Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aging As A Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide To Growing Older And Wiser” as Want to Read:
Aging As A Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide To Growing Older And Wiser
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Aging As A Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide To Growing Older And Wiser

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
The bestselling author of Work as a Spiritual Practice presents a new vision of the aging process, awakening a spirit of fulfillment and transformation.

Everything changes. For Buddhist priest and meditation teacher Lewis Richmond, this fundamental Buddhist tenet is the basis for a new inner road map that emerges in the later years, charting an understanding that can bring
Kindle Edition, First, 256 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Gotham Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 26, 2015 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked this, which is really saying something, because I didn't like the audio narration. It was so annoying.

The author is Buddhist. I found his outlook interesting. Some of it felt enlightening and certainly gave me food for thought. But with that being said, some of this had me rolling my eyes as well. So 3 stars.
Joan Winnek
Mar 06, 2013 Joan Winnek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joan by: Debra Ratner
This book immediately grabbed me with its chapter on lightning strikes. My own lightening strike happened about six months ago, and had several forks.

This is a book to keep and reread for its many insights into aging and the clearest explanation of Buddhism I have found. The writing is engaging, and the contemplative reflections are activities I want to work through, slowly.

Yelda Basar Moers
Buddhist priest and teacher Lewis Richmond is his latest book Aging as a Spiritual Practice begins with what he believes are the four stages of aging. The first stage “Lightning Strikes,” is a realization that we are growing old. The sensation comes out of nowhere, unexpectedly, like a bolt from above. I am only thirty-five years old, but this is exactly what happened to me recently, before I had even been assigned to read this book as a Library Thing Early Reviewer. Naturally, I was drawn to th ...more
I was fortunate to win a copy of this book through Goodreads.

This book is a great resource for those of us that are starting to realize we aren't "young" anymore, or at least as young as we used to be. Richmond goes through the different phases of aging, the first of which is "Lightning Strikes" - that first moment you notice things aren't quite what they used to be (a grey hair, creaky knees, kids going off to college, illness, whatever). He uses examples from his personal life and illnesses to
Joann Amidon
Sep 29, 2016 Joann Amidon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two things happened this year: my friend, Janet, mentioned Atul Gawande's book, On Being Mortal, and I turned 75. As a result of these two events, I have been reading many books about dying and this book is one of the better ones. It is based on the spiritual and brings to the reader a calm approach to the inevitable. I highly recommend it to anyone who might be feeling unsure about the direction of their life now that they are "retired" and in the final part of their life. The encouragement wit ...more
Linda Robinson
Jan 24, 2012 Linda Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The interior of this book is as soft-focus as the exterior picture of the lotus. If you are aging at the same speed the rest of us are, and have not yet made some measure of peace with that, this is the book for you. Richmond handles the inevitability that aging has an end point with Zen calmness, and he shares the feeling with his prose. The book is organized by issues related to getting old, and a reader is free to roam and contemplate. That's how I'll handle the remaining years I have. Roam a ...more
Susan Rothenberg
Jan 23, 2012 Susan Rothenberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful book about some of the issues of aging and ways that spiritual practices can help with the transitions along the way. Though Lew is a Buddhist priest, his suggestions are universal.
May 13, 2016 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The awareness that you are here right now is the ultimate fact."
Nov 19, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book as it deals with the issues of aging not so much from a practical or medical/health perspective, but from a deeper perspective. I was comfortable with the Buddhist perspective, but I think anyone from any tradition would find it a good and helpful read.
Nov 25, 2016 Gwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A helpful read - a bit self-helpy but with some great stories, tidbits and tips on how to change the way you think about yourself aging.
I was drawn to this book by its title. We may as well approach aging as growth rather than loss. As I got into it, I enjoyed Lew Richmond's reminiscences of his time with Suzuki Roshi, his own struggles and insights around illness and aging, and his honest and informal conversations with people and their learnings on aging. There was lovely insight on what it means to be an "extraordinary elder", keeping open and alert to life's wonders, no matter how your path rolls. It is written for those not ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Ninon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lewis Richmond is someone I consider a friend on my spiritual path. Forgive me as I become a little sentimental. I met him around 2002 as I was just coming out of the dark ages of my Fundamentalist Christian experience. I was a wreck and was avoiding any aspect of Spirituality. I limped into a bookstore in Sonoma, CA and happened to hear him speaking about his first book, "Work as a Spiritual Practice." It was an idea that had never occurred to me. I was inspired and got the book, but it had a g ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Clara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, this book sits somewhere between the available ratings of "It was OK" and "I liked it." Lewis Richmond writes ably enough about the value of living comfortably with aging. He offers exercises to help us do this; he suggests rituals to put us in a receptive frame of mind, and he uses the example of his own near-death illness to good effect. But, as I'm won't to say when it's difficult to find examples that illustrate my general feelings of "reviewer ennui," "it didn't sing to me."

In other
Mark Soone
Jan 08, 2012 Mark Soone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: give-away
I very seldom give a 1 star rating, so I feel I need to offer a reason. I won this copy on goodreads, based solely upon the title. I guess I should have gone ahead and read the write up on this book. I assumed (I know you should not do that!), off of the title that it would deal with Christian principles towards aging rather than a more universal term of SPIRITUAL! I won't waste my time or yours debating the principles that guide my life and those that are depicted in this book, just leave it th ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are new to personal contemplative spiritual practice this book will help you enormously. There are prayers, rituals, and practices easily performed almost anywhere. There is a thoroughly described guide to one day retreat you can do at home. If you are new to buddhist concepts this is a good overview of their application in relation to aging.

If you are not new to personal contemplative spiritual practice, this book offers some good suggestions on applying your practice to the aging proce
Kate Lawrence
Aug 30, 2012 Kate Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, psychology
This has much that will be helpful to the over-60 as well as to younger people who are caring for aging family members. The text is interspersed with the author's reminiscences of studying in his youth with famed Buddhist teacher Shunryu Suzuki, and "Contemplative Reflections" that assist in looking at life in helpful ways quite different from mainstream viewpoints. Not just for Buddhists or meditators, though, the book provides comfort for anyone dealing with aging-related issues. The author, i ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Patricia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiration
I got some useful tidbits from this book, and I'm glad I read it, but it will not sit at the top of my heap of inspirational books. I think Richmond made a mistake trying to address the book to readers of spiritual persuasions other than Buddhism. The tactic kind of watered down the Buddhist aspects, and I doubt if it will actually win very many readers of other persuasions. For the most part, I enjoyed his examples, especially the ones that told his own personal story. My favorite was the one a ...more
Christine Celata
I rate this book really highly because I found it to be so interesting and useful. I've read a bunch of Buddhist books and this one is one of the best. It is not written for Buddhists, however. It is useful for anyone, and written in language that won't offend or make you uncomfortable. It doesn't rely on reincarnation to make you comfortable with aging and death. It does, however, include really good practices for including in meditation or just using to think over your life and possibly change ...more
T. Suusi
Enjoyable, quick read. Very basic in relation to life changing information. Very easily followed If you haven't read many books on the Buddhist lifestyle. If you have, you may actually be a bit disappointed in this.

THe author relates Buddhism to many other spiritual practices and often doesn't seem to go in depth enough to make this feel like you want to know more.

For a Sunday morning, coffee book... well done.

For a contemplative, make me want to know more and change my life book... eh.

John Kaufmann
Not as good as I was hoping. The best part is probably some of the mindfulness/meditation exercises it recommends - and even those are just variations of what you can find in most any book on the subject. In addition, I didn't find it as uniquely tailored to older persons ("Aging" is in the title) as I expected. If this is your first book on the topic, you'll probably find it to be a decent introduction (three-star?). If you've read other books on mindfulness/meditation, you'll probably find lit ...more
Heather Fineisen
Dec 26, 2011 Heather Fineisen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This is a gem of a book that applies to any age. I have been telling my mom about it and am finally passing it on to her but I want it back, Lewis Richmond gives the reader a nice balance of Buddhist principles, anecdotes, and research concerning the aging process allowing for applications in other areas of life. This is a goodreads giveaway copy--and I hope they keep the cover for the release in January--lovely. Worthy of a spot on the shelf for future reference!
Dan Secor
Not a bad book, especially if you are new to Buddhism and haven't grasped the richness of Buddhist philosophy. As for a guide on how to deal with aging, which is something I am grappling with in my practice, the book left me wanting more. Granted, there were many nuggets of wisdom but I felt that it stalled almost halfway in. I do recommend it, but only cautiously if your Buddhist practice is already firmly established.
Mar 20, 2013 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Lewis Richmond is a Western Tibetan Buddhist and this book is written from that perspective. It is very accessible to all and respectful of other outlooks. I found it relaxing and stimulating at the same time. There is not too much available that addresses this topic, and this book is a good option.
Even with a twenty-plus year zen practice, I found useful practice ideas in the book. It should prove more helpful to those without a meditation practice.

Shunryu Suzuki (About dying): "Don't worry. Nothing is going to happen."

Stephen Levine: "Don't worry. Dying is perfectly safe."
Craig Bergland
Mar 18, 2012 Craig Bergland rated it it was amazing
A very good and thought provoking look at our response to aging. I gained many insights from reading this book, and would recommend it to anyone confronting or interested in the changes that occur as we age and our reactions to them!
Lauren Davis
It was a nice meditative afternoon read, but I didn't find much new or groundbreaking in it. If you know anything about Buddhism and/or are older than 40, you probably aren't going to be terribly enlightened. Still, it's a nice reminder.
Warren Liebeman
Interesting first half but the activity suggested at the end was too specific to practioners of Buddhism. There was no suggestions for alternate activities for non practioners. I made notes in my ebook version for future reference.

Aug 25, 2012 D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great title. Nothing new (well, what did you expect?) But if the title jars you into disbelief, this would be an excellent book to read. Includes a retreat you can arrange for yourself, the same as the ones he does.
Jul 16, 2013 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be very helpful in looking at aging in a different way. I describe myself as a Buddhist Presbyterian (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron) so I am predisposed to this type of spirituality, but I found Richmond's ideas about aging to be comforting, enlightening and encouraging.
Oct 20, 2014 Careyleah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful exploration of the 'last' chapter of our lives; accessible, meaningful, gentle but challenging. I am using this book in an elders' group that I run--so far, the response has been very positive.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death
  • Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now
  • The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love & Compassion
  • Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole
  • The Lotus and the Lily: A 30 Day Soul Program
  • The Mindful Woman: Gentle Practices for Restoring Calm, Finding Balance, and Opening Your Heart
  • Infinite Life
  • Grown-Up Marriage: What We Know, Wish We Had Known, and Still Need to Know About Being Married
  • The Illuminated Prayer: The Five-Times Prayer of the Sufis
  • What Is God?
  • Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart
  • Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy
  • Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain
  • A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times
  • The Blooming of a Lotus: Guided Meditations for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness
  • The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older
  • From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older
  • Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook
Zen Buddhist priest, teacher, and author.
More about Lewis Richmond...

Share This Book

“At first blush this thought might seem depressing, but the process of transformation—aging and its accomplishments—can be very positive, with new possibilities, fresh beginnings, a wealth of appreciation, and a depth of gratitude that profoundly affects how our lives proceed.” 1 likes
“Regret and celebration are equally important facets of aging. Throughout this book, these two aspects will appear in various guises and voices. That was the case with” 1 likes
More quotes…