities with providing powerful, concrete practices that can help immediately. We are all fortunate to have such a ‘beginner’ to guide us on this important journey. If you find yourself growing older, this book is for you.”
— Lizabeth Roemer, Ph.D., co-author of Worry Less, Live More and The Mindful Way Through Anxiety
“Ezra Bayda shares his personal experience of aging, offering glimpses into a kaleidoscope of challenges such as helplessness, grief, depression and physical pain. Written on a foundation of psychological insight and raw personal honesty, Aging for Beginners is a roadmap for those who wish to embrace aging as an essential path for their own spiritual journey. Drawing on decades of spiritual practice, Bayda offers practical exercises and meditations for the trials and tribulations that many of us will face as we move through the final chapters of our lives. In order to fully explore the profound issues of birth and death and the journey in between, we need the type of guidance this book offers.”
— Gregg Krech, author of The Art of Taking Action